Sunday, November 29, 2020

Starbucks Guatemala Antigua

I'm still working through my Starbucks beans by burning through more gift cards. Rotated to a new one of the shelf, at least new-to-me. This time it is Starbucks Guatemala Antigua. The bag shows it as a medium roast of cocoa and subtle spice. 

As of this writing I have actually finished the entire bag. A big reason why I did this was how much I liked Starbucks Guatemala Antigua. I kept wanting to give it 'one more day' to see if I'd find something I didn't like. That didn't happen. This makes a great cup of coffee. The cocoa is present and pleasant. We just past Thanksgiving, so maybe it's nutmeg in the air, but I got a hint of that as well. While I love exploring new coffee's, I am seriously contemplating buying this bag again. Note: I bought something different. 

The beans were very forgiving and subtle changes in the water/bean ratio didn't seem to make a big difference one way or the other. A little heavier on the beans just gave a deeper more robust cup, but not acidic at all. As a daily drinker this is sure a wonderful cup of coffee. Yup, I can't believe I am admitting it again, I actually enjoy a cup of Starbucks coffee. 

Bottom Line Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, October 30, 2020

Starbucks Siren's Blend

It's been a while. Don't worry. I didn't give up coffee. Let's get into the review! 

I have a confession to make: I am not a Starbucks fan. Even more so, I actively try to avoid Starbucks. There is something about the vibe of the store that irks me. That and the super sugar'ed up drinks. Oh and why can't they just call it small, medium, and large? Although their nitro cold brew is some good stuff. I haven't gone into home nitro yet, but will give a home cold brew review at some point. 

With that said. People know I love coffee. So when gift cards are exchanged, I always seem to get Starbucks. Recently I realized that I have a small retirement account's worth (very small retirement account) of Starbucks gift cards piling up. I thought about re-gifting them or selling them, but then thought I would explore making Starbucks at home. This is actually my second bag of Starbucks. I didn't do a review for the other, but may come back to it. 

Starbuck's describes Siren's Blend as citrus and chocolate. I can catch the citrus, sort of a mild orange/lemon hybrid minus the acidity you might get with citrus and/or coffee.  To me the chocolate comes through more like the creamy melted goodness of a Hershey's chocolate bar that was left in your car. Instead of throwing it out, or putting it in the fridge, you attempt to eat it. Eat being a relative term, it's more like lots of licking and then storing a chocolate snack under your fingernails for later that day. 

Anyway, back to the coffee. I'm pleased with it. It seems super sensitive to the bean/water ratio. I tend to measure out 5 tablespoons of beans and up to the four cup in my coffeemaker. With Siren's Blend if I happen to be a couple beans shy, it turns out rather watered-down. Making it more like five heaping tablespoons brews a better cup. It is a medium roast 100% Arabica coffee. Much to my surprise, I'd buy it again. 

Bottom Line Rating: 4/5

Saturday, July 16, 2016

It's been a while

Yes, I'm still around. Yes, I'm still drinking coffee. Yes, I'm still exploring new beans and new coffee shops. I'll get some new posts up soon. It's been a while.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Barnie's Colombian La Tolva

It has been quite a while since I've had Barnie coffee. Ever since Trader Joe's opened up that's been my go-to coffee place. Barnie's is a little further across town and more expensive. The more expensive is an understatement. Well over a year ago they took out the loose beans and only sell pre-sealed bags. Generally loose coffee was $9-$15/pound (except for expensive stuff). The bags are still around $9-$15 each, but are only 10 ounces! Six ounces less for the same price. Thanks, but no thanks! Anyway, I splurged and got some for old time sake.

The Barnie's Colombian La Tolva beans are clean looking medium roast. Good aroma to them, maybe a little on the strong side, forecasting what's to come. The aroma isn't as complex as I like to get from some other coffees. Packaging is the standard Barnie's foil wrapped bags, 10 ounces in case you forgot.

As I just hinted, this is STRONG coffee. In fact after taking the first sip I texted a friend to share how strong it was. I'm generally not much of a fan of strong coffee, but this is a good strong coffee. There's a consistent flavor from sip to finish, with that constant reminder that it's a STRONG coffee. What was pleasant about it was that there is not a harsh acidic aftertaste that can occur with some dark roast or strong coffees. If you like STRONG coffee, and have a good sized coffee budget, I'd recommend Barnie's Colombian La Tolva. If you're not fully committed to both of these, move on to something else.

Bottom Line Rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tree City Coffee Roasters

I should lead off this post by admitting I am a terrible blogger. No, not because I'm not having regular updates. Yes, I drink coffee regularly, but honestly the drinking part is much more fun than writing about it. Not because I failed to respond to comments. The few I get, hint hint keep more coming, I do respond with at least a "thanks!" My faux pas is that I did not record the type of Tree City coffee I was buying!

I was in the local Ward's Supermarket, nothing really super in size about it, but great produce prices and locally family owned. I was there to buy some Sweetwater Coffee. They had so many varieties of the Sweetwater coffee that I was just getting plain frustrated. As I was about to fill up a bag I noticed a lone dispenser with Tree City Coffee Roasters. Noticing that it was locally roasted I had to get some! It literally is a mom and pop operation without any store front. They sell online and in three local supermarkets/food stores here in Gainesville, FL.

I'd describe it as a medium to medium dark roast, possibly their breakfast blend? The beans have a great aroma, not too oily and have a warm rich aroma after grinding. The coffee itself is fantastic. There's a certain smoothness to each sip, yet complex flavors that dance across your taste buds. Not acidic and a warm aftertaste that makes you want to sip over and over.

Packaging is uneventful, but to me that's of no real concern. Coffee doesn't last too long in my house and as long as I can keep it fresh for the short week or two it sits around I'm happy. The packaging is a simple brown bag with a single sticker on the front. In hind sight I wish I had written the type on the bag! Prices are $10/lb on their website with free shipping 5+ pounds and free shipping in Gainesville!

This is a great coffee that I will definitely revisit, if only to figure out what I was drinking! If you're in town or want to place an online order I would highly recommend it.

Bottom Line Rating: 4/5

Monday, June 16, 2014

Trader Joe's Kenya Peaberry

I'm back to drinking my go-to brand, Trader Joe's. On the latest trip I picked up another package of Kenya AA as well as the Trader Joe's Kenya Peaberry. The beans look like a typical peaberry and have a dark roast appearance with an oily texture. Note: The package lists this as a medium roast.

After having a few cups and exploring the flavor over a few days I can say this is a good strong earthy cup of coffee. Definitely toward the darker side of a medium roast. It's a very consistent flavor starting from the scent of the beans through the aftertaste. While this makes a very predictable cup of coffee, which can be good,  I like when coffee has some complexity to it. Something that makes you stop and think. I found myself drinking this sip after sip just going through the motions. Yes, it was good, but nothing slowed me down and made me say, wow!

In typical Trader Joe's fashion, this is another 'Limited Edition' product. The coffee is good, but when it goes bye-bye I won't necessarily miss it. There's plenty of other as-good or better coffee out there to take its place.

This is still a good cup of coffee and if you like a straight forward coffee you'll love it. But if you long for inspiration and pizazz with a mosaic of flavors in your caffeinated indulgence, just pass this one by.

Bottom Line Rating:3.5/5