Anodyne Coffee House, Peace Coffee Roaster

So here I am living just outside the twin cities now. I am still getting used to anything and everything, I have not ventured out much yet. This weekend however after a bike ride I went to Anodyne Coffee House in Minneapolis.

The cafe has an industrial loft feel to it,they feature coffee by local roasters. While there I had Mississippi Mud Blend from Great River Roasters, decent coffee, it had a bit of an edge to the aroma, the coffee was tangy, certainly good though. I brought home Espresso Blend from Peace Coffee.

Peace Coffee

Good news! It has lots of bloom :) bloom makes a happy coffee drinker. This blend has complex flavors to it, you can really taste the different beans trying to break through. There is body to it, with a slight spiciness that rolls over your tongue nicely. It is really good.

I know this bag I have at home is fairly fresh, I went to a higher end grocer later in the day, Kowalski’s and they also featuer Peace coffee. As I was browsing came upon one of those usual displays you see in large grocers where they have coffee in bins that you bag up. I starte to ignore it but wait, what is that?

It is Peace Coffee inside the bin!!! I confess, my heart sank. This strikes me as an awful way to store what should be a premium coffee. All the work put into growing it, processing it, roasting it, just got flushed.

So what am I to make of this? I might just send Peace an email asking them if this is what they intended or if they have some guarantee of freshness. Also on the whole bean bagged coffee they had I saw no roasted on dates. Coffee with out a roasted on date is out of date and out of usability.

But, again let me stress, the bag I have at home, delish. If you are looking for a fun quirky place to get good coffee, go to Anodyne Coffee House and get some Peace!

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Guatemala Antigua el Valle Batdorf & Bronson

Guatemala Antigua Finca el Valle is a well-balanced delicious coffee. I had the privelege of trying this coffee courtesy of Jason Dominy of Batdorf & Bronson. The coffee did not disappoint the mystic of Guatemala Antigua (a well-respected coffee highly praised).

The body and acidity were well done, balancing each other and letting the coffee really come through. There were notes of caramel and chocolate which inspired a smoothness. This is a coffee that reaches out and let’s you know it’s there. It is not terribly subtle, nor should it be. This coffee screams out to you, hey, wake up! I am here! Boy was it good. The coffee is not pretentious and just comes out to be what it is. Smooth balanced and respected. This is the kind of coffee you want to wake up to.

Hill of the Cross, Antigua, Guatemala, 2009

Hill of the Cross, Antigua, Guatemala, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipediais notpretentious but it remains an authentic coffee. This coffee was treated with care and respect. They let the coffee do the talking, which is what you want.

*side notes about Antigua, Guatemala. The city was founded in 1524 on the site of an older Mayan city. Over a few short years and many uprisings from the native Mesoamericans the city was moved in 1527 and then in 1541 it was hit by a massive lahar (mudflow) and devastated. It was then moved five miles to its present day site.

 

 

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Coffee Roasters Batdorf & Bronson Papau New Guinea

Coffee originated in Indonesia by the Dutch spreading from Sri Lanka and the Portuguese via East Timor and East Indonesia. The great rust infestations of times past wiped out crop after crop including the original Moka Java blend beans. Some of the Indonesian coffees today though can trace their ancestry back to the original times. These coffees are all generally known for more body, and an earthier taste.

Batdorf & Bronson Paupa New Guinea totally catches all this and loads on terrific flavor and scents. This is really good coffee. The label says Pineapple, Mango and Jasmine and I agree. There is a definite fruit punch flavoring to it. It was totally delish. The taste was not subtle, it sort of reaches up and punches you (and you DO appreciate it). The aroma was delightful. A little heady I think. It kind of reminded me of blooming dogwoods if you know that. A heavy scent.

The roast was medium and body on the coffee was a little over mid point, not much acidity, but plenty of flavor. The first few cups were 384g water to 35 or 30g of beans. I cut down to 26g or so of coffee. I actually like the smaller amount of coffee in this one which is opposite the direction I normally go. The smaller amount of coffee seemed to make it a bit more delicate and some of those flavors didn’t get drown out by the brute force of a larger amount of grindage. Hey, that’s my theory and I am stickin to it!

Afrikaans: Geroosterde pitte van die koffiepla...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Another fine fine coffee from Batdorf & Bronson. I also have a Guatemala Antigua Finca el Valle. Soon soon.

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Coffee Chain of Action

You may think that good coffee starts with getting it in your cup and down your throat. You’d be wrong. That is indeed the end.

English: Coffee berries Polski: Owoce kawy

Image via Wikipedia

 

Coffee starts long before you ever get it. Many of you know that it grows in the regions of the earth within about 1500 miles of the equator. I will not delve into the specifics of how coffee is grown or harvested, I have done that here.

Coffee has to be roasted right. It has to be done, but not over done. Coffee can be roasted to a number of degrees of done, from light to dark, from cinnamon to full city to vienna I wrote about that here.

What you need to understand is that there are a ton, a ton of factors that go into your coffee. We aren’t even done yet. The beans should be used within a couple of weeks, three on the outside. Buy small, buy locally roasted. Besides this will give you a chance to stop by more often and get to know your local coffee roaster.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 24:  Freshly-roasted...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

So at this point your coffee might have sat from a few days to a few weeks to a few seasons has likely traveled several thousand miles so that it can be roasted. Your roaster is your friend. They have to pour the love into the bean. If they are not passionate, your coffee cannot be saved. The quality will be off, uneven, horrible. You can tell. Now there is one exception to this rule (there always is one), Starbucks. This cold heartless soul-less coffee giant produces consistent coffee day in day out. Consistently burnt.

So now let us say you got your coffee from Buona Caffe, Batdorf & Bronson, Grass Roots Coffee, Simple Joe or Frankly Good Coffee (get the point there ARE good local roasters) and you are the proud owner of freshly roasted greatness. Ok congrats, now what? So if you go to a coffee house for this you need to make sure that you go to a place that grinds the coffee fresh PER CUP. Failing that certainly per pot. Hopefully you will have a place that will do a french press or a clever or hario or whatever.

Well you’re a nerd and you don’t go to a coffee place, you brew at home. W00t you! GO!!! Bust out your clever, or your preferred method (see above but don’t see Mr. Coffee). Start with your grinder, get it ground and get it in your cup. Is it that simple? HA! Of course not. You need to watch this all carefully. You have to have a grinder that can get you a consistent ground. This is important. An inconsistent grind will give you dissimilar chunks which will give you an uneven flavor profile. Do the best you can with what you have. You can get some reasonably decent grinders for not too much. Just shop smart (shop s-mart (those of you that got it will be laughing)).

So, how about some water? Yep water is easily as crucial or more so than even the coffee itself. If you don’t believe me know that water is 98% of your coffee. Yep, wrote an article about that one too. Clue, if your water smells like sulfure or if you are on a well and you have particulates or iron in the water, well, it isn’t going to help your coffee, at all. If you take coffee beans from plant to grinder and into your filter perfectly, and you put some nasty ol’ city water in it, you have ruined the efforts of hundreds of people that moved it along the Coffee Chain Reaction before you even touch it.

All of this to get to the perfect cup of coffee for you. This is determined by choices made all along the way. People you don’t even know have had something to do with how good your cup of coffee is. But in the end, it will be up to you to determine your cup of coffee. When you do drink it and its great, thank everyone that put effort into that cup. There were a lot of people involved.

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Pahleta’s Boquet winning coffee blend from Buona Caffee

Local coffee roaster Buona Caffe stepped in lore and love for this new coffee blend from John and Pat deliver a balanced taste and is sure to bring you back for more. This is a blend of their Brazilian and other central american coffees. Wow, it’s just good. Both were medium roasts, I wonder what it would be like with some dark roast in there? I do not know but I know I like this coffee.

 

English: Coffee berries Polski: Owoce kawy

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

Light acidity and light body. As is expected from Buona Caffe, it is incredibly smooth and generous in taste. A slight floral smell was coming off the coffee. This is entirely possible to just be my mind playing a game on me given the name of the blend. However this coffee was really well done, even tasted good. No bitterness, was easy to sip.

Another nice one from Buona Caffe. Pat over at Buona was the mastermind behind the name. She puts a lot of thought into naming their blends, so expect some history and significance to their blend names. This one comes from the story of Lt. Col. Francisco de Melo Palheta:

 

Coffea arabica Español: Flores del cafeto (Cof...

Image via Wikipedia

 

“…the Brazilian government in the 1727 to enter the coffee market. Naturally there was no legal way to do that and Lt. Col. Francisco de Melo Palheta enters the scene. His mission was to obtain coffee seedlings by any means and he did it but not without the help of a woman. Being dispatched to French Guiana, the brave colonel starts his coffee mission and goes easy choosing the least resistance – the governor’s spouse. The officer’s sweetheart falls into net of the charming Brazilian and convinced by him that several coffee branches will remind Pahleta of her, gives the artful man the coffee seedlings hidden in a bouquet of flowers…”

So the coffee powerhouse that is Brazil got its start from a little ol’ boquet of flowers, and Pahleta goes down in history.

 

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What do you want talk about?

So what do I talk about? Yes I talk about coffee. I talk about coffee roasters, coffee blogs, coffee shops and more. I talk about specifics about brewing coffee. How do I know this? Cause my Wordle told me so.

This cool “tool” looks at your site and creates an image based on the weight of the words on your site. For me you can see that the biggest one is coffee, that is fairly obvious, then let us see, roast, like, think, roaster, crack, dark, light, city, roasting, the list goes on. Probably 99% of those words are coffee related. There might be one or two about SOPA because I wrote something on that recently here.

It was a neat thing to see my site in such a breakdown. I actually felt a little pride in thinking “yep that’s mine!”. What do you want to read when you go to a coffee blog? Do those words describe what you are looking for? That opens up a few other questions.

How can this site be more useful? When I started working on it I was learning a lot all the time about coffee. I still am. This web log is all about helping you state clearly, I LOVE COFFEE… To know why I loved coffee I needed to learn. I had to learn why Starbucks was really bad. I knew it was but why was it? So I learned about coffee roasts, I had to learn about the water you put in your coffee. I had to learn as much as I could about all the aspects of coffee. Where and how it was grown and produced to how you brew it to how it tastes. Those are just a very few of the topics covered.

But, I want to answer questions, email me at sanitybycoffee@gmail.com and I will answer your questions. I will even try to do some video answering using my web cam. I cannot promise that I will be able to show a lot other than me talking on it but, hey, whatever you need. Stump me please. If I do not know it I will research it. So, leave your questions in the comments and let’s all learn.

 

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