Because my everything has kept me from really keeping up, I'm going to review all of these on one page. They are no longer available on the website - but you won't go wrong with trying what they are currently roasting. I found all 3 of the ones I tried to be well roasted and great examples of their kind.
The Nicaragua was warm, inviting and a very friendly afternoon sipping coffee. The body was about a 6 on a scale of 1-10. I like the medium or lighter bodied coffees in the afternoon. I guess like some people would have tea. The acidty was not in your face. There was a brightness, but not so much it overpowered the sweetness of this delightful cup.
In the cup there was a nuttiness that was walnut to me. The sweetness was cocoa with some brown sugar and vanilla. The acidity was citrus. lemon with a squeeze of lime.
I prepared it in my Kalita Wave, V60 and Aeropress. I got more acidity in the V60 and a lot deeper chocolate in the Aeropress. I used the Aeropress to make iced coffee with it too. Really nice on those hot days in July.
I gave this coffee an 8 It was a pleasant cup to enjoy while I was catching up on work in the afternoon. I drank more than one cup while I was loading balloon aprons.
Growing up I thought all coffee came from Columbia. The tv commercials showed Juan Valdez with his donkey, smiling and approving. Stereotypes were rampant in the 70s.
Now that I have a better understanding of coffee and enjoy beans grown all over the world, I appreciate Colombian coffee for it's reliable and comforting nutty taste.
this offering from Carrier doesn't disappoint. There is a slight peanut taste, but I also got hazelnut and almond. The body was full with a nice medium acidity and very little bitterness. Along with the nuts I got dark chocolate and a sweetness that had hints of pineapple, apple, pear and a hint of something gardeny. Maybe carrots - they are a sweet vegetable.
I had this one most often int he morning. That's when I prefer full bodied coffees. Heavy coffee, lighter tasting foods. That's how I start my day. At least in the summer. In winter it will be heavy coffee & heavy foods like oatmeal.
I don't know that I preferred any particular way of making it. They all produced a good cup. Standard 16:1 ratio. I've switched to that over my old 15:1. I still prefer very strong coffee, but my husband does not, so we are meeting int he middle.
I wasn't sure about this. Barrel aged coffees can be hit or miss for me. Sometimes I enjoyed quite a bit.
I'm no good at picking out flavors of the coffee in addition to the whiskey, but I feel like I got some fruit and spicy vanilla.
Sometimes I find barrel aged coffees to have a soggy taste. The tastes all mush together. This one was fresh and crisp with a clean coffee/whiskey taste. The aroma is nice and that really carries the taste into the experience. Made into a concentrate and drizzled over vanilla ice cream this was HEAVEN.
It was a great afternoon coffee.
Like I said - you can't get these but check out http://www.carrierroasting.com and try one of their other offerings. You won't be disappointed.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Today I'm drinking coffee that was roasted by KC Coffee Geek in his new home roaster. It's an organic Uganda. Pretty good stuff.
I don't always reach for Mexican coffees when grabbing some beans. I guess it would be better to say I don't click them since most of my coffee is purchased over the computer. This time I did. Why? Because there was paisley on the bag and I have a thing for paisley. Even wore it when I got married. Of course we eloped and got married in the courthouse so there was never going to be a big, white pouffy wedding dress. Anyway, the photo grabbed me. Paisley label, ocean waves. I like Bespoken, they roast a good bean - so why not give their Mexico a try.
And it was not like other Mexicans I've had. I've had a few that were bad, but mostly they just were not memorable. Just light coffee. I shared some of this with Sarah (@mommyinpieces) I think she described it well when she called it BBB. Big, Bold & Beautiful. This isn't a shrinking violet of a coffee that won't remembered once the cup has been washed.
As before, the shipping was fast and the coffee was fresh. I like the flat rate shipping as well. As I'm shopping I can keep a mental tally of what the final total will be. The people behind Bespoken are great and you can shop online or in person if you're in or near Corvallis, OR. Their shop is called Tried & True and you'll find it downtown.
the packaging is simple but creative. I like that each coffee has a unique label that fits in to the overall theme. They've gotten some great photos for the website as well. Getting the perfect photo can be a challenge and I'm impressed with how well they captured the coffees in an art way, not a advertising way.
The coffee itself had an enticing aroma that just made you want to smell the bag. As anyone near me discovered. I'm awful about shoving things in people's faces and saying "here, smell this!" I have a pretty tolerant husband. The aroma got more intense after grinding. It's one of the perfume coffees. Those are ones that I wish I could find a way to turn into perfume. I've tried, but so far I've also failed. i probably should actually research how to make perfume, but the last thing i need is another hobby.
I brewed this one in the wave, V60 and aeropress. Most often V60 - because the filters are on top. ( I store my filters in a box that protects them from absorbing odors and moisture from the air.) The aroma in the brew was sweet like heavy honey, the kind with the comb in it. My friends Bob & Liz are beekeepers and I love the way their honey smells. I got that, a floral scent I couldn't place and a warm coffee scent. That's not actually as common and you might think. sometimes things smell like coffee, but often they smell like other things. This time I got both.
Used my normal 15:1 ratio.
The first sips showed that this was not going to be the reliable but forgettable Mexicans of my past. It was bold and strong with an acidity that kind of like what you find in cranberry juice. Not pure cranberry juice. That stuff can give war heads a run for their money. No, the kind you drink that's cut with apple or grape juice. I would compare this to cranberry juice or maybe cherry juice. Not a citrus acidity. There was a nuttiness to it and the sweetness was honey sweet, not cane sugar or fruit sugars. The nuttiness was more peanut than almond or hazelnut. I wouldn't describe it as a peanut butter cup unless you've had homemade ones. I like the commerical ones because I like junk food, but the ones you make at home are so so so much better. This coffee had that kind of taste. Like a good fresh peanut butter made with some honey and a quality chocolate. There was some cocoa to the taste, but it wasn't overwhelming. Then you had a glass of cranberry juice while eating said peanut butter cup and the whole thing just went perfectly together. I don't know if it would, but it does in the coffee.
For anyone who has only had cheap store brand coffee, all of this may sound a bit odd. Try some of the good stuff. It won't be long before you've put down the creamer stuff and started to notice all the tastes found in coffee. There are a LOT of them. Some are subtle. Some smack you upside the head and say here I am. Coffee is fascinating in how diverse the tastes are. Every little part makes a difference in the cup. Where is is grown, how the beans are removed from the cherry, how it's stored for transport, how it's roasted and how it's brewed. It even changes from day to day as the gasses leave the roasted beans. I love how all the little parts come together to make a good cup of coffee.
If you want to give this one a try, it's available on the Bespoken website. You can follow Bespoken Coffee on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.
The website is www.bespokencoffeeroasters.com _
I am a total sucker for good packaging. Throw in a clever name and I'm extra happy. Reference Olivia Newton John and it just gets better. I remember being so excited for the movie Grease. I had the soundtrack before I saw the movie and listened to it over and over and over. I still love the movie and the soundtrack and I've passed that on to my kids. The kid was "bad" Sandy for Halloween last year. I know Olivia Newton John was in other movies and I like her other music, but Grease is still the one I think of when I hear her name.
Hotbox has some other delightful names. Frank Sumatra & Kenya Dig It are the ones I've sampled. They also have a few blends, also with great names - the French Press of Belair, Soulshine and Moonshine which is their decaf offering.
Instead of coming in a bag they are in cans that remind me of the ones tennis balls used to come in. I loved opening a can of tennis balls. When we lived in San Francisco there was a handball court on base near us. Or maybe it was a wall to practice tennis against. Either way, my friend Vincent and I would spend time bouncing balls against that wall. We tended to lose the balls and have to get more. He was a gentleman and always let me open the can. Pretty chivalrous for a 6th grader!
If you read the website - and I think you should - you'll see that the can is not just for the sake of cool. It's recyclable and keeps the beans fresh. Stale beans are the worst. Yay for practical packaging!
There is something else about Hotbox that's more important than cool packaging or clever names - they have great customer service. Periodically paypal will decide that I can NOT use my debit card for a transaction. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind it. Just happens. The folks at Hotbox were very helpful and I was able to get the coffee ordered. It's nice to talk to a person when you're having problems. Kid says I'm showing my age because I still use the phone, but I'm almost 49. I LIKE phones and I like these guys for knowing how to use one. Not everything can be handled with an email. Again, check out the website to learn more about the people behind the coffee. The About page is really interesting.
And they support athletes. I've only said a million times that running saved my life. Just another reason to be a fan of the company.
Shipping was fast and they have a roasted on date on the can. I can not tell you how much it annoys me when there is on roasted on date. I don't hold fast to the drink it in 2 weeks or else rule that I have heard, but I also know that fresh coffee is better than old coffee. I don't want beans that were roasted 6 months ago, or even 3 months ago. I may have some that I drink a month or two later if they're still around, but they were fresh when I bought them. Hotbox shipped my beans the day after roasting and the date was proudly written in on the package. I like that.
So I like the company and all the eye candy, but what about the beans?
The aroma was light with a hint of spiciness, some sweetness and an overall comforting coffee smell. The scent of coffee at breakfast.
The acidity was lighter and friendly. Sara (@mommyinpieces on IG) said it was Robust without hitting you in the head. I think that's a fair description. It was smooth but not dead. The body was medium. Not water, not syrup. Just a nice sturdy cup of coffee.
The taste was sweet, a little fruity with a lot of chocolate . The fruity was kind of a lemon berry. I got the citrus in the aftertaste and the chocolate was dark cocoa, but not bitter baking chocolate. Think of lux chocolate mixed with a high quality cream to produce a smoothness. As the cup cooled the acidity was a little more prominent and the citrus taste came through a bit more.
It wasn't bad at all as it cooled and might make for a great iced coffee. You know if it wasn't cold and I wasn't already frozing. (my husband rolls his eyes when I use that word) I won't be drinking this iced anytime soon, but I did have it hot several ways including as a latte. It made for a nice espresso. Not the dark roast that is traditional, but I'll make espresso out of anything I've found that good coffee always works even if it's a lighter roast. It did make nice cold brew coffee milk.
I had it with some ice cream and that brought out the spiciness that I picked up on in the aroma. Goes well with pineapple upside down cake ice cream if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.
You can find it on their website
Check them on Facebook, Instagram (where I found them) and the Twitters.
If you go to their facebook page I saw a coupon. Just have to use it fast because it's only valid through tomorrow, but there is no time like the present to order good coffee!
I first had coffee from Topeca as part of an Angel's Cup tasting flight. Obviously I liked what i tried because I went back for more. I purchased these two. Today I'm going to talk about the Nyeri PeaBerry Kenya.
Peaberry coffees are bouncy little coffee beans that happen when the cherry seed fails to split into two seeds. I think that happens about 5% of the time. Because you can't tell by looking at a coffee cherry if it's normal or peaberry they have to be sorted by after the cherry is removed - usually by hand. That's one reason they tend to be more expensive. Another is that many people claim they are premium beans. That the flavor is more intense and sweeter than in regular coffee beans. Other people say this is just nonsense used to make a little more money. I have no idea. I have really liked the peaberry style beans I have had, but I have not ever done a side by side comparison to see if I could tell the difference.
As is normal I geeked out over the packaging a bit. I like the simple bag with a pop of color.
I brewed this with the V60, Aeropress, Kalita and Bunn. Most often with the V60, but I did prepare a couple of thermoses withe the Bunn. For everything but the Bunn I lean towards a 15:1 ratio. For the Bunn it's a few scoops. I use that one when I am sending coffee with my husband. He works long mornings and likes when I can send him coffee. Can might be the wrong word. I always CAN , but I work until 1 or 2 am most nights so I don't always get up and do it. After this long I don't expect that he is ever going to learn to work the coffee stuff himself, so he's happy when I do get up and make him a thermos of java.
The aroma was dense and held a promise of sweetness to come. I got brown sugar and a hint of spice. There was also an orangy tone to the aroma as well.
Tasting gave me grapefruit instead of orange. The acidity was bright and friendly but not astringent. A tiny bit of bitterness, but not in a bad way. Not all bitter is terrible. Sometimes it's a friendly bite that is enjoyable.
That promise of sweetness was more than fulfilled. In many ways the sweetness reminded me of the pomegranate molasses I enjoy so much. If you've never tried that find a middle eastern market and get some. You'll thank me later. It's tart and sweet and richly flavorful. That's exactly how I would describe this coffee. There is a tart sweetness that carries a rich flavor with tastes of pomegranate, raisin and maybe some date. I didn't get brown sugar exactly in the taste. There was a sugary sweetness but it was more like the molasses I described.
The body was sturdy. Maybe and 8 out of 10. The aftertaste lingered with the fruity flavors coming through.
You can still find the coffee on the website
Check them out online at http://www.topecacoffee.com
On Facebook, Instagram & The Twitters
Of course if you are in or near Tulsa you can just go by and get it yourself.