Categories
Coffee

Christmas Coffee Roundup 2020

As well as being a great time to drink beer Christmas is also a great time for coffee.

Cool dark snowy weather goes hand in hand with a warm cup of java by the fireplace or in front of the television with Netflix on.

This year I made my way through a number of delicious Christmas coffees. They were Starbucks Christmas Blend, JJ Bean Coffee’s Banco Gotete Espresso, a Holiday Blend Coffee from Delanys, and Burundi Mabrizi and Skookum Dark from Strait Coffee Traders.

Starbucks Christmas Blend

Say what you will about drinking coffee from a large chain like Starbucks this coffee does deliver and has been a long time staple for many coffee drinkers including myself.

With dark roast coffee beans from Guatemala, Colombia and Papua New Guinea, the real secret to this coffee is the beans from Sumatra, which are aged. Starbucks has been carrying its Christmas Blend since 1984.

The coffee tends to vary a bit from season to season based on the varietals in it but it is always a good cup of dark, rich coffee that goes well with Christmas food and desserts.

Ethiopia Banco Gotete JJ Bean Coffee Roasters

This is another seasonal coffee with a rich history given its origins.

The town of Banco Gotete is located n Gedeo County. This county is part of the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. I’ve tried Yirgacheffe coffees before from other coffee roasters including Starbucks. Yirgacheffe is really part of the Sidamo region in southern Ethiopia, another name you may recognize if you like and drink African coffees. but since it’s coffees are so well known it gets it’s own micro region.

Ethiopia has widely been called the birthplace of coffee.

The African Coffee profile as it tends to be knowns always has fruit like, citrusy notes with a bean that doesn’t look dark or is roasted too heavily.

I would say that this coffee has that profile and was best made in a drip coffee maker versus my Stovetop espresso maker or French Press. I have always loved these coffees cold over ice and with some bits of fruit thrown in.

JJ Bean also has a Run For Water project that they are involved in in Africa within these regions.

Strait Coffee Burundi Mabrizi

Strait Coffee is one of my favourite coffee places. If it were in Vancouver and not on the Sunshine Coast I would be there likely every day.

They have been roasting coffee for 25 years and honestly you can tell. The Burundi Mabrizi arrived in a delightful purple cellophane bag for Christmas and I enjoyed it immensely.

For whatever reason I seem to have gravitated to African coffees over Christmas and in doing some research on the origins of and the history of this region I found out some interesting things.

Places such as Ethiopia and Kenya are well known for coffee but Burundi apparently also has an economy that is based around agriculture with coffee and tea according to Wikipedia “accounting for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, though exports are a relatively small share of GDP.”

Organic Skookum Blend

Next up on my list from Strait Coffee was the Organic Skookum Blend. I’m not sure what they put in this coffee in terms of how they blend it or what they use but it was delicious. This is honestly one of the best coffees I have tried in a long time. I’m not sure they will give away what the blend is.

Delany’s Holiday Blend

Delany’s Coffee is a Vancouver based company with five locations. It’s own by Robyn Delany and family and is well established on the North Shore with locations in North and West Vancouver.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out they use Caffe D’arte as the roaster of their coffees using Dark Roasting with complex flavours.

I couldn’t find anything online about their Holiday Blend that related to blending and coffees used in this blend but it is a solid entry. It was also a holiday deal on sale for 10 dollars for one week during Christmas when I bought it.

Categories
Beer

Tis The Season for Christmas 2020 Beers

Image Courtesy of Bridge Brewing.

Christmas is definitely the time for beer and beer drinking. Craft breweries have really upped their game when it comes to Christmas 2020 beers.

Maybe it was the COVID-19 pandemic that force them to get creative or innovative I am not sure, but I tried a lot of good beers this Christmas. Some were old favourites while others were new ones. A couple of Bourbon Barrel Aged Beers also made an appearance.

The Toques Of Hazzard Parallel 49 Brewing Company

We first discovered this beer in 2017 and it’s been on our Christmas list ever since. It’s an Imperial IPA made with wheat. The beer feels light and is a hazy white. There are Citra and Hallertau Blanc hops used in it. The alcohol level is 9.2 percent so there may be the immediate temptation to drink one quick and get a buzz.

That doesn’t do this beer justice though. I split it over two nights with Turkey Dinner on Christmas Day and the next day. It definitely mixes well with Turkey, Sausage Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Sprouts, Carrots, Potatoes and the massive feast I cooked for Christmas.

DEBAUCHERY
House of Funk Brewing Co.

What can you say about House of Funk but that they do things differently. You may find what they do odd, enjoyable or even unique and while I have a love/hate relationship with what they do this Stout was awesome.

Coming in at 10.5% this beer is not for the faint at heart. I still have another can in my fridge I am saving for a while. I cracked this beer on Christmas Eve as a truly special occasion. I didn’t drink it fast at all. It is a slow drinking beer to truly savour.

House of Funk describes it as “Smooth and balanced with subtle hints of bourbon and chocolate.” Some may like more chocolate, but this is delicious! Rich & complex. It’s aged for nine months in Basil Hayden bourbon barrels. WOW!

WINTER ALE GRAND CRU
Granville Island Brewing Company

This was the second of Barrel Age Beers from my Christmas List. Unlike the House of Funk one, I did not enjoy this one as much. A riff on Granville Islands Lions Winter Ale, It took me a while to get into it and I cannot say it really sold me.

At 8.2 percent, Granville Island describes it as having smooth, oaky aromas, perfectly melded with vanilla bean and rich cocoa. It’s Cellared, aged in ex-Whisky barrels but I was like so what? It was overpowering and not all an enjoyable drink.

This is very unlike me to not want a Granville Island beer again but I wouldn’t likely buy it again.

Vidal Lager
Townsite Brewing

In the midst of all the strong Christmas beers, I needed a lager or pilsner to cleanse the pallet. I am glad I picked this one.

I visited Townsite in 2012 while in Powell River.

Townsite Brewing says that this beer contains “peppery, floral hops and bread flavours from the malts.” Light and almost airy in colour, it’s “Unfiltered too because, Belgium.” A little more research and I found that like a typical German lager. Vidal Lager has Pilsen and Carafoam malts, as well as Saaz and Tettnanger hops. Good to know.

It’s been many years since I tried something from this brewery and I am glad that I did. I will be trying more again soon.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Porter
Bad Tattoo Brewing


I’m always a sucker for anything from Bad Tattoo since my visit to the brewery in 2019. I was able to find this in BC Liquor Stores in North Vancouver which was a surprise and a nice one.

I love a good stout and with the extra twist of peanut butter it is somewhat of an acquired taste. Doesn’t mean I hate it but doesn’t mean I like it either. The core beers from the Bad Tattoo line-up including the Vagabond Pilsner and the Los Muertos Cerveza Negra are probably better bets we are focused on Winter and Dark beers here.

I wasn’t able to find any serious info online about the contents and I mean malts, hops etc. so I will have to leave it at that.

Blitzen

Steamworks Brewing Company

Blitzen is a riff on a classic Belgian Tripel. The Belgian Tripel itself refers to the amount of malt used in the beer in its wort which then yields a higher alcohol in the beer.

A Tripel thus has 9 percent alcohol by volume and has a long history as a popular beer style in Belgium and what is referred as the Low Countries that include the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

It is the first time I have tried this Christmas beer from Steamworks not realizing that it has been around for a few years. I managed to find a single can of it with the only other option being the giant bottle of it at BC Liquor Stores that is 20$.

Steamworks describes it as having apple and citrus aromas. They are using Pilsner and Sugar Malts along with Fuggles and Sterling hops. It gave me the impression of a dry white wine or sweet gurwirtsraminter.

I’d definitely add it to my Christmas list for future years of beer drinking. Belgian Tripels are growing on me for sure.

Santas Sac

Bridge Brewing Company

Whether I meant to or not, I selected this beer from Bridge purely based on the fact that it was made by Bridge. I latched onto the Bridge Brewing brand early as they were the first brewery based on the North Shore.

A little research and some tasting and I realized that I had chosen another beer similar to the Blitzen from Steamworks.

Santa’s Sac is based on a Belgian Golden Strong Ale. The Belgian golden strong ale looks like an easy-drinking pilsner. In the first few sips this beer does taste like that but keep drinking it and you realized that you are in for a treat that is a strong one.

With a 10.5% alcohol content, its brewed with a simple malt and lightly hopped with Nobble Hops. What really made me realize that I had selected another Blitzen style beer was when I read that it was fermented warm with a classic Belgium yeast strain, Trappist Ale.

Categories
Coffee

Coffee Roundup November

I’ve written some coffee reviews on coffees I’ve consumed over the last few months but now that I am blogging more regularly I am going to do some coffee roundups.

Sometimes I will have a couple of coffees in the month and other months just one. If I buy 1/2 of a pound I use it quicker obviously but I also like to branch out and try a few different coffees at a time.

PalletRicardoZelaya
PalletRicardoZelaya

This month I’ll be looking at three delicious coffees. One from Pallet Coffee Roasters, Another from Strait Coffee on the Sunshine Coast and an old favorite, Starbucks Gold Coast Blend.

Pallet Coffee Roasters Ricardo Zelaya: Santa Clara, Honey – Guatemala

I’ve included a link to Pallet’s website here with a complete breakdown and the information on this coffee and it’s an interesting story. There is one thing that stuck out to me with this blend, in particular, is how the beans are picked and sorted.

If you have ever seen a coffee plant as I have you will see the red cherries hanging off of the plant. Once those are picked and ready for harvesting the bean is processed and it is here that a farmer will use either the dry method or washed method.

Washed method coffees have all the cherry surrounding the bean removed and they are then soaked for 12-72 hours to ferment. This is the most common way to process and get green beans ready for roasting.

The Dry method as it is known sees coffee cherries placed on to raised beds to dry in the sun. This too effects the flavour and overall taste of the coffee as well.

With the honey process, coffee cherries are de-pulped but allowed to dry without washing. Some of the fruit is still there, but not nearly as much as in the natural process. Most of the cherry is gone, but the remaining golden, sticky mucilage is reminiscent of honey, which is where the process gets its name.

With this process, I noticed a distinct difference from Pallet’s Benchmark Espresso which I tried in the spring of 2020.

Costa Rica from Strait Coffee

Strait Coffee Traders is nestled in an unremarkable shopping plaza in Wilson Creek, B.C. on the Sunshine Coast.

Why great coffee comes from here I don’t know but they have been doing it since 1996, and their Costa Rica is a great choice for someone looking for a coffee that is too overpowering.

Once again I took this coffee through three possible brewing methods in my trusty Bialetti Stove Top Espresso Maker, French Press made by Bodum, and a cone drip coffee maker.

Strait Coffee describes it as one that you get the taste or feel of Milk chocolate, honeydew, caramel. The coffee is fully washed and dried in the sun and mechanical driers.

This is the type of coffee that could please many palettes and would be great hot or iced. It did stretch my preference too of wanting to always go for coffees from Africa or Asia which includes places like Hawaii as well.

Gold Coast Starbucks

This is an old favorite of mine from my days working with the coffee giant between 2003-2007. I can honestly I learned a lot about coffee from Starbucks which had nothing to do with Starbucks coffee per se but rather how and why coffee is what it is.

It has been 10 years since I probably bought Gold Coast and it was great to taste it again.

As Starbucks describes Gold Coast it has the heft of beans from Latin America and Indonesia with a bit of sweetness from our dark Italian Roast.

I can see now why I like this coffee so much when you think about previous coffees I have reviewed including some of the Latin Americans include in this and other posts.

I have an admitted bias against Latin American coffees especially when lightly roasted and full of acidity and lacking body.

Gold Coast however does not disappoint given that it’s a blend and a well crafted one at that.

Categories
Coffee

Benchmark Espresso A Welcome Cup of Java During COVID-19

As an ex Starbucks employee from many years ago it was great to receive training that taught me how coffee is grown, cultivated and processed and why that effects what you ultimately get in your cup.

This education has stuck with me over the years and with limited options during COVID-19 to visit cafe’s that were open, I decided to seek out and find some places that may offer pickup or delivery of whole bean coffee.

Pallet Coffee Roasters selection of Coffees

I stumbled upon Pallet Coffee Roasters when an ad came up in my Instagram feed so I took the chance. Boy was a I glad I did.

Pallet has been in operation since 2014, with six Cafe’s and their headquarters and roastery in East Vancouver as well as a Commissary kitchen.

The Coffee

I chose Benchmark Espresso purely on a whim and proceeded to put it to the test by trying it in my Bialetti Stove Top Espresso, French Press and Cone Filter drip machine over a three week period.

Pallet says this coffee has a “Smooth milk chocolate with a tropical sweetness and soft acidity” flavour profile to it.

I got that immediately as well as a caramel like sweetness and taste that left pleasant notes of brown sugar on my tongue. Perhaps that’s where the tropical comes from. An almost pineapple like taste of tropical could linger there.

The Coffee Dictionary

I always use The Coffee Dictionary as a resource when trying a new coffee. The Coffee Dictionary is written by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood. I looked up some of the terms described in Benchmarks flavour profile.

The first one was acidity and as the Dictionary describes it as something that is an essential component of a coffee but not necessarily something that is good or bad. A coffee isn’t bright nor is it sour as one would think and coffee itself is only a mildly acidic beverage.

The coffee’s Terroir from the French word terre meaning land or earth and the many environmental factors that are part of a crop’s growing conditions are said to have a greater effect on the acidity of a coffee than anything else. That would make more sense.

The Coffee Dictionary is written by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood.

The coffee used in Benchmark Espresso is of two varieties.

50% Brazil Fazenda Alta Vista, Honey
50% Colombia Narino Buesaco, Washed

I remember from my Starbucks days a Colombia Narino coffee that I did not like because of what I perceived as a strong acidity or nuttiness. I can confidently say that I do not dislike these coffees anymore.

Brazil Fazenda Alta Vista, Honey is not a coffee type or bean that I have tried or don’t think I have tried unless it was part of a blend that I bought. I’ll have to try a single origin Brazilian in the future.

Latin American Coffee Flavour Profile

Latin American coffees themselves have certain characteristics which include a light to medium body with a balanced and clean mouthfeel. They also exhibit a slight sweetness that is accented by a sparkling, crisp, and lively acidity that may be also be spicy.

For more information on the flavour profile of American coffees please visit the Espresso Coffee Guide.

All in all I would give the Benchmark Espresso a solid 8/10 as a coffee to buy and drink. It’s versatile, has great taste and works well in multiple brewing systems and as a hot or iced beverage.

Categories
Beer

Summertime Brews at Streetcar Brewing

StreetcarSlushie
StreetcarSlushie

With the COVID-19 restrictions relaxing a little bit, I made my way down to the Brewery District on Lower Lonsdale to visit a few breweries again after my visit in March.

My March visit was on March 8th right before the COVID lockdown the following weekend.

I stopped in at Streetcar Brewing and had a nice flight of a mix of beers including a Guava Gose, Overcast IPA, Peach Radler and the 153 Pale Ale.

Guava Gose

The Gose beer itself is an interesting one as is its history. Named after the town of Goslar in Germany, This style is characterized by the use of coriander and salt and is made sour by inoculating the wort with lactic acid bacteria before primary fermentation.

I’m not usually a Gose drinker and I know this is a real trend these days in craft beer scene in Vancouver and throughout B.C. My first taste of a Gose was the Lime Margarita Gose from Central City Brewing in which you could really get a taste of the saltiness of this style.

That being said I will try anything at least once or twice in order to push my pallet a little more. This type of beer is not my favourite so perhaps I should leave others to judge and move on from there.

Overcast IPA

The Overcast IPA hits on another beer trend these days, a cloudy hazy IPA that many love. It must be something about the tropical and citrus flavour that hits right with warm weather. I can only take a Hazy trend of IPA’s or Ale’s in doses as well but this one hits the mark nicely.

Image courtesy of Streetcar Brewing.

Peach Radler

The Streetcar Peach Radler riffs on a popular low alcohol style of beer that means cyclist in German. The Radler mixes beer and fruit soda or lemonade.

The Streetcar Brewing Peach Radler Slushie. Image courtesy of Streetcar Brewing.

These beers are generally low in alcohol content and this one is 3%.

Streetcar has also been producing Peach Radler slushies which I did not try but that they are advertising on their social media accounts. Follow them on Instagram to see where and when you can get it.

153 Pale Ale

153 Pale Ale is the last of the four beers I tried and it slots in nicely with the others I tried. One gets the sense of citrus and hints of honey and caramel.

This style originated around 1980. American pale ales are generally around 5% abv with significant quantities of American hops, typically Cascade. The style is also close to amber ale, though ambers are darker and maltier due to use of crystal malts.

Categories
Coffee

JJ Bean Coffee Brazil Carmo Estate Showcases Minas Gerais Region of Brazil

Coffee purchased from JJ Bean is always a welcome treat in my home but I decided to step outside of my usual order of their popular Railtown in favour of their Carmo Estate.

Carmo Estate

The region of Carmo Estate itself does warrant a little research as I have mentioned before how the terroir of a coffee can have an effect on what ends up in your cup.

Brazil itself is the largest coffee producer in the world.

Coffee producers and specialty coffee companies are aware of the fact that lower grade Arabica and Robusta are often what comes from Brazil. This can lead to low acidity, earthy and chocolatey tones, and bitterness.

The downside is that these beans will and should end up in supermarket packaged coffee, blends to increase body, and espresso roasts to add crema rather than in high quality products where you pay a premium price.

JJ Bean opts always for the best which I was I drink their coffee.

Carmo Estate Region coffee’s are high quality Bourbson varietals that are clean, bright in acidity and chocolaty bitterness. It almost feels like Central American coffee.

Sip Slurp Taste Describe

The above headline is something I learned while working at Starbucks but it is a great way to taste any new coffee you are going to make.

When I try a new coffee I always brew in a French Press and then pour a small amount of black coffee without any cream or sugar into a cup. I then take a small sip or slurp and allow myself to get the full effect of what’s being offered.

I was immediately struck by how light and balanced Carmo Estate is and that it doesn’t leave a dark or lingering burnt aftertaste.

As always I used a French Press, then Cone Filter Drip Machine and Stovetop espresso maker to try this coffee. The Cone Filter really did it justice to be honest which isn’t my first choice to brew.

All in all I would give this coffee a solid seven out of ten. A nice simple light coffee with some interesting chocolatey characteristics. Definitely give this one a try and try it as an iced coffee.

Categories
Beer

Old Boy Hits The Mark with a Classic Beer Recipe

With the craft beer industry in Vancouver a growing concern these days, Sours, Saisons and Hazy Pale Ales and India Pale Ale’s (IPA) seems to be the brews of choice for local company’s. 

It’s refreshing when a company like Parallel 49 brings back it’s Old Boy Brown Ale to complement current availability because of the classic taste and style of this type of recipe.

A Brown Ale History Lesson

As BeerAdvocate notes, 

“Spawned from the Mild Ale tradition, English Brown Ales tend to be maltier and sweeter on the palate, with a somewhat fuller body.” 

The Mild Ale itself refers to beer that was sold relatively soon after brewing and had not undergone any aging. It was not attached to any particular style of beer. Mild Ale’s were big in England in the mid 20th century but declined somewhat by the 1980’s. 

Brown Ales themselves were brewed in some form before the 18th century but they garnered more interest from drinkers in places like London after that. Bitter versions of brown beers if you can call them that evolved into Porter’s while the less bitter and hoppy style brown or nut brown ales did garner some attention from beer drinkers. 

Old Boy Brown Ale

When I grabbed this beer from the Tasting Room at Parallel 49, I tried one can without chilling it in the fridge. I don’t think it did the beer justice and I don’t normally obsess over serving beers at their correct temperature.

You can view the correct way to serve beer from the Dummies website and the book Beer for Dummies.

What I liked about this beer was its toasted styler, notes of toffee, what seemed like coffee and hints of chocolate. My beer tastes correlate with my tastes in coffee, particularly dark roasted full bodied style coffees that aren’t bitter.  

Categories
Autism

World Autism Month Kindness Quest – Week One

As a parent of a child on the spectrum I only recently became aware of Autism Speaks and the fact that today is World Autism Awareness Day.

Below is the challenge from Autism Speaks for Week One

Week One: 3/30/2020-4/5/2020
Your kindness quest this week is to spread understanding and acceptance for people with autism.

Here’s how:

Take the kindness pledge

Wear something blue on April 2 in honor of World Autism Awareness Day

I have also started a Facebook fundraiser for April, World Autism Month

My story with Autism began in March of 2019 when my daughter received an Autism Diagnosis after a private assessment. Like many parents I was confused about what that meant and felt anxious about my daughters life and whether she would live “normally”

My wife had the advantage of being a teacher who had regularly deal with students who had received a diagnosis and were working and functioning in her classroom or had been moved to another learning environment.

I will be sharing more about Autism Speaks and Autism on my blog here and LinkedIn profile over the month of April.

Categories
Beer

Time To Get Weird With House of Funk Brewing

The North Shore now boasts 10 breweries with the latest to open being North Point Brewing in the Shipyards Brewery District. The district which now has Streetcar Brewing, House of Funk Brewing Co. and Beere Brewing as well and is fast becoming one of the places to visit for local beer enthusiasts. 

As someone who lives on the North Shore and at the top of Lonsdale Avenue, I can easily do my own brewery tour of sorts by simply taking the bus down Lonsdale.

Yesterday i managed to hit all four breweries and I will be writing a series of posts on my visit to each of them.

What I like is that all of these places have their own unique style, setting and vibe to them and enough different beers on the menu to make you want to visit each one individually and spend a few hours there.

House of Funk Brewing (HOF)

House of Funk Brewing is owned by Darren and Jody Hollett and online reviews talk of the “heavy emphasis on wood, brettanomyces, bacteria and all around funkiness.”

I actually had to lookup and find out what the word brettanomyces means and it is as follows. Known for its barnyard, fecal, horsey, metallic or Band-Aid flavors, Brettanomyces continues to be unwelcome in many breweries and most wineries. However, Brettanomyces also produces high levels of fruity esters that are desirable in some styles like saison, lambic, and American sour beers.

If you are left scratching your head perhaps this will make a bit more sense when it comes to beer. According to All About Beer Magazine Instead, brewers pitch Brett in place of Saccharomyces for primary fermentation. When used this way, it behaves more like regular ale yeast and will ferment a beer out in about the same amount of time.

Ok got it now? On with the tasting I did.

Incalescent Porter

This Porter was a tasty one and you’ll often find me searching out a good porter to whatever brewery or liquor store I go to. It’s different than the usual porter’s I drink. When looking at the menu what struck me was that Incalescent was conditioned with 10lb of barrel-aged, light roasted Brazil-origin beans for 48 hours before packaging.

HOF does coffee as well in small batch roasting and with an espresso bar to boot.

Syncopation Pilsner – Czech

HOF website tells us that this is their “version of an old world beauty – the Czech pilsner. Hopped with 100% Saaz, fermented with a classic Pilsen yeast and then conditioned in our oak foeders as they did in the Germanic caves of old.

This was the first HOF beer I tried in 2019. It’s hard to go wrong with a classic Pilsner using Saaz hops and Pilsen yeast. If the funkier stuff leaves you uneasy then this is a great place to start. I also love it for warm weather when you want a cool refreshing beer without a lot of heavy duty flavour or strangeness.

Bootsy Farmhouse IPA

Named after the legendary bass player who played with James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic, I found this beer not to my liking. I wasn’t crazy about it being dryhopped with Mosaic and Simcoe hops either.

Daucus – Carrot Saison

This too was another beer that I found strange and funky. I guess it was keeping with the theme HOF has established. On Untappd they’ve included some information about it adding “that chopped young ginger and blanched mandarin oranges, along with a small amount of mosaic hops have been added. They also fermented it with 100L of juiced carrots from our friends at Chaser Juice.”

Ceres

Ceres was a little more to my liking and Ceres is a wheat beer fermented with wild yeast strains. Brewed with only wheat malt and buckwheat, Ceres was fermented for 45 days on Sacch Trois and a house brettanomyces blend, and delicately dryhopped with Ella.

https://twitter.com/hofbrewco/status/1236378981881901056

Vespertine Sour

Brewed with a variety of kilned and roasted specialty malts, Vespertine was fermented with a delicate belgian yeast strain and a souring mixed culture, isolated from one of our foeders. Vespertine was then conditioned on cherry, black currant, and blackberry puree for 1 month. Vespertine is tart and complex, with underlying notes of dark fruit.

Categories
Coffee

Coffee of the Week with Doi Chaang

Drinking Doi Chaang Coffee was a pleasant surprise for me as I had not tried this locally roasted coffee in my coffee drinking over the last several years.

My coffee knowledge and training came from working at a Starbucks for four years and while the knowledge given was solid as was the training, it had a Starbucks influence to it so I have tried to add my own knowledge and experience since. 

The coffee producing regions of the World. Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Doi Chaang is name after a village in north-eastern Thailand. As the company explains on its website, they have adopted a Beyond Fair Trade business model emphasizes the importance of the Akha Hill Tribe in Thailand and their role in growing the coffee. 

This “50-50 business model, an exclusive relationship where we would buy green beans at a significant premium to Fair Trade pricing and return 50% of our profits to the producers in Thailand.” That’s impressive!

Doi Chaang Coffee is a single-estate, premium Arabica coffee. The arabica plant itself is often used as a guarantor of quality and as a marketing tool. That being said plant and bean quality and sub species can and does vary. 

Doi Chaang uses a premium Arabica and relies on shade grown methods as plants are covered by a canopy of fruit and nut trees. 

They roast in Richmond, B.C., are organic and do not use any pesticides. They described their processing extensively on their website.

Social Medium

Social Medium is the blend of coffee I tried from Doi Chaang and while I generally like my roasts and blends a little darker it was an enjoyable cup of Joe.

The company describes it as having notes of cedar, cardamom, brown sugar, raisin. I did not get all those notes but I did like the fact that Sumatran & Nicaraguan beans are present.

I always try coffee’s using three different brewing methods: stove top espresso maker, french press, and cone filter coffee pot.

I have included the Starbucks Bialetti video here as that is the brand of stovetop I use and it was at Starbucks where I first learned about these stovetops. 

I have also found a great review on Business Insider regarding stovetop espresso pots.

And The Verdict Is……

All in all I would rate this as a solid cup of coffee, something that would satisfy many tastes and palettes, without it being too dark or too adventurous. Not everyone is like me in that they want to push the boundaries of what they drink. 

It would make a great summer iced coffee with fruit added to it and then stored in the fridge as a cold brew.