Every athlete dreams of two things… (1) making it to “the big dance” and (2) having that magical moment forever immortalized… with an advertising contract.
Admit it, it’s true. Tiger has his own Gatorade now and Anna Kournikova, who apparently needs no subtitle (watch the commercial) is back in a K-Swiss campaign (which I won’t dignify with a link).
Well now it’s my turn! OK, so I admit it’s not some multi-billion dollar contract… actually it’s just one post. But it’s beyond the trite look of striped shoes, or the bitter taste of electrolytes … it’s coffee!
I’d stumbled across a coffee “beta test” sponsored by Joffrey’s and decided that if Amazon had my home address what’s the harm of one more company? The deal was they’d sent you a packet of “Jamaican Me Crazy” in return for a tasting and a post.
Now for those of you who may not know, I have a bit of a sordid history with the magic bean. My wife was a Starbucks barista (and Coffee Master) for more than two years, so I have a bit of an honorary coffee master’s “black apron” myself. Hot chocolates with a shot of espresso were my gateway but now I drink Americanos, black.
I still frequent the local ‘Bux from time to time, to get my daily dose and flirt with the Barristas (for old times sake, I promise). I have my own collection of coffee making implements now; from a thermal insulated 12 cup Capresso drip to a stove-top perk-pot for special occasions.
However, my absolute favorite is my “Aeropress” which I use daily and am still required to explain that it’s not tea.
If you’re visual and want some photos for the narrative then check out my tumblr page for photos.
I got my package in the mail and was excited to take it to work the next day. I’d idly dreamed of trying the roast in each of my brewing devices and holding coffee tastings, with chocolate, raspberries and lemon biscotte. However, the package contained about 4 – 2oz scoops (in my world that’s enough for 2 cups of coffee) so I decided to just use the Aeropress which is ideal for smaller batches.
When you open the packet, the smell hits you like a spring day after a hard rain. To me, it was buckwheat pancakes with a hint of maple syrup. Not a heavily sweetened by any means just that organic nuttiness with an ephemeral touch of grandma’s caramel apples. The grounds actually looked like they had some dehydrated crystals, but a quick test disproved that assumption (yes I did eat them). I could have left the bag open on my desk for a week and considered it a successful sponsorship.
Yet there was tasting to be done and java calling, so I loaded up my Aero and made the brew!
The first thing I noticed was the lack of oils. Oily behavior is highlighted in most ‘Bux blends and contributes to their “robust” profiles. And initially I did feel the overall blend lacked the “robusto” of what I was used to drinking, as thought it had a sweet start and a nutty finish but lacked in the middle. The flavoring is not strong to taste but has an aromatic quality that leaves a solid impression.
However, each sip had a consistent flavor even as it cooled and I decided to fine tune my second brew.
Working with a new coffee is a little tricky and I believe I made two mistakes. The first is that I was in such a hurry to taste test (and get to my meeting) that I neglected to let the grounds steep for ~30 seconds (can you sense the anticipation). Secondly, I put about 2 oz too much of hot water in my cup (a trusty metal camping mug).
I actually saved the packet for the next day (I’ve been trying to cut back… honest…) and simply folded the top over until morning. When I got to my desk the first thing I did was smell the grounds, what a way to start your day!
I could tell they had lost just a bit of their initial aroma but it really let me smell the quality of the beans beneath.
Back to the kitchenette I counted a full 35 seconds before I started pressing, and did a 3:1 ratio of hot water to concentrate (as opposed to 4:1). This time, the lack of oils was still visible but I could tell I’d hit a sweeter brew because of the “thicker” coloring of the distilled coffee as it poured.
This second cup was actually really fantastic, as the additional steep time had given it the chance to round out the body of the brew. I also think the overnight aeration had allowed the flavoring a chance to level off and permit the beans their chance to shine.
So how was my moment of glory? Well first let me say I’m not a flavored coffee person and forgo milk and sugar too. Thus the overall brew wasn’t my particular pleasure but I know a lot of people who “Dr.” their coffee and would have loved it. It was a really smooth cup of coffee that most people search for.
Although I was surprised at the lack of oils, the quality of the beans will definitely get me to investigate Joffrey’s other roasts. Now that my wife’s not at ‘Bux anymore we’ve tried a lot of alternate roasts including Green Mountain, Pete’s, and even Dunkin Donuts which would previously have been sacrilege (and now that I’ve tried it has been excommunicated indefinitely).
Don’t just take my word for it though, check our their beta test and see if you can get a packet of your own!
Just remember, if we meet on any sports commercials; “my better is better then your better“.