Monthly Brew – November

Monthly Brew

This month

I got 12 ounces of decaf whole bean Tilikum Crossing from Portland Coffee Roasters in (you guessed it) Portland! They’ve been around since 1996 and their mission is to improve connections, not just in the local communities that they serve, but also the communities, farmers, and partners that they work with.

They have cafe’s located in Portland and also a few more in the PDX airport! I only wish they had some merch! Their design team does a fantastic job on the labels for each coffee (I’m very much a “buy the book based on the cover” kind of girl).

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The coffee itself smelled AMAZING. I got this just in time for fall and the flavor complimented the “cooler” weather (hello from Florida) wonderfully. There was a hint of cinnamon which brought a crisp spice to the overall flavor of the coffee. It’s a medium roast and wasn’t too full bodied. It’s definitely a coffee I could enjoy every morning and one I could share with friends on a cool fall night. This roast is a blend from a few countries including: Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Peru, and Papua New Guinea. It’s balanced so well and isn’t bitter at all. It’s a rich, flavorful coffee with notes of graham cracker and caramel and a hint of cinnamon. Portland, you’re weird, but you know how to coffee.

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My rating: 5 beans!

Monthly Brew – October

Monthly Brew

This month

I got 12 ounces of whole bean Colombia Decaf from Cafe Grumpy in NY! Cafe Grumpy is locally owned and operated and they currently have 10 locations around the US. One of the things I love so much about Swiss Water is that they seek out companies who work with specialty coffee growers and who care about fair trade, sustainability, and a quality product.

 

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I tried brewing this coffee a few different ways, as I usually do, but I couldn’t manage to get a full flavor with this month’s coffee. It was a much lighter roast than the previous ones, which may have made the difference. The subtle flavors of chocolate, caramel and orange were VERY subtle. I was mildly disappointed this time around, but that doesn’t mean all of their coffee is like that. Cafe Grumpy has a variety of different selections on their website and has super cute merch with their logo on it. I’m personally interested in trying their Heartbreaker Espresso blend with notes of blackberry, amaretto and dark chocolate.

If you’re in NY or Miami, check out all of their locations. Each location seems to be catered to the look of the city or suburb surrounding it and no two cafes look the same.

 

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My rating: 3 beans

Monthly Brew – September

Monthly Brew

This month

I got 12 ounces of whole bean decaf from Peru from Batdorf & Bronson. The owners/creators of Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in Olympia, WA loved coffee so much, that they became the owners of B&B Coffee Roasters, which has been in operation since 1986. In 1994, they opened another B&B location in Atlanta, GA (you’re welcome southeast US) to ensure delivery of the freshest coffee possible. So if you’re anywhere in Atlanta or Washington State and you see Dancing Goats coffee or Batdorf & Bronson, do yourself a favor and go taste some of their amazing coffee!

Honestly the smell of coffee is the best. This month’s blend was noticeably richer smelling than last month’s. It had almost a cocoa scent to it. The flavors were very rich and full bodied for me. There’s a quality called “mouthfeel” that is sometimes used synonymously with the term “body”, but in this case, the mouthfeel for me was very different. My tongue almost felt fuzzy as I sipped my first cup, as if I was drinking a chai tea. Reading the flavor profile afterword, I realized that this coffee had hints of spice, which explains the mouthfeel. This Peru coffee has a sweet chocolaty flavor with hints of orange and spice that blend perfectly. I preferred this as an iced coffee, but it was delicious both ways. My wife recently got me lavender syrup (my secret obsession), which is a PERFECT match with this roast.

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My rating: 5 beans!

Welcome to the Monthly Brew

Monthly Brew

Back in June, I won a contest with Swiss Water and the Specialty Coffee Association. The prize included 12 months of decaf coffee hand picked by Swiss Water. You can actually subscribe to weekly or monthly coffee deliveries HERE. Some of you may be wondering why on earth anyone would want to drink decaf when they could have a regular cup of caffeinated bliss. Samantha and I have been prepping for our baby adventure, so I’ve been drinking strictly decaf for 3 months. It may be time to switch if you find yourself getting anxious due to too much caffeine or if you just enjoy a good coffee but don’t want the buzz.

I received my FIRST coffee delivery mid July and thought I’d blog about each coffee of the month starting with my birthday month of August! Full disclosure – they have several coffees that they send out each month so they’ll most likely differ from the ones I have on the blog.

Generally, decaf is not too much different from caffeinated aside from the obvious lack of caffeine. However the process of decaffeinating coffee can be different depending on the company. Some companies use chemicals or use processes that alter the overall flavor of the coffee. This brings me to this amazing company called Swiss Water.

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Let’s talk about Swiss Water. This is an awesome company that uses a 100% chemical free process to remove the caffeine from coffee without hindering the taste. They’re very much into creating a sustainable product that serves the environment in a positive way and they really care about every aspect of their coffee from the trees and the farm workers all the way down to your coffee cup.

This month

I got a full pound of whole bean decaf espresso from Cafe Virtuoso in San Diego, CA. I was nervous at first because it said dark roast, but I really like the full body flavor of espresso. My first cup of coffee was so incredible I actually said “woah” out loud. I’ve worked at 3 different coffee shops and cafe’s and I’ve used top of the line espresso machines and have tasted way more coffee flavors than the average person. I am in no way a coffee expert, but I have some experience.

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The first thing I noticed was the rich smell of the beans. It was like inhaling freshly roasted beans. Once I brewed it I noticed just how smooth the coffee was. Typically the reason I add any sort of (non-dairy) creamer to my coffee is to cut down on the acidity, but this brew really didn’t need it at all. It’s actually rather light/crisp and dry for a dark roast coffee. I recognized hints of chocolate and toasted caramel that didn’t leave any odd aftertaste at all. I drank every last drop of coffee before it got even the slightest bit cold. That’s saying a lot – I’m the person who leaves the last 2 sips in the bottom of the cup.

I’ve brewed via french press, pour over, and Keurig’s fill your own k-cup and all three have tasted amazing. My favorite is always french press because of the extra flavor. This coffee is also great as a cold brew. I think the fact that it’s a dark roast helps keep the flavor which is still very bold in an iced coffee.

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My rating: 5 beans!