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)

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Coffee Shop Review – The Hub

May 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | 1 Comment
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While driving through Danville Kentucky I spotted a coffee shop on the corner. Kim and I were hoping we would find a coffee shop to stop at. We did not want fast food coffee, gas station coffee or donut shop coffee. We parked on the street and walked back to The Hub Coffee House and Café www.thehubcoffeehousencafe.com. It is connected to Centre College Bookstore.

We spent a little time in the bookstore because we like them too. Then we went over to The Hub to order coffee. The place was not busy at all and we were waiting for someone to ask us if we wanted anything. One of the sales people a young lady, seemed more interested in talking to a young man at the counter than taking our order. I didn’t want to be rude, but I kept moving closer to them hoping to get her attention. In my mind I’m thinking, “would you mind helping me spend my money here?”

She finally asks us if we wanted anything and I tell her she can finish helping the young man. She tells me its o.k. we were just talking. My wife and I tried to ask her some questions about the coffee they serve (Sunergos, Higher Grounds and Stauf’s) and about the coffee shop. She either didn’t know how to answer our questions or she didn’t want to talk with us. Since we both like Sunergos (and we have reviewed them before) Kim ordered Higher Grounds medium roast Mexican and I ordered the H.G. dark roast called Fresh Water Land Trust.

Both coffees were good. My wife drank hers black and really enjoyed the flavor. It wasn’t too bold, and had a slight citrus flavor. I got the bottom of the pot and it wasn’t that warm. She heated it with the espresso milk scalder. I thought she would offer to make a fresh pot. The dark roast wasn’t too bold and I told Kim I would like to try a fresh pot of this coffee. We also ordered a chocolate chip sandwich cookie and it was a little too sweet.

You may wonder why we stopped again on the return trip. Well I believe everyone deserves a second chance and we did not see any other coffee shops, anywhere. Kim likes a flavored coffee at times so she ordered Stauf’s Chocolate-Orange blend. It had a hint of bittersweet chocolate and slight orange taste. She liked it a lot. I ordered a Higher Grounds medium roast called Red Ribbon Blend. It was smooth and light in my mouth and was a bolder taste than I expected from a medium roast. I drank it black because it tasted so good.

The sales person who waited on us was different and she seemed to be interested in talking with us and serving us. The dark roast was old and she offered to make a fresh pot if we wanted to wait. This was totally different service compared to the day before. We were asking her questions about the coffee and the shop and she tried to answer them. She even asked us to talk with the manager; I think her name was Natalie.

I’m not sure if service there is always hit or miss, but based on my first time there I was not impressed. The second visit was a better experience. At the Leader’s Retreat one of the topics we discussed was the importance of customer service. The Hub needs to improve on customer service. They need some consistency in their staff. They seem to have great coffee selection, some good sales people, and a manager who seemed to care about customers. A little training and they could be a very good coffee shop.

We are looking forward to our next coffee shop adventure whether it’s good or bad because we do it together.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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