Category Archives: Reviews

First Crack 116. Garrick Talks About the Legends of Paul Bunyan

51mmhr4pjsl_sl160_

It’s a new year, with a new president. An ideal time to clear the ground for a new America.

To start the chopping, Garrick reviews Legends of Paul Bunyan by Harold W. Felton touching on a boyhood trip to Paul Bunyan Land and the story of Sport the Reversible Dog.

Listen to Garrick talk about the Legends of Paul Bunyan [9 min].

First Crack 108. Coffee Review – Honduras, El Filo – 49th Parallel Roasters

This is the third in the monthly coffee review series at the First Crack Podcast.

This month, I’m reviewing Miguel Moreno Leiva – El Filo as roasted by 49th Parallel Roasters.

It’s a very subtle and floral cup with powerful aroma off the grind. Andrew described it to me as, “technically good.” I quite agree. It’s a perfect example of a good cup of coffee.

As always, special thanks to Andrew Kopplin at Kopplin’s Coffee for putting this Cup of Excellence on my table and resetting my coffee judgement scale.

Listen to Coffee Review – Honduras: El Filo [9 min].

First Crack 106. Coffee Review РEl Salvador: Finca La Monta̱a

This is the second in the monthly coffee review series at the First Crack Podcast.

This month, I’m reviewing George Howell’s Terroir Coffee: El Salvador: Finca La Montaña

The 2007 Cup of Excellence winner that was completely devastated by near hurricane-strength winds in January. Pushing the next harvest out to 2010. In response to this tragedy, George Howell doubled the price of his last 70lbs and sent all the proceeds to aid the farms recovery:

“This is a farm which won 5th place, then 4th place, then 1st place in succession over the last three years in Cup of Excellence. Preliminary estimates indicate he will not have a crop until 2010! How does a farmer with less than 14 acres survive? The 3rd place and 4th place winners of last year’s Cup of Excellence are his neighbors, and all three use the same mill to strip their fruit and dry their beans. We have yet to hear about them. We want to help in a meaningful manner.”

“La Montaña is scheduled to be roasted on Monday, January 28. We will be offering this coffee, which in my opinion is the purest coffee expression we have, bar none, at $50 for eight ounces (versus the usual $27.95). Terroir Coffee will donate the entire price to Mr. Ochoa primarily and to the mill, his critical support, which may also be facing very bad times from these events. Not a penny will be spent on any bureaucracy. We have approximately 70 pounds of his coffee left. $50 dollars per half-pound would result in $7,700, if all is sold.”

Special thanks to Andrew Kopplin at Kopplin’s Coffee for putting this Cup of Excellence on my table and connecting the world economy.

Listen to Coffee Review РEl Salvador: Finca La Monta̱a [9 min].

Elsewhere:
Cup of Excellence Winning Farm 2007: Raúl Ochoa Hernández – La Montaña
CoffeeReview.com: El Salvador La Monta̱a Р93 points

First Crack 105. Coffee Review – Grand Cru Kenya: Mamuto, Kirinyaga

This podcast kicks off a new monthly coffee review series at the First Crack Podcast.

This month, I’m reviewing: George Howell’s Terroir Coffee: Kenya Mamuto Kirinyaga

First, it took me a while to tweak the grinder back for a good press pot. In that time, the time was ticking on the coffee itself. Lesson learned for February.

This is a great bean, Andrew called it his favorite bean in the past 3 months. In the press pot I tasted heavy blueberry and banana notes with a trace of cherry and just a whiff of cocoa.

In the Mocha Brew, the cup was sharp and thin, very little flavor or mouthfeel. So, while I had two cups in front of me, I avoided that one.

Special thanks to my wife and Andrew Kopplin at Kopplin’s Coffee for inspiring this series and selecting this month’s coffee.

Listen to Coffee Review – Grand Cru Kenya: Mamuto, Kirinyaga [7 min].

Elsewhere:
CoffeeReview.com: Kenya Mamuto Kirinyaga – 96 points

Second Melitta Mill & Brew Broken

Back in episode 4 I proclaimed my love for the Melitta Mill & Brew. Even then I knew this day would come.

The little plastic hook holding the grinder lid down snapped and fell into the grinder basin. Without this hook, the grinder doesn’t grind and the water doesn’t get near the grinds. Basically, this fragile 1/4″ piece of plastic is the key to the coffee maker. Without it, no coffee.

After 3 years of daily use, this is my second Melitta and the second time this hook has snapped. Not an atypical problem, a handful of complaints about his issue in the Amazon reviews.

In the short term, I’m weighing it down with a bag of stale, ground coffee. In the long term, I’m looking for a new machine. Any recommendations?