Lavazza Super Crema Coffee Review – February 16, 2020

LAVAZZA SUPER CREMA MEDIUM ESPRESSO ROAST coffee REVIEW

February 16, 2020

LAVAZZA coffee Company Information

Lavazza Coffee Company is lesson in Italian coffee history. The company was founded in 1895 in Turn Italy, and started as a small grocery store at Via San Tommaso. Today the company is being managed by a 4th generation of the Lavazza family.  The company imports coffee from all over the globe including countries like; Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uganda, Indonesia and Mexico. The company operates several retail coffee shops and produces coffee for personal consumption in whole bean and ground coffee varieties.

Coffee Brew Time

4 minutes

Coffee Review

Some families have special traditions, and growing up in my family we had one tradition that was strictly practiced every year without hesitation.  I’m speaking of Valentine’s Day and the infamous bumpy chocolate cake. Go ahead, fire up Google, Bing or Yahoo and type in those magical keywords, “Chocolate Bumpy Cake” and hit Enter.

The “bumpy’ was awesome, it was a symbol of pure love, encased neatly in a pristine white cardboard box with a window on top.  The window was key, because you have to see the bumps, otherwise it was just another chocolate cake. The nice stiff white cardboard box gave you the feeling this cake was some serious confectionary art, worthy of such an important container.  And be careful when you open the box, don’t damage any of those bumps!

When you looked at those bumps, those beauties were standing so tall and majestic, like mini butter cream Himalaya Mountains of buttercream bliss, just waiting to take your taste buds to Valhallla and your liver into an LDL cholesterol production spike that would look like the RPM gauge on a Formula One car going completely into the red before the engine blows . 

We had one every year.  No seriously, Dad never skipped a year, ever.  I think he was dreaming of ‘bumpy’ the night before, maybe weeks or even months.  Augustbe he had a secret calendar somewhere that we didn’t know about that had the date circled in red magic maker each year and he counted down the days. It’s his secret, I’ll let him keep it, I’m just saying; Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, “bumpy”…..every year!

If you are so lucky as to be able to procure one of these beautiful cakes, I’d suggest indulging yourself completely and drinking a coffee that’s worthy of such an occasion.

So, today I will be reviewing one of my favorite coffee’s with the “bumpy”, Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Roast


Coffee Characteristics

Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Roast

Coffee roast

The coffee roast is a medium roast coffee.  They make coffee bean and ground coffee products for this roast so if you don’t have grinder if you want to try this amazing coffee. However the whole freshly ground option does give the taste a little more kick, and is certainly a necessity for Espresso, Cappaccino and Latte’s.

coffee aroma

The coffee aroma is beautiful, and has a nice nutty scent with deep smoke.

coffee body

The body is medium, a standard medium roast and medium body. It’s an espresso roast but not too bold.

coffee Sweetness

I can sense a little nut and caramel in the coffee but almost no sweetness.

coffee acidity

The acidity is perfect for a medium roast to me. It’s got great balance and doesn’t have that sour, bitter flavor you can get with other espresso roast coffee blends.

coffee mouthfeel

The feel is smooth, and velvety. I’m drinking this as black coffee but if this was used for Cappaccino or Cafe Latte it would be even more amazing.

coffee Finish

The finish is excellent.  I love this coffee because it’s so smooth and easy. It’s got great finesse and a lovely taste at the end.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

  • True medium roast coffee
  • Smooth, velvety and not too intense
  • Excellent on it’s own as black coffee, but even better in cream or milk

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

Nothing, I love everything about this coffee.

summary

Lavazza always delivers, just like Dad did with the ‘bumpy’. It’s a great coffee and it’s even better if you’ve got a little something sweet to go with it.  Give it a shot with your next dessert or sweet breakfast pastry.  Who knows maybe you will start your very own tradition?  Enjoy!

LAVAZZA SUPER CREMA MEDIUM ESPRESSO ROAST COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 91

Green Mountain Costa Rica Paraiso Coffee Review – February 04, 2020

GREEN MOUNTAIN COSTA RICA PARASIO coffee REVIEW

February 4, 2020

GREEN MOUNTAIN coffee Company Information

Green Mountain Coffee Company is an interesting story in coffee history. The company was founded in 1981, and started as a small specialty coffee roaster in Vermont. In 1993, they acquired Keurig brewing, and began selling the famous K-Cup coffee format. Coffee sales and growth soon skyrocketed and the company expanded rapidly. Today the company produces 30 different coffee flavors and blends in the K-Cup format as well as hot cocoa, tea and iced tea beverages.

The simplicity of the Keurig K-Cup format is what makes it so popular since the coffee pods can produce a fresh cup of coffee in approximately 2 -3 minutes with almost no mess of the regular drip and french press brewing methods.

Coffee Brew Time

2 minutes

Coffee Review

Phil didn’t see his shadow.  This is seriously huge news.  Millions were lost on this one peeps, more than on that football game on Sunday.  Do you realize in the history of GroundHog Day that Punxsutawney Phil has never woke up 2 years in a row and missed seeing his shadow? Never!  This was “a lock” as they say in the gambling world. “He didn’t see his shadow last year so he’s definitely going to see it this year, bet the farm on SHADOW.” “Blue Horseshoe loves, SHADOW, got it?”  Nope, didn’t happen.  He rolled out of the hole, looked around at all the crazy people who stayed up all night in the snow and freezing cold weather, scratched himself in places we won’t talk about, yawned and said, “No Shadow!”  An early spring, 2 years in a row.  Al Gore is probably dancing in the streets. Greta is warming up for her next speech about how her childhood was robbed by a groundhog. Elon is already taking deposits on his next make believe vehicle, The PUX.

Let’s get down to business on the coffee review.  Green Mountain Coffee Costa Rica Paraiso is a medium roast coffee.  The Keurig K-Cups make this so simple to make it could become easy to start making this brewing method a daily routine, which is probably why they are so popular in the coffee world. Kinda like Phil, simple and gets the job done morning after morning.

Coffee Characteristics

The Green Mountain Costa Rica Parasio

Coffee roast

The coffee roast is a medium roast coffee.  They make coffee bean and ground coffee products for this roast so if you don’t have a Keurig machine you can still use a french press or traditional drip coffee maker to brew the coffee.

coffee aroma

I had to open a K-Cup to smell the coffee aroma since the coffee brewer usually does that for you. The coffee aroma is hearty, and has a nice floral scent.

coffee body

The body is medium, a standard medium roast and medium body. It’s a solid coffee.

coffee Sweetness

I don’t detect any sweetness on this coffee. Like Phil, no shadow and I got no sweetness this morning.

coffee acidity

The acidity does seem a little high for a medium roast to me. It’s higher than I would have expected.

coffee mouthfeel

The feel is crisp, and a little flat but not uncomfortable.

coffee Finish

The finish is moderate and reminds me of the coffee I drank back in the donut shoppe days.  The smell of coffee walking in and the taste was always a treat.  This isn’t a complex coffee, it’s got a solid taste that delivers.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

  • True medium roast coffee
  • Crisp and floral
  • Keurig Coffee Maker makes it so easy to brew

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

The acidity is a little higher than I like and gives me a slight sour taste on the finish, but that taste does eventually disappear.

summary

This coffee is a nice everyday choice for low effort since it’s offered in the K-Cup format. It delvers good flavor for a medium roast coffee. Personally this isn’t the coffee I would drink daily, just like Phil, he’s fun to watch once a year and experience.  It’s a good coffee to have if you are looking for an easy, little effort coffee making experience with consistent results each morning. Enjoy!

GREEN MOUNTAIN COSTA RICA PARAISO K Cup COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 89

Starbucks Caffe Verona Coffee Review – February 2, 2020

STARBUCKS CAFFE VERONA coffee review

February 2, 2020

STARBUCKS coffee Company Information

Starbucks Coffee Company is a story of American business history.  The company was founded in 1971 as a single store at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market.  In 1982 Howard Shultz joined the company and the rest as they say is history. The company grew very fast, the quality was consistent, the service in Starbucks was very good and the products were interesting, constantly changing and relatively inexpensive. The company has led the retail space in hiring and promoting within and is known for treating it’s employees very well.

They must be doing something right because they now operate 30,000 stores (as of August, 2019) in 80 markets worldwide.  Let’s give one of their first coffee blends a try and see if it’s still got the mojo it has when it was first introduced in 1975.

Coffee Brew Time

5 minutes

Coffee Review

Superbowl….yeah whatever. Who’s playing?  Who cares?  We went shopping yesterday at the local market and you would have thought Oprah was there giving away warm brownies and selling another book about how hard it is to grow up poor, as her private helicopter hides behind the trees next to the store with a bottle of Krug Clos du Mesni chilling in the back.  Hey, more power to you “O”!

Let’s talk about something much more interesting and fun. Farina, yeah Cream of Wheat. When was the last time you had it? You should give it a shot if you never had it.  It’s kinda like the little sister to oatmeal.

I had today’s coffee, Starbucks Caffe Verona with some farina.  And let me tell you the coffee and the farina together…..fuggetaboutit! 

Let’s briefly talk about the farina.  The Romanian Princess pulls another one out of her Marama. Where do these magical concoctions come from?  There must be something similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls, but with secret recipes instead, hidden somewhere in remote Transylvania. The farina had almond extract, a tiny bit a sugar and little graded orange rind in it. Trust me, the first bite was like what it must have been to hear Mozart conducting live in Vienna, a true symphony of flavors.  Of course because she’s my wife, she makes enough of everything to last for multiple meals, so we’ll be eating this treat until Groundhog day.

Okay let’s talk about the coffee. It was first introduced back in 1975 as a blend to be served in restaurants, and it was so popular that Starbucks added it to the list of everyday coffee they sell.  It’s a great breakfast coffee. I’ve had this coffee thousands of times over the years and it’s always consistently excellent.  I only wish Starbucks would serve it in a French Press in their stores, instead of just the drip coffee version.

Coffee Characteristics

The Caffe Verona beans are gorgeous in color and there’s a nice oily shine to them which leads me to believe they are nice and fresh.

Coffee roast

The coffee roast is a dark roast coffee.  It’s a true dark roast coffee and similar to what I would consider a cross between a French Roast and Italian Roast.

coffee aroma

The coffee aroma is deep, smoky and robust. You could stand and smell the aroma of the freshly ground beans for minutes and the freshly brewed coffee aroma is even better.

coffee body

The body is medium heavy.  You aren’t going to slam this coffee back but it’s not so heavy that you are going to have trouble finishing a single cup.  The coffee body does pair very well with food, but standalone it can hold it’s own.

coffee Sweetness

Cocoa, bittersweet chocolate and maybe a little hint of dark chocolate are all in this coffee.

coffee acidity

The acidity in this coffee I would call medium.  It’s got some but it’s balanced and again if you are eating something with this coffee the acidity is perfectly acceptable.

coffee mouthfeel

The mouthfeel is rich and slightly heavy.  It feels like it should be heavier on the finish but the balance is there.

coffee Finish

The finish is smooth and balanced.  It’s got some staying power on the tongue but nothing too crazy. It’s kinda like that Oprah brownie autograph session; 3 hours of promotion, and 5 minutes of appearance and ink, then a graceful exit wrapped in silk.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

  • Dark roast coffee with great cocoa flavors
  • Balanced roast and nice acid levels
  • Smooth finish

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

I can’t really say anything bad about this coffee  Again I wish it was served pressed at Starbucks stores, but you can always try a Red Eye or Black eye with the dripped version to give it a little more kick.

summary

Starbucks Caffe Verona and farina with almond extract and orange rind. The endorphins are dancing in my head like Travolta at that disco in Saturday Night Fever. 

Look it’s Starbucks coffee, so you are usually guaranteed it’s going to be fresh and a quality product.  It feels like a nice treat compared to your average drip coffee, but that’s what Starbucks is all about.

Enjoy your Sunday!

STARBUCKS CAFFE VERONA COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 90

Lavazza Single Origin Kilimangaro Coffee Review – February 1, 2020

LAVAZZA SINGLE ORIGIN KILIMANJARO COFFEE REVIEW

February 1, 2020

An Introduction

 Today’s coffee review will feature a coffee giant in Europe, Lavazza coffee. More specifically we will review Lavazza Single Origin Kilimangaro Coffee.  Yes, that’s a mouthful to say. This coffee is sourced from 100% Arabica beans from Tanzania, and one of the highest mountains in the world.

Brew Time

5 minutes

Coffee Review

The description on the coffee bag says the coffee has an intensity of 7, on a scale from 1 to 10.  I love the idea of putting the intensity level on the bag with a number, it’s much more descriptive to me.  Augustbe we should all follow this rule and use it more in everyday life. “Hey, Jack, how you doing today?” “I’m a 7 today Bob.”  “You are a 7?” “Yesterday you were an 8.5, and before lunch you said you were a 9 plus.” “Did you hear what I just heard Lisa? Jack is only a 7 today. I’d steer clear of him now, he’s in meetings until noon and his blood sugar will be low by then, so he’ll easily be a 6 just before lunch and you know what he’s like when he’s a 6 just before lunch, right?”

Okay maybe the number thing isn’t the best idea for people, but let’s see how it works for coffee.  These people at Lavazza are pretty smart, the company has been around for 120 years, so they must be doing something right.

Coffee Characteristics

There’s a reason this company has been roasting coffee for 120 years and it’s apparent in this coffee. The description of the coffee on the bag and from several other reviews I’ve read online says it’s crisp with some sweetness, and I definitely agree.

COFFEE ROAST

The coffee roast is a medium roast coffee. Most Lavazza medium roast coffee I have had in the past tastes a little more heavy than a traditional medium roast, this coffee isn’t heavy, even though I’ve used a French Press to brew the coffee.

COFFEE AROMA

The coffee aroma is fragrant with a beautiful floral element. I get a hint of something that smells a little like cracked pepper too.

COFFEE BODY

The body is medium with a hint of crispness, it’s not heavy. I would have thought an Italian roast coffee from Lavazza would be a little more heavy but it’s not

COFFEE SWEETNESS

Sweetness is there for just a touch. Descriptions I’ve read have said there’s a slight cherry flavor and I can just barely get that.  There is a tiny bit of cocoa here too, but not sweet.

COFFEE ACIDITY

The acidity in this coffee is medium, it’s what I would typically expect from a Italian medium roast. It would certainly pair very nicely with an almond or chocolate biscotti.  Now I’m hungry.

COFFEE MOUTHFEEL

The feel is balanced and a little sour, but not in a bad way.  Again that reference to cherries is accurate, it’s got that same interesting component to it.

COFFEE FINISH

The finish is silky smooth and clean.  This coffee is great by itself but I think if you were to pair it up with something a little sweet that the sweetness of the food and the crispness of the coffee would compliment each other very well.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

This is a solid coffee, that pairs excellent with food.  It might even be a better choice for dinner or dessert since it’s not too dark and heavy and the acidity and crispness really work well with food.

  • Balanced nicely
  • Silky finish for a medium body coffee

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

One unfortunate thing I’m realizing as I keep tasting this coffee.  As it gets a little cooler I’m getting more of that cherry taste and it’s making my mouth water more.  I usually drink my coffee hot all the time, so if you are drinking this coffee and its begins to cool a bit and the flavor becomes a little more crisp, don’t be surprised.

SUMMARY

The Lavazza Single Origin Kilimangaro coffee is an good choice for a medium roast coffee.  It pairs nicely with food on the sweeter side.  I particularly enjoyed the medium roast.  The folks at Lavazza know what they are doing.  Give this coffee a try on your next shopping trip, it’s certainly worth a taste. 

P.S. Someone get Jack a biscotti and a cup of this coffee and he’ll be back in the 9 range fast.   Enjoy the day!

COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 91

Black Rifle Freedom Blend K Cup Coffee Review – January 31, 2020

black rifle coffee review

January 31, 2020

Black rifle coffee Company Information

Black Rifle Coffee Company is a unique story.  The company was founded in 2014 by Evan Hafer, a former Green Beret.  Hafer produced just one coffee blend when he first started, it was the Freedom Roast coffee, and it sold so well, that the rest is history. Black Rifle coffee is now known not only for it’s high quality coffee products, but for it’s pervasive marketing and advertising campaigns.  They have a reputation as a patriot coffee company because they donate a portion of their sales to military, local police and first responders.

Let’s see if the coffee can hold it’s own with this review, or if it’s just another over-hyped caffeine crazed social media experiment.

Coffee Brew Time

2 minutes

Coffee Review

Let me just start this by saying, I lost another coffee friend yesterday. We had been friends for only about 5 years, but it was a really special relationship, because he was always there when I needed him.  He will be missed, just like the other 4 coffee cups that have shattered into thousands of pieces by someone, who shall remain nameless, but knows who she is and how serious this is starting to become in our house.

Since we are down another coffee cup and I’m going to have to start doing spare jobs on the side to afford to buy new one’s, I decided we would go simple today and review one of the most popular Black Rifle Coffee products, the Freedom Blend K Cup.  It’s easy to make with the Keuring Coffee Maker and if the coffee is as good as it’s been touted online, then I should be happy.  I’m not a big fan of K Cups, but I’m always willing to test, and retest and keep an open mind.  The same way I’m keeping an open mind that some magically fairy princess will swoop down and one day wave a magic wand and instantly make all my broken coffee cups come back to life.

Coffee Characteristics

The Freedom Blend K Cups are surprisingly good. I’m ashamed to admit, this coffee is much better than I thought it would be.  The Keurig machine has done a great job this morning.

Coffee roast

The coffee roast is a medium roast coffee.  They make coffee bean and ground coffee products for this roast called the Freedom Roast. Don’t confuse this blend with the Black Rifle Freedom Fuel blend, which is a dark roast coffee.

coffee aroma

The coffee aroma is deep and hearty, and isn’t weak, it’s got some legs to it and is a little more intense than I thought it would be for a K Cup.

coffee body

The body is medium it’s not too heavy, it’s got a pleasant lightness about it but not too light, the roast is balanced and fine.

coffee Sweetness

Hints of cocoa, a little touch of caramel, maybe a smidge of toffee, it’s all there in this coffee.

coffee acidity

I love the low acidity in this coffee, it’s got a really nice balance and it’s incredibly smooth for a K Cup coffee.  Much better than most I’ve tried in the past.

coffee mouthfeel

The feel is slightly rich with a hint of crispness but balanced and smooth

coffee Finish

The finish is nice and smooth.  I get a little chocolate on the back of it, but it’s not a heavy chocolate flavor.  The roast is balanced and has the refined flavor of the better quality medium roast coffees.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

  • True medium roast coffee
  • Balanced roast, and excellent acidity and flavor
  • Rich finish but not heavy

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

There isn’t much to say in terms of negativity about this coffee.  It’s a solid coffee and one of the better one’s I’ve had from the K Cup products.  The Black Rifle website says the brew methods for this coffee are Espresso, Pour Over, Cold Brew, Drip, and Press. I’d like to review the French Press version to see the difference in taste and I may do that in a future coffee review, so stay tuned.

summary

I will be the first to admit I was pleasantly surprised with the ability of this coffee to deliver in a K Cup. The coffee itself is very good and the taste and flavor are among the higher class medium roast coffee products on the market today.  This coffee is definitely worth a try if you are a regular K Cup user and want to expand your horizons and try something different.

Black Rifle Freedom Blend K Cup COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 91

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