Coffee Shop Review – Coffee Labs Roasters

May 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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My wife and I recently stayed in Nanuet, NY while visiting our youngest son. Before going I went online to find coffee shops, especially those that roasted their own beans. Let me say that the pickings were slim. One I found that looked interesting was in Tarrytown, but it was across the Tappen Zee Bridge on the east side of the Hudson River. Having been in and through this area a few times I did not look forward to going across the bridge and fighting traffic. But my son thought his mom and I would like it and that traffic wouldn’t be that bad and he would drive. How could I resist?

So we went to Coffee Labs Roasters (www.coffeelabs.com) 7 Main St. Tarrytown, NY and are we glad we did! We got there around noon on a Friday and we had to look for a parking place. When we found one we had to walk up the street a few blocks and we enjoyed looking at all the shops. You could smell the roasted coffee outside the shop and we were looking forward to going in. The staff was very friendly and helpful. They answered all of our questions concerning their coffee. We purchased two House Blends and one Peruvian decaf. We took pictures too.

The House Blend is a full city roast and has a nice aroma, smooth taste and nice feel in your mouth. I drank mine black and really enjoyed it. My son is not the coffee drinker that me and Kim are so he put cream and sugar in his and said he liked it. Kim really liked the decaf which is a full city to full city plus roast. She drank hers black and said it had a very good taste, almost a sweet flavor and slightly acidic.

They also have a Kyoto style drip brewer in the shop. I have seen them online but had never seen one in a coffee shop before. It cold brews coffee at about 2 drips per second and takes roughly 18 hours to brew 25 cups. They let us sample an Espresso Roast (our favorite) and their Witches Brew (it had an interesting flavor). I’m not really a cold coffee drinker but if you are I suggest you try it.

The head roaster is Kurt and he really understands coffee beans and roasting. The coffees we tried were very good. If you are in the area you should make the time and effort to go to Coffee Labs Roasters (www.coffeelabs.com),  you will be glad you did. We will return the next time we are in the area.

We left with three bags of coffee to brew at home, drink and review. As we were heading back west over the bridge I wanted to open the bags and smell the beans. I opened the first one, smelled the beans and was handing the bag back to my wife when my son said, “man that coffee smells good!” That was the Brazilian Decaf. Enough for now, come back in a few days to read our first review of the Coffee Labs Roasters coffee.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138:1-3

Coffee Review – Mystic Monk Coffee, Hermits’ Bold Blend

May 15, 2010 at 9:33 am | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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My wife and I were looking forward to trying the Hermits’ Bold Blend because the Monk’s Mexican Decaf tasted so good. We both look forward to opening a new bag of coffee and smelling the aroma of the beans. The aroma was good but not overpowering. “The coffee is described as an extraordinary, bold coffee with exquisite complex notes. A darker full-bodied coffee, but unlike most medium-dark coffees there are lively, spicy tones that remain.” We looked forward to the brewing and tasting.

First up this time was the French Press. We decided to change the order a little this time just because I like to change things up if for no other reason than to do things differently. There was a nice aroma coming from the grinder and then the Press. It looked really good when it was ready. It isn’t as bold as I would have thought for a medium-dark roast, but it has a nice flavor. There was a slight citrus taste with mild hints of nut also. Kim thought it tasted good with her multi-grain and peanut butter toast. We both enjoyed it black.

We made two cups in the auto-drip right away so it was a close comparison. The aroma was similar and the flavors were a little milder. Sometimes we wonder if we are making the auto-drip strong enough now. We both enjoyed drinking it black again. This coffee is not too acidic and almost has a slight sweet taste to it. Both of us liked this style of brewing also.

Lastly it was the Chemex coffee brewers turn. I still have not lost the surprise of how clean a cup of coffee the Chemex makes. It is about as strong as the French Press but with none of the grit or oils because of the filters. It is light in your mouth and you can taste a slight spiciness on the tip of your tongue. Overall this is an enjoyable cup of coffee, not as bold as we expected but satisfying.

Kim thought this would be a good coffee to drink if you were on a diet because we didn’t need any sweetener or creamer in it. It has a medium body feel and a good aftertaste in your mouth. Both of us would recommend this coffee to anyone looking for a medium-dark roast to enjoy. You can get the coffee at www.mysticmonkcoffee.com. We hope you get some and enjoy it.

Look for more coffee reviews next week as we have some good sounding coffees to brew and taste. Stop and smell the coffee and enjoy it when you do. We’re looking forward to our next coffee date. We received this coffee for free and offer this review as objective feedback.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

To read some of our other coffee reviews click on coffee at the right under categories.

Pray for Veterans, part 3

May 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Posted in prayer, Veterans, warriors | Leave a comment
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Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and every week of the year a soldier guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D. C. This action is part of the respect paid to fallen military veterans. I visited that site as boy with my family. We watched the guard at his post and we watched the changing of the guard. It is quite a moving ceremony. This Friday I want to share something about this ceremony.

The Sentinel’s Creed

My dedication to this sacred duty is total and wholehearted. In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter. And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection. Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the respect I protect, his bravery that made us so proud. Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day alone in thoughtful peace of night, this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.

Amazing isn’t it? We in America are blest with freedoms most people would leave the countries of their birth for. Yet it seems so many born under this freedom have so little respect for the veterans of this country. It also seems to me at times that so many born under this great freedom have so little common sense anymore. Take the time to thank a living veteran for the freedom you have. Take time this Memorial Day to honor the veterans who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. Take the time to pray for a veteran. Let’s pray for:

1.      Their protection, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

2.      Their family’s protection and for God’s provision in their lives.

3.      Many to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

4.      The many godly chaplains to do their ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.

5.      The families that have had loved ones die to experience God’s comfort, mercy and presence as they grieve (2 Corinthians 1:3).

6.      The general public to appreciate what these men and women do to serve their country.

7.      The healing of broken bodies and emotions because of what they have gone through.

8.      That no matter what the circumstances they have experienced, they would turn to God and not away from Him.

9.      However else God may lead you to intercede for someone.

Thank you for praying. Your prayers make a difference and they are important. Someone may not know you are praying for them down here, but Almighty God knows you are praying. God responds to His people’s prayers. Stay faithful and hopeful!

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; John 15:7

A “veteran” – whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to the “United States of America,” for an amount “up to and including his/her life.”

–         Anonymous

–         Daily Strength for the Battle, p.12.

____________________________ 

“The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

–         Thucydides

If I Knew Then by Brian Willis, p. 59.

Thursday’s Hymn – Come, Thou Almighty King

May 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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 There are some songs that sound good with both a piano and organ as part of the music team. This is one of those songs. I like singing this song in church and hearing God’s people sing out to Him. What a privilege we have as children of the Most High God to sing His praises. I hope this song blesses you as you read the words. Maybe you can offer it to God as a prayer of praise. I hope you have a great weekend.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 50:23

Come, Thou Almighty King

Anonymous, circa 1757

1.  Come, Thou Almighty King, Help us Thy name to sing, Help us to praise. Father, all glorious, O’er all victorious, Come and reign over us, Ancient of Days.

2.  Come, Thou incarnate Word, Gird on Thy mighty sword, Our prayer attend: Come, and Thy people bless, And give Thy Word success; Spirit of holiness, On us descend.

3. Come, Holy Comforter, Thy sacred witness bear In this glad hour: Thou who almighty art, Now rule in every heart, And ne’er from us depart, Spirit of power. 

4. To Thee, great One in Three, Eternal praises be Hence ever more, Thy sovereign majesty May we in glory see, And to eternity Love and adore.

Coffee Shop Review – The Hub

May 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | 1 Comment
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While driving through Danville Kentucky I spotted a coffee shop on the corner. Kim and I were hoping we would find a coffee shop to stop at. We did not want fast food coffee, gas station coffee or donut shop coffee. We parked on the street and walked back to The Hub Coffee House and Café www.thehubcoffeehousencafe.com. It is connected to Centre College Bookstore.

We spent a little time in the bookstore because we like them too. Then we went over to The Hub to order coffee. The place was not busy at all and we were waiting for someone to ask us if we wanted anything. One of the sales people a young lady, seemed more interested in talking to a young man at the counter than taking our order. I didn’t want to be rude, but I kept moving closer to them hoping to get her attention. In my mind I’m thinking, “would you mind helping me spend my money here?”

She finally asks us if we wanted anything and I tell her she can finish helping the young man. She tells me its o.k. we were just talking. My wife and I tried to ask her some questions about the coffee they serve (Sunergos, Higher Grounds and Stauf’s) and about the coffee shop. She either didn’t know how to answer our questions or she didn’t want to talk with us. Since we both like Sunergos (and we have reviewed them before) Kim ordered Higher Grounds medium roast Mexican and I ordered the H.G. dark roast called Fresh Water Land Trust.

Both coffees were good. My wife drank hers black and really enjoyed the flavor. It wasn’t too bold, and had a slight citrus flavor. I got the bottom of the pot and it wasn’t that warm. She heated it with the espresso milk scalder. I thought she would offer to make a fresh pot. The dark roast wasn’t too bold and I told Kim I would like to try a fresh pot of this coffee. We also ordered a chocolate chip sandwich cookie and it was a little too sweet.

You may wonder why we stopped again on the return trip. Well I believe everyone deserves a second chance and we did not see any other coffee shops, anywhere. Kim likes a flavored coffee at times so she ordered Stauf’s Chocolate-Orange blend. It had a hint of bittersweet chocolate and slight orange taste. She liked it a lot. I ordered a Higher Grounds medium roast called Red Ribbon Blend. It was smooth and light in my mouth and was a bolder taste than I expected from a medium roast. I drank it black because it tasted so good.

The sales person who waited on us was different and she seemed to be interested in talking with us and serving us. The dark roast was old and she offered to make a fresh pot if we wanted to wait. This was totally different service compared to the day before. We were asking her questions about the coffee and the shop and she tried to answer them. She even asked us to talk with the manager; I think her name was Natalie.

I’m not sure if service there is always hit or miss, but based on my first time there I was not impressed. The second visit was a better experience. At the Leader’s Retreat one of the topics we discussed was the importance of customer service. The Hub needs to improve on customer service. They need some consistency in their staff. They seem to have great coffee selection, some good sales people, and a manager who seemed to care about customers. A little training and they could be a very good coffee shop.

We are looking forward to our next coffee shop adventure whether it’s good or bad because we do it together.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Book Review of R. C. Sproul’s ………

May 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Book Reviews, Children's Books | Leave a comment
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I just posted a book review of R. C. Sproul’s The Prince’s Poison Cup. This is a children’s book and was read and reviewed by my wife.

Mother’s Day Flowers

May 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Posted in Mother's Day | Leave a comment
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(28)Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (29)“many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (30)Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (31)Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. (Proverbs 31:28-31)

Sometimes you hope what you teach your children sinks in. It takes time and all you can do is wait to see if the instructions are heard and followed. This Mother’s Day my wife received some very nice flowers from our two adult sons. I did not remind them or tell them that Mother’s Day was coming. They both live quite a distance away, so we have no family near us. Both of them work and are quite busy with everything going on in their own lives. I appreciate the love they showed their mom. This is not the first time they have blessed their mom and I’m sure it won’t be the last time either.

The flowers from our youngest son arrived on Friday. The flowers from our oldest son arrived on Saturday. There were also nice phone calls and notes. My wife was blessed and happy as only a mom can be. Thoughtfulness never goes out of style. Showing appreciation never gets old. Loving in a practical way is always the greatest of all. I love and am proud of both of my sons. Both of you are good young men.

I hope all of my readers had a good Mother’s Day. Stay faithful and hopeful.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 21:6

Pray for Veterans, part 2

May 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Posted in prayer, Veterans | Leave a comment
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As we get ready to celebrate Memorial Day we need to remember that it is much more than a day off from work. It is much more than an extended weekend. Now, too some people that is all it means to them. It’s just time off from work or time to put the garden in or time to go to the cookout with family and friends. It is also a time to remember the brave men and women who served in the military of our country and who gave their lives in the call of duty.

I shared last week about my family’s tradition of going to Bedford Cemetery to stand and watch the parade go down Broadway. They would put flowers on the graves of family members who died. I’ve wondered who will carry on that tradition when my uncle dies. You see he puts the flowers on graves now and I’m not sure who will do it when he dies. Will the tradition die then? I don’t know.

What I do know is that some traditions are worth keeping, like the singing of the National Anthem. When I attend sporting events and the National Anthem is played I put my right hand over my heart when I sing. That is the way I was taught and it is tradition. I’ve been in the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium when about 80,000 people were singing the National Anthem. I am a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, but that is another story for another time. Thousands of people would cheer and clap at the end of the song. It is a moving experience to me.

These are some of my thoughts as I get ready for Memorial Day Weekend. For some reason this year more than past years my thoughts are on showing practical appreciation to our veterans. Is there a veteran that you can personally say “thank you” to? If so, do it, don’t wait, do it as soon as possible. Is there a veteran that you can pray for now? What about praying for their family? If so, pray now. They may not know you have prayed, but God knows when you pray and He answers prayer. Let’s pray for:

1.      Their protection, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

2.      Their family’s protection and for God’s provision in their lives.

3.      Many to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

4.      The many godly chaplains to do their ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.

5.      The families that have had loved ones die to experience God’s comfort, mercy and presence as they grieve (2 Corinthians 1:3).

6.      The general public to appreciate what these men and women do to serve their country.

7.      The healing of broken bodies and emotions because of what they have gone through.

8.      That no matter what the circumstances they have experienced, they would turn to God and not away from Him.

9.      However else God may lead you to intercede for someone.

Thank you for praying. Your prayers make a difference and they are important. Someone may not know you are praying for them down here, but Almighty God knows you are praying. God responds to His people’s prayers. Stay faithful and hopeful!

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; John 15:7

A “veteran” – whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to the “United States of America,” for an amount “up to and including his/her life.”

–         Anonymous

–         Daily Strength for the Battle, p.12.

____________________________

“The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

–         Thucydides

If I Knew Then by Brian Willis, p. 59.

Thursday’s Hymn – One of My Mother’s Favorites

May 6, 2010 at 9:54 am | Posted in Mother's Day | Leave a comment
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I’ve told many people over the years that I had a good mother. She wasn’t perfect, but she was a good mom. She loved my two sisters and my brother and me. She accepted us for who we are. She encouraged us and wanted us to succeed in life. When we made poor choices and caused her pain, she forgave us and didn’t hold a grudge. She sacrificed her comfort for her children. She did all of this while being unsaved. God in His Sovereignty blessed me and my brother and my sisters with a good mother.

She was friendly, outgoing and giving. She honestly cared about other people. She helped and befriended black people before the civil rights and political changes. There were times she had the opportunity to befriend and help immigrants who were new to our country and she did. Again, all this while she was unsaved. Then on November 18, 1989 she got saved. This good hard working, friendly, loving woman realized she was a sinner before a Holy God and she humbled herself and asked Him to forgive her of all of her sins. She surrendered and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

Now, I’ll stop here. I’ll try to write more about her on Saturday in honor of Mother’s Day. She died almost four years ago three days past what would have been my youngest sister’s fortieth birthday. I’m not overly sentimental or sappy. I don’t have tears in my eyes as I remember her and write this. I don’t need a group hug. But I still love her and respect her and know that one day in the future I will see her again. That future day will be a great family reunion!

To any men reading this, you still have time to go out and get your mother a card and mail it to her. You still have time to do something nice for her. You still have time to call her on Mother’s Day and let her know you appreciate her. Now I’ll share one of her favorite hymns.

When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder

By James M. Black (1856-1938)

1.      When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks eternal, bright and fair; When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

 (Refrain) When the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

 2.      On that bright and cloud-less morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, And the glory of His resurrection share; When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

 (Refrain)

 3.      Let us labor for the Master from the dawn to setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care; Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, We’ll be there.

 (Refrain)

These are just some of my thoughts and what this hymn reminds me of. I hope you have a good weekend and a good Mother’s Day.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 50:23

Coffee Review – Mystic Monk Coffee Fair Trade Organic Mexican Decaf

May 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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As we get older my wife and I seem to be on the lookout for good decaf coffee. Sometimes we like the taste of a good cup of coffee in the late afternoon or early evening, we just don’t want the caffeine. You may be able to relate, if not now, later. We like the taste of coffee, but sometimes the taste of decaf just doesn’t cut it.

But we just found a really good decaf from Mystic Monk Coffee (www.mysticmonkcoffee.com) in Powell, Wyoming. They roast and offer a good selection of coffees. The last few days we tried their Fair Trade Organic Decaffeinated Mexican. They use a natural Swiss water decaffeination process. This coffee is described as a balanced, medium bodied coffee with mild chocolate, nutty notes, and a pleasing brightness and finish. There is also a subtle citrus finish to the taste of the coffee.

First up was the auto-drip brew. The kitchen window was open as I brewed the coffee and my wife was outside and said she could smell the aroma coming out of the window. The aroma is good from the minute you grind these beans. It does have a nutty aroma and it does have a fuller body than we expected. We were looking forward to the next two brewing methods because this one tasted so good.

Next up was the French Press. Again we were struck with the aroma of the beans in the grinder. Since we are somewhat new to coffee reviewing we still look forward to using the French Press and experiencing the taste that comes from it. Of course it was a little stronger and left a slight tingly aftertaste when you swallowed. The body was fuller than our previous brew. Two thumbs up again.

We saved the Chemex (www.chemexcoffeemaker.com) brew for our last taste. This makes such a clean tasting cup of coffee. The taste and body are different than the French Press. Here you could taste the chocolate and nuttiness in the coffee. The body of the coffee was fuller than we expected from a medium, but not too heavy on your tongue. We both thought this was our favorite way to brew and drink this roast of Mexican Decaf from Mystic Monk Coffee (www.mysticmonkcoffee.com).

We usually use these three brewing methods over a three day period. With each brewing method we make two cups, drink it and talk with each other about it. We talk about what we liked or didn’t like and what we tasted and how it felt in our mouths. We also talk about the aroma or lack of aroma. We give two thumbs up to each method of brewing this Mexican Decaf. We reviewed another decaf on this blog and we would have to say this Mystic Monk Coffee Fair Trade Mexican Decaf makes one great cup of coffee! If you are looking for a good medium roast decaf, give this one a try.

We received this coffee for free and we have given objective feedback.

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11-12)

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