Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mugged: Kayanza Bwayi [Transcend Coffee]


What does Mugged mean?

Subject: Transcend Coffee
Coffee Mugged: Kayanza Bwayi lot no. 6
Rating: 5+ [see key]

While traveling is limited for most people, obtaining an occasional food or drink from far away is sometimes the next best thing. One recent experience occurred when Transcend Coffee of Alberta, Canada sent me a pound of their Kayanza Bwayi to try out. This coffee from Burundi intrigued me from first waft, with lots of bright and floral aromas preceding.

I tested the coffee with the usual three brew methods of drip (filtered), siphon and french press.

The drip coffee rocketed out notes of blueberry, tame chocolate, oak barrel, mint, nuts, dandelion greens and buttery cracker. The brew was light to medium in body and held a delicious array of flavors with little drawback.

The french press held similar, with bright blueberry and nougat at first contact followed with subtleties of mint, cilantro, buttery cracker and yerba matte. Practically the same body and flavor potency as the drip.

The siphon held sweeter chocolate, blueberry, oak barrel, mint, buttered cracker and dandelion greens amidst a heavier, medium body.

Though I've never been to Edmonton, Alberta (it's on my list of places to hit), this quality of coffee could get me there; Transcend's Kayanza Bwayi did a nice job of bringing a quality, (western) Canadian-roasted coffee experience to my kitchen. Give this Burundian a whirl if you're looking for a flavorful African coffee.

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.

Friday, June 24, 2011

CC: The Beat Coffeehouse and Records

What does CC mean?

Subject: The Beat Coffeehouse and Records
Las Vegas, NV

Free WiFi ? :

4+ [see key]

Every downtown has coffee purveyors but not every downtown can boast good coffeehouses. Sadly, the problem still exists even in the biggest of cities, with mass-produced or month-old coffee passing as sophisticated or “gourmet” brews.
Until I arrived in Las Vegas, I had counted their downtown as one long bereft. But I was to be pleasantly surprised.

After dinner one night, I did a random google search that turned up The Beat Coffeehouse and Records in old downtown.
I made my way over for an after dinner foray, finding the Beat on the corner of 6th and Fremont amidst the usual neon lights. The place is becomingly arrayed, with records towards the back and plenty of locals hanging about their pleasingly-arranged furniture.

The coffee is from Colorado River Coffee Roasters, a local roaster I had been looking to try. I ordered an espresso and a drip of the Sumatra. The espresso, pulled to a medium volume with thin crema, held notes of dark cocoa, ginger, corn, cilantro, a bit of char and a tingle of vanilla; an overall fair (though could have been better) pair of shots. The Sumatran bestowed a nutty and earthy cup with notes of graham cracker, wheat and apple amidst a light and smooth body, though it was a tad lackluster. The tea was free leaf and they also serve beer (via keg) and wine.

Walking off into the night, I was thankful for a last minute blessing in the Beat. When you’re downtown in Vegas, shimmy over to the Beat Coffeehouse and Records for some decent coffee.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mugged: House Roast [David Lynch Coffee]


Subject: David Lynch
Coffee Mugged: House Roast
Rating: 4+ [see key]

A lot of times people in the entertainment biz branch into different areas, like David Lynch. While I can’t say I’ve experienced many of his films or projects (I saw part of the Elephant Man), I have experienced his coffee. Distributed through Java Distribution, his brand of coffee is marketed as a fair trade, organic and delicious (and a portion going to the American Film Institute).

When they sent me out some beans to try and give some feedback, I was hesitant of coffee relayed through the same company that distributes Allegro Coffee. But I kept my opinions to the subconscious and sampled the coffee via french press, drip and siphon.

The drip produced a cup relaying roasted almond, caramel, smoked pork, pineapple, nutella and a light/medium body.The french press delivered a brew with cashew, almond, pear, pineapple, sage, cinnamon and vanilla all amidst a light to medium body.

The siphon also held a similar body with more notes of honey, caramel, roasted cashew and cinnamon. Overall, the coffee held no notes of bitterness and was delightfully fresh.

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

CC: Elixr Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?

Elixr Coffee
Location: Philadelphia, PAFree WiFi ? : yes
6+ [
see key]


I always find it pleasing when a great coffeehouse takes the place of a former, lackluster establishment. Hausbrandt once had a Philly coffeehouse that ran a decent leg, but after a while it fizzled. Following its closure, the former shell on 15th street remained abandoned.

Enter the phoenix of Elixr Coffee. Having just opened up in January (by a partnership that includes an Eagles' Winston Justice), this outfit moved in strong, distributing PT's Coffee out of Kansas and taking their coffee quite seriously.

I made my way over one leisurely afternoon to sample their wares. The interior is very homey, with a nice arrangement of furniture (with a lot of bar seating), and a tv playing barista championships while customers sip and work. I ordered a cup of the Finca El Molino, El Salvador via drip and an espresso (the coffee used for my shots was not named). The drip produced a light-bodied, honey-filled cup with some wheat, cherry, jasmine, almond cookie and sassafras (delicious). The espresso, pulled short with a marbled crema, sang of spicy cocoa, a prominent saltiness, lemon candy, whiskey, cookie dough and syrupy mouth feel (also quite good). The tea I did not note.

Elixr was the medicine that Philly needed. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, pop in.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Go Coffee Go

Just wanted to publish a quick note on a new supporter to the Pure Coffee Blog, GoCoffeeGo. I scrawl this not to toot the proverbial cornet but to seek your assistance in making it truly a worthwhile endeavor. Simply explained, for every purchase made through the banner ad on the top right (or through the links of this post), the Pure Coffee Blog receives a small commission.

Thus, if you are looking for a great single origin coffee or a dynamic espresso blend, I encourage you to simply visit us here at the Pure Coffee Blog first and then make your way to GoCoffeeGo. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mugged: Jamaican High Mt [St. Mary Market]


What does "Mugged" mean?

St. Mary Market
Coffee Mugged:
Jamaica High Mountain
Rating: 2+
[see key]

t pains me when a coffee roaster/purveyor exclaims how great their coffee is, when in actuality it fails to pass for decent coffee when put to the test. This is a pain I experienced recently when the folks at St. Mary Market out of NYC very kindly sent me out a 1/3 lb of their Jamaican High Mountain Coffee to try. When I opened the bag, I smelled nothing except a stale fragrance and saw what could have once been a decent medium roast coffee.

As you might guess, all of the ensuing brews came out stale and hence, the original coffee might have been amazing but it seems that the roasting/storage/handling did not ensure its quality.

I brewed it first via drip and received a coffee with a little caramel, tobacco, fig and toast all in a light body.

The french press produced a cup with heavier tobacco, fig, caramel, oregano and a bit of pear. This cup had a heavier body.

The siphon denoted some caramel, pepper, oregano, graham cracker and popcorn amidst a medium body.

Thus, it seems that St. Mary Market might have a good coffee but because it was so stale when I received it, there's not much praise I can laud. Another Jamaican coffee that stalled when its rubber met the road.

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.