Showing posts with label Higher Grounds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Higher Grounds. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Mugged: Higher Ground [Bolivian Caranavi]


What does "Mugged" mean?

Subject: Higher Ground Roasters
Coffee Mugged:
Bolivian Caranavi
Rating: 5+ [see key]

ometimes I really wish first impressions weren't so powerful. You can patch things up with old friends but if you scare off a newfound acquaintance, chances are you might not see them again. And while I now find it easier to give people the benefit of the doubt, I have a much harder time doing the same when I have a bad coffee experience.

One such lackluster experience was my first with Higher Ground Roasters at the oddly similarly named Philly coffeehouse called Higher Grounds Cafe. The coffee was not necessarily bad but along with the espresso, it barely registered as decent coffee. Yet wanting to be fair, I left my conclusion that the coffee quality has a lot of factors that affect it (i.e. the weakness of the cafe, poor barista skills, etc.).

So when the Coffee Roasters Club sent me a pound of Higher Ground's Bolivian Caranavi (third of three), I was truly intrigued as to the coffee's mettle. The roast level was of a medium level and I had the opportunity to sample it via drip, french press, and vacuum press. The vacuum press produced a rich dark chocolate taste followed up with a meek sweetness and a very noticable spicy aftertaste. The french press further confirmed the dark chocolate and had an even stronger accent on the spiciness. The drip produced a great cup but not as tasty as the french or vacuum press.

Many would say a single interaction that demands future ones is always a good exchange to have had. In this case, I consider myself fortunate to be able to have had a better second interaction with Higher Ground per this particular lovely Bolivian. I definitely hope to have more.

Whether you join the Coffee Roasters Club or buy direct, definitely give Higher Ground a sample.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

CC: Higher Grounds Cafe

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Higher Grounds Cafe
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]

Of all the areas of Philadelphia, the Northern Liberties must have been one of the last places I've explored. Growing up, I had never heard of it and assumed the neighborhoods north of Center City were just boring residential areas. That was until about two years ago when I heard of the many coffeehouses and up-and-coming eateries housed within the area.

So one recent wintry day, I utilized some hang time with a good friend to check out Higher Grounds, the first coffeehouse I had heard of in the area. My friend and I were in heated yet friendly conversation on theology (which I will add, continued through the whole experience) that made finding parking in the very narrow streets a challenge. After some time, we finally found a spot somewhat close by and made our way over. The exterior displayed an eclectic multi-colored front with an inside to match in creativity and clever space usage. Personally, I really liked the decor and bohemian use of the historical architecture.

The coffee actually comes from an Alabama organic coffee roaster with a very similar name, Higher Ground Roasters. I had the Mocha Java (from the geographic area, not the flavor) which tasted fairly good (my notes failed to expound further as I was busy explaining a point when I wrote it down). The espresso was pulled averagely and delivered a so-so experience, with a noticeable char and an overall bland flavor (it was my buddies turn when I had the espresso). The teas were loose and seemed to consist of a good variety. And on a random note, they make a delicious hummus and cucumber bagel (they had other lunch/snack options as well).

With my first coffee experience in the Northern Liberties down, I hope to explore the other coffee establishments soon enough. As for Higher Grounds it seems to be a decent coffee establishment but as I was slightly preoccupied that day, I would like to return to better solidfy my opinion.