This month, we’re continuing to bring you our thoughts on morning beverages brewed. We thought we’d stick to some more basic flavors this time around, as well as introduce a new guest to our table: tea. You know, for those of our readers who don’t find coffee to “be their cup of tea.”
In the coming months, we plan on covering the various methods used to brew coffee, as well as sitting down with local roasters to get their thoughts. We are also going to continue our efforts to introduce you to some brands of coffee which you may not have had the pleasure of trying. If you have any feedback, suggestions or hate mail for this article, feel free to send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Just Love Ethiopian Harrar – We at the Pulse weren’t really able to appreciate this coffee, described as “wine-like,” until we actually drank a cup after trying another blend. The contrast helped team members detect the preserved flavors of berries (cherry being particularly prominent), which are more noticeable thanks to a special “dry-wash” process used for this blend. We’d get into specifics, but we’d rather you speak with the very knowledgeable folks at Just Love directly, who are knowledgeable and friendly enough to chat with their customers about the roasting process and help them better appreciate coffee. This is a darker roast, so there is slightly less caffeine than what you may anticipate, but the taste tradeoff is worth it.
Just Love African Skies – Smoky, sweet, smooth and not unwelcome. This is the flagship blend for Just Love, much like a guide to a new country. It’s an aromatic medium roast that’s got a few different subtleties at play, and if you’ve never had any Just Love coffee, it’s probably the best place to start.
BLACK LABEL SEAL OF APPROVAL
Maxwell House French Roast – Probably the editor’s favorite of the Maxwell House varieties, this budget-friendly blend is available as a jumbo bucket for around $8 for 30 oz. It makes a nice simple cup of coffee, but certainly does not have the complex depth of flavor as the roasts from the good folks at Just Love. And a little warning about getting the large, economical size: The last scoop you use six weeks after cracking the bucket open just doesn’t have the pleasant aroma the first, fresh cup did.
Café Bustelo – Referred to as a “poor man’s specialty coffee,” Miami-based Bustelo was acquired by the Smucker’s Company in 2011 and is now available throughout the Southeast. It’s slightly sweet, with just a leftover hint of chocolate. A good, basic cup of coffee that would also make a decent espresso—it’s actually ground extra fine specifically for espresso use, but really works no matter how you brew or drink it.
BLACK LABEL SEAL OF APPROVAL
Starbucks Holiday Blend – Very bold, with a nice spiciness, Starbucks’ 2012 Holiday Blend is suitable for a cold morning by the Christmas tree, or to accompany a slice of pumpkin pie.
Special Guest: The Republic of Tea’s Red Velvet – To help us continue our “red velvet winter kick,” The Republic of Tea has released a red velvet flavor as a piece of their “Cuppa Chocolate Tea” collection (in addition to a chocolate mint and a few others). We really liked how this tea offered a taste actually comparable to a flavored coffee without the heaviness.