Cupface

[For the Love of ‘Fee] Moonbean Heaven Roast Whole Bean Coffee

‘For the Love of ‘Fee’ is one coffee-lover’s attempt to machete through the tangle of coffee beans and brews to find an awesome cup of coffee. Juan Valdez follows ME! 🙂

Do I have a surprise for you all!

I didn’t buy this coffee – it actually came in the mail from friend, fellow reader, and charter member of the Cupface Crew, Aaron from KeepsMeAlive! He and Mike stopped into Moonbean Coffee Company while on their third annual “Record Store Excursion” in Toronto, Ontario. Aaron emailed me upon his return to say he had something for me and voilĂ , the gift of coffee arrived in the mail this past Friday! A total surprise to me, and complete Cool Beans! WOOHOO!

Deets

I used my Cuisinart burr mill on medium coarse setting to grind the beans. I percolated the ground coffee using a Hamilton Beach percolator and cold water from the tap.

Description

There isn’t much to report about the packaging of this coffee… the beans came whole in a paper bag with Moonbean’s logo on it. Aaron had written what looked like “Haven” on it. Later, he relayed that the coffee was in fact “Heaven Roast”. I will say this: the box the coffee was mailed in smelled awesome. So awesome, in fact, I thought for sure the Canada Post guys would have torn it apart to get to the beans inside. When I opened the coffee bean bag this morning, I was immediately hit with the aroma of COFFEE. No Pepe LePew, no burnt. Just divine java.

I have very little intel on Moonbean Coffee Company, except it’s in Kensington Market in Toronto…I am not even sure I have ever been to Kensington Market! I wish now I had more information on these beans to share with you all. Moonbean’s website, unfortunately, is moldy…no update since 2012! Too bad.

First Impressions

Opening the bag, I couldn’t help but notice these beans don’t look burnt. Upon grinding them, the familiar and pleasant scent of coffee filled my kitchen, and continued whilst percolating.

Now to taste this coffee! C’mon! Brew faster!

How It Smells and Tastes

Calling this coffee “Heaven” is no misnomer. I have already covered the odour of this coffee, but allow me to hit it home once more…let me just say that after three cups of coffee, my husband and I went outside to rake leaves on our property. When we came back inside two hours later, the smell of Heaven coffee was still in the house, and almost inspired us to brew another pot. Yup, if God brewed a cuppa, this coffee would be his jam. I could go on…

The taste? Incredible! The coffee has a velvety flavour that tastes good going down. Robust but not overly strong. Just a very fragrant and tasty cup o’ brew. I could definitely see myself drinking this coffee regularly.

Worth the Price?

Well, haha, I didn’t pay for the beans, but if I ever get to Kensington Market, I plan to check out Moonbean Coffee Company for more of their Heaven Roast! Thanks again, Aaron!

10/10

[For the Love of ‘Fee] If a Percolator Dies in a Kitchen Does Sarca Make a Sound?

Tragedy struck my coffee-loving home this weekend. My two-year-old Cuisinart percolator bit the biscuit. Instead of brewing hot java, it made lukewarm dishwater.

I can’t deny my percolator’s impending death has been etched on the wall for a while now. Every once in a while, it would make weakass coffee. I’d dump out and start over, and it would often manage to make an okay pot of coffee the second time around. Not yesterday morning, however. Nope, I had to succumb to the fact it was time for a new percolator.

Thankfully, we have an old Black and Decker drip coffee maker stored in our utility room ready to go for times like this. The drip maker’s coffee was passable, but it’s not my preferred method of brew.

In case you didn’t catch it the first time, I’m a percolator girl. I am well aware in this society of K-Cups, Tassimos and Timmy Ho-hos, I am the minority. Hey, nothing wrong with that kind of brew; I may even partake in a pinch. Just not the way I prefer my ‘fee.

My first exposure to percolated coffee was 1998 when the only coffee maker my husband had in his tiny dank apartment in Pembroke, Ontario was an aluminum stove-top percolator. That thing made the best tasting coffee ever! Throw forward two years ago when we found an electric percolator at Value Village for $7.99, and voila! I was hooked onto the percolated coffee every morning! That percolator almost started a fire in my kitchen before finally kicking the bucket. But, at that point, there was no turning back – percolators all the way for this household!

My husband and I have been through a succession of coffee makers over the years; I’d hazard around five or six since we got together. Most of them were drip makers, all lasted no longer than two years before meeting their maker. Something would happen to them and they just would quit working. This time, our Cuisinart percolator’s heating element failed almost two years to the day I bought it. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

Every time something like this happens I try to look for a different brand thinking maybe I’ll find the golden coffee maker that will last until eternity. Then that maker busts….and well…frankly, I am running out of coffee maker brands, especially when it’s hard to find an electric percolator.

Where I live in Ontario, you are limited to maybe 4 different places to buy coffee makers – Walmart, Canadian Tire, Sears or Target. At that, you are pretty much limited to two brands of percolator – Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart. The choice of coffee maker matches the demand; if I am to judge what people are into coffee-maker-wise these days, I’d say that Keurig and Tassimo are sweeping the nation, interspersed with conventional drip coffee makers. My taste in brewed coffee is obviously not popular.

Message received: “percolators are OUT, Sarca!”

…Or, at least the 4 different stores I ran to yesterday looking for an electric percolator  would tell me this is so.

I’d like to think I’m a pretty smart cookie…Before heading out to hunt down a new one, I checked Walmart and Canadian Tire’s stock online to make sure I was not wasting my time and both said they had Hamilton Beach percolators in stock. Well, the websites LIE!! …okay, they half lie. Walmart had only one boxed Hamilton Beach electric percolator, but I wasn’t buying it; it looked like someone busted it open, then did a Mexican hat dance on the box. Crappy Tire, on the other hand, had nothing but Keurigs and Tassimos in store.

I can hear my inner voice: “Yeah, yeah, deal with it, Sarca. Turn to the dark side – Keurig! Keurig!”

But, NO!! I can’t do it!!

Following my hunting expedition, I returned home in a totally bad mood. I was about to resign to a week of drip-coffee maker coffee and an online order to Amazon, when my husband spirited me away to Target, in an attempt to turn around my bad coffee karma. Lo and behold, the trip was not in vain! I managed to buy the one and only Hamilton Beach electric percolator they had on the shelf, and the box was sealed! Hallelujah!!

Since, I have used my new percolator twice. One thing is for sure, it makes one strong cup of coffee. It will take a bit to adjust the amount of grounds you need to use. But, It makes hot ‘fee! Here’s hoping this percolator lasts another two years!

[For the Love of ‘Fee] Melitta Estate Whole Bean Hazelnut Creme Coffee

‘For the Love of ‘Fee’ is one coffee-lover’s attempt to machete through the tangle of coffee beans and brews to find an awesome cup of coffee. Juan Valdez follows ME! 🙂

Deets

  • Melitta Estate Whole Bean Hazelnut Crème Coffee
  • Bought August 8, 2014, at WalMart, Hoover Park Drive location, Stouffville, ON; $16 for a 2 lb bag of beans.
  • The beans were ground using a Cuisinart burr mill, to a medium grind.
  • Percolated using a Cuisinart brand electric percolator, cold water from the fridge and basket paper filter inside the coffee ground reservoir to prevent grounds from getting into the brewed coffee.

A History Lesson

Melitta is a brand synonymous with coffee. This company is over 100 years old and sells coffee, coffee makers, accessories and filters. It was started by German housewife, Melitta Bentz, who invented the paper coffee filter (she held the patent). She was always trying to find better ways of making coffee so that the grounds would not end up in the brewed coffee. She was also trying to find a way to brew a single cup of coffee at one time. Eventually, her methods were developed into the drip coffee makers we are familiar with today. There’s your mini history lesson for the day, guys and dolls…and you haven’t even had your first coffee yet! 🙂

My experience with Melitta coffee is scant at best. I would always pass on it at the store since it isn’t cheap, and for the most part, the Melitta coffee that is sold in store here where I live comes in whole beans, which is useless to anyone without a coffee mill. The latter problem has been diffused at my house for almost two years now since I got my burr mill; I can now grind to my heart’s content. But, yeah, I recognize this isn’t cheap coffee. However, coffee is something I enjoy, like good food. In my house, we don’t mind spending a bit more on decent consumables.

Description

So, like the title of this post suggests, I purchased the Melitta Estate Hazelnut Coffee in whole beans. The package is a large blue foil bag with a black swirly pattern on it. The packaging says this coffee is a medium roast and in italics it says: “Packaged hot from the roaster.” I can’t help but notice that “Cream” is spelled “crème” with an accent grave. These German guys are pulling out the Français!

First Impressions

Opening the bag, I was not hit with a fragrance of coffee at all – nothing resembling coffee, actually. It smelled like I was sticking my face into a vat of burnt hard liquor. I could smell nothing but alcohol! It wasn’t until I pulled away that I got a faint aroma of Hazelnut. If I were to base the review on that smell alone, I would fail this coffee.

The whole beans themselves appear burnt – darker than how regular coffee beans look. They felt a bit oily to the touch, which is not unusual in my experience with flavoured coffee.

Grinding the coffee beans yielded better results in the fragrance department – the alcoholic smell dissipated, and the aroma of roasted coffee finally presented itself with a pleasant tang of roasted hazelnut. Unlike its whole counterpart, the ground coffee looks a bit lighter than the traditional Colombian medium-ground coffee I am used to drinking.

How it smells and tastes

Upon percolating the ground coffee, the smell of roasted hazelnut filled my kitchen. It smelled delicious! The taste? A smooth blend of Colombian with a nice aftertaste of hazelnut; a very nice compliment. Mmm! Now, I think some baked goods are in order! Banana bread or muffins! Coffee House time chez Sarca!

Worth the Price?

Yes, I will definitely be buying this again. I am unsure if Melitta Estate Whole Bean Hazelnut Crème Coffee is sold pre-ground anywhere, but I definitely recommend this coffee!

9/10

The Cupface Phenomenon

It all started with one photo I posted; my face half covered with an extra large Tim Hortons cup (my avatar). It was a way to keep my face hidden for privacy until I felt more comfortable putting my face “out there.”

Then this past Canada Day, I posted a selfie with my maple leaf mug, just to celebrate. I wasn’t intending to create a phenomenon but, since then the tag “Cupface” has multiplied in the WP reader, growing into a challenge among my blogger friends and fellow Caught Me Gaming readers, goading each other to post pics of themselves with a cup to the face. The results have been nothing less than hilarious!

It started with Mike Ladano, then Aaron at Keeps Me Alive, Geoff at 1001 Albums and finally, Mr. 1537 jumped in. Thanks, guys, for making me laugh out loud! 🙂

I know there are others out there hoping to join in – and I encourage you to get in on the fun!

[For the Love Of ‘Fee] Irresistables Le Cafe Guatemala Coffee

‘For the Love of ‘Fee’ is one coffee-lover’s attempt to machete through the tangle of coffee beans and brews to find an awesome cup of coffee. Juan Valdez follows ME! 🙂

Welcome to my first coffee review! I am sure it will take me a bit to get the “coffee review format” just right, so bear with me.

Deets:

  • Irresistables brand Le CafĂ© Guatemala Premium Ground Coffee
  • Bought on sale, August 16, at Metro, Main St, Stouffville, Ontario; $6.94 for a 340 g bag – 50 cents off (woohoo…).
  • Percolated using a Cuisinart brand electric percolator, cold water from the fridge and basket paper filter inside the coffee ground reservoir to prevent grounds from getting into the brewed coffee.
  • For the purpose of comparison, I also have a can of Maxwell House 100% pure ground Colombian coffee, an average-based all-around “for everyone” coffee that I will use to compare aroma, look and texture of the ground beans.

Description:

First of all, this coffee is under the Irresistables label, but “prepared for Metro Brands”, so essentially, Irresistables is a shell to disguise it as a store brand. Metro, for those who don’t live in Canada, is what A & P used to be. Sometimes I like to try the store brands because they’re cheap, and maybe they taste half decent. Metro took over A & P’s store brands when they were sold, so one name you might know is the “8 O’clock Coffee” brand.

The ground coffee is packaged in a foil-lined plastic bag. The bag’s cover has a stylized image of plants and a dragonfly in shades of yellow, brown and green. The package boasts the coffee as a medium roast, which is my preferred type of coffee. The older I get, and the more coffee I drink, the less interested I am in espresso-type coffee (too strong for me tummy). This means, I don’t normally go for Starbucks’ strong brew, or dark roasts.

First impressions:

I have little knowledge or experience on what tastes better with respect to coffee beans from around the world. The common coffee I am used to drinking is Colombian. Moving from a drip coffee maker to a percolator is where I have noticed a change of taste; I find percolated coffee to be more full-bodied in taste, but that’s just me. The difference between Colombian and Guatemalan beans, however? Meh, no idea.

Upon opening the package of Le CafĂ© Guatemala coffee, I am hit with an agreeable and recognizable smell of coffee with a light whiff of earth and wet wood.* The coffee beans being pre-ground meant that I didn’t have to grind them myself using my burr mill. For a medium roast, the grounds look pretty dark and appear more finely ground than the Maxwell House coffee I have in the cupboard.

How it smells and tastes compared to regular Colombian (Maxwell House):

The brewed Guatemalan coffee actually has a faint aroma of dark chocolate, but more of a common coffee shop flavour on your tastebuds. The dark colour of the grounds did not signify a dark roast; the finished brew isn’t particularly strong and I was initially fearful that calling this a medium roast was a misnomer. The difference between this and “regular” Colombian? In terms of flavour, honestly, they both smell and taste similar. Le CafĂ© Guatemalan did make a decent cup o’ fee, but I didn’t find it to be anything unique or celebratory really.

Worth the price?

Hmm. Because Le CafĂ© Guatemala Premium Ground Coffee is decent coffee, but because it tastes so similar to the run-of-the-mill coffee, it’s probably not something I would purposely choose to buy in the future. That said, 340 g bag of coffee for $6.95 vs a 311 g can of Maxwell House for $5? I say save your pennies. But, then again, your mileage may vary.

7/10

*Hey, I know I say “yeah it smells like coffee” and you’re probably thinking “duh”, but you’ll find out in future reviews that some coffees don’t smell a darn thing like coffee until you add hot water to them.