A Christmas Gift for the Coffee Drinker You Know

December 9, 2011 at 11:26 am | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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When we are driving through Columbus we take the time to stop at Staufs. They are one of our favorite coffee shops and we have been to quite a few. They are running a free shipping special now on coffee purchases. Their Cafe Femenino Dominican Republic is one of my favorites, but their Nicaraugan is good too, and…… You get the idea.

You can connect to them here: www.staufs.com. Let them know that Take Courage and Bill and Kim sent you.

I am sure the coffee drinker on you gift list will appreciate what you get them.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1)

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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: 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: 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

Coffee Review: Community Coffee’s Evangeline Blend

September 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews, Coffee Travel Mug Reviews | 2 Comments
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We received this Evangeline Blend with a travel mug  from Community Coffee (www.communitycoffee.com)and we were looking forward to trying them out. Community Coffee is family owned and operated and has been doing business out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a little over ninety years.

The Evangeline Blend is described as an exclusive gourmet coffee blend created to honor Louisiana’s most enduring legend. In the tradition of the poet Longfellow, this selection was crafted in honor of the bittersweet romance of Evangeline and Gabriel. We combine 100% Arabica coffee beans and dark roast them to produce a deep, semi-sweet flavor with no sharp edges. It is a dark roast, with medium-high acidity and a full body.

We still like to brew whole bean coffee at least three different ways for our reviews and first up was the auto-drip. The aroma from the both the bag and pot was mild. But it is the flavor that will get you. This coffee has a smooth balanced roast taste. It has a bright acidity and full body.

The next day we used the Chemex coffee maker and this brings out a little more of the tartness and brightness of the coffee. There is a fruitlike flavor too. Kim thought it went well with the orange marmalade on her toast. The aroma, though mild, is good. Kim and I both thought this brew had a pleasant aftertaste that seemed to stay on the tongue.

Lastly was the French Press and the flavor was a little stronger here. Since the aroma is mild you may be slightly surprised at the taste of the coffee. There is a little bit of a chocolate undertone and it seems to be naturally sweet. It is not too bold, but has a good, lingering aftertaste. It is simply a good cup of coffee.

If you have never tried Community Coffee and like dark roast coffees we suggest you try this one. We give it two thumbs up. We shared this coffee with a few friends and they all liked it. We like sharing coffee with friends and getting their feedback along with introducing them to coffee roasters they have not tried.

We also tried their travel mug and liked it. The rubber pad on the bottom is placed really well and helps keep the mug from sliding. The mug does a good job of keeping coffee hot too. It has gotten a lot of use. I haven’t taken it to a coffee shop yet to get filled up, but you never know! We received the coffee and mug for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time, remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Coffee Review: Newhall Coffee’s Sunset Blvd. Blend

September 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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This Sunset Blvd. Blend is the second coffee from Newhall Coffee Roasting Company’s (www.newhallcoffee.com) “Taste of California Collection” for us to try. It is described on their site as being inspired by the culturally, historically, and aesthetically significance of Hollywood’s Sunset Blvd. The combination of cinnamon and vanilla brings out the bright taste and body of this bean. Perfect for those early mornings on the go!

The story of the McMullen brothers who founded Newhall Coffee in 1993 is on the bag. Their older brother died from leukemia and they have a goal to raise $1,000,000 to help fight the battle against leukemia. Proceeds from the sales of their coffee go to support this fund. We appreciate what they are doing to raise money and awareness for this cause.

Our plan was to brew the coffee two different ways and to share it with some friends and get their feedback. As usual the first up was the auto-drip. This coffee came to us ground which is the way most people buy their coffee. There was a nice spicy aroma from the brew. As we drank it we thought there was a mild brightness to it and the body was even and smooth. There was something about the coffee that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

While using the Chemex coffee brewer I was trying to distinguish what flavors were present and was having a hard time. You see I did not know this was a flavored coffee when we began to drink it. I told Kim that I was having a hard time picking out flavors and it was while online that I found out it is a cinnamon-vanilla coffee. We’ve had a couple of spicy coffees before and now I know why I was a little confused.

For us the flavor hits the front and tip of the tongue. The vanilla taste is mild and the cinnamon spice is more dominant. There is a touch of citrus there too. The blend has a pleasant aftertaste. Kim thought it paired well with the orange marmalade she had on her toast.  

Kim took some to work to share with a co-worker who drinks flavored coffee. She thought it was one of the best coffees that Kim had brought in to work for them to drink. She thought it had a really good flavor and she would not get tired of drinking this coffee. I guess that is quite an endorsement!

Overall we liked this coffee and if you are looking for a mildly flavored coffee we suggest you give Sunset Blvd. Blend a try. We would like to encourage all of our readers to think about supporting coffee roasters that are supporting worthwhile causes too. We received this coffee for review purposes and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Coffee Review: Newhall Coffee’s Beatnik Espresso

September 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We have been learning about coffee roasters that do more then make good coffee. There are roasters out there who give back to their communities and/or help the farmers who grow the coffee beans. One of the giving coffee roasters is the Newhall Coffee Roasting Company (www.newhallcoffee.com). They are a family owned roasting company with a conscience.

The founders’ older brother lost his battle with leukemia and in honor of their brother they started “Coffee For A Cure.” Their goal is to raise $1,000,000 to fight leukemia. Purchasing Newhall Coffee will help this fight because some of the proceeds will go to this fund. These are the types of things Kim and I want to learn about and support when we buy coffee. It is not just about the coffee but about helping others too. We want to pass that information onto our readers.

This Beatnik Espresso is described as a combination of three beans from Indonesia, South America and Central America that brings this espresso roast to a diverse and complex body, while producing a very mild and clean finish.

The South America bean of the ‘typica’ varietal is wet processed and sun dried. The Central American bean of the ‘bourbon’ varietal is semi-washed and sun dried to bring out its nutty and floral notes. The Indonesian is semi-washed and sun dried, bringing out the earthy and spicy notes.

We received the coffee ground and not whole bean, but we were still able to brew it three different ways. First up was the auto-drip and this dark roast has a good strong aroma. It has a heavy body, almost edgy and we both used a little cream. We aren’t used to this deep of a roast, but it did not need any sweetener and we liked it.

Next up was the Chemex coffee maker and the coffee tasted smoother here. The aroma is still strong and there is a slight acidity. We did not need to use any cream and it has a cleaner overall taste. We began to taste some of the subtleties of the coffee here. It was pleasant to drink and this was our favorite brewing method.

Lastly we used the Aero Press brewer which we are beginning to like more and more. I had mine espresso style and this is some strong coffee. Coffee drinkers will understand that I mean that in a good way. This is one of the strongest, deeper roasted coffees we have had.  We liked the flavor, but we could not drink this as an everyday coffee. If you like espresso or espresso roasted coffees then we suggest you try this Beatnik Espresso.

We do appreciate Newhall’s commitment to “Coffee For A Cure” and hope they have great success in helping to win the fight against leukemia. We received this coffee for review purposes and offer objective feedback. Until next time stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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