Joe Coffee Company ”The Daily”

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Here’s a coffee blend I got from the States: ”The Daily, House Coffee” from Joe Coffee Company, New York.

This is a blend of washed Caturra, Bourbon and Pacamara from Guatemala and Columbia. The label promises ”Chocolate, Caramel, Medium Body.” The roast is on the lighter side, somewhere around 2,5 on the scale of one to five.

As you open the bag and grind the beans, you get the familiar aroma of marzipan and chocolate that reminds you of many light roasted Finnish grocery store coffees (e.g. Paulig blends).

Figuring out the flavor profile was a bit of a challenge for me.

The moka pot brought out a nice, fruity acidity, a ”high,” citrusy note. There was also some midrange chocolateyness, but not much—the midrange was not very strong in this blend, which made it seem slightly hollower than some similar blends. On the very bottom of the flavor spectrum there was a small amount of dark chocolate. This added a hint of nice bitterness to the overall taste.

Brewing this with my AeroPress (inverted, steel filter) sometimes brought out more fruity flavors. I say ”sometimes,” because even if I tried to follow the same exact method of brewing, the fruityness wasn’t always as apparent. When it was there, it was not citrusy, but sweeter and ”softer.” In other cups, however, the fruityness was replaced by a certain bitterness. This was not the same bitterness of dark chocolate that I detected earlier. Rather, it was a nutty bitterness, which reminded me of another ”daily” blend, Grand Dia from Arvid Nordqvist.

By the way, ”The Daily” had a nice room note. The other day I was enjoying it while working. For some reason I had to leave my study for a moment, and left my cup on my desk. When I got back, the room was filled with a citrusy, slightly chocolatey scent. Quite pleasant.

Summa summarum—In my opinion, there were three main aspects to the flavor profile: acidity, fruityness and nutty bitterness. For some reason, the proportions seemed to change quite a bit. The acidity was always there, but sometimes the overall flavor felt fruitier, sometimes more bitter. Whether this was due to small changes in the water temperature, I couldn’t tell. Be that as it may, the blend seemed slightly inconsistent and unpredictable. On top of the three main aspects mentioned above, there was some chocolate as well, but not much. I wasn’t able to detect the caramel at all.

Perhaps the overall flavor profile was not the most unique or mind-blowing. But just as its name would suggest, ”The Daily” seemed to work well enough as an all day every day blend. I found it to be a good choice for my morning cup. I might not book a flight to the States just to get it, but I’d be happy to enjoy it if I got it again.

Instant coffee? Why not?

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The mailman brought us a surprise package from our good friends in Nagoya, Japan. It included this: Starbucks Via Coffee Essence, Christmas Blend, Vintage 2018, dark roast.

Now, I remember Starbucks 2017 Christmas Blend very well: unlike many European Christmas coffees that have an added flavoring, the Starbucks offering was a nice, unflavored, dark roasted all day blend. So when we got this, I was really interested to see what the 2018 version is about.

This is not beans, nor pre-ground, but instant coffee, packed in single serving pouches. The package description is pretty short. The company tells us that Vintage 2018 is made of rare aged Sumatra coffee, blended with bright Latin American and smooth Indonesian coffees. They also say it’s spicy and sweet.

Like its predecessor, the 2018 Christmas Blend is all about unadulterated coffee flavor. There are no added seasonal flavorings to it. I honestly cannot detect all the different coffees included in the blend, but the ”spicy and sweet” part seems pretty accurate. This is actually pretty tasty for an instant coffee, very much like a good, basic drip coffee you can get at a Starbucks shop. It is dark, but mild enough for your first cup in the morning. The familiar ”Starbucks note” (I still don’t know what it is!) is there, too, although a bit more subdued than in the 2017 version.

All in all, Starbucks Christmas Blend, Vintage 2018 may not be exactly mind blowing, but it certainly is a nice and easy way to start your day!

Black Rifle Coffee Fit Fuel

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Fit Fuel, a 75% Arabica/25% Robusta blend from @blackriflecoffee. They call it Medium Roast, but also state: "Roasted rich and bold to kick-start your fitness." To me, the latter description seems more accurate. The beans are pretty dark and oily, and as such, remind me of some overpriced blends from another American coffee company. But that's where the similarities end. The FF bag aroma is just amazing: Some sharpness from the dark roasted arabica, but then the earthy robusta goodness, too, which the other company never has. Also, you get the same wonderful side note that AK Espresso had: hard metal and baking spices. In the cup, a spicy floral note (hyacinth?), along with a feel of sweet-meal biscuits is added to the bouquet. Oh boy, this is amazing already. The taste itself is so multidimensional that it's almost impossible to describe. In my coffee drinking "career," I've never experienced anything like this. It's rich and bold, as they say, it's hard and masculine, it's spicy and strong, and yet it's so delicate and sophisticated. This, ladies and gentlemen, is truly a winner. Fit Fuel goes straight to the top of the list of all coffees I've had the pleasure of enjoying. #blackriflecoffeecompany #fitfuel #thebestcoffeeever #bialettimoka #coffeereviews

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Black Rifle Coffee Silencer Smooth

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Silencer Smooth from @blackriflecoffee. They say: "100% Colombian coffee roasted to a smooth, light flavor. Our lightest roast." Just like with its big brother, AK Espresso, when you open the bag, you know it: there is no messing around with this bad boy. The beans are surprisingly dark for a light roast, but make no mistake, the presentation is excellent. The bag aroma is smokey, spicy, nutty and slightly sweet, in that order. This is exactly what you get in the final product, too. Oh wow. This is a bold and powerful blend, yet—as the name would suggest—oh so smooth. You could enjoy this any time of the day. I've never been the biggest fan of light roasted coffee, but if this is what light roast is about, count me in! SS is hands down one of the best all day blends I've ever had. #blackriflecoffeecompany #silencersmooth #bialettimoka #coffeereviews

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Black Rifle Coffee AK Espresso

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AK Espresso from @blackriflecoffee. The bag description says: “A blend of light roasted Colombian and dark roasted Brazilian coffee, creating an indestructible, balanced espresso.“ The second you open the bag, you know it: This means business. You get a familiar aroma of medium roasted 100% Arabica—which this is—, but stronger, more muscular than what you would expect. The beans are of high quality, and have an oily feel to them, not unlike some other American blended coffees, but not nearly as buttery as some Starbucks products. I could be wrong, but judging by the looks, there seems to be around 60% Colombian and 40% Brazilian (?). Brewed in my Bialetti, this might not be the most full bodied blend out there, yet it is very potent. It's by no means harsh, yet it has this "hard" edge to it. Just like they say: indestructible and balanced. Very appropriately named, too. Now, I haven't shot an AK, but this does remind me of the classic 7.62 RK62 we used to use in the military. Fantastic, fantastic. Lastly, there is something absolutely delicious in the finish, that I cannot put my finger on. It's kind of metallic, but at the same time reminds me of baking spices. Very subtle, very unique, and just awesome. I hope I could have this every day. Thank you so much @vanessarasanenauthor for hooking me up with BRCC! #blackriflecoffeecompany #akespresso #bialettimoka #coffeereviews

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Starbucks Espresso Roast

Starbucks Caffè Verona

Starbucks Christmas Blend 2017