Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Saturday, September 12, 2015

50 States of Coffee

I started my coffee journey on this blog, but it didn't take me long to move it to a place just for the coffee in my life.  Of course I totally forgot to post a link here.

fixing that 


You'll find my map of the states I've enjoyed coffee from as well as links to roasters and my reviews of coffees I've enjoyed. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Epic Bean Coffee Roasters - Peru Aprocassi / Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chichu

I am a huge fan of African coffees, but ordered the Peruvian anyway.  Sometimes coffee from the Americas is too bright for my taste, but I was having a moment, so I just clicked it.

I'm so glad I did.  I loved the Peru Aprocassi from Epic Bean.

I'll get to that in a moment.
First - The shipping was fast AND they sent a tracking number.  I'm obsessive about tracking packages, so that's a huge plus with me.  

Then I got This

My first thought was - Hey, Unicorns! Not girly, Lisa Frank Unicorns, but the kind you might find on a coat of arms.  Tough unicorns.  

Inside each box was a bag, with more unicorns.

And finally inside each bag - coffee

and TOYS!!!  
I'm 48, but if you give me toys I will play with them.  That's how the Epic Guys got their own section of the website.

I also got a couple of stickers.  I am getting quite a few coffee roaster stickers.  Still trying to decide what to put them on.  It has to be something that I will use, but not something fragile.  I want to show them off, so it has to be something I take with me.  I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.

Now the coffee.  I have brewed this with my beehouse, kalita wave and Bunn.  I prefer the beehouse, and that's how I drink most of my coffee.  I did the Bunn because the husband wanted a lot of coffee one night.

It was sweeter, with a hint of vanilla aroma.  Think vanilla extract, not plain bean.  Vanilla beans smell like playdough to me and this did not smell like playdough.  It had a bright acidity, kind of like dancing on the tongue.  The cocoa taste gave it a creamy body.  I've seen Peruvian coffees described as having a floral aroma, but I don't know that I picked up on that.  It did smell like really good coffee, some vanilla, a hint of nut, but not really flowers to me.  

It is a fantastic breakfast coffee.  Goes well with my fruit that I have most days, also was great paired with a nutty oatmeal with fruit.  Ok with eggs and sausage, but not the best pairing.  Went well with my lunchtime salad that had spinach, goat cheese and peppers.  I'm big with what coffee goes with what foods.  Some just don't work for me.  This one didn't overpower the lighter foods I eat during the day.  

Nate wrote me to let me know when their mugs came in.  Of course I ordered one.  A mug a day for a year requires a lot of mugs, plus I like to have them from roasters I've sampled.  It's a cool enamel mug

The Peru was not the only coffee I ordered, you may have noticed that from the photos.  I did get some from Africa too. I do love Ethiopian coffees.  

This was was a bit heavier, not as bright up front, but it did have a brighter finish.  Warmer is a good description. Slightly darker - in tone, not bean.  The beans were not a dark roast, light medium to medium.  I didn't pick up a blueberry taste like I have with other Yirg beans, but it was fruity.  Sweet and winey with a hint of spice and richness, maybe a hint of citrus.  Imagine richer fruit covered in milk chocolate that has been given a zest of lemon and you have a good idea of my impression of this. It went very well with my cheesecake. A decadent pairing.  I know cheesecake isn't on my diet, but it was a nice treat and the Yirgacheffe really brought out the creamy taste.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

My year in Coffee - Maps Coffee Cadence Blend

Maps Coffee is located inside a custom bike store in Lenexa KS.  That's important because the owner/roaster - Vincent - is someone who lives his passion and it shows in his coffee  He can tell you about the coffee and the roasting process and the roaster he uses.  It's really fascinating and I plan to sign up for his guest roast with my son as soon as we can coordinate schedules.

I've been picking up a bag of blend at the same time as a single origin.  Blends are usually coffees the the roasters have combined to achieve their own idea of perfection.  When someone really knows coffee he or she will know what works together and be able to give you a combination that is better than the individual parts.

I had looked over some of the blends on the website and was leaning towards the cadence blend.  I asked the young man who helped us what his favorite blend was and he said Cadence, so that cemented my choice.  I also chose a bag of Ethiopian Sidamo which gets it's own review.

Cadence is a blend of medium roasted Latin American coffees.  Perfect for drinking anytime, anywhere.  That's what the bag says.  :-)  It's also a 16oz bag, not a 12oz  which I'm seeing less and less often these days.

Cadence is a very smooth and relaxed coffee.  A great coffee for the morning.  Right now it's one of my favorites to have with breakfast.  It has a nice body with a brightness, but not too bitey or sharp.  It's very balanced.    There is a sweetness to it, but not overly sweet like a dessert coffee.  Hints of spice and cocoa with a little bit of a nutty taste.

Vincent means it when he says come talk coffee.  He worked at Starbucks for 18 (I think that's what he said) years and now roasts his own.  He knows his coffee and can explain the science behind the art.  He also said "bikes are freedom" and his love for them is evident in the beautiful creations around the shop.  Anyone who lives his passions like Vincent does is fascinating and their love always shows through into the product.  I really enjoyed talking to him & learning about his roaster.  It's a Loring Falcon 15k and is really a beautiful machine.    My older son & I will eventually get a chance to do a Guest Roast  - if you're in the area give it a try.  I'm thinking of it as my mid year birthday celebration.  My birthday is Dec. 21 and it's hard to get people to do anything that close to Christmas, so I celebrate some other point during the year.    A guest roast would be a wonderful way to do my birthday! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

My year in Coffee - Barefoot Coffee Roasters

I'm playing catch up with my reviews.  I have them written, but have been just awful about posting them.  This is a good example of that.  I drank this coffee during the last week of February and the first week of March.  It's nearly the end of March and I am just now posting about it.

I ordered this one on a whim.  I was actually searching for a facebook friend's old, unused page dedicated to barefoot running.  He's the Maple Grove Barefoot Guy.  His page hasn't been used since 2012 - so go like it and freak him out a bit.  LOL  Anyway, I got distracted with Barefoot Coffee Roasters came up in the search - I ordered coffee and called it a night.  

I ordered the Malacara "B" Yellow Reserve because it had been awhile since I had a coffee from El Salvador.  I'm partial to Ethiopian coffees and sometimes I forget to be adventurous.  This one has a suggested brewing method of pour over which was perfect for me.  That's how I fix my morning coffee every day.  

It was bright and lightly sweet with tropical overtones.  There was a darker sugar taste as the cup cooled. Kind of like pineapple that's been dried out a bit and the natural sugars are concentrated.    It had a friendly body.  I know friendly isn't a "coffee" term, but I'm not a pro - just someone who loves coffee, so it works for me.  Friendly is when it makes your mouth happy and maybe a little giggly.

The shipping was super fast and they sent me a tracking notification.  Not everyone does that.  I can get a bit obsessed with tracking packages, so it's always a plus when I have one.

I love the amount of information on the website.  Not just tasting notes - which I may or may not be able to pick up on any given day.  They include stuff about where and how it's grown.  This coffee was grown in a style known as agovia para.  You can go to 
to see more about that.  I just think it's cool to know.  :-)

As always I have a ton of coffees I want to try, but Barefoot is on my list for a repeat bag.  They have a couple of offerings that I would love to try.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

50 States of Coffee

I'm trying to sample beans from roasters in all 50 states.

It's the end of March and I have had coffee from 9 states.  Obviously MO & KS were easy and I've had several from both.  Here's my map so far - if you have any suggestions send them to me!

Washington -
Bluebeard Coffee Roasters out of Tacoma -  

Bespoken Coffee - Corvallis

Barefoot Coffee - Santa Clara

Kansas -

PT's Coffee Roasting Co. - Topeka (even though I buy it most of the time at the crossroads cafe in MO)

Map's Coffee - Lenexa

Java Brothers -

Missouri -

Messenger Coffee - Kansas City -

The Roasterie - Kansas City -

Red-Headed Philosopher Coffee - Kansas City

Oddly Correct - Kansas City, MO

Pirate's Bone  - Kansas City

Second Best Coffee - Kansas City

Headrush Roasters - Kansas City

Kaldi's Coffee - St. Louis/Kansas City - I actually don't know where the headquarters is


Onyx Coffee Labs - Springdale


Dark Matter Coffee - Chicago


Madcap Coffee - Grand Rapids


Epic Bean Coffee - Jessup

My year in Coffee - March 25 - Kaldi's Coffee on the Plaza

I am far far behind in my reviews.  I have the written out in longhand on paper - because I'm 48 and that's how I roll - but I have not had enough time to get them to the computer.

Kaldi's Coffee on 47th st in KCMO used to be a Latteland and it took me a year to stop calling it "that place that used to be latteland"  Kaldi's purchased the 6 Lattelands in the area and have been converting them over.  It was a smart change over and they gave the interior a much needed redo, but they kept the stuff that worked.  That means they kept the staff.  One of the best things about Kaldi's is that the staff doesn't have a huge change over.  Several of the barista'\s at this location have been there for over a decade. It's wonderful to see the same people and not have to get to know someone new every visit.  The loyalty of the staff really says something wonderful about the company.   Kaldi's was already the exclusive roaster for Latteland so the quality of the coffee has not changed.

On my last two visits I've gotten the fresh mint latte.  My husband get's an iced version, but I'm partial to hot coffee.  One thing I hate is overly sweet coffee.  When I go to the S I always tell them TWO pumps of chocolate, not FIVE.  I get tired of explaining they why and the puzzled looks.  That's not an issue with Kadi's.  They balance out the added flavor with the coffee taste.  I want to taste my coffee, not just a sugary syrup.  Kaldi's also doesn't focus on the dessert coffee cocktails.  They have wonderful seasonal drinks in addition to the regular menu.  They do have sweet drinks as well as teas and smoothies, but their menu does not make you feel like you're at an ice cream bar.

There are a lot of local regulars in addition to the tourists visiting the plaza.  It's long been a hangout for the various biker groups.  Not the hell's angels outlaw bikers, but upscale I spent a lot of money on this machine and the leather jacket too, bikers.  There are always people sitting on the small patio reading or writing or just enjoying the day.  The inside is small, but welcoming.  I could use a few more outlets, but you do what you can with the space allowed.  

I picked up a bag o Congo Muungano the visit before last.  It's pretty much gone and I have planned my next bag.  Always ask the baristas which ones they like.  You can discover some great beans you might not have tried.

The smell of this one was delightful.  I have the nearly empty bag near me right now and I was smelling it just before I started typing.  I would wear this as a perfume if I could.

I brewed it as a pour over because that's just how I drink my coffee in the morning.  I even got a Kaldi's mug for my collection.

I'm @shouldntsaythat on instagram - check out my mug collection!

Anyway - back to the coffee.  It was warm and inviting with hints of citrus, but not overpoweringly so.  There was a bright, crisp acidity to it.  It made a great breakfast coffee.  There was also a light spice to it, like a strong tasty black tea.  Some light cane sugary sweetness as the cup cooled a bit and it all blended into one fine cup of coffee.  That bag went fast.  

I save all my bags, but I like this one a lot.  On the side there is the legend of how humans came to drink coffee - and the legend for which Kaldi's is apparently named.   It also helped explain their hashtag #followthegoat  :-)  On the other side are some helpful hints about getting the most out of your coffee.  It's not news to me, but lots of people just discovering good coffee don't think about thinks like freshness, storage or warming your cup first.



Monday, March 16, 2015

Pomegranate Molasses

I'm in love with Pomegranate molasses right now.

Last night I had it drizzled over a pork chop along with a bit of balsamic vinegar.

So so good.

If you've never had it, grab some.  A little goes a long ways, since the flavor is intense.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sharing a Story

How I feel about the IHOP cult is no secret. Why cult? Lots of reasons, but if you want a big one - just follow the money. Lots and Lots and LOTS of money. Then listen to the hate. Mike Bickle has some pretty homophobic things to say. I have also heard a young ihopian describe her parents as "wrong thinkers" and say the saddest part was that "they don't even realize they are wrong thinkers" That phrase was repeated over and over again by the group. This person was a wrong thinker and so was that one. The whole discussion was about separating themselves from old friends and family who fell into that category. Isn't separation from friends and family one of the hallmarks of a cult?

Here's the story from someone who was on the inside and then left.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

My year in Coffee - March 7 Thrift shop Score!!

Look what I found at a thrift shop!

I needed to roast coffee today anyway - so it will get a trial in just a bit.

I check the various thrift shops out pretty regularly but I've not found a Poppery I before.  I was doing quite the happy dance.   

The coffee is my very last cup from my Barefoot Coffee Roasters Malacara B Yellow Reserve.  It was a great bag of beans.  I have a review partially written that I will get to posting tomorrow.  Actual work to catch up on today.  Somehow I seem to be running forever behind.  Must need more coffee!

The happy yellow cup is from Ikea, though to be honest I paid 25 cents for it at a Goodwill.  I like yellow, it's one of my favorite colors and it seemed like the best choice for celebrating our spring like weather today.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My year in coffee- 3/04/15 Madcap Coffee Lake Effect Blend

I was awful about keeping up in February - the result is that I have several coffees with review notes but no reviews.  This isn't one of them.  :-)  I guess I technically got this one in February (the 28th), but I didn't drink any until March.

Madcap Coffee Company Lake Effect Blend

This isn't my first cup of Lake Effect Blend  - it's just the one I'm going to review.  I chose a mug that reminded me of one my grandfather had. It was heavy and warm and just seemed like the right mug for the coffee.

I'll start with the packaging.  I'm a sucker for a good package and I define good in a lot of different ways.  I like decorative, but I also like simple.  The one goes towards simple and elegant, black bag with simple block coloring.  I like the fabric label on the front.  It came in a nice valved bag that I will reuse for my home roast when I have finished this tasty blend.  I actually don't see the coffee on the site anymore - it's a seasonal blend and if you didn't get any you may be out of luck.  Grab it next year.  I know I will.

I brewed it using a pour over like I do pretty much every morning of every day.  There was a nice aroma from the beans even before grinding and it was pretty intense in the freshly ground coffee.  I love the smell of fresh coffee steam as it comes off of the pour and this one didn't disappoint.  I'm sure I look a little silly smelling my coffee as it brews but the only one who sees me is Dennis the dog, and he doesn't care.  The smell was rich and warm full of promise of deep flavor.  Again, I wasn't disappointed. 

My first taste was brighter and more citrus than I expected.  It filled my mouth and I got a hint of spice and rich deep red fruits.  I don't know what fruits exactly, but I would say red.  Dark and rich and juicy with flavor.  Red might not be a flavor like purple, but maybe it should be.  There was a lively acidity to it that didn't overpower and didn't approach bitterness and harshness.  As the cup cooled a bit I got a warm hominess.  My husband came in late and got a slightly cool cup.  I asked him what he thought and he said.  "I don't know if this makes sense, but even though it's not super warm temperature wise I would still describe it as warm."  I knew what he meant.  It's a warm comforting drink.   Madcap describes it as being a great coffee to cozy up to next to the fire and I think that's spot on.  

I am down to half a bag and that won't last long with the coffee hounds in this house, but I'll enjoy it while I can.  I will order next years Lake Effect for sure and I'm already planning to try the Spring Fling blend.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Daily Fare - Party Flair

I lucked into a bunch of old cookbooks at the thrift shop.  I love the ones put together by churches and women's groups - they often have the most usable and most interesting recipes.   Not to mention the most character.

I started with the oldest one.  Officially, oldest that is.  One of them has no cover or identifying information, but based on other things I think it was very put together in the very early 70s.  So unless I find out otherwise, Daily fare - Party Flair is the oldest one and that's where I will start.

It was compiled by The Kitchen Committee at the Church of The Good Shepard and only sold for $2.50 with a whopping 25cent mailing fee.  It was made in a time before the phone numbers switched to the 7 number format we are familiar with today.  That happened by the late 60s in most of the US.  The artist really made this book for me.  Some of the recipes are interesting and I'll try a few, but she really added a character that makes it one of a kind.  

There is a list of the Belles of Good Shepherd and a much smaller list of the Cavaliers.

The church is still around and you can find their website at

I have a weakness for old church cookbooks.  Partially because the recipes were things people actually used and partially because of the creative names people used.  

I'm not sure why U.S> Senate Bean Soup is called that.  Maybe because of the pork.  :-)  However the naming came about - the senator giving the speech seems very serious about it.

This is one I am going to try if I can find some marrow beans.  I guess I could substitute, but I think I will at least look for them first.  

Here's another I am going to try - probably tomorrow.  I'll post a picture.  I love how the pineapple is just shaking in anticipation.

This one is apparently a collaborative effort.  I'm not sure who wrote the "Very Good".  Might have been the artist or the perhaps the compiler.  Her beautiful flowing penmanship appears in several places throughout the book with notes and comments on recipes.  Also interesting is that one of the authors is Mrs. Ruth Woody.  More often in cook books of this era the names would be written "Mrs. Husband's first and last name.  By the mid 70s that was no longer the norm with women using their own first name after Mrs.  By the 80s it seems more common for women to just write their name without the Miss or Mrs. salutation.

The potato is not so thrilled with being in a small portion of potato salad - but make enough for 25 and he's all into it!

this chicken is also pretty happy to get in that wine bath

The fact that this book is from a totally different era is highlighted by some of the drawings.  Racists drawings that were totally acceptable in the day and nobody would have batted an eye.   These are not things you would ever see in modern cookbooks and that's not such a bad thing.  As publicly accepted  racism starts to fade we can hope that the private but unspoken racism follows.

I'm just including this coffee grinder because I have one like it. The coffee was by a waffle recipe and not an ingredient in anything on the page.  I like to think that Eva just liked coffee.

Today is International Pancake Day so I was happy to stumble across this recipe for Liberal Pancakes.

Liberal, KS is home to the pancake race and the people in this illustration are indeed running with pancakes.  They still hold the race and people still run with pancakes.  

Check out  

I've driven through Liberal, KS on International Pancake Day while on Pancake Ave.  :-)  Of course I was on my way to CA and warmer temps so I didn't stop -but it was tempting.

I want to make this one just because of the cow.  

The chicken seems shocked at having to provide 2 eggs.  

And it seems that this spread is a huge hit.  Got a standing ovation on a chair!

Don't drink?  There are glamorous special drinks just for you.

The last section isn't just food.  There are a few craft ideas and some cleaning recipes.  
There is even a helpful note that you will pay $4 for Orange Pomanders at the gift shop.  That was a pretty price item in 1965 $$

I was familiar with the paste, though to be honest I have not thought about it in years.  

I have no idea what the thing next to NO FIRE! is.  A pig in a hat on fire?  I can't tell.

So that's book 1.  I'll post pictures of anything I make from it.  It was a blast to go through and had the most personality of any of the cookbooks I acquired yesterday.