An open letter to Red Diamond

01.15

Dear Red Diamond,

This was meant to be a review, but I found your coffee unreviewable. I chose to reframe my efforts as an open letter to your company instead, which claims to be one of the three oldest coffee companies in the US. If this is true, I must know, how can you be so terrible at what you do?

Maybe you’ve grown content over all these years and swept aside all concerns of quality and reputation. Maybe you built your company on unbreakable contracts with diners, drive-ins and dives that continue to generate revenue, despite the poor quality of your product. Or maybe in light of the current economic conditions, you’ve cut back on expenses by collecting your beans from the remnants strewn among the putrid floors of international shipping warehouses. I could speculate all day.

The size and shape of your 100% Arabica beans can’t even maintain the illusion of consistency and their leather brown skins are speckled with leprosy. I should have known that paying the price of a medium coffee for an entire 12oz bag of beans would yield mediocre results; but I never imagined coffee could leave the same taste in my mouth as the morning after vomit from a night of heavy drinking.

I will however give you credit for infusing your roast with an aroma that could convince a child they had a mug of Swiss Miss hot cocoa in front of them. The sweet smell of caramel coated s’mores is endearing—enticing even—but as soon as said child takes his first unsuspecting gulp of nostalgic winter comfort, he’d be kicked in the mouth with a carbon footprint flavored beverage unworthy of the shadiest gas stations.

While you offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee of your product, for $2.99, it’s not worth the check you’d print my refund on. The only thing that would satisfy me is never having to taste your coffee again. I also exhort you to remove the distinction of “the south’s finest” from your bags; this title belongs to one of the other fine Birmingham based coffee roasters.

Thank you for ensuring that I truly appreciate every cup of coffee I have after yours.

posted by on 01.15.2010, 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