Review – Colombia* Starbucks VIA

12.28

Colombia Starbucks VIA
Single Serving Micro Ground – $Free
Seattle, WA
www.starbucks.com

Bean: Micro ground to a powder as fine as Colombia’s other well known pick-me-up.

Aroma: After deciding to mix with hot water instead of snorting, I hovered, wafted and inhaled a somewhat surprising aroma. It was subtle and earthy, comforting like Grandpa’s sweater, but much more pleasant than the Folger’s he consumed. There was a hint of brightness that occasionally poked through the soft undertones of Mexican chocolate, like oranges married with a ripe hamper full of dirty clothes. I was convinced enough to give this blasphemous convenience a fair chance.

Taste: Sipping from a mug surviving the days when Starbucks actually used them, I was immediately impressed by the smooth, low acidic taste presented by this magical concoction. The shock of burnt grinds never came and the lack of flavor that most Kuerig cups embody was trumped by, well, flavor. The delicate tinge of chili powder seasoned every mouthful of this liquid trail mix, highlighting the rich presence of walnuts. If only it provided the same protein and essential fatty acids, I’d have myself a meal.

However, after my enjoyable stroll through the peanut gallery subsided, a pungent aftertaste took hold. Flashbacks of an older brother stuffing dirty socks in my mouth leapt to the forefront of  my conscious. I was forced to drink more just to mask the unsettling memory.

Overall, I am thunderstuck (cool word huh?) by the texture and taste of this instant coffee, one whose marketing budget may rival Avatar’s. I would prefer a cup of this over a fresh one of Pike Place any day, but that’s not saying much.

*I tried the Italian Roast as well, barely making it through half the cup. It tasted, as I imagine a musket full of gunpowder would; sharp, abrasive, and capable of fueling rockets during a Chinese New Year.

posted by on 12.28.2009, under Coffee Reviews, Recommended Roasters

Review – Primavera: Peru Norte

12.17

primavera

Primavera: Peru Norte
12oz Whole Bean – $10.99
Birmingham, AL
www.primaveracoffee.com

Bean: A spirited, medium size bean with a creamy milk-chocolate hue. These could easily be substituted for semi-sweet chips in all of your holiday cookies. What could be better than a caffeinated peanut butter blossom?

Aroma: Once I brewed these medium roasted niblets, I was wrapped in a scent as soothing as a snuggie, and deliciously warm as a Cinnabon. A vanilla undertone smoothed things out like a bowl of grandmother’s cake batter waiting for me to taste the moment she wasn’t looking. I couldn’t wait to indulge.

Taste: My first sip was met with a light but vibrant cinnamon zest followed by lively hints of vanilla. The next taste enveloped my tongue like a cupcake, sprinkles and all, stuffed in my mouth. A well balanced flavor helps illuminate the quality of the beans and inspires daydreams of tomorrow’s cup.

There’s a low acidic creak in this medium bodied brew, but its no more severe than a sound eeked from beneath the floorboards of your childhood home—endearing and somewhat sentimental. A cup of this could tuck me in after dinner as easily as it lured me from bed this morning.

You can pick up a cup (or bag) of Primavera at my favorite cafe in Birmingham, Urban Standard.

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posted by on 12.17.2009, under Coffee Reviews, Recommended Roasters