Coffee Review: Stauf’s Kenya AA Lenana

August 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | 1 Comment
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We enjoy drinking coffee with friends and getting to know one another better.  We try to share all of the coffee we receive for reviewing with friends and co-workers. Sometimes we have friends over to drink coffee with and sometimes we give beans to them so they can brew it at home. We ask them to tell us how they liked the coffee after they have had it. So it was good to be able to have some friends over to share this Kenya AA Lenana from Stauf’s (www.staufs.com).

The Stauf’s Kenya AA Lenana  is described as having a uniquely clean finish with the taste and aroma of blueberries and tobacco. It has a medium-light body and a crisp acidity. It came as a whole bean full city roast. It is named after one of the three peaks of Mount Kenya and is grown at altitudes of 4500 feet and above. We all thought the aroma in the bag was pretty good, a mix of fruit and smoke. We were looking forward to brewing it.

We had two groups of friends over at different times and the first brewer choice for each was the Chemex coffee maker because they had never tried coffee brewed that way before. Two even drank their coffee black because they wanted to try a new coffee drinking experience. We thought it had a somewhat sweet, fruitlike flavor. It has a light body and a mildly crisp acidity with a good aftertaste. It went well with the fruit-topped cake we had for desert.

Next we tried the French Press which seems to be the most common brewer that people get after the auto-drip. Here the aroma and flavor were stronger, but acidity is still mild. The body seemed more medium here, just a little bit heavier. Another sugar and cream user drank his cup black and enjoyed it. This is really an enjoyable cup of coffee in the press.

Most of our friends just brew coffee in an auto-drip and they don’t own a grinder. So we help them learn about grinding whole beans, different brewing methods and fresh roasted coffee. Usually they are surprised at how good fresh roasted coffee tastes, even the ones that think that “coffee is coffee.” It is funny to see the smile on their faces when they take that first sip of freshly ground and brewed coffee. From the auto-drip this Kenyan has a mild, naturally sweet flavor. The flavor doesn’t seem to last long in your mouth, but it is a good cup of coffee.

If you would like to try a good mild coffee, this Kenya AA Lenana from Stauf’s might be the one for you. We enjoyed good coffee, good food and good conversation. It was a good coffee brewing and drinking experience. We received this coffee 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 – Vietnamese Legendee Classic

June 18, 2010 at 8:04 am | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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The coffee we are trying this week is Legendee Classic Whole Bean from Trung Nguyen (http://www.trung-nguyen-online.com). It is described as being grown in Vietnam and as one of the best coffees made in Vietnam today. It is a blend of peaberries and robusta with a correspondingly darker flavor that ices well. The Vietnamese roasting style uses a small amount of clarified butter oil to assist in the slow, circulating roasting process.

One of our favorite restaurants serves only Vietnamese food. We found it about three years ago and the first time there we had Vietnamese style coffee. We liked it so much we went out and bought the single cup coffee brewers and the specific coffee that the restaurant used. We have since made our version at home many times with each other and with friends. So we were looking forward to trying this coffee.

First up was the auto-drip and when I opened the bag there is a spicy aroma that meets you. The beans are two different shades as some of the beans are roasted darker than the others. The directions that came with the coffee suggest using 50% to 25% less coffee than you normally use per 6 ounces of water because Vietnamese coffees are very rich and make more brewed coffee than American brands.

This coffee is intriguing and I wasn’t sure what flavors I tasted with the first sip. There is a buttery taste, but it isn’t overpowering. The coffee has a deep roasted flavor but is not bitter at all and lasts after you swallow it. As the coffee cooled it had a slightly nutty taste. As an iced coffee the buttery taste was gone and the nutty, tangy flavor remained. Kim liked the coffee but I wasn’t sure if I did. We would give it one thumb up.

Next up was the French Press and again there is a distinct aroma that is good.  It must be the spice blend, but I almost taste something like licorice and I don’t like licorice. Kim liked the coffee and even took some to work to make in her Vietnamese coffee cup brewer and to share with her co-workers. Kim thought the coffee went really well with a noodle, veggie and tofu dish that she made. She thought the sauce and coffee enhanced each other’s flavors. One thumb up again.

Lastly was the Chemex coffee brewer and I was hoping it would clean the taste up for me. My first sip gets my attention, but I just don’t like the spices that I taste. It seems that the more I drink this coffee the less I like it, but on the flip side, the more Kim drinks it the more she likes it. Only one thumb up again.

One negative to me was how you have to clean the coffee grinder after each time of grinding these beans. The strong aroma lingers also. Some of our friends who like Vietnamese food are really looking forward to trying it. If you are interested in trying a Vietnamese coffee this Legendee Classic Whole Bean is for you. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time, enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Coffee Review – Nacha Thai

June 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | 1 Comment
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We were looking forward to trying this type of coffee and it would be our first experience with a coffee from Thailand. Nacha Thai (also known as Nacha Original) is described as an Arabica Typica coffee that has won international and SCAA cupping competitions and is bringing worldwide renown to Thailand and Nacha Estates. It is a versatile coffee and can be used for Phin or French Press, drip, or even espresso. The Nacha bean is very stable and keeps for longer than an ordinary bean. It is a medium-dry bean that works well in all grinders. These coffees are grown with high concern for the ecology and all are sold by the producers themselves, so they net all the proceeds.

You know we use three different brewing methods in tasting the coffee and then compare the results. The Nacha Thai has a mild aroma and I was a little surprised since it is a darker bean. Even while brewing in the Chemex there was only a slight earthy aroma. The flavor though was very tasty; it reminded Kim of eating toast which is one of her favorite breakfasts. It tastes good black and has a mild tangy acidity. It has a light body in your mouth and a clean aftertaste. Two thumbs up. I did something a little different, but I’ll get to that later.

Next up was the French Press and here the aroma was stronger and the taste was bolder. Even though it seemed the taste was amplified there was no bitterness and the body felt fuller but still smooth. It has an earthy flavor to it. This was Kim’s favorite way to enjoy the coffee. She thought it mixed well with the dried cranberries she was eating. She was also thinking of other foods to pair this coffee with. Two thumbs up again.

Lastly was the auto-drip and after the last two tastings we were a little disappointed. Maybe I’m not preparing the coffee correctly, but it was very mild and had very little aroma here. It felt very smooth and light in your mouth and the aftertaste was gone quickly. This was our least favorite method of brewing and tasting.

We learned something new to do when tasting coffee and I tried it during our Chemex taste. A friend of ours (let me give a shout out to Jonathan) said to let some coffee sit and cool down or put it in the refrigerator and drink it cold and then taste the flavor profile. I am not one for iced coffees but I am one for learning and trying new things. So I made extra coffee and put it in the refrigerator. It really had a deep, bold, strong earthy flavor. Its tangy, spicy flavors are more pronounced and it needs no sweeteners. It made an iced coffee believer out of me.

We are looking forward to sharing this coffee with friends, even iced at picnics.  Nacha Thai is available at www.vietnamese-coffee.com. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Coffee Review – Mystic Monk Coffee Cowboy Blend

May 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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Kim and I were looking forward to trying this Cowboy Blend because we liked the other two Mystic Monk Coffees we tried. In fact we are out of the Hermit’s Blend because we shared it with friends and they liked it too. The Cowboy Blend is the Monk’s (www.mysticmoinkcoffee.com) third best selling coffee. It is described as a daring blend of a delicious dark South American roast with a lively citric light roast, resulting in one delicious complex blend that comes alive in the mouth.

I like to open a bag and look at the beans and smell them. In the bag you can see a mixture of light and dark beans. There is a light aroma from the coffee. We brewed it in the auto-drip first and the aroma from the brewed coffee was light. We poured our first cups and tasted. Both of us thought it had a smooth taste and light body. We also tasted the citrus. We liked it but it seemed to have a lighter aroma and flavor than the Mexican Decaf.

The next day we tried it in the French Press. This was Kim’s favorite style of brewing and tasting. I think the French Press is becoming her favorite way to make coffee. We almost always drink our coffee black now, but I still miss my honey and cream. There was a slightly bolder flavor but still a smooth taste. It is a very mellow coffee. The citrus flavor was more pronounced here.

Lastly we brewed with the Chemex. To me this makes the cleanest tasting coffee. I think you really taste the flavor of the coffee here. To me this Cowboy Blend has a subtle or mild flavor and very little acidity. You can get the light citrus taste here. It is good, but I prefer a bolder taste of coffee. I like to smell the fresh brewed coffee before I swirl it around and pour it into my cup. When in the cup I like to slowly take that first taste and savor it. I’m trying to see which flavors I pick up and feel the body of the coffee.

We liked this coffee and Kim thought it would be a good afternoon coffee. Of the three Mystic Monk Coffees that we tried it was my least favorite. But that is not saying it is bad, it is just too mild for me. If you like a mild coffee this is one for you. You can purchase the coffee at www.mysticmonkcoffee.com. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Be sure to check out our other coffee or coffee shop reviews too.

Until next time we hope for much GRACE and peace for you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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)

Coffee Review – Guatemala Huehue Tenango

May 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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My wife and I were looking forward to trying this coffee from Community Coffee (www.communitycoffee.com). We’ve tried about nine of their coffees plus two decafs. You can’t go wrong keeping a bag of their ground traditional roast on hand. It is probably the best grocery store ground shelf coffee I’ve had. Our favorite from them is the Evangeline Blend followed by the French Quarter Fusion Blend. So you can tell by the history we were looking forward to trying this coffee.

We planned on brewing it three different ways. First up was the auto-drip set and ready to go for when we woke up. It was good though there wasn’t a lot of aroma. This is a medium-dark roast, but it tasted kind of light to me. It left a good taste in the mouth, but I would have preferred a bolder coffee to start my day.

Next we brewed it in the Chemex (www.chemexcoffeemaker.com). We brewed enough for two cups. The Guatemalan Huehue Tenango (GHT) had a better aroma. My wife thought it had a slightly tart taste midway through the sip. It had a medium to full body. She liked this brew the best of the three. It was stronger or fuller than the auto-drip, but not bitter.

 Lastly we brewed the GHT in the French Press. As I drank the coffee it had a slight tang to it. It also had a fuller body and feel. I thought there was a nice aftertaste when I swallowed the coffee. This was my favorite brew and flavor of the three. As I’ve said before, we are not coffee snobs or experts. We know what we like and what we don’t like. Both of us liked this GHT.

We enjoyed the Guatemalan Huehue Tenango in the Chemex and French Press with our lunch. We enjoyed this coffee as a lunch or afternoon drink. Both of us liked it and would get it again. We recommend it to anyone who likes a medium-dark roast coffee. We would say it is our third favorite coffee from Community Coffee. You can find them at www.communitycoffee.com . If you like good coffee, you can’t go wrong trying theirs.

You can also see the ongoing differences between husbands and wives. We both like the GHT, we just favored different brewing methods. It helps add spice to our marriage. We look forward to brewing and reviewing other coffees in the future. We received the Guatemalan Huehue Tenango for free from Community Coffee to review and our review is objective feedback.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13)

Back to the Sunergos Coffee Shop

February 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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Recently my wife and I made it back to Sunergos www.sunergoscoffee.com to try coffee brewed in the Chemex brewer. The picture at the left is of their new location that is still being remodeled on Woodland Ave. We are looking forward to going there when it opens. You remember from an earlier post, “Can You Smell the Coffee?”, that we like to go out on dates to local coffee shops. One of our favorite coffee shops is Sunergos. One time while we were there we noticed two different coffee brewers. Our plan was to try the same type of coffee in both a French Press and a Chemex brewer to see which one we like best. We are also thinking about getting one of the brewers for home use. About a week and a half ago we tried Blend B in a French Press.

So we went back and ordered Blend B in the Chemex brewer. There were different people working on this day then when we first tried the French Press. They were still friendly and helpful. We had some different questions because the two brewers are so different.  First I wanted to know what the Blend B was. Blend B is a medium roast of Central and South American beans. It’s a little bolder than I typically think of a medium roast being. It is a very good blend. Both of us liked it. We would definitely buy this blend for home use.

If you are not familiar with a Chemex brewer you can see it here www.chemexcoffeemaker.com. It’s a glass coffee brewer and the filter fits in the top of it. You put your ground coffee in the filter. After bringing your water to a boil you let it sit a little. Then pour a little water over the grind to open up the ground coffee. Wait about thirty seconds before pouring more water slowly into the filter opening and letting it work its way down into the brewer. Add more water until you get to the desired level.

Let me tell you that this was one of the best cups of coffee we have had. It was very clean tasting. No grit or oils in the cup. It was bold and smooth.  The Chemex brewed coffee tastes very different than the French Press brewed coffee. They both taste good, but they are very different. Both my wife and I preferred the coffee brewed in the Chemex. If you have never tried coffee in either of these brewers I highly recommend it. I’m sure the staff at Sunergos would be glad to brew a pot for you.

One day we will have to try both of these brewing methods at home against our auto drip machine. That would be a pretty good reason to have some of our friends over too. It could be a coffee brewing and drinking taste test with some of our favorite coffees.  Sounds like a plan. And yes, I am looking forward to our next date to a local coffee shop!

Can You Smell The Coffee?

February 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews, Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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If you are a coffee drinker, you know that there is just something about the smell of coffee. I like having a coffee maker with a timer because I can smell the brewed coffee in the morning when I get up and its ready for me and my wife. I usually buy whole bean and grind it as we use it. Sometimes we’ll make a cup in the afternoon too, mostly regular, but sometimes decaf. I like dark roast coffees best, but I’ll try lighter roasts. I don’t drink flavored coffees; just give me regular coffee, strong, not bitter, with one teaspoon of honey and a little cream. Man, I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning already.

So my wife and I like to go on a date and try different coffee shops. We will visit them, see what their daily brews are and pick one to have. We have been in just about every coffee shop in Louisville. We like to see how the staff interacts with us so we usually ask them questions about the coffees and their store. We like to sit down enjoy the coffee, watch the people and talk with one another. One of the coffee shops we really like is Sunergos. They are located at 2122 South Preston Street (www.sunergoscoffee.com). We like their coffee so much we buy the beans to make it at home. Sometimes though we just like to go there, sit down and enjoy the coffee.

My wife likes to look at the art they have hanging on the walls and we like the eclectic mix of furniture. The staff is friendly and helpful. Saturday we tried what they call Blend B in a French Press. The coffee was stronger than being brewed in an auto drip machine. It had more of the coffee oils and grit in it then we are used too, but it was pretty good. In about a week we are going back to try the same blend in a Chemex brewer. We want to see how the coffee tastes with that brewing style. We are trying both of these because we are interested in purchasing one for home use. The staff helped us by answering any question we had. It was an enjoyable coffee drinking experience.

We’ll definitely keep buying Sunergos coffee and brewing it at home. We’ll go to other coffee shops, but I know we’ll be back to Sunergos. We appreciate the products they sell and the friendliness of the staff. If you want some good coffee, go to Sunergos. I don’t think you will be disappointed. You can find them online at: www.sunergoscoffee.com .  I posted this recommendation because we like supporting local small businesses. Oh yea, the date was good too! I’m looking forward to the next one we take to another coffee shop.

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