Review: Drum Coffee Luigi Blend Traditional Italian Espresso Blend (Missoula, Montana)

When I started getting into specialty coffee, one “rule” I heard a lot was that you do not need an “espresso” blend to make espresso. This is true. I’ve had some amazing espresso shots pulled from single-origin coffees, and I’ve had terrific drip coffee made from beans marketed for espresso. However, not all beans are […]

Review: Drum Coffee Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Banko Gotiti FTO (Missoula, Montana)

I first heard about Drum Coffee via my friend Brandon, a fantastically talented percussionist who happened to stop in at one of their locations while on a road trip. My first reaction to the roaster’s name was, ha, nice pun (since I figured they use a drum roaster to roast their coffee beans). But on […]

Review: Kona Roasted Coffee 100% Hilo (Kona, Hawaii)

Hilo is located on the northeastern end of the big island of Hawaii, and this area experiences one of the highest levels of rainfall of anywhere in the world (around 300 days a year), which makes growing coffee a challenge. The resulting crop is small and rare; this will never be a coffee that will […]

Review: Kona Roasted Coffee Gary & Valerie 100% Kona (Kona, Hawaii)

This offering from Kona Roasted is named for Gary and Valerie, the farmers of this varietal. Gary and Valerie moved from California to Hawaii in 2005 and, with the knowledge they’ve built over the past fifteen years of coffee farming, have cultivated a crop that earned a 92 from Coffee Review in 2020! Whole bean: […]

Review: Kona Roasted Coffee Salvador 100% Kona (Kona, Hawaii)

I’ve had this blog for roughly five years, and I go through phases where I am really active, writing a lot of reviews, and also phases where I go quiet. Around about December of 2019, I started getting a little overwhelmed with life and I somewhat unintentionally took a hiatus from coffee reviews – I […]

Review: Blue Bottle Coffee Summer Blend (Oakland, California)

Blue Bottle Coffee offers seasonal blends, and I was fortunate enough to pick up a bag of their Summer Blend while it was still available. I first was alerted about this blend through Blue Bottle’s email list, where Blue Bottle’s quality control director, Ben Brewer (really? Is there a more spot-on surname for someone working […]

Review: Blue Bottle Coffee Giant Steps (Oakland, California)

James Freeman, the founder of Blue Bottle, is a former professional clarinet player, and I’ve always appreciated the occasional musical references thrown into the names and descriptions of his company’s coffees (for instance, the “Brahmsian” characteristics of Blue Bottle’s Hayes Valley Espresso). This particular blend was named after John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, and Blue Bottle’s […]

Review: Lüna Coffee Guatemala Huehuetenango Pedro Villatoro Lychee Glow (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Denton, Texas was where I used to call home between 2001-2003, while I was a student at the University of North Texas. The city had a quirky, offbeat vibe while I lived there, and that hasn’t changed, but what has changed is the proliferation of craft coffee shops in the area. Granted, I didn’t really […]

Review: Intelligentsia Coffee Black Cat Analog Espresso (Chicago, Illinois)

The first time I tried Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Analog Espresso was in a coffee shop. I was in Northern California for work back in 2015 and had a beautifully pulled shot at Vero’s Coffee Bar in San Jose. I enjoyed it so much, I use the photo of it that I took as an example […]

Review: Square Mile Coffee Roasters Guatemala Los Suspiros (London, England)

The last time I had tried an espresso from Square Mile Coffee Roasters, it was their excellent Red Brick Espresso Blend, so this time I opted to try this single-origin Guatemalan espresso. Whole bean: Sweet, tangy aroma reminiscent of peach and amaretto. Espresso: Sometimes I really enjoy single-origin espressos and sometimes I just can’t find […]