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:  Costa Rican La Minita; Dayton, Ohio area  Founder’s Blend, West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio Nicaraguan Maragogype, Mechanicsburg, Ohio  Dominican Republic Café Femenino, Columbus, Ohio  Ethiopian Amaro Gayo, Tarrytown, New York  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,


(Romans 15:13)

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 ( 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 Shop Review: Boston Stoker

December 2, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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We spent Thanksgiving with family in Troy Ohio and before going I went online to find coffee shops. Over the four days that we were there we ended up going to three different shops and two of them were an hour away. The first shop we visited was Boston Stoker at 1293 Dorset Road ( which was only minutes from our hotel.

Before travelling I went to their website and saw that they had a cupping open to the public. Because of the holiday I called to make sure they were still having it and they were. So Kim and I left a little early so we could catch it. Joshua, the barista who was leading the cupping is a good teacher and he really made us feel comfortable. He chose an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and a Costa Rican La Minita for us to cup and both coffees were a light roast.

Joshua had a cupping station ready for each of us and we started with the Yirgacheffe. He talked us through each step and demonstrated the process also. It was very easy to follow his directions. He asked us what we tasted and listened as we described the flavors to him. Kim and I both tasted a little citrus and spice. We also thought it had a good body and a good long aftertaste. I wanted to pick the cup up and drink it, it tasted that good! It may be the best Yirgacheffe I’ve had.

Then we moved on to the La Minita. Joshua talked us through the cupping process again and asked us what flavors we tasted. He interacted well with us and did not get tired of us asking questions. We thought this one was sweeter tasting and even the aroma smelled sweet. This coffee had a full body and a good aftertaste. To put it simply, it was a balanced enjoyable taste of coffee. Kim wanted to pick this one up and finish it!

A couple of days later we stopped and talked with the manager, Kim (it will be easy for me to remember her name) and let her know what a good teacher Joshua was and how we enjoyed the cupping. She took the time to talk with us and told us a little about the company. I also enjoyed a cup of their House Blend Decaf and thought it was very good. You know Kim and I are always on the lookout for a good decaf and this one did not disappoint.

Boston Stoker has nine locations and a roasting facility in the greater Dayton Ohio area. If you are near there and want a good cup of coffee we encourage you to stop. It will be worth getting off the freeway because both the coffee and customer service was great. Remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations. You may find a gem like we did in finding Boston Stoker.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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