The picture on the bag is truly awesome. My niece tells me this picture is used to sell a lot of products in Bali. And why not? It’s fantastic.
My niece, Hannah, recently went to Bali, and because she loves me and knows I love coffee, she brought me back a bag of Kopi Luwak. Luwak is what the Indonesians call the wild cat that we refer to as a civet. As it turns out, civets like to eat coffee berries, and after they eat them, they poop them out. The civets only digest the fruit part of the coffee and the bean passes through intact. Indonesian coffee farmers collect the civet coffee-laden turds, put them through six different washings, roast, and package them to sell as some of the most expensive coffee you can buy. The most expensive, fyi, is the coffee pooped out by elephants.
So what does it taste like? It’s fruity, a little sweet, there is nothing that brings to mind it’s origins, but it is odd. The flavor is remarkably consistent. It’s not at all bitter and the initial flavor is exactly the same through to the end, no aftertaste, but also no other notes. It’s one consistent fruity flavor all the way through to the finish. What kind of fruit? I don’t know. Citrusy maybe, but not any kind of citrus I can identify. I thought it was good if a little dull. The wasn’t a lot of complexity to the flavor. It wasn’t good enough for me to pay $12 or more an ounce for it, but if your niece goes to Indonesia, maybe you’ll luck out and she’ll bring you some.
If you should find yourself in the English countryside, you might discover that the vast majority of coffee available to you is dark French or Italian roasts. If you’re like me and you prefer a medium or light roast, you might be a little frustrated. If this is your situation, I recommend buying a bag of Taylors Lazy Sunday. It’s a medium roast, drinkable with a little milk, and you won’t have that rage feeling in the morning. Also featured in the photo above is the pour over setup I made from the circa 1970s coffee maker we found in the cottage where we were staying. Co-op Food also carries a store branded fair trade medium roast which is also drinkable. You have to make due sometimes when traveling, so I had to buy ground coffee, because neither of the places we stayed had a grinder. No, I don’t travel with one. I haven’t reached that level of coffee crazy. Other than the limited coffee situation, I really love the English countryside. It looks a lot like Virginia and aside from a few things here and there, feels very much like home.
Lexington Coffee Roasters is my all-time favorite roaster. They offer a wide variety of lightly roasted, single origin beans that are my coffee preference. Waykan from Guatemala is one of my favorites. All the subtle flavors are there. It’s excellent black, but a little cream doesn’t hurt it too much. So good. This is my last bag until it’s back in season. I was fortunate enough to get two bags of it while it was available. So, so good. If you haven’t tried their coffees, click on the link and order some. You won’t be sorry.
In addition to the lovely teas that I talk about here, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave us a pound of Corsica coffee from La Colombe for Christmas. La Colombe has a variety of locations around the country and they produce a consistent product. Corsica is pretty dark for my taste, but it’s a well done roast. The chocolate notes that are so loved by dark roast drinkers are definitely there in this strong cup. Unlike most of the coffees I review, La Colombe is actually available on Amazon, so if you want to give it a try, you can get a pound here. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
I’m having one of those days when I thought I took a picture of the coffee I’m reviewing today and either I never took it or I somehow deleted it. Which is it? Who knows? Nonetheless, my sister Julie gave me a bag of Lexington Coffee Roasters Kibugu coffee from Kenya for Christmas, you’ll have to take my word for it without photographic evidence. It turned out to be a very similar coffee to the Craft Coffee SL 34, SL 28 that I got from my friend Jen and reviewed here. Both bags of beans were from Kenya and both were very nicely roasted and delicious. However, I have to give Lexington Coffee a slight edge because the currant flavor is definitely there at the finish. The Craft Coffee finish was good, but I wouldn’t describe it as currant. Apparently, I’m not the only one who liked the Kibugu because the rating you see above is what it received from Coffee Review. Delicious. You should buy a bag. Actually, you should buy a bag from both roasters and compare them for yourself. That would be fun and delicious. Meanwhile, I will do a better job of keeping up with my photos such as they are.
My friend Jen loves me so she gave me another coffee subscription for Christmas, this time from Craft Coffee. I had the option of picking my roast, so naturally I chose light. Then an exciting box of options showed up. I’m used to coffee being called by it’s region or a blend name but SL 34, SL 28 seemed so intriguing I had to try it first. It’s from a region of Kenya called Kiambu. Coffee not only wakes you up and makes you happy, it teaches you geography too. Look up Kiambu, Kenya. Google will show it to you.
As for SL 34, SL 28 it’s very lightly flavored, not at all bitter. It has a very light citrus taste. I’m not sure I would describe it as passion fruit, but the grapefruit flavor is there. It has a nice finish, but I wouldn’t describe it as currant, but the finish is sweet. I actually think the flavor is improved by a touch of milk, not half and half, you’ll lose the flavor with half and half, but a little whole milk is nice, kind of brings out the citrus. It’s nice black too, but the flavors aren’t strong. This is a very light tasting coffee. I think it would be a wonderful coffee to introduce to non-coffee drinkers. Good stuff. You should check it out. Happily, I have many other varieties to try. So stay tuned.
My friend, the wonderful writer Megan Morrison and her husband Devin, recently sent me and my husband some Stumptown Coffee from Portland, Oregon. It was a bag of Guatemala Finca El InJerto Bourbon. I’m not sure what that means exactly, beyond that it’s from Guatemala, but it was really delicious. I confess to not being able to taste the lime notes, but this has some of the strongest cocoa flavors I’ve ever tasted in a coffee and the mint is there as just a hint in the back of the flavor. The roast is perfect, not too dark, which is a common problem among roasters. With a lighter roast all the flavors are available in the coffee and Stumptown nailed the roast on this one. I haven’t had any of their other coffees, but if this is an example, then this is a roaster to buy from.