Falls Church has a wonderful coffee shop called Rare Bird. They do small batch roasting mostly in light and medium roasts. I couldn’t be happier that they are within walking distance of my house. The staff is welcoming, the atmosphere is great, and the coffee is amazing. The espresso drinks are also well done and they have a decent selection of teas for a coffee shop. If you’re in the area you should definitely check it out and then walk down to Little City Creamery for some ice cream to make a perfect day.
The Kiangoi coffee shown below is a perfect example of what Rare Bird can do. The coffee is sweet and complex and delicious black.
In honor of National Coffee Day, I bring you Triunfo Verde. This little bag of delight comes from Mexico via Lexington Coffee. Should you buy it? Yes, with a caution. The raisin notes are very strong on the finish with this coffee. That’s not a bad thing unless you don’t like raisins and I know a lot of people don’t. The cherry and fudge flavors are more subtle and upfront, so the strongest flavor here is going to be that raisin finish. A little milk will smooth out the raisin, but kill the cherry and fudge. Manage that as you will. I’m enjoying it black.
This single source Ethiopian coffee might be my all time favorite. It is so delicious black that I have trouble not finishing the pot, but since it’s a light roast, it’s caffeine heavy, so sometimes I have to be pealed off the ceiling. The berry and watermelon notes listed on the bag really come through, the chocolate is more subtle. So, so delicious. If you haven’t had Lexington Coffee Roasters coffee go here right now and order some. You won’t regret it.
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.