Showing posts with label Gorilla Coffee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gorilla Coffee. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Irish Coffee

When it comes to putting stuff in my coffee, I'm a bit of a purist. If you've read my posts before and/or you're good with picking up intent from blog titles, you may have deduced that I pretty much always take my coffee black and prefer my espresso straight. Both, if of high caliber, need no additive to make them delicious.

But as proud descendant of the Irish, I occasionally will bend for a bit of whiskey and cream in my brew. Of course it's not because I find whiskey offensive alone (quite the opposite); it's more that the mixture of a correctly concocted Irish coffee makes for a delicious after-dinner treat. And even though it's near impossible to find a well-made Irish coffee out at eateries (mostly still due to the lack of good beans in restaurants), fortunately there's no true limit to what a coffee enthusiast can do in the confines of their home coffee bar.

To that end, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I sought to truly explore what Irish coffee could be. I recently set out to try out some different combinations in the space of my kitchen and with the help of Powers Whiskey, Concannon Irish Whiskey, Gorilla Coffee and Cafe Grumpy, I began the exploration.

Of course, the components should be noted separately. I tried out both coffees straight (in the name of science!) and was pleased with the results. From Gorilla Coffee, I sampled their Gishamwana Rwanda, a rich coffee that held notes of cocoa, raisin, orange and thyme within a creamy, medium body. From Cafe Grumpy, I chose their Santa Teresa Dipilto, Nueva Segovia Nicaragua, a delightful coffee that doled out dark chocolate, citrus, light merlot and some light nuttiness amid a supple medium body. To put it plain, both coffees proved delicious on their own and each held the perfect combination of chocolate and bright complexity to compliment the whiskey.

As for the whiskeys, having deep appreciation for a good glass of whiskey served neat, I tried out both separately as well. Powers held notes of vanilla, caramel and some light sage with a noticeably heavier body than most other whiskeys I've had. Concannon proved a little lighter in essence but proved tasty with notes of pound cake, butterscotch, orange juice and a slight smokiness. Neither drink was the best whiskey ever but their agreeable components coupled with their very affordable price tag swiftly nominate both as great whiskeys for Irish coffee.

Now knowing what I was working with, I went to work. I performed multiple trials, using different ratios of a simple recipe of brown sugar, coffee, whiskey and home-made thick cream (i.e. not fully whipped so it's pourable). In the end, I found a great recipe for someone looking for a just-so-sweet Irish Coffee.

As for the different components, I found they all worked splendidly together. Both coffees provided a silky and cocoa-ish backbone to furnish the sweet, vanilla and bright flavors of either whiskey. Especially with the cream floating on the top to provide the correct trademark taste (remember to pour the thick cream onto the back of a spoon), I found my final recipe a home run (note that it's nothing ground breaking; just minor differences from the original):

Irish Coffee
  • 6 oz. of quality coffee brewed a touch stronger (i.e. add about 2-4 grams of freshly ground coffee to your usual water/grounds ratio to accommodate for the upcoming dilution)
  • 2 tsp. of brown sugar
  • 1.5 oz. of whiskey
  • Freshly and lightly whipped heavy cream
  • Preheated mug (simply heat your mug by letting hot water sit in it)
1. Brew your coffee in the desired method (I recommend pourover or siphon to keep a cleaner cup), using 2-4 grams more of coffee than usual to make the coffee more potent.
2. Add the brown sugar to the empty mug and then pour in the hot coffee. Stir lightly.
3. Add whiskey.
4. Using the back of a spoon, lightly pour the thick cream over the top the spoon to make the cream float on top (this aspect of the cream is not only a necessity of custom but also a linchpin in the taste of the drink as the other components must pass through the cream on the way to the mouth).
If you're on the lookout for whiskey well-suited for Irish coffee, look to Powers Whiskey or Concannon Irish Whiskey for your spirit. As for the coffee, since the two above won't be around forever, make sure to choose a high quality, well-roasted, sweet dessert-like coffee.

note: coffee and whiskey was provided mostly free of charge and the above article is objective feedback.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

CC: Gorilla Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?
Location visited: Brooklyn, NY
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

Brooklyn is yet another part of the greater New York City area I've long neglected (oddly enough), but I finally made a visit on a recent Saturday. The conditions could not have been better, as the wind blew just enough to offset the warm rays of the sun and the streets were only mildly populated. Amidst it all, my three companions and I meandered down Flatbush on our way to fantastic fare at the Burrito Bar (great burritos!) and then on to Gorilla Coffee a few blocks over.

Gorilla has long been a place on my list of spots to dock at, so when we finally arrived I was not surprised that there was a line out the door (though I thought many of these people had been before). My compatriots plopped down on their bright red benches out front and I passed into their medium-sized cafe with a busy bar (at least four Gorilla-ians scurrying about) and bright red tables full of patrons.

Gorilla roasts their coffee and as somewhat of a testament to the popularity, half the people in line in front of me grabbed a bag or three of coffee with their order (I'd never seen such volume purchased in 15 minutes!). I ordered their deep roasted Brazilian via drip, a coffee that had been roasted a little too dark for me but had lots of redeeming aspects, such as some pound cake on the front, a bit of noticeable spice like that of a fine cigar and a nice acidity throughout. The espresso fared well, as the shots were pulled short and had a sugary and tart cranberry taste with some decent flecks of vanilla and a decent texture. The tea is Choice Organic Tea.

Satiated, I retrieved my friends outside and we left to go to Junior's Cheesecakes (a place according to my Brookyln-born boss is unparalleled anywhere else and now, after eating their strawberry shortcake cheesecake, I would have to agree). I would say that despite my dark drip, I went pretty ape for Gorilla.

When you're in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, drag your knuckles down to Gorilla Coffee.