The third installment of Gravitas is back at the Roastery. This legacy blend launched on March 20th 2017, and I just happened to be in town visiting. Perfect timing on my part! This years version of Gravitas is a blend of Sumatra Lake Toba, Nicaragua Maracaturra and Sun-dried Brazil Barinas. The result is layers of herbal and chocolate notes with a unique dried fruit sweetness….
Kenya Kangunu is the newest online exclusive coffee to be offered on the online store. This is the third offering, the first being Costa Rica Vista del Mar yellow honey and Papua New Guinea Luoka. These coffees are, to my knowledge, released in other countries, but a small amount is offered online. Because of the limited quantities, these seems to sell out fairly quickly! I was lucky enough to notice Kenya Kangunu shortly after it was released online and ordered it right away.
I first tasted this side by side with core Kenya, and was surprised how different they were. The Kangunu is lush with a layered complexity with notes of dark chocolate and lemon, while the core Kenya is juicy with unmistakeable notes of grapefruit.
Wandering the aisles of the grocery store is one of my favorite past times, especially since we are in a different part of the country. So many new stores to explore. One thing that caught my eye recently was this apricot pie filling. I have never heard of such a thing, but immediately thought how fun it would be to make an apricot upside down cake. Apricots are not in season just yet, and Nicaragua Monimbo is bursting with fresh apricot notes, slightly tart with a brown sugar sweetness….
My regional director was kind enough to purchase me a year long Roastery subscription, so I am kicking of 2017 by hosting monthly reserve seminars! Starting off with the first subscription coffee of 2017; Ethiopia Kayon Mountain.
Ethiopia Kayon Mountain is from a small lot farm in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Kayon translates to goal, and it is the mantra for the farm owners who are driven to take extra steps in the name of extraordinary coffee. Using methods that are not commonly seen in Ethiopia, such as shade growing coffee, to having their own washing station, to exporting directly. The farmers of Kayon mountain maintain full control of every step of the process.
An extraordinary coffee deserves an extraordinary tasting.
If you’ve been to the Roastery or a Starbucks Reserve bar recently, you might have seen a drink on the menu called the ‘Melrose’. The Melrose is Starbucks twist on a manhattan, cold brew, demerara sugar, cherry bitters topped with a cherry. When I visited the reserve bar in New York last month, I fell in love with this drink, and knew I wanted to recreate it at home.
When Costa Rica Las Lajas launched, I was taken aback by the intense grapefruit notes in this coffee, and thought that this might make the perfect cold brew. It is crisp, sweet and refreshingly tart. I decided to make my own version of the Melrose using this coffee.
Introducing the Wilder….
I had actually planned this recipe to go live on National fruitcake day.. which was three weeks ago. I am a little bit behind with posts and recipes, but better late than never, right? 😉
Nicaragua Maracaturra has become one of my favorite reserve coffees. First of all, I love the beans. They are enormous! Second the flavor profile has really captured me. Subtle floral sweetness with spice notes of clove and allspice woven together, and finished off with a creamy vanilla mouthfeel. This is a coffee that can go in so many different directions, from baking spices, to chocolate, to apples and nuts. It is one of those coffees you can almost pair with anything!
Even a fruitcake?!
For over 40 years, Starbucks has been offering Jamaica Blue Mountain, and we celebrate it’s return to reserve stores next month. The Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting room in Seattle generally has coffees a good few months before reserve stores have them, and because I am very spoiled, I am able to try them before they are released to stores. Typically, Jamaica Blue Mountain is not a coffee I get excited about. First, it is pretty expensive, at $35/a half pound, but second, it has never dazzled me the way it has others.
Coffees from Hawaii and Jamaica are special. If you think about it, most people haven’t been to Kenya or Colombia, but many have been to the Hawaiian islands and/or Jamaica, so they forge a connection with these coffees. Last year, I was lucky enough to spend a day on a coffee farm in Maui, and every time I drink coffee from Hawaii, I remember being back there, the warm salty breeze, the smells, the memories we created. One of my partners went to Jamaica earlier this year, and when I told him we would soon be tasting Jamaica Blue Mountain, I watched his eyes light up. That is why I love coffee. We are constantly creating memories and sharing our experiences with others. …
Nicaragua Maracaturra is back! I am pretty excited every time this one comes around, not because it’s my favorite (it isn’t) but because of the beans. They are HUGE. This is always a great conversation starter about varietals, and what these words that we see on the tasting sheets are; bourbon, typica, and so on. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first let me talk about something very important.
If you have ever worked with me, you know I love to celebrate birthdays. I don’t know how or why this started, but it is honestly my most favorite thing. On Saturday, one of my partners has a birthday, except neither of us work on Saturday, so we celebrated today. Lisa loves and collects mice, so I wanted to do something special, just for her on her day.
Meet the spice mice.
I really wanted to make campfire oranges to pair with the Christmas Reserve … but then winter happened. It came fast, and I have never lived in a place where it snows, and I greatly underestimated what winter would be like in the mitten. It’s cold, it is dumping snow, and I am not about to go outside and build a campfire. Plan B, make them in the oven instead 🙂
This recipe calls for a box cake mix, so it is super quick and easy to put together, and it looks pretty impressive as well! Baking the cake inside the orange adds a lot of moisture and flavor to the cake. No need for frosting or a glaze, though you can if you’d like. These little cakes are delicious by themselves!…
I have really been enjoying this years Christmas Reserve. I love the flavor combinations of the mulling spices and orange, layers of flavors unfolding with each sip. This year, Christmas is so different for me. This is my first white Christmas, and while I am not particularly fond of the snow, I think it has boosted my holiday spirits.
Christmas reserve has woodsy aromas and holiday accents of mulled spices and orange zest, and is the perfect holiday coffee. I wanted to create something for those who might not be on Santa’s good list this year 😉 My interpretation of a lump of coal; molasses toffee infused with coffee and mulling spices.