Coffee Review: Heine Brothers’ Mountain Dream

August 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We like to review coffees from roasters that care about making a difference. Heine Brothers’  (www.heinebrotherscoffee.com) is one of those of roasters. They are based in Louisville, KY and have a number of shops throughout the city. They are well worth the stop if you are driving through.

The first brew was with the auto-drip and this whole bean coffee is dark. The good thing is that it is not over roasted. The aroma is somewhat spicy and sweet. Mountain Dream is a blend of Nicaraguan and Sumatran beans. There is a somewhat spicy and fruity taste and a medium mouth feel to the coffee. We liked it and were looking forward to trying it in the
French Press.

Next up was the French Press and we thought we detected some chocolate notes in both the flavor and aroma. It has a good, smooth, balanced flavor and a fuller body with this brewer. It is not too heavy a coffee and the acidity is medium. There is a chocolate aftertaste too. This
was our favorite way to brew and enjoy this coffee.

We finished with the Chemex coffee brewer. The flavor seemed to be brighter with some fruitiness. There also seemed to be a spiciness that came out in the flavor and aftertaste. The coffee is roasted really well and even though it is pretty dark, it is not over roasted at all.

All in all this is an enjoyable cup of coffee no matter how you brew it. We shared it with friends and all of them thought it was pretty good too. If you are interested in trying a blended coffee we suggest you give Mountain Dream a try.

Now here’s another good part to this coffee drinking experience. A portion of each bag sold is donated to Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to support their work to stop mountaintop removal mining. You can enjoy a good cup of coffee and help a good cause at the same time. We received this coffee for free and offer an objective review. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 21:6)

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Coffee Gift Ideas for Mom

April 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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I haven’t blogged consistently over the past three months. Kim and I have done a lot of traveling and we have moved to a different state. We have had some good and bad things to deal with also that involve our sons. I may write about some of our experiences in the near future. But you can be sure we have had some good coffee along the way. Starting next week I will be posting coffee and coffee shop reviews. I have a lot to catch up on. I have even turned down some coffee until I get caught up.

During our travels we have been able to try coffee in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. We have had some great coffee and some average coffee. Some coffee that we had was even a little disappointing. We have been in some great coffee shops and met with owners and roasters. Talking with some of the owner/roasters was a great diversion during some difficult times.

We have been learning a lot more about coffee and coffee shops too. Since January we also learned more about cupping coffees and barista judging. We plan to look into home roasting in the future too. We have been trying some new coffees and sharing beans with friends. I have introduced some people to the French Press and Chemex brewers too.

Today I want to give you our suggestions for gifts of coffee if your mom likes coffee and has a grinder. If you live close enough to one of these shops then take your mom out for a good cup of coffee. In my reviews you can read what I look for in a coffee shop. The shops I mention here are very good. I will suggest a coffee too, but we have had more than one coffee from each of them and they were all good. I am already thinking that there are other shops I could mention, but I’ll start with these:

www.bostonstoker.com  Costa Rican La Minita; Dayton, Ohio area

www.cafevolio.com  Founder’s Blend, West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio

www.hemispherecoffees.com Nicaraguan Maragogype, Mechanicsburg, Ohio

www.staufs.com  Dominican Republic Café Femenino, Columbus, Ohio

www.coffeelabs.com  Ethiopian Amaro Gayo, Tarrytown, New York

www.buongiornocoffee.net/  Venezie Blend, Grapevine, Texas; the picture at the top is their roaster.

Each of these coffee shops is worth going out of your way to get too. We have had more than one coffee from each of them and thought they were very good. The staff of each was very helpful and friendly. It was a really good experience. From our point of view you should be glad if you live close to one of them. If you don’t you can still order coffee from them and give your mom some great coffee. Time for me to take Kim on a date to a coffee shop we have never been too. Until the next time, remember to stop and enjoy the conversations and coffee.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill

(Romans 15:13)

Coffee Review: Community Coffee’s Founder’s Blend

January 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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Kim and I have had the privilege of enjoying some good coffee through the holidays and our travels. One of the coffees we brewed was Founder’s Blend from Community Coffee (www.communitycoffee.com). Just by looking at the bag they earned extra points with me by putting the batch number and roast date on the front of the bag.

Their site describes the Founders Blend as comprised of four unique coffees from two continents. We begin with Colombia Toledo-Labateca, which is grown high in the remote Andes Mountains near Venezuela and is a rare social relationship coffee exclusive to Community Coffee Company in the United States. We next add Brazil Santos Bourbon, an old growth variety of Arabica that has become rare and highly prized. We complete the blend with two exceptional coffees from Africa, which come from the high mountain peaks in Kenya and Ethiopia, the birth place of coffee. Founder’s Blend is carefully medium-dark roasted to develop a sweet floral aroma with a complex winy acidity and a nutty bold body. This is a blend whose sum is truly greater than its parts. It will satisfy refined palates with a finish reminiscent of toasted almonds and hints of dark chocolate.

Looking into the bag you see different colored beans and smell a mildly smoky somewhat sweet aroma. I could hardly wait to brew this in the auto-drip. Here there seemed to be a milder taste than I expected. It was also naturally sweet with a chocolate aftertaste. It was a smooth enjoyable cup of coffee.

Next up was the French Press and the taste was bolder yet still smooth. There is a nice tanginess to the taste with hints of citrus. There is more of a bittersweet chocolate aftertaste too. Kim thought it paired very well with chocolate and was good with lemon, almonds and dates.

The Chemex coffee maker gave us a smooth, deeply flavored cup of coffee. It also has just the right level of acidity and a nice feel in the mouth. This would be an enjoyable everyday coffee no matter which coffee maker you use yet the taste is good enough that you would want to brew it for special occasions too.

If you are looking to try one of the Community Coffees this Founder’s Blend would be a good one to start with. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10)

Coffee Review: Stoney Creek Roasters Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

December 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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Stoney Creek Roasters (www.stoneycreekroasters.com) is located at 83 North Main Street in the town of Cedarville Ohio. They are a small local roaster in a small town. When we received this Yirgacheffe from them we were looking forward to trying it. It is both Organic and Fair Trade.

You may think we are crazy but when we opened the bag the aroma reminded us of sweet mustard. We both like different kinds of mustard so we were pleasantly surprised. The beans looked like a medium-dark roast. We changed up our order of brewing this time so we went with the French Press first.

When brewed the aroma is somewhat sweet and spicy, but not the mustard aroma we first smelled. The taste is complex; spicy and bright with a lingering bitter-sweetness. The flavor seems to hit the tip of the tongue and then spreads out over it. Kim thought it paired very well with lemon, cinnamon and almonds.

Next we used the auto-drip and there is a nice dark color in the pot. The flavors were somewhat milder but they linger giving a nice aftertaste. The spiciness is there and we found ourselves talking about what we tasted and trying to figure out the flavor profile. Kim thought it was good with peanut butter, chocolate and fruit.

Lastly we used the Chemex coffee maker for brewing. The taste is smooth and seems to fill the mouth. The taste is cleaner and we thought there was a touch of clove. The aftertaste lasted longer and was brighter. We both liked the complex taste of this coffee. It seemed to change somewhat with the different brewers.

We found ourselves talking about this coffee long after our cups were empty. It is a very intriguing cup of coffee. We looked forward to each brewing method and tasting. We are looking forward to sharing it with friends. I think we liked it best in the French Press, but we would give it two thumbs up with any brewing method.

If you like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee or want to try one, we encourage you to try this one from Stoney Creek Roasters; we think you will like it. You’ll also be supporting a local roaster trying to make a positive difference in the world. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10)

Coffee Review: Boston Stoker’s Costa Rican La Minita

December 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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This was one of the coffees that we cupped when we stopped at the Boston Stoker (www.bostonstoker.com) coffee shop in Troy Ohio. It is described as having a sweet aroma, full body, balanced acidity and a clean aftertaste. I can tell you we were impressed with the taste when we cupped it and we were looking forward to brewing it at home.

It has a good strong aroma from the bag that is somewhat sweet, with hints of chocolate. When it was brewing in the auto-drip Kim could smell the aroma upstairs. The taste is bright with a mild to medium acidity. The flavor seems to go over the front half of the tongue. It seemed to have a touch of citrus, with a medium to full body. Kim thought it paired very good with both chocolate and vanilla.

There seems to be a somewhat nutty aroma after grinding the beans. In the French Press the flavors and body were fuller and deeper. The taste of lemon is more pronounced. The coffee is little sweet and a little tart, but very balanced. Kim was eating oatmeal bread toast with peanut butter and cherry jelly and thought they paired well with the taste of the coffee.

After brewing with the Chemex coffee maker you get a clean smooth taste with a touch of citrus. There is a lingering tartness, not overly tart but there. It is almost as if the coffee is sweet and sour. I’ll bet it would make a good iced coffee. Here the flavor seems almost to the back of the mouth. All the flavors mixed well and taste very good. Kim thought it tasted good with almonds, figs, dates and apricots.

This La Minita from Boston Stoker is a very good tasting cup of coffee. We enjoyed drinking it and sharing it with friends. The reaction from our friends was very good too. If you would like to try a new coffee for the holiday’s we suggest you give this Costa Rican La Minita a try. We think you will like it.

We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. When you are travelling remember to look for local coffee roasters to visit. You might find an unexpected gem like we did. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Coffee Review: Kifu Beans Costa Rican Cafe Herbazu

December 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We are always up for trying coffee from small roasters and listening to their story. Kifu Beans (www.kifubeans.com) is a small batch roaster in Kentucky. In the Swahili language Kifu means “they satisfy.” It was started and is run by a young couple who are preparing to be overseas missionaries. At a missions conference they took a challenge and invested some money coffee roasting equipment to make money to invest in missionary work. The roasting grew from there.

There is much more to their story than I presented and you can read it on their website. But I want to talk about this Café Herbazu coffee. We were at a party and shared this coffee with some friends. There is a nice fruity, sweet aroma coming from the bag. They also put the roast date on the back of the bag and we appreciate that.

The coffee is a medium-dark roast and has a somewhat dark color when brewed. You taste this coffee on the middle of the tongue and it is naturally sweet. The body feels medium and it is slightly acidic. The aftertaste is tart and bright. Overall the coffee drinkers were pleased with this coffee and some thought it would be a good iced coffee.

We then brewed it in the Chemex coffee maker and the dark color of the brewed coffee stands out. One person described it as “a lively” coffee. Others thought it went well with a chocolate dessert. It seemed more tart in the Chemex and a few people liked that. The Chemex seemed to produce the most popular taste of coffee at the party. There seems to be a good balance between the tartness and sweetness. It reminded some people of sweet and sour.

Overall this coffee was appreciated by everyone who tried it. If you would like to try a Costa Rican coffee from a small batch roaster we encourage you to give this one a try. You’ll also be helping the roasters through school as they prepare to go overseas as missionaries. We also want to encourage you to go to their site (www.kifubeans.com) and read their story. It is very interesting and encouraging. Their beans do satisfy.

We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10)

Coffee Review: Buddy Brew Coffee’s Brazil Cerrado

December 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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Kim and I received this coffee recently for brewing and reviewing purposes and man, is there a good aroma coming out of the bag! We were looking forward to brewing this coffee. There is a picture of a dog on the label and we found that kind of humorous because my father in-law has a black lab named Buddy. When we visit my father in-law and I grind coffee beans Buddy likes to come in the kitchen and smell the beans.

This Brazil Cerrado from Buddy Brew Coffee (www.buddybrew.com) is a full city roast. They also put the roast date on the bag and we appreciate that. We wish more roasters did that. The aroma is kind of nutty and chocolaty with a little smokiness. Once brewed in the auto-drip the aroma is milder. The coffee has a nice taste that fills the mouth. The flavor is kind of sweet and chocolate. Kim thought it paired really well with chocolate and almonds.

Brewed in the Chemex coffee maker the aroma is somewhat sweet and smoky. There seems to be a more even feel to the coffee. It almost seems bright on the tip of the tongue. Kim thought it paired good to very good with both lemon and cinnamon. This is a good cup of coffee.

The French Press brew was very enjoyable. The body of the coffee is fuller and heavier. The flavors are more pronounced and they seemed to last a good long time. The nutty and chocolate flavors come out better. The more we drank this coffee the more we liked it. There is even a hint of smoke but not too much.

I also tried this Brazil Cerrado in the Clever Coffee Dripper and thought I detected a bit of citrus. This coffee has a low acidity and just a good deep flavor. The mixture of deep chocolate and nut stand out. If you like Brazilian coffees or you would like to try one, we encourage you to try this Brazil Cerrado from Buddy Brew Coffee.

This coffee kind of sneaks up on you and you find yourself simply enjoying a good cup of coffee. The more we drank it the more we liked it. We have a couple of friends who are looking forward to trying this Brazil Cerrado. I’ll have to save some to take back for the next time we visit my father in-law. I’m sure him and Buddy will enjoy it! We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Coffee Review: Specialty Java’s New York New York Blend

November 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We still look forward to getting coffee in the mail. It’s like getting a birthday or Christmas present and opening the package. We like to squeeze the bag and smell the aroma. Then we like to open the bag and look at the beans and move them around a little and smell the aroma again. We thought they had a little bit of a chocolate aroma. Kim likes to taste a bean to get some of the flavor. She thought the dark bean in this blend was bittersweet and the light bean had a little spice and herb flavor.

After all of that we were looking forward to trying this New York New York Blend from Specialty Java (www.specialtyjava.com). It is described as a medium-dark roast combining SHB Central American, South American and Indonesian beans to create a truly unique, high impact cup. They also put the roast date on the package which we appreciate. This helps you to know how fresh the coffee is and this coffee was fresh when we received it.

First up was the auto-drip and there is a nice aroma from the brewed coffee. We like to use the auto-drip for reviews and convenience because the majority of coffee drinkers only use an auto-drip. It has a good dark color in the pot. It has somewhat of a bright, tart aftertaste and a medium body. We were looking forward to having more of this coffee.

Next up was the French Press and the ground beans have a good aroma. It seems to have a darker earthy taste and slightly fuller body. The aftertaste seems to hit the front half of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. With each sip you want a little more.

The third brewer we used was the Chemex coffee maker and here the distinct flavors of this blend came out. There was a mildly sweet aroma as we poured the dark coffee into our cups. The flavor seems to hit the tip of the tongue and then roll over the sides leaving you with an earthy, slightly smoky taste. The bright tart finish was very pleasing. This was a very enjoyable cup of coffee.

Kim thought it paired well with chocolate and good with lemon, cinnamon peanuts and dates. It was o.k. with vanilla and almonds. This New York New York Blend was good in the morning and afternoon and with desert. It is a good all around coffee that everyone enjoyed drinking.

If you are looking for a new roaster to try during the holidays we encourage you to try this New York New York Blend from Specialty Java. We think you will enjoy it. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10)

Coffee Review: Cafe Volio Founder’s Blend

November 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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I started to tell you about our trip to the West Side Market. If you are ever in or near Cleveland, Ohio it is well worth your time to stop there. The Café Volio coffee shop is tucked in the produce section of the market. We met one of the representatives of Café Volio and talked with him.

They only roast and sell Costa Rican coffee. They have been in business since 1938 and you can learn more about them at: www.cafevolio.com. At their stand they have a little machine and they give away free samples. Let me tell you that coffee is good, real good. It was a cool day and that little cup of coffee started our visit at the market in a good way.

We were drinking the Founder’s Blend and it comes in both whole bean and ground. It is a medium-dark roast with a deep dark color. Our first brew was in the auto-drip. There is a deep dark color to this coffee, but it is not over roasted. It has a smooth taste with some bittersweet chocolate undertones. There’s also a hint of tartness.

We then tried the coffee brewed in the Chemex coffee maker. You see this deep dark color and yet the aroma is somewhat mild. It has a smooth, full body and it tasted bright on the sides of the tongue and the front of the palette. Along with the bittersweet chocolate we thought we noticed a little spiciness too.

The French Press was up last and the bittersweet flavor stands out. The color of the brewed coffee is so dark that we were surprised at how smooth it tasted. The mixture of bittersweet chocolate, spices and tartness is a very good combination. Kim thought it paired well with chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon.

If you have read any of our reviews you know we like to share coffee with our friends. Sometimes we give beans away and sometimes we grind the beans and give the ground coffee away. Other times we have friends over to drink coffee and sometimes we take coffee and a brewer to a party to share it. Usually we ask friends if they would like to take some coffee home. Each of our friends that tried this coffee liked it.

If you have never tried Costa Rican coffee before or want to try a different coffee we suggest you try the Founder’s Blend from Café Volio. We think you will like it. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time, remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Coffee Review: Kicking Horse Coffee’s Three Sisters Blend

November 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We have been doing some traveling and have been able to try some pretty good coffee and visit some good coffee shops. Trying new coffee and visiting new shops doesn’t get old for us. We were looking forward to trying this Three Sisters Blend from Kicking Horse Coffee (www.kickinghorsecoffee.com). It is our first coffee from a Canadian roaster and hopefully not our last. No, we didn’t make it out to British Columbia but we would like to visit there. Especially during hockey season.

Three Sisters Blend is described as a triple punch of light, medium and dark flavors. They use a medley of Indonesian, Central and South American beans to make up the blend. It is a fair trade, shade grown organic coffee. It comes in a can made of recycled steel. If you live near Kicking Horse you can get the can refilled. They offer a lot of other good sounding coffees and teas.

We started with our trusty old auto-drip and there is a sweet, somewhat acidic aroma. I thought it was interesting. There is a spicy taste, almost like pepper to me that hits the front and sides of the tongue. This coffee made me think and I was looking forward to the other brewers.

The Chemex coffee maker cleaned up the taste and brought out more of a chocolate undertone. It also toned down or smoothed out the tartness. The coffee seemed less spicy and it tasted better as it cooled. We have started making some extra coffee and letting it cool to taste the flavor profile.

The French Press brought out more of the roast flavor and a good aftertaste. That spicy flavor is there, but not so much pepper. It is an interesting taste in this coffee. It had a heavier feel in the mouth but we still think it has a medium body.

I tried it a couple of times in the Clever Coffee Dripper and enjoyed each cup. Kim thought it went well with chocolate, cherries and dates and was o.k. with vanilla, cinnamon and almonds. She didn’t like it paired with lemon because it made it too tart. Overall we and our friends liked this Three Sisters Blend. If you are adventurous want to try an intriguing coffee from a Canadian roaster we encourage you to give this one a try. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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