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

Coffee Shop Review: La Vida Java

August 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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About a week ago Kim and I went out to run some errands, go shopping and stop at a coffee shop. We wanted to try one that we had never been too so we went to La Vida Java. It is located in Westport Village, 1301 Herr Lane, Suite 110, in Louisville. It is easy to find and there are a lot of shops and restaurants around it.

We went there on Wednesday morning and it was not too crowded. We like to look around a shop and order small cups of their daily brew. The two coffees we chose were a dark roasted Ethiopian and medium roasted Costa Miel Blend. The owner was working that morning and he made Costa Miel fresh while we waited. He is very personable and we had a good conversation with him. He answered all of our questions while we waited. As other customers came in he greeted those he knew by name and asked if they wanted their regular.

I visited their website and found the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe described as medium dark and bold and as intense as its name with aromas ranging from fruity and flowery enzymatics to exotic fresh leathers. Its smoky flavor follows suit displaying a fruity tart earthiness with a dry clean finish. The Costa Miel (Honey Coast) Blend is medium and mild and is a breakfast blend which is comprised of three South and Central American beans. The chocolaty, creamy and sweet taste lends itself to a caramel nutty and smooth finish, hence its name.

We were looking forward to tasting these coffees. The Ethiopian was good and had a nice fruitiness. It was not over roasted which is a good thing. The Costa Miel was excellent. It was naturally sweet and smooth. When we left the shop we went to Whole Foods and left the coffees in the car. We came out and both were cooled off. We liked the flavor profile of both as they cooled and thought the Costa Miel would make a great iced coffee. It was a very enjoyable.

We would recommend a visit to La Vida Java ( motto is “Live Life. Have Fun. Drink Coffee!” Even if you are driving through Louisville on a trip and want to stop for good coffee, this place would be worth the stop. The friendliness of the owner and the quality of the coffee made this an enjoyable date. 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 – Higher Ground Roasters Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

June 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | 2 Comments
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This Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Higher Ground Roasters ( is a dark roasted whole bean coffee. It is described as being highly aromatic with a perfect balance of acidity, wine like subtleties, hints of wild berries and a smooth finish. It is also shade grown and preserves the habit. Higher Ground is an environmentally friendly coffee roaster.

I decided to use the auto-drip as our first brewer and instead of preparing it before going to bed I made the coffee first thing in the morning. I still like squeezing the bag and smelling the aroma of the coffee beans then looking into the bag and seeing the beans themselves. That doesn’t get old to me. The coffee gives off an earthy, fruity aroma. It has a light feel in the mouth and a tangy berrylike aftertaste. Two thumbs up.

The French Press was the second brewer choice and it makes the coffee a bit stronger, but no bitterness in at all. The body feels a little heavier but still medium. You can taste berry and there is a moderate acidity. Kim thought it paired well with cinnamon sugar graham crackers. Two thumbs up again.

The Chemex coffee brewer was our third style. Here you get a light to medium body and clean taste with berry and citrus flavors. It has more of a complex flavor here, almost like it starts out one way and then changes. It makes you think about what you are drinking in a good way. It seems to be a fragrant, vibrant coffee. Two thumbs up.

If you have never tried an Ethiopian coffee you can’t go wrong starting with this one. It gave us a good coffee drinking experience. If you are looking for a coffee roaster that is environmentally friendly and produces good coffee Higher Grounds Roasters is what you are looking for. Until next time, 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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