Showing posts with label tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tea. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Adagio Tea

Subject: Adagio Tea
Tea Mugged [pictured above from left to right]:
- Golden Spring
- Ooooh Darjeeling
- Thai Chai

While coffee is my favorite drink, tea is certainly a close second. Especially in the past decade, it seems like the tea options have exploded, with a larger variety of teas becoming more easily available to the tea drinking public, not to mention a higher popularity of tea-based beverages entering the menu at local cafes (think match lattes and london fogs).

Monday, December 08, 2014

Mugged: Cinnamon and Lavender [Le Palais des Thés]

Subject: Le Palais des Thés
Teas Mugged and Rating [see key]:
Lavender Oolong 4+
Cinnamon Black 3+

As the holidays flare up again, the many flavors of spice come roaring into the realm of lauded drink options. Most people think of lattes flavored with gingerbread or peppermint, but there's also quite a few teas that get a little more play in kitchens and coffee bars at this time of year.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mugged: Whittard Teas

Subject: Whittard Teas
Teas Mugged and Rating [see key]:
Whittard Original 4+
Russian Caravan 4+
Darjeeling 5+

As a red-blooded American, when someone ask me what words I associate with the UK, one of them has always been tea. Having visited London I know their is a great love for coffee and espresso, evident by great coffee roasters and coffeehouses alike, but their is something unshakably British about tea. Thus, it was my pleasure to objectively sample three teas from Whittard of Chelsea, a tea purveyor since the late 19th century that is still going strong. They sent out to me three of their staples: Whittard Original, Russian Caravan and Darjeeling, each of which I sampled according to the steeping directions upon the box.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

CC: Steap and Grind

Subject: Steap and Grind
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

I am greatly refreshed in watching the Fishtown area of Frankford Avenue grow and improve. Where few great establishments have existed in the past, many now flourish. Where there wasn't a decent cup of coffee for blocks, there is now a fount.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mugged: Citron and Poire [Le Palais Des Thes]

Subject: Le Palais des Thés
Teas Mugged: Le Citron and La Poire
Rating [see key]: both 4+

Having recently finished up a weekend at the NYC Coffee Fest, I am always amazed at how much of the coffee and tea industry involves flavoring. Of course flavored coffees I forcefully embargo, and syrups rarely pass through my lips (I try to keep my sweetener intake low), but natural flavoring in teas seem to be the one instance where an additive to the medium has some legitimate ability to add some quality flavor without using harsh chemicals or sugar.

Recently, I took some tea from Le Palais des Thés for a spin, trying out their Le Citron (Lemon) and La Poire (Pear). Both teas are flavored and each claims natural flavorings and refreshing results. I sampled each tea according to the brew recommendations on the product pages. 

The Le Citron smacked of lemon candy, cherry blossoms and cake, followed by a strong backbone of Sri Lankan black tea. While the taste of lemon was more akin to a sugary lemon concoction than an actual lemon, the tea all in all proved light and tart with some fairly solid qualities.

The La Poire also had a sweet, albeit more subtle, candied quality of fruit about it (in this case pear), along with notes of lemongrass, chardonnay and flecks of a deep green tea. Complete with marigold petals, this tea makes for a pretty sight and a decent brew.

While, I can't say that these two teas were my all-time favorites (I usually prefer my fruit flavorings from a fresh source), they each made for a fairly refreshing cup of tea. For a taste of France, check out these as well as the numerous other tea options on the Le Palais des Thés website.

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tea of a Kind

The concept of fresh-brewed tea is a concept all but bereft from packaged goods. Sure you might pick up a bottle of iced tea that reads "freshly brewed" from your local 7-11, but the idea is somewhat incredulous that the brew sitting in the container is similar to what you could make at home with the same ingredients (minus the fancy chemicals of course).

But some companies don't see the barrier of a freshly brewed iced tea as something impossible to the bottled beverage concept, and said companies have undertaken some heavy R&D to make it a reality. Take Tea of a Kind, a bottled tea company currently only sporting three bottled tea products. But these three teas hold a distinct difference over other beverages in that the bottle only contains reverse osmosis water, with the other ingredients being stored in their patented Gizmo closure within the cap. When the cap is twisted to open the bottle the other ingredients erupt into the water to create a fresh infusion of tea.

Curious to the potential of this ingredient delivery system, Tea of a Kind sent me out their three flavors to try: Peach Ginger Black Tea, Pomegranate Acai White Tea and Citrus Mint Green Tea. All three came in sleek, curved plastic bottles filled with (what looks like) simply water.

Upon twisting the cap, the tea and other ingredients shoot out like a squid ejecting ink, making the once clear solution darkened with the sudden infusion. After about three seconds, I did a little shake to further mix the ingredients and then it was ready to ingest.

Since all three contain Stevia, each drink had that flavor of artificial sweetener that made the otherwise tasty flavors lack luster. The teas otherwise tasted similar to their names and were fairly refreshing.

All in all, the Gizmo means of delivery made for an extremely interesting beverage. I would be curious to see how it would work in an unsweetened beverage or with a beverage using sugar, as the Stevia version made these three Tea of a Kind flavors a bit off in flavor.

Thus if you're looking for a bottled iced tea with true means of fresh infusion, try out Tea of a Kind online or in a store near you.

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mugged: Unsweetened Tea [Herbal Mist]

Subject: Herbal Mist Teas
Tea Mugged: Unsweetened Tea
Rating [see key]: 4+

Unsweetened iced tea often suffers a poor reputation. For many, the idea draws an image of bland black tea usually needing the sweetening of a lemon or sugar packet; something folks get at a diner when they don't want a soda and they seek something a little more sassy than water. And sadly that same dull iced tea is probably the exact same concoction one would get at the diner down the street.

Such is the wide road of coffee and tea, slandered with poor representation by the many facets of the food industry. Despite the work that many coffeehouses and tea shops employ in helping folks understand how a quality, whole leaf tea fresh brewed and then iced makes for such a better tea than other more common options, it seems the world has a long way to go in practice and philosophy.

Thus, one can only imagine the popular opinion of prepackaged unsweetened ice tea. Most of the time, it's impossible to find outside of specialty shops or large markets, as I've been too many a gas station where I was unwilling to try the coffee and an exhaustive search of their fridges yielded no unsweetened options. Alas, for the few prepackaged unsweetened iced teas that exist, they don't seem to attract a whole lot of buzz.

This all brings us to Herbal Mist's Unsweetened Iced Tea, made with yerba mate. Recently they sent me out a few bottles to try out and having had varying experiences with yerba mate, I was curious how it would all play out as a prepackaged brewed tea. After chilling, I consumed the bottles over the course of two weeks (there were only three bottles, so it was spaced appx one every four days). The flavor was nothing cosmically different from your standard bottled iced tea; notes of cola, green spinach, some light apple with a smooth profile. The tea proved none too bitter (as strong bitterness can be a problem with yerba mate) and while it was not as vibrant and multifaceted as a freshly brewed iced tea, it was still a pleasant and flavorful iced tea.

Therefore, if you seek an unsweetened iced tea on-the-go and you're fortunate enough to have options, grab an Herbal Mist Unsweetened Tea.  

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

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mugged: Du Hamman and Des Moines [Le Palais des Thés]

Subject: Le Palais des Thés
Teas Mugged: The du Hammam and The Des Moines
Rating [see key]: 5+

When many folks think of French cafes, they think of small bistros where patrons sip espresso-based beverages and coffee. But the French like their tea too, and Le Palais des Thés with its numerous locations and bountiful online offerings seems to sate not only the tea lust of its countrymen, but also the appetites of other places like Israel and the US.

As a man always up for trying new things, I agreed to take for a dance two of their signature teas, The du Hammam and The Des Moines. I steeped each tea according to standard brew directives for the type of tea.

The The Des Moines is a black and green tea mixture with calendula petals and vanilla pods, making for an extremely aromatic tea. Brewed, the tea gives off expected notes of vanilla but also lavender, rose, ginger, lemon rind and a little spinach. Overall a vibrant tea with lots of sweet, floral notes.

The The du Hammam is a green tea mixed with assorted flower petals, the dry tea mixture gives off a pleasant aroma of fruit juice. Brewed the tea smacks of apricot, ginger and a little jasmine, proving refreshing and smooth.

In the end, these two teas proved to be a delicious change-up from my normal forays into different types of pure tea. If you're looking for floral, juicy tea blends, give Le Palais des Thés a browse.

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mugged: Keemun and Monkey Picked Oolong [Teavivre]

Subject: Teavivre
Mugged: Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea and Monkey Picked Ma Liu Mie Tie Guam Yin Oolong Tea
Rating [see key]: Both 4+

A person's fervent love of coffee often spills into other drinks, and given the history, it's very natural that most coffee fans would also sip the occasional cup of tea. Personally I love all sorts of tea, with my adoration clinging strongest to the traditional camellia sinensis varieties (i.e. non-herbal). And because traditional tea has so many manifestations, cultivation styles and variations, there's always the prospect of trying out a different kind of tea.

The two latest additions to my list of teas tried came from Chinese tea purveyor Teavivre who sent out several samples of a Keemun Black Tea and a Taiwan Monkey Picked Oolong. I steeped each according to the recommended directions through numerous infusions and enjoyed each.

Keemun Fragrant Black Tea is a common tea, though most folks don't know they consume it. Most often, it is found as a component of blended black teas like Earl Greys but it can certainly stand well on its own. My infusions of this Keemun produced a dark amber hew ripe with notes of cola, agave, pine, raisin and mineral water. The tea was deep at times and overall deliciously satisfying.

The Monkey Picked Ma Liu Mie Tie Guam Yin Oolong Tea (try chanting that thrice while skipping around the credenza) also proved delicious. Grown in the mountains of Taiwan, the tea had subtle notes of champagne, spinach, apple and wheat grass. A distinctly mellow and pleasant tea.

If you're in the market for a deep fruity black tea or a subtle-yet-sweet oolong, give either of these Teavivre teas a sip.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Support Local Coffee & Tea

Keep your local establishments in business.

While it might sound like an obvious encouragement, it seems to be ever more falling on deaf ears. During the holiday craziness, folks increasingly turn to huge conglomerates and chains to get their gifts conveniently. And while there are things you can only grab off Amazon, some of what you buy for your loved ones could be easily bought down the street.

This holiday season, if you have a quality, local coffee or tea establishment worth your patronage, go out of your way to do make them a place where you get your gifts. Your dollars go far to keep your local barista and coffee roaster afloat.

In case you're looking for more on why keeping it local is best, check out this article from the ILSR.

A merry holiday to you and yours!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mugged: White Peony [Teavivre]

Subject: Teavivre 
Mugged: White Peony I Bai MuDan
Rating: 4+ [see key]

White tea has always seemed like the most exotic of teas to me, with its reputation as the tea of emperors and a drink not really known in the western world until relatively recently. Others reasons that contribute may be it's method of harvest (hand selecting the best buds and leaves), the toted health benefits or maybe it's just the higher price tag. 

Yet regardless of the economical or historical factors that elevate white tea, it certainly offers a delicious style of tea that black, green and oolong do not match. Recently I had the pleasure of sampling a bag of White Peony from Teavivire. The bag was full of large, dry leaves with the usual white tea look of little processing. In my infusions, the peony offered a splendidly smooth, light-bodied tea. Flavors were reminiscent of champagne, lily, sage and slight leafiness. A mildly acidic and flavorful cup of tea. 

While I wouldn't rank this as a top shelf white tea, this White Peony still offered a pleasant infusion. If you're seeking a delicious white tea, seek out this one.

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

Mugged: Tai Wai Oolong [Teavivre]

Subject: Teavivre 
Mugged: Tai Wai Oriental Beauty Oolong I Bai Hao
Rating: 4+ [see key]

Oolong to me is the "shades of grey" between green (unfermented) and black (fermented) teas. Having a lot of different flavors and profiles, I can't say I've had many oolongs that have identical properties.

Recently I was able to add Teavivre's Tai Wai Oriental Beauty to my list, the last of the four teas I was sent to review. The buds offered a tea with pear, hibiscus, carrot, bit of dandelion and spearmint. To succinctly put it, the tea was overall smooth and subdued; a nice tea that would pairs swell with light fare.

If you would like a decent oolong that has muted yet varied flavors, give this beauty a try.

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

Sunday, January 01, 2012

CC: The Cup

Subject: The Cup
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

My final coffee stop in Sin City was a place that was also located in the Crystals, a shop located very discreetly in the back first floor called the Cup. Rumored to me by one source to have decent espresso, it took me a walk or two around the Crystals to actually find it but only around the corner and down the stairs from my earlier coffee stop.

A cute-looking venue with a huge orange window and tons of white, the place has a nice array of art and furniture, perfect for the tourist looking for a break from the crowds. Asking the barista of the coffee, they informed me it was "their own" (which in trying to clarify, I wasn't able to decipher whether it was a "secret supplier" situation or they roast their own, though my guess is the former). I ordered a doubleshot off their Victoria Arduino machine of their espresso blend and their signature blend a la regular drip.

The espresso, pulled short/medium and with a flat brown crema, was a tad burnt in the front, with notes of dark cocoa, deep sassafras and lapsang souchong; an overall decent pair of shots though the extraction could have been better. The drip proved pleasant as well, with a smooth, light body and notes of honey, hyacinth, multigrain, wheat grass and brazil nut as well as a tinge of slight staleness (twas later in the day, so the pot probably sat). The tea is Stash.

While I wasn't as floored as I had hoped to be, the Cup still provided a fair coffee and espresso experience, especially compared to the many other coffee stands doling out over-roasted swill nearby. Thus, if you're in the Crystals looking for a cafe that has a nice environment and decent coffee, try the Cup. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CC: Dogwood Coffee

What does CC mean?

Subject: Dogwood Coffee
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

A rainy, early morning can really slow down the energy levels. Its on such mornings that a promise of a good coffee stop effectively gets a kick in my jig and roar in my belly. One such morning in the Twin Cities, I made plans to make my first stop at a local coffee establishment called Dogwood Coffee. A Minnesota coffee roaster and purveyor with a lot of reputed clout, their uptown location beckoned to me like a benevolent siren through the torrents of rain.

Landing at the large brick building that houses Dogwood, I sauntered inside to find the operation off to the left, occupying an open space where the border between the cafe and building lobby was at best ambiguous. Dogwood's back wall was effectively used for storage and they sported several counters, making the feel more akin to a barista competition, and topped it all with a pleasant peninsula of seating towards the front of the building. 

As I arrived close to opening, I had the barista to myself and took my time in deciding. I ended up a with a doubshot of their espresso blend and a clover of their Burundi. The espresso, pulled short with a light brown crema, had a nice lemony brightness, some coriander, filet mignon, merlot and a bit of salt, all in all a tasty pair of shots with some nice character. The Burundian coffee delivered a vibrant, delicious brew, holding notes of peach, spinach, beef broth, carrot, jasmine tea and hints of sassafras and cocoa, all within a medium, french-press-like body. The tea is free leaf.

Finishing up my coffee in the AM tranquility, I relished my Dogwood experience and heartily look forward to revisit one day. Make your way to Dogwood in Minneapolis if you happen to be in the area. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CC: Three Fish

What does CC mean?

Subject: Three Fish
Location: Ocean City, NJ
Free WiFi ? :yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

As the summer came to a close last week, I finally got around to posting about another summertime coffee venue in lovely Ocean City. Though it will probably be too late for this season, it will hopefully give folks something to look forward to for next summer. 

Three Fish is a coffee stand on the Ocean City Boardwalk on the 1300 block. Taking up the footprint of about 3 photo booths, the place has a beautiful simplicity to it in both name and menu. In chatting with the owner and barista, he mentioned he was just getting started and that he had hopes of improvements.

The coffee is the Avanti Blend from Vista Clara Coffee Roasters and the espresso blend is from Red House Coffee Roasters. The espresso, served in a small paper cup, held notes of bittersweet cocoa, lemon, ginger, salt, sesame seeds, a little spinach and rock candy amidst a brown crema and a short/medium pull. The coffee, though a tad dark, held bitter tobacco, apricot, bran, cinnamon, slight sassafras and a medium body. I did not note any teas.

While I did find the espresso pleasant, I felt the drip was not all that great (the coffee was masked by darker oils) but easily fixable with a quick switch of the beans. Maybe next year will prove better; only time will tell. Stop by Three Fish if they are still open or put them on your agenda for your next NJ beach vacation. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

CC: Kopplin's Coffee


Location: St. Paul, MN
Free WiFi ? :yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Fortune favors the prepared. But in my recent trip to the Twin Cities, my research did not prepare me for one of my coffee stops to be closed due to a sudden emergency. Fortunately, the shop was only closed for a few hours and after a delicious breakfast (and later lunch) at the Copper Dome (oh potato pancakes, how you make me swoon) as well as some other minor tourism, I made my way to my original coffee destination, Kopplin's Coffee.

Praises of Kopplin's put it high on my list and their choice of coffee (they used Terroir Coffee for my order) confirmed at least decent beverages awaited. Their cafe is a small store front across the street from a high school with a cozy, green-walled interior with a nice wood floor, white-tiled ceiling and red chairs providing a fair amount of room.

Onto my order, from the uber-friendly barista I requested an espresso of Terroir's Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and a Clover-crafted cup of Costa Rica La Minita. The Costa Rican rolled out flavors of straw, almond, cream, apple and a little tootsie roll amidst a light body and a smooth profile (delicious, even if "straw" doesn't sound it). The espresso, pulled short on a nice lever Mirage, resounded whiskey, deep cocoa, nutmeg and lemon with a dark brown crema (a splendid espresso). The tea is free leaf.

Few high schools can boast to have such a fine coffee purveyor so conveniently placed. If you're in St. Paul, go out of your way to sample Kopplin's Coffee.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

CC: Terra Bella

What does CC mean?

Subject: Terra Bella
Location: Anchorage, AK

Free WiFi ? : yes

Rating: 5+ [
see key]

Before making my trip to Anchorage, I had received little encouragement that I would find any good coffee in town. A friend of mine who lives in the area said she had given up on finding a decent coffeehouse. Those who had preceded me seemed to also offer little hope, saying that mediocre is all that I would find.

Yet hope prevailed. While I can’t say I found anything that one would set as an industry standard (as some would term, “third wave”), I did find a few places in town that came dangerously close.

The best spot in my opinion was an organic coffeehouse called Terra Bella. Having its prime location in South Anchorage and a drive-thru kiosk in Midtown, Terra Bella had received some acclaim from some locals as serving up good coffee and espresso. I made my way to the southern location one overcast afternoon to find a warmly arrayed coffeehouse with palate of orange and earthy colors surrounding a spacious venue with plenty of seats and lots of art.

Choosing from their many self-roasted coffees (might I jovially add they had not one over-roasted bean in sight; an AK rarity), I ordered an espresso and a drip of their Nicaragua Segovia. The espresso, pulled of a short/medium volume with a medium brown crema, sent notes of sugar, chocolate, lemon tonic and salt lick; a potently varied yet good espresso. The drip held flavors of spiced rum, a little wheat, rock candy, sassafras, cocoa and arugula (an odd, yet delicious combination with a smooth body). The tea is free leaf.

If I had to move to Anchorage, I would surely be back to Terra Bella for a regular cup of coffee. If you happen to be in town or passing through, give Terra Bella a whirl.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CC: Sunrise Coffee Co

What's does "CC" mean?
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Free WiFi ? : yes
5+ [
see key]

Las Vegas has a reputation for a lot of things but one of them has not been coffee. As a town that seems to live off of travelers, local places did not seem to take as easily as in other towns. This boded poorly for the prospect of good coffee, as the average coffee drinker is still satisfied with sub-par coffee that the big chains ever so happily pump out.

But in this coffee desert, I managed to find a distant oasis near the airport. I caught wind that Sunrise Coffee happened to serve Klatch Coffee, a superb coffee roaster from San Dimas, and the first chance I found, I made my way over.

I found Sunrise on the corner of a small strip mall in what seemed like a part of town that is just recently developing. Save for a tacky collection of paper back novels, the shop interior held a chic look with a slate wall, lots of interesting art and a overtly pleasing aesthetic.

The coffee was indeed Klatch, with a full rotation of their coffee as well as two espresso blends on hand. I had an espresso of the World's Best Espresso (voted so at the 2007 World Barista Championship) and a drip of their Rainforest Blend. The drip I had a mixed experience with, as my first cup was really stale and thus I asked that when they brewed a fresh pot, if I could have some of that instead, to which they ever so apologetically agreed. Thus my second, much fresher cup of the Rainforest Blend held notes of toffee, pepper, oregano and buttermilk amidst a medium body that didn't win me over yet proved decent (I've never had the blend before but it tasted a bit darker then a medium roast).

The espresso on the other hand was a juggernaut-in-a-cup that garnered my vote to its worldly superiority. The shots were pulled painstakingly well with a marbled crema, all conveying notes of sweet pound cake, white chocolate, a bit of ginger, vanilla and orange; overall, there was a nice bitter/sour balance amidst a staunch sweetness that made the cup shimmer.

The tea was free leaf (they offered bee pollen for your tea too, a sight I have never seen).

Aside from the stale coffee I was first served, I found myself happier then a man winning a hard million off his last quarter. If you make it into Vegas, take a detour from the strip to hit Sunrise Coffee.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CC: Bodhi Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?

Bodhi Coffee
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
6+ [
see key]

South Street Philadelphia, while overrated in some ways and unbeknown in others, holds a lot of great memories for me. I remember late nights walking the streets of Philadelphia, getting a slice of pizza and hanging out in a late night cafe talking theology with good friends.

Alas, it's been many a year since I've been able to stay out past midnight but fortunately, South St is picking up some great establishments that are wondrous at any time of the day. One is a German place called Brauhaus Schmitz (amazing roll mops, wursts and pork) which I highly recommend on a nice day for lunch or dinner. The other place of recent existence is a coffeehouse called Bodhi Coffee.

Technically, Bodhi exists closer to Pine St on South 2nd but it's clearly connected to the South St foot traffic. The shop is a narrow venue with but a few spots to plop down (in and outside) but since they use the space wisely, its more cozy than cramped. Bodhi kicks out Stumptown Coffee, serving coffee via pourover and standard drip as well as espresso in a no nonsense fashion. I ordered a cup of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Adado and an espresso of Hairbender. The Adado offered notes of bright blueberry, wheat, little blackberry tart and cocoa amidst a light but potent brew. The espresso, pulled short with a marbled crema, delivered ginger, dark cocoa, sea salt, bell pepper, black pepper and a nice sweetness. The tea is House of Tea.

I have to say that Bodhi fills a niche that has long been vacant in the vicinity and to top it off, they do it quite well. Whether South Street is a regular hang out or an occasional stop, swing by Bodhi for some delicious coffee.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

CC: Neptune Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?

Neptune Coffee
Location visited: Seattle, WA
Free WiFi ? : yes
6+ [
see key]

Usually when I use the word neptune in a conversation, it relates to SpongeBob (make poses with me!), astronomy or reruns of Hercules. But now, I gladly add Neptune Coffee to that repertoire.

Yet another glorious example of Seattle coffee, Neptune exists on Greenwood in the company of many other coffee companies (quite the quality coffee consuming community). Their cafe contrasts with its black exterior and red name emblazoned like a newspaper masthead. As you mosey on closer, their large windows give preface to their soothing interior, complete with globe lights and a long row of tables.

When it came to my order, I obtained a french press (their infusion of choice) of Allie's Extreme Laser Blend and an espresso of their El Salvador. The french press lent flavors of molasses, pecan, maple syrup, a little grapefruit and grass as well as a tinge of smokiness (a good coffee, displaying a pleasant sweetness with a touch of darkness). The espresso, pulled short with good crema, held notes of hazelnut, dark cocoa, raspberry jam, corn and a little spearmint (a well-balanced shot that proved delicious). The tea is free leaf.

Clearly the folks at Neptune rule amicably over their coffee and purvey it well. Definitely make a stop if you're in detour range.