Archive for the ‘ Coffee ’ Category

san-marco-logo

san-marco-coffee

Coffee Rating:

4.0 out of 5 coffee cups

San Marco Apple Cinnamon Coffee Review

Medium Roast: Whole Bean

Price: $10.98, 1 lb.

San Marco Coffee was kind enough to send us three 1 lb. bags of their gourmet whole bean French Roast and their whole bean Pumpkin Spice and Apple Cinnamon flavored coffees.

San Marco Coffee, Inc. is a gourmet coffee roasting company specializing in selling wholesale coffee to restaurants, cafes, hotels & specialty retailers. You can also buy their coffee online as a regular retail customer. Their professional Roast Master roasts their coffee in the San Marco Coffee state-of-the-art roasting plant in North Carolina. San Marco hand flavors small batch roasted coffees, roasted fresh to order.

San Marco offers three coffee categories in whole bean or ground regular or decaf: Espresso, Gourmet and Flavored coffees. They also sell green coffee beans, gourmet teas and coffee equipment.

San Marco coffee is sold in 8 oz., 1 lb. and 5 lb. resealable bags with a one-way degassing valve so you can easily reseal your bag of coffee. They strive for freshness and always package their coffees immediately after they have been roasted and/or flavored. San Marco offers free shipping for orders of $79.00 or more.

When opening the package of the Apple Cinnamon coffee it smells of apple and cinnamon, a real scent of fall. The coffee roast looks like a medium roast and the beans are somewhat oily. The silver coffee bag reseals very easily, providing a good seal to keep the coffee flavor in. We ground the whole beans using our blade grinder. The Apple Cinnamon coffee was brewed in our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half.

When the Apple Cinnamon coffee is brewed you can smell the apple and the cinnamon spice. The Apple Cinnamon coffee tastes of cinnamon, with a little apple flavor. The apple taste is not quite as good as the pumpkin flavor in their Pumpkin Spice coffee but it is subtle and flavorful. The spice does not taste like an extract you would use in baking, I appreciate the real spice flavoring used in this coffee.

San Marco uses quality beans, the underlying coffee used in this flavored coffee would be very good even without the flavoring. The Apple Cinnamon flavoring is subtle and the cinnamon is not too spicy. As with their Pumpkin Spice coffee, the apple and cinnamon flavors in their Apple Cinnamon coffee could be even stronger for me, the coffee is not so overly flavored that you can’t taste the coffee, which is often the case with flavored coffees.

The Apple Cinnamon coffee tastes of apple, with cinnamon the predominant flavor, with a very smooth, non-bitter aftertaste.

This Apple Cinnamon coffee is very subtle on the apple with some spicey cinnamon flavor. Apple Cinnamon is a fall flavored coffee for your everyday cup or anytime you want to enjoy a taste of the changing seasons. I recommend San Marco Apple Cinnamon for its smooth, robust coffee and subtle apple and spice flavor.

Be sure to visit the San Marco Coffee Facebook page to “Like” their excellent coffee products!

san-marco-logo

san-marco-coffee

Coffee Rating:

4.5 out of 5 coffee cups

San Marco Pumpkin Spice Coffee Review

Medium Roast: Whole Bean

Price: $10.98, 1 lb.

San Marco Coffee was kind enough to send us three 1 lb. bags of their gourmet whole bean French Roast and their whole bean Pumpkin Spice and Apple Cinnamon flavored coffees.

San Marco Coffee, Inc. is a gourmet coffee roasting company specializing in selling wholesale coffee to restaurants, cafes, hotels & specialty retailers. You can also buy their coffee online as a regular retail customer. Their professional Roast Master roasts their coffee in the San Marco Coffee state-of-the-art roasting plant in North Carolina. San Marco hand flavors small batch roasted coffees, roasted fresh to order.

San Marco offers three coffee categories in whole bean or ground regular or decaf: Espresso, Gourmet and Flavored coffees. They also sell green coffee beans, gourmet teas and coffee equipment.

San Marco coffee is sold in 8 oz., 1 lb. and 5 lb. resealable bags with a one-way degassing valve so you can easily reseal your bag of coffee. They strive for freshness and always package their coffees immediately after they have been roasted and/or flavored. San Marco offers free shipping for orders of $79.00 or more.

When opening the package of the Pumpkin Spice coffee it smells wonderful, very spicy when you open the bag of beans. The coffee roast looks like a medium roast and the beans are somewhat oily. The silver coffee bag reseals very easily, providing a good seal to keep the coffee flavor in. We ground the whole beans using our blade grinder. The Pumpkin Spice coffee was brewed in our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half.

When the Pumpkin Spice coffee is brewed you can smell the pumpkin pie spices, especially clove and cinnamon. The Pumpkin Spice coffee tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove with a little pumpkin flavor. The spice does not taste like an extract you would use in baking, I appreciate the real spice flavoring used in this coffee.

San Marco uses quality beans, the underlying coffee used in this flavored coffee would be very good even without the flavoring. This is very good seasonal coffee, the flavoring is subtle and not too spicy. The pumpkin spice flavor could be even stronger for me, the coffee is not so overly flavored that you can’t taste the coffee, which is often the case with flavored coffees. The Pumpkin Spice coffee has a good spiciness along with a very smooth, non-bitter aftertaste.

If you like flavored coffees and are looking for a delicious cup of seasonal coffee, San Marco Pumpkin Spice is the perfect choice for your holiday celebration. This Pumpkin Spice coffee is ideal for your everyday coffee or when you want a taste of the holidays and changing seasons. I recommend San Marco Pumpkin Spice for its smooth, robust coffee and subtle spice flavor.

Be sure to visit the San Marco Coffee Facebook page to “Like” their excellent coffee products!

Coffee Article: Crazy for Coffee

APA DSM-5

You always knew you were “crazy for coffee,” but understood that was a metaphor for your enthusiasm for our favorite beverage. Turns out you may actually be nuts.

The newest iteration of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) actually includes a diagnosis for both caffeine intoxication and for caffeine withdrawal. This doesn’t mean that every time you’re jonesing for a cup that you’re off to the funny farm, but does recognize that the addictive nature of caffeine can, in extreme cases, seriously affect your life. I wonder if we’ll now be able to write off that trip to Starbucks as a medical expense?

A Coffee Withdrawal Diagnosis

coffee beans at different stages of roasting

With many things in life, the more you’re willing to put into them, the more you’re likely to get back out. Go the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread, and you’re all set for your next PB&J. Grab the ingredients and bake that loaf at home, and you’re not going to want to waste it on something as pedestrian as that–heck, you might polish it off with just a stick of butter and a big grin.

Back in the day, making a cup of coffee at home meant buying a can of Yuban and firing up the percolator. Technically the result is coffee, but it’s sure not very satisfying. Now if you want to do it right, you go buy some nicely roasted beans, crunch ‘em up in your burr grinder, load up the French press, and go nuts. Still looking for more? How about roasting your own coffee beans.

While industrial-sized coffee roasters use industrial-sized coffee roasting equipment, you can cook up a batch using a popcorn popper. Get your green (unroasted) coffee beans from a local vendor or online, fire up the popper, and go to town. While it may take some getting used to, including the inevitable under- or over-roasted batch or two, eventually you’ll be roasting your coffee with the best of ‘em. Hey, maybe you can enjoy a cup of your home roasted coffee with a slice of your home made bread.

How to Roast Coffee at Home

Image courtesy Wikipedia

whittardlogo

cafe francais copy

Coffee Rating:
4.0 out of 5 coffee cups

Whittard Cafe Francais Coffee Review
Dark Roast: Ground
Price: $7.75, 8 oz.

Whittard Coffee was kind enough to send us three of their ground coffees for review. Whittard takes pride in buying the best coffee beans for their coffees and are coffee blending and tasting experts. Whittard tailors its products to his customers and is known for their customer loyalty. Whittard’s is one of the few places that will grind freshly roasted coffee beans to customers individual tastes. Whittard is also know for their tea with 130 varieties of tea, and blends their own teas and infusions. If you are looking for chocolate Whittard’s carries 18 varieties of luxurious hot chocolate, tempting chocolate lovers with everything from White Chocolate and Strawberry to Chilli. Whittards sells specialist china, equipment and glassware alongside their drinks. Whittard also has coffee gifts available on their website so you can share your favorite coffees with friends and family.

When opening the package of ground coffee the Cafe Francais ground coffee had a strong french roast smell. The Cafe Francais ground coffee is made from a blend of Colombian and Brazilian arabica beans. The Whittard Cafe Francais coffee was brewed in our Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, and also our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half. Whittard provides whole bean coffee, as well as coffee grinds for Cafetiere, Espresso, Filter and Turkish coffee brews.

When tasting the brewed Whittard Cafe Francais coffee it has a good deep French Roast flavor for a ground coffee. Whittard’s Cafe Francais coffee tastes of chocolate with a satistying dark, smooth flavor and slight bitterness known in French Roast coffees.

The Cafe Francais brews up to a smooth, dark roast coffee that tastes great every time you brew it. This is a sturdy, good tasting ground French Roast that makes life a little easier when you need a fast cup of java. I recommend Cafe Francais ground coffee, it makes for a tasty everyday cup of coffee you’ll enjoy every day.

whittardlogo

santosandjava

Coffee Rating:
4.0 out of 5 coffee cups

Whittard Santos and Java Coffee Review
Dark Roast: Ground
Price: $7.75, 8 oz.

Whittard Coffee was kind enough to send us three of their ground coffees for review. Whittard takes pride in buying the best coffee beans for their coffees and are coffee blending and tasting experts. Whittard tailors its products to his customers and is known for their customer loyalty. Whittard’s is one of the few places that will grind freshly roasted coffee beans to customers individual tastes. Whittard is also know for their tea with 130 varieties of tea, and blends their own teas and infusions. If you are looking for chocolate Whittard’s carries 18 varieties of luxurious hot chocolate, tempting chocolate lovers with everything from White Chocolate and Strawberry to Chilli. Whittards sells specialist china, equipment and glassware alongside their drinks. Whittard also has coffee gifts available on their website so you can share your favorite coffees with friends and family.

When opening the package of ground coffee the Whittard Santos and Java coffee had a strong dark roast smell for ground coffee. The Santos and Java coffee is made from a blend of Brazil/Indonesia arabica beans. The Whittard Santos and Java coffee was brewed in our Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, and also our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half. Whittard provides whole bean coffee, as well as coffee grinds for Cafetiere, Espresso, Filter and Turkish coffee brews.

When tasting the brewed Whittard Santos and Java ground coffee it has a deep roast flavor with dark chocolate and hints of sweet fruit. The Whittard Santos and Java coffee has a smooth flavor for a ground coffee with minimal bitterness. This is a robust dark roast ground coffee, there is plenty of oomph here which is not always the case with ground coffees.

Whittard’s Santos and Java coffee is a good choice for dark roast coffee lovers who like the ease of ground coffee. Santos and Java coffee is one of the better ground coffees I’ve tasted in quite awhile, featuring a smooth, dark roast coffee that tastes great every time you brew it. I recommend Santos and Java ground coffee, it makes a great everyday cup of coffee, a ground coffee you’ll enjoy again and again.

Java Junkies Infographic

Coffee fans, check out this cool coffee infographic “Is America a Nation of Java Junkies?”, with info on coffee, everything from caffeine intoxication to how much coffee the USA drinks. Click on the infographic to get a close up view.

Is America a Nation of Java Junkies?
Source: Top Counseling Schools


Coffee Rating:

4.5 out of 5 coffee cups

Rogers Family Coffee Company Hurricane Espresso Decaf Review

Espresso Roast: Whole Bean

Price: $10.59, 12 oz.

Rogers Family Company was kind enough to send us four bags of their gourmet whole bean Organic Coffee Company brand for review. Rogers Family Company is a privately held, 100% family-owned and operated company that was established in 1979. Rogers Family Company uses only the finest Arabica beans for their coffees, featuring Regular (Full-City) Standard Roast, Espresso Roast, French Roast, and an Extra Dark Roast. Rogers Family Company sells whole bean and ground regular, decaf and flavored coffees as well as OneCup products for use in Keurig brewers at great prices.

Unlike some other coffee companies that let their coffees rest before packaging, Rogers Family Company locks the coffees’ freshness right away as they seal the roasted coffee away from the harmful effects of the air within minutes of roasting.

Rogers Family Company brands include Organic Coffee Company, San Francisco Bay Coffee, Black Mountain Gold Coffee, Fairwinds Coffee, Jerusalem Kosher Coffee, Pleasant Hill Coffee, East India Tea & Coffee and Organic Tea Company. Their philosophy is to guarantee customers that they will love their products or your money back. The company provides free shipping on orders of $50 or more (excludes shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and any international states).

Rogers Family Company’s charitable and environmental efforts are admirable as well.

The Rogers family owns and operates coffee farms in Mexico, Panama and Rwanda. The company strives to solve the poverty that exists in coffee communities by improving the education, housing, health, and sanitary conditions for workers and their families on farms where they do business. Rogers Family Company has a Community Aid Program that has restored thousands of acres of rainforest, planting their own coffee on organic, shade grown farms. They stand for premium, sustainable, fair and direct trade coffee at prices you’ll appreciate.

Nominate an active duty soldier overseas in a war zone and Rogers Family Company will send him or her a bag or two of free coffee. One look at the long list of thank you notes on this page and you have to admire the Rogers family for their generous donations to our troops.

When opening the package of coffee the Hurricane Espresso Decaf whole bean coffee had the smell of a dark espresso coffee. The coffee beans were dark for the espresso roast with a good amount of oil on the coffee beans. Hurricane Espresso is Decaffeinated using the Natural Water Process. We ground the whole beans using our Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. The Hurricane Espresso Decaf coffee was brewed in our Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, our French Press and our espresso machine, and it was tasted with and without half and half.

When brewed the Hurricane Espresso Decaf coffee has a strong roasted espresso taste with no bitterness. I’ve often encountered a good amount of bitterness with espresso coffee but Hurricane Espresso delivers a very smooth and mellow flavor. This blend of dark roasts makes me happy to taste a dark decaf coffee with such a good espresso taste. This full bodied espresso will please any decaf coffee lover. The decaf espresso tastes divine from the espresso maker and excellent using the French Press as well.

Rogers Family Company whole bean coffees are roasted by a master roaster. The Rogers Family method of packing coffee beans right after roasting keeps flavors intact to deliver one fantastic cup of java! Hurricane Espresso is a full-bodied dark roast espresso that produces a very good cup of decaf. I would recommend Hurricane Espresso Decaf to espresso lovers who want the strong smooth taste of an espresso in decaf form: all the flavor with none of the caffeine.

LIMITED TIME OFFER Receive a sample of Rogers Family Company gourmet coffee for $1.99 with free shipping to lower 48 US states only (HI and AK excluded) via USPS First Class Mail. The 2-ounce trial size pack is perfect for one full pot of coffee. Click here to see their Coffee Specials and Sales.

Be sure to visit the Rogers Family Coffee Company Facebook page to “Like” their excellent coffee products!


Coffee Rating:

4.5 out of 5 coffee cups

Rogers Family Company Rainforest Blend Review

Medium Roast: Whole Bean

Price: $10.59, 12 oz.

Rogers Family Company was kind enough to send us four bags of their gourmet whole bean Organic Coffee Company brand for review. Rogers Family Company is a privately held, 100% family-owned and operated company that was established in 1979. Rogers Family Company uses only the finest Arabica beans for their coffees, featuring Regular (Full-City) Standard Roast, Espresso Roast, French Roast, and an Extra Dark Roast. Rogers Family Company sells whole bean and ground regular, decaf and flavored coffees as well as OneCup products for use in Keurig brewers at great prices.

Unlike some other coffee companies that let their coffee rest before packaging, Rogers Family Company locks the coffees’ freshness right away as they seal the roasted coffee away from the harmful effects of the air within minutes of roasting.

Rogers Family Company brands include Organic Coffee Company, San Francisco Bay Coffee, Black Mountain Gold Coffee, Fairwinds Coffee, Jerusalem Kosher Coffee, Pleasant Hill Coffee, East India Tea & Coffee and Organic Tea Company. Their philosophy is to guarantee customers that they will love their products or your money back. The company provides free shipping on orders of $50 or more (excludes shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and any international states).

Rogers Family Company’s charitable and environmental efforts are admirable as well.

The Rogers family owns and operates coffee farms in Mexico, Panama and Rwanda. The company strives to solve the poverty that exists in coffee communities by improving the education, housing, health, and sanitary conditions for workers and their families on farms where they do business. Rogers Family Company has a Community Aid Program that has restored thousands of acres of rainforest, planting their own coffee on organic, shade grown farms. They stand for premium, sustainable, fair and direct trade coffee at prices you’ll appreciate.

Nominate an active duty soldier overseas in a war zone and Rogers Family Company will send him or her a bag or two of free coffee. One look at the long list of thank you notes on this page and you have to admire the Rogers family for their generous donations to our troops.

Rainforest Blend is 100% Organic and shade-grown coffee, which is beneficial for both the environment and for the local birds and wildlife in the rainforests and cloudforests of Central and South America.

Rainforest Blend is a Regular (Full-City) Standard Roast coffee according to the website but tastes closer to a darker roast coffee when brewed. When opening the package of coffee the Rainforest Blend whole bean coffee had the roasted smell of a dark roasted coffee with surprising herbal notes. The coffee beans were uniformly dark with slightly oily shine, always a good sign for a darker roasted coffee. We ground the whole beans using our Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. The Rainforest Blend coffee was brewed in our Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, and also our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half.

When brewed Rainforest Blend is a delicious tasting coffee with chocolate tones and refreshing hints of herbs. Rainforest Blend is a complex blend of coffees that creates a unique, flavorful cup of coffee when brewed. I’m a fan of dark roast and this medium roast coffee is one I’d be happy to drink daily. Rainforest Blend is full-bodied yet very smooth tasting and makes for an excellent cup of java.

Rogers Family Company whole bean coffees are roasted by a master roaster. The Rogers Family method of packing coffee beans right after roasting keeps flavors intact to deliver one fantastic cup of java! Rainforest Blend is a perfect choice for your everyday coffee when you want a great tasting coffee to start off your day. Enjoy Rainforest Blend on the weekend or whenever you want to take time to savor a truly delicious cup of coffee. I highly recommend purchasing Rogers Family Company Rainforest Blend coffee for its smooth, full-bodied, complex flavor.

LIMITED TIME OFFER Receive a sample of Rogers Family Company gourmet coffee for $1.99 with free shipping to lower 48 US states only (HI and AK excluded) via USPS First Class Mail. The 2-ounce trial size pack is perfect for one full pot of coffee. Click here to see their Coffee Specials and Sales.

Be sure to visit the Rogers Family Company Facebook page to “Like” their excellent coffee products!

By Melanie Rose

Overview

Unlike shopping for coffee machines, when one is sorting through espresso machine reviews espresso machine reviews, who is manufacturing and delivering that machine is a very important question.

There are a lot of companies jumping on the very hot espresso wagon since Starbuck’s made coffee and espresso drinks an international trend. Many have been making coffee machines for many years. But an espresso machine is a very different animal.

Espresso is fussy at best and impossible at worst. Many factors go into creating a great shot, such as the grind of the bean, the temperature of the water and the pressure applied when tamping in the portafilter basket.

So when you begin to shop for an espresso machine, all of these factors and more come into play. Nobody addresses them like the legendary Italian espresso machine manufacturers. These companies are the forerunners of the industry who came first with machete blades to carve a path for the rest.

Nuova Simonelli is one of those luminaries. Located in gorgeous Belforte del Chienti in eastern Italy, Nuova Simonelli is an industry leader who consistently designs reliable high-performance products. They have been making espresso machines since 1936, when Orlando Simonelli made his first espresso machine: the appropriately-named “1936″.

This first endeavor was an inNuovation for the period, and technically at the forefront of its kind. Since then Nuova Simonelli has had many years to hone and perfect the craft of creating espresso machines.

In doing the research for this article, I found Nuova Simonelli’s vision statement:

“We have based our identity on the emotions aroused by a great espresso. Experience, technology, inNuovation, and design are the means we use to convey this.”

It’s a great vision statement that speaks directly to the espresso lover.

But Nuova Simonelli has primarily been a designer of the big commercial machines you see at fancy restaurants and the local boutique cafes. Oscar is for the home and office. So how does it measure up? Read on.

The Oscar is a super-automatic espresso machine that offers the following features:

  • Suitable for home, office or small eatery. Won’t produce enough espresso per hour for a boutique cafe.
  • Heat-siphon circulation heating. Simultaneous steam.
  • Coffee dispensing option.
  • 2.3 liter water reservoir.
  • Water-stop valve.
  • Direct water connection option.
  • Use espresso grounds or pods.
  • 1 liter drawer with position adjustable according to height of cups.
  • 360° adjustable steam nozzle.
  • 12-cup holder.
  • Full-color ABS bodywork, which guarantees that scratches will be invisible.
  • 58 mm commercial group and portafilter.
  • 1200 watt heating element.
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches.
  • Shipping Weight: 65 pounds

Don’t worry, I realize that if you haven’t shopped for espresso machines before that most of these features will read as gobbledygook to you. We’ll be discussing most of them going forward.

The Review

The first thing to know about Oscar is that the casing is ABS plastic, not stainless steel. This is unusual for an Italian machine, but the plastic casing is durable, portable (catering events, anyone?) and a lot of folks are so fond of Oscar that they have chosen to personalize the plastic casing by decorating it. The unit comes in black, red and gray.

The biggest plus to this plastic casing is that it doesn’t show scratches. Still, if you are a lover of the sleek and stunning stainless steel Italian designs, you might turn your nose up. But, you won’t get one of those machines for $1,000, which is about what you will pay for Oscar.

Espresso is made by forcing pressurized water near boiling point through a tamped disc of ground coffee and a filter in order to produce a thick, concentrated syrup. Therefore, the boiler is a crucial element of the process. Nuova Simonelli outfits Oscar with a 2.3 liter heat exchange boiler made of 99% copper, which is widely known to be the best conductor for stable water temperature.

The semi-professional Oscar is also manufactured with other commercial grade components, like the heavy duty grouphead made from marine quality brass. Piping materials are carefully considered for perfect balance and temperature stability as well. You get the same 58mm portafilter baskets that the commercial machines on the market use. Also, Oscar can be plumbed into your water system or you can use it’s substantial 3.2 liter reservoir.

A rare feature amongst home espresso machines is the ability to brew espresso and steam milk at the same time. But the heat exchanger in this espresso machine allows you to multitask so that there is no lag time between pulling shots and adding the milk for lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatios. The machine takes from 10 – 20 minutes to heat up.

Oscar’s buttons and settings make it easy for anybody to use this machine, and it’s quite possible to pull a superb, quality shot of espresso every time, with no wasted coffee going down the drain.

The 360-degree adjustable panarello wand for milk frothing is powerful and efficient for getting the right temperature and consistency for your steamed milk.

One feature that a lot of reviews won’t get into is customer service, but I feel that it is very important where espresso machines are concerned because of their finely tuned design. Particularly the Italian machines, which can be more temperamental. In researching the customer service at Nuova Simonelli I was very pleased to find that they have high dedication to customer service, and spend roughly 240 days of their year educating customers in using their equipment. They also offer a 2 year warranty with the Oscar espresso machine.

User Experience

If you take a peek at the inside of this machine, you will be thrilled with the quality you find. And cleaning plastic is so much easier than stainless steel. Just wipe it off with a damp cloth.

The quality of espresso and the consistency of quality are spectacular, and it’s so easy to use Oscar with it’s minimalist interface. Two buttons and a steam knob are all you have to worry about. You don’t even need to figure out what each feature does if you don’t want to.

The factory settings are right on, so just take Oscar out of the box, set up your espresso grounds or pods and push a button. Easy.

Oscar has a compact footprint so you don’t need a ton of counter space, and can hold up to 12 cups in the railed cup warmer at the top of the machine. But you won’t be able to put a large mug or glass in the brew area. The drip tray can be adjusted by reversing it to accommodate different cup sizes, but don’t expect to put your 20 oz ceramic mug in there. This is an espresso machine, and it’s designed for the smaller espresso cups.

Any Drawbacks?

If you want a sexy Italian machine, this isn’t the one. Oscar is perfect in almost every respect, but the plastic casing eliminates it from the chic and hip categories.

The plastic accessories like the portafilter handle and the grill are susceptible to cracking, but not to any great extent or hindrance of using the machine.

Some people don’t like that it does not have a hot water valve, but in all honesty this is usually a commercial machine feature, and most home espresso machines don’t have one.

Oscar’s low water indicator isn’t as efficient as it could be in that it certainly tells you that the tank is low on water — right about the time the tank is out of water, so you could get stuck mid-shot without water. Best remedy: keep an eye on the water level.

In Conclusion

Whether you are a new espresso fan or experienced home barista, with Oscar you may never have to upgrade to a newer or better machine.The few drawbacks that Oscar does have do not qualify as deal breakers.

However, the stability and durability of manufacturing and quality and consistency of the machine’s espresso output make it a solid winner and great purchase.


Coffee Rating:

4 out of 5 coffee cups

Rogers Family Company Gorilla Decaf Review

Medium Roast: Whole Bean

Price: $10.59, 12 oz.

Rogers Family Company was kind enough to send us four bags of their gourmet whole bean Organic Coffee Company brand for review. Rogers Family Company is a privately held, 100% family-owned and operated company that was established in 1979. Rogers Family Company uses only the finest Arabica beans for their coffees, featuring Regular (Full-City) Standard Roast, Espresso Roast, French Roast, and an Extra Dark Roast. Rogers Family Company sells whole bean and ground regular, decaf and flavored coffees as well as OneCup products for use in Keurig brewers at great prices.

Unlike some other coffee companies that let their coffee rest before packaging, Rogers Family Company locks the coffees’ freshness right away as they seal the roasted coffee away from the harmful effects of the air within minutes of roasting.

Rogers Family Company brands include Organic Coffee Company, San Francisco Bay Coffee, Black Mountain Gold Coffee, Fairwinds Coffee, Jerusalem Kosher Coffee, Pleasant Hill Coffee, East India Tea & Coffee and Organic Tea Company. Their philosophy is to guarantee customers that they will love their products or your money back. The company provides free shipping on orders of $50 or more (excludes shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and any international states).

Rogers Family Company’s charitable and environmental efforts are admirable as well.

The Rogers family owns and operates coffee farms in Mexico, Panama and Rwanda. The company strives to solve the poverty that exists in coffee communities by improving the education, housing, health, and sanitary conditions for workers and their families on farms where they do business. Rogers Family Company has a Community Aid Program that has restored thousands of acres of rainforest, planting their own coffee on organic, shade grown farms. They stand for premium, sustainable, fair and direct trade coffee at prices you’ll appreciate.

Nominate an active duty soldier overseas in a war zone and Rogers Family Company will send him or her a bag or two of free coffee. One look at the long list of thank you notes on this page and you have to admire the Rogers family for their generous donations to our troops.

When opening the package of coffee the Gorilla Decaf whole bean coffee had the smell of a darker roast coffee. The coffee beans were uniformly darker for a regular roast with an oily shine. Gorilla Decaf is Decaffeinated using the Natural Water Process. We ground the whole beans using our Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. The Gorilla Decaf coffee was brewed in our Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, and also our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half.

When brewed Gorilla Decaf has a strong roasted coffee flavor that tastes of mocha, it is a smooth and mellow decaf with a sweetness in the aftertaste and no bitterness. So often decaf coffee lacks a strong taste or full body, not a problem here, Gorilla Decaf is a flavorful cup of decaf that would satisfy any coffee fan.

Rogers Family Company whole bean coffees are roasted by a master roaster. The Rogers Family method of packing coffee beans right after roasting keeps flavors intact to deliver one fantastic cup of java! This full-bodied coffee is a strong tasting decaf that seems darker roast than it is. Gorilla Decaf produces a very good cup of decaf, I would recommend Gorilla Decaf to coffee lovers who want a good tasting cup of coffee every time they brew a pot of decaf.

LIMITED TIME OFFER Receive a sample of Rogers Family Company gourmet coffee for $1.99 with free shipping to lower 48 US states only (HI and AK excluded) via USPS First Class Mail. The 2-ounce trial size pack is perfect for one full pot of coffee. Click here to see their Coffee Specials and Sales.

Be sure to visit the Rogers Family Company Facebook page to “Like” their excellent coffee products!


Coffee Rating:

5 out of 5 coffee cups

Rogers Family Company Stellar Brew Review

Medium Roast: Whole Bean

Price: $9.99, 12 oz.

Rogers Family Company was kind enough to send us four bags of their gourmet whole bean Organic Coffee Company brand for review. Rogers Family Company is a privately held, 100% family-owned and operated company that was established in 1979. Rogers Family Company uses only the finest Arabica beans for their coffees, featuring Regular (Full-City) Standard Roast, Espresso Roast, French Roast, and an Extra Dark Roast. Rogers Family Company sells whole bean and ground regular, decaf and flavored coffees as well as OneCup products for use in Keurig brewers at great prices.

Unlike some other coffee companies that let their coffee rest before packaging, Rogers Family Company locks the coffees’ freshness right away as they seal the roasted coffee away from the harmful effects of the air within minutes of roasting.

Rogers Family Company brands include Organic Coffee Company, San Francisco Bay Coffee, Black Mountain Gold Coffee, Fairwinds Coffee, Jerusalem Kosher Coffee, Pleasant Hill Coffee, East India Tea & Coffee and Organic Tea Company. Their philosophy is to guarantee customers that they will love their products or your money back. The company provides free shipping on orders of $50 or more (excludes shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and any international states).

Rogers Family Company’s charitable and environmental efforts are admirable as well.

The Rogers family owns and operates coffee farms in Mexico, Panama and Rwanda. The company strives to solve the poverty that exists in coffee communities by improving the education, housing, health, and sanitary conditions for workers and their families on farms where they do business. Rogers Family Company has a Community Aid Program that has restored thousands of acres of rainforest, planting their own coffee on organic, shade grown farms. They stand for premium, sustainable, fair and direct trade coffee at prices you’ll appreciate.

Nominate an active duty soldier overseas in a war zone and Rogers Family Company will send him or her a bag or two of free coffee. One look at the long list of thank you notes on this page and you have to admire the Rogers family for their generous donations to our troops.

Stellar Brew is a Regular (Full-City) Standard Roast coffee according to the website but it certainly comes off as a dark roast coffee when brewed. When opening the package of coffee the Stellar Brew whole bean coffee had the strong roasted smell of a deep, dark roasted coffee. The coffee beans were uniformly dark with an oily shine, a good sign of a strong tasting roast coffee. We ground the whole beans using our Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. The Stellar Brew coffee was brewed in our Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, and also our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half.

Stellar Brew turns out to be one of our favorite coffees we’ve reviewed on the blog to date. Stellar Brew lives up to its name – it is a stellar cup of coffee! When tasting the Stellar Brew coffee I was very impressed with the taste of dark roast in this medium roast coffee that has a fantastic depth of flavor. The Stellar Brew has a smooth, full-bodied, deep chocolate flavor with a touch of smoky aftertaste and slight dark roast bitterness that any dark roast coffee fan would appreciate.

Rogers Family Company whole bean coffees are roasted by a master roaster. The Rogers Family method of packing coffee beans right after roasting keeps flavors intact to deliver one fantastic cup of java! This full-bodied coffee is one of the best medium roast coffees I’ve had the pleasure to taste. Stellar Brew is delicious and ideal for your everyday cup or to savor on a lazy weekend when there is nothing more you’d like to do than appreciate a sip of finely roasted coffee. I highly recommend purchasing Rogers Family Company Stellar Brew coffee for its outstanding smooth, full-bodied, deeply-roasted flavor.

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Receive a sample of Rogers Family Company gourmet coffee for $1.99 with free shipping to lower 48 US states only (HI and AK excluded) via USPS First Class Mail. The 2-ounce trial size pack is perfect for one full pot of coffee. Click here to see their Coffee Specials and Sales.

Be sure to visit the Rogers Family Company Facebook page to “Like” their excellent coffee products!

Coffee News: Rusted Coffee?

Coffee Rust

Scandals! Disasters! What’s next? How about a nasty disease affecting Central American coffee growers.

An outbreak of a fungal disease called “coffee rust” has put the coffee crop at risk. Although the disease was first identified in the ’70s, it’s not until now that it has increased to the point that it is starting to worry coffee producers. It looks like changing farming practices, in conjunction with climate change, are stressing coffee plants and reducing their ability to fight off infections. This means that coffee production will decrease, leading to increased prices and a corresponding loss of jobs.

Nobody’s quite sure where this will all end up, but it certainly looks like some combination of lower quality and higher prices for your cup of Java.

Disease Outbreak Threatens the Future of Good Coffee

Image courtesy Wikipedia



Coffee Rating:
4.5 out of 5 coffee cups

La Colombe Kenya Kiriniyaga
Light Roast, Organic: Whole Bean, Percolator, French Press, Drip, Melitta, Stovetop, Home Espresso, Commercial Espresso and Turkish
Price: $12.95, 12 oz, 5 lb.

La Colombe Torrefaction Coffee Roasters have cafes in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Seoul, and roast their coffee beans in Philadelphia. La Colombe sells single origin and specialty blend coffee. Founders Todd Carmichael and Jean Philippe Iberti started La Colombe Torrefaction in 1985 with the pairing of the European coffee roaster and American cuisine in mind, calling it culinary coffee. La Colombe follows ethical trade practices. La Colombe uses only earth friendly coffees that hold two or more earth friendly certifications. Another reason to admire La Colombe is their dedication to helping coffee farmers and the people they come in contact with. La Colombe’s charitable work includes being involved in water resource development and borehole drilling to building and maintaining schools which support orphaned children with housing, health care and education.

La Colombe Torrefaction founder Todd Carmichael goes on expeditions to source the finest offee beans, his coffee travels are followed weekly in a new Travel Channel show Dangerous Grounds. We are a fan of the show and highly recommend you watch Todd Carmichael’s extreme adventures as he travels in Season 1 to Madagascar, Bolivia, Haiti, Borneo and Ethiopia. Watching Carmichael roast beans in a portable coffee roaster, grind them in a small portable grinder then brew them in a cup after a huge trek to remote coffee farms makes for very exciting TV.

La Colombe’s Kenya Kiriniyaga is a farm direct, unique single orgin coffee for those interested in exotic, rare and unforgettable coffee experiences. Each coffee is hand crafted in single batches in La Colombe’s atelier.

When opening the package of whole bean coffee the La Colombe Kenya Kiriniyaga has the aroma of nutty, light roasted coffee. The Kenya Kiriniyaga coffee was brewed with both a standard drip system coffee maker and French Press and it was tasted with and without half and half. La Colombe offers a long list of grinds available for their coffee when you purchase it: Whole Bean, Percolator, French Press, Drip, Melitta, Stovetop, Home Espresso, Commercial Espresso and Turkish.

When tasting Kenya Kiriniyaga the light roast coffee has a mellow, very smooth flavor. The Kenya coffee was not strong enough for me so I added a few extra scoops of coffee in the next pot and produced some good results. Kenya Kiriniyaga is an excellent light roast coffee with chocolate notes and a hint of crisp citrus. I found the Tarrazu the stronger flavored of the two coffees. After boosting up the coffee for the next pot, the Kenya coffee had a warmer flavor I really enjoyed.

I recommend Kenya Kiriniyaga for light roast coffee fans. La Colombe’s coffee is always delicious and a special treat for coffee lovers. Kenya Kiriniyaga is a good choice for those who prefer light roast coffee for their everyday coffee or as a special cup to savor over the weekend.



Coffee Rating:
3.5 out of 5 coffee cups

Tylers Regular Acid Free Coffee
Medium Roast: Regular Ground and Regular Whole Bean 10 oz.
Price: $29.97

Tylers Coffee was kind enough to send us a bag of their acid free decaf and regular ground coffee for review. We received their 4 oz ground coffee samples in decaf and regular, after testing the acid free decaf coffee we tested the regular coffee next. Tylers also carries their caffeinated coffee in whole bean 1 lb bag, which gives you an even fresher taste of their acid-free coffee. Tylers Coffee will have K-Cups available for purchase in winter 2013, buy your Tylers Coffee K-Cups at their website.

Tylers Coffee uses a special process to create acid free coffee, they state on their website that this is the largest invention in the coffee world since decaffeination. The high amount of acid found in coffee is one of the major factors in acid related diseases including acid reflux, indigestion, upset stomach, heartburn and tooth enamel decay. Tylers coffee is acid free, it lacks the bitter after-taste of regular coffee and has none of the negative side effects associated with acidic drinks. Tylers special roasting process provides double the amount of natural antioxidants in their coffees and double the amount of caffeine in their regular coffee.

Tylers coffee is made from grade AAA rated Brazilian Arabica beans and uses an Italian roast for their coffee. To create acid free coffee, Tylers uses their own proprietary “Z-Roasting” process. The Z-roasting process removes the natural acidity in coffee beans. The chemical free process involves computerized monitoring of temperature, air, humidity and other atmospheric conditions to remove the acid. This creates a bold yet smooth flavor and consistency from roast to roast. The coffee is ground in multiple micro grind sizes and sealed in individual coffee packages.

Tylers Chemical-Free Swiss Water® Process Decaf is made using a chemical free Swiss Water® process, maintaining the distinct flavor of their AAA Arabica beans and creating the world’s first and finest acid free decaf coffee.

When opening the package of ground coffee, Tylers Regular Acid Free Coffee had the aroma of a nutty, warm medium Italian roast coffee. Tylers regular coffee was brewed in our Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, and also our French Press, and it was tasted with and without half and half.

When tasting Tylers regular ground coffee I had the same reaction as with their decaf coffee – a smooth flavor that was markedly acid free! Tylers regular coffee has a good Italian roast flavor that is nutty with hints of fruit and has a little more body and slightly stronger flavor than their decaf coffee. The ground coffee came in individual packets making it very easy to brew up a pot of coffee.

I have had an extreme case of GERD/acid reflux for years and I could immediately tell the difference in acid content when drinking both Tylers decaf and regular coffees. Acid reflux sufferers often have to stay away from regular caffeinated coffee, Tylers coffee takes the acid out, making it much easier for those with acid reflux to enjoy regular coffee. When drinking Tylers regular coffee I once again experienced no acid in their regular caffeinated coffee! I’m impressed with their acid free process, if coffee drinkers have problems with coffee acid, Tylers Coffee is a perfect choice to combat the problem.

For those of you like me who have acid reflux disease or heartburn you can’t choose a better coffee to help with minimizing acid stomach problems. I highly recommend Tylers ground caffeinated coffee for its smooth, acid free taste and good Italian roast flavor. Make Tylers coffee your everyday coffee or savor it on lazy weekends.

Try Tylers sample coffees in decaf and regular for only $9.99, its a great deal and an easy way to discover what truly smooth, acid free coffee really tastes like. Tylers offers free shipping on all USA orders.