Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Coffee Talk

As many of you know, I am a coffee lover. Oh, how I look forward to that first sip of coffee, first thing in the morning. It is one of life's simple pleasures; one that never fails to satisfy me and one that I have never taken for granted.

Coffee is a deeply personal thing, don't you think? I drink my coffee black, strong, and straight down before it can cool down even a little bit. No lingering over the cup for me--in fact no cup for me!--I must have a mug. One of my former pastors, Pastor Will, once observed my coffee habits and declared, "You drink coffee like a man!" To which I replied, "That's true, but you drink coffee like a little girl!" (He drank his with lots of creamer and sugar)

We coffee drinkers all have our preferences and our little rituals, don't we? Well, you can imagine my excitement and trepidation when I was asked by Folgers to try their new Gourmet Selections and then write an online review. They offered to send me free samples of coffee with only two stipulations: 1) that I write a review and post it on my blog and send a link to them and 2) that I be honest in my evaluation. That's where the trepidation came in. I am a picky coffee drinker and I am very honest, so I was concerned that I might have to write a less than enthusiastic review. And since I am kind, that worried me a bit.

After some thought, I decided to go for it. Free coffee and all, you know. I didn't expect to like the coffee all that much--not because I didn't expect it to be good, but because I'm picky. I just like my own brand of coffee and I'm not one to change.

A few weeks ago, my package arrived. And let me tell you, these weren't skimpy little samples! There were three full sized bags of coffee in that box! I was sent Morning Cafe, Lively Columbian, and Vanilla Biscotti.

The first one I tried was Morning Cafe, which is described as a light bodied coffee with a clean finish and a delicate, bright taste and aroma. I noticed the aroma as soon as I opened the bag. . .mmm. Even though it smelled heavenly right in the bag, I wasn't expecting much. Remember, I like my coffee strong and I expected this coffee to be too mild for my palate. However, I was wrong. The arabica beans make this coffee truly delicate, but even though I brewed a very strong pot, it was still mellow and smooth and the aroma was spectacular. I had never thought about "finish" when it comes to coffee but, true to its description, it has a clean finish! No morning coffee breath with this blend! It is no exaggeration to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this coffee and will definitely buy it.

The next bag I tried was the Vanilla Biscotti: "smooth vanilla flavor with a creamy finish." As I've already confessed here, I do not like flavored coffees. I just don't. Never have. And so, to be fair, I decided to take this coffee selection to my Thursday morning Ladies Small Group Study and make a pot for them to get their reaction. Dorothy is a devoted tea drinker so she declined, but everyone else thought it was delicious and enjoyed it very much. I did taste it and to tell the truth, I didn't like it. But I don't like flavored coffee, so that didn't surprise me. I confess that I wish I did like it because it smelled heavenly! Please don't let the fact that this coffee purist didn't like it keep you from trying it for yourself! It got very good reviews from the other ladies in the group. I gave Shannon the rest of the bag to take home with her and she was delighted.

The third bag, Lively Columbian, is the one I expected to like the most. "Distinctively rich and full-bodied taste of 100% Columbian beans." That is a very good description. I usually drink Columbian coffee and this was very good. I found that I didn't need to use as much coffee to brew a strong pot as I do with my regular coffee. I've recently been cut back to 1 cup of "real" coffee per day (doctor's orders) so I was delighted to learn that this coffee is also available in decaf.

Of the three of them, to my surprise, the Morning Cafe was my favorite. I found myself wondering how it compared to the elusive Tim Hortons I keep hearing about from my Canadian friends. Tim would have to go along way to beat this brew!

Thanks to Folgers for giving me this opportunity! It was fun.

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