For the Love of Coffee, Cigars, Wine, & Great Food!

Posts tagged “Cigars

Ethiopia Harrar: A Holy Ghost Rolling, Slap Yo Mama Coffee!

Our newest catchphrase? “Oh My Delicious Lord!” So we’ve talked about everything from coffee slapping us in the face to coffee making us salivate and even cry. But this one, Oh LAWD, this one is gonna make you SLAP YO MAMA, catch the Holy Ghost, repent, then repeat. Nothing short of an insane adrenaline rush, this electrifying wild fruit beauty is layered with velvety chocolate and butter cream almond. It has a highly concentrated very berry flavor masked with mouth-watering layers of milk chocolate. Roasted at City, City+, and Full City, we took this coffee all over the map with us and tasted the hell out of it. Our online store, Jitterz Café, offers this coffee at all three roast levels listed here – tailored specifically for your taste preference! Snag it for some holy ghost rolling fun! *Photo Credit: Gevon Knox, GServo Photography*

City Roast

Such an appropriate introduction to this coffee. It features bright characteristics over different types of preparation: a candy-like fruitiness, orange and tangerine, strawberry blanketed in mouth-watering layers of chocolate.

Grind & Prep: Coarse, French Press | Coarse, Pour-over

Dry Aroma: Nutty, Maple Syrup, Cardamom

Wet Aroma: Tussin, Syrupy Pancakes, Nutty Butty Bar

Mouthfeel: Smooth & Velvety

Full City Roast

Skip over to Full City and you get a much more mature cup featuring different herb and fruit elements: basil, lime, tangerine, pomegranate, warm buttery popcorn, gala apples, and milk chocolate almond. At this level we have a beautiful smooth velvet chocolate finish. Upfront, it has chocolate on the cusp and a hint of blueberry softness. As it cools we get to experience some strawberry layered with butter cream and cream cheese frosting. There is such a peaceful ambiance to the Full City roast. The Full City roast would likely pair well with a full-bodied Madura cigar that has a hint of woody spice elements.

Grind & Prep: Med/Coarse, French Press | Semi-Fine, Pour-over | Fine, Vietnamese Phin Filter

Dry Aroma: Nutty, Maple Syrup, Cardamom

Wet Aroma: Pancakes, Canoli, Baked Bread

Mouthfeel: Smooth & Velvety

City+ Roast, Ooooh-weeee, that Damn City+ Roast!

City+ roast proves to be an electrifying experience in both the French Press and the Vietnamese Phin Filter. This roast and preparation is the ultimate performance level for this coffee. City+ roast introduces an intense intimacy of boastful wild fruit, tangerine, raspberry, toffee nut, macadamia nut and finishes like a sexy chocolate fruit bomb. At this roast and grind, it would perform as amazing single origin espresso (SO, meaning from one coffee region, not a blend). The texture, acidity, brightness and the subtle chocolate nuances combined with its boastful fruit and herb complexities takes the experience to a whole other level.

Grind & Prep: Coarse, French Press

Grind & Prep: Fine, Vietnamese Phin Filter, 10-min Steep, 2.5 Tbsp tightly packed, Slowly Releasing the Screw-Down Filter

Wet Aroma: Caramel, Chocolate, Fudge

Mouthfeel: Fruit-like texture, a bit dryer, gorgeous acidity

Pair With

Absolutely nothing – Harrar owns the stage, and totally deserves it! We wouldn’t want to rob it of its ultimate performance, i.e., no unnecessary distractions. But if you must…a handful of nuts (almond, pecans or walnuts), raisins, freshly-baked, warm buttery bread or mango.


Raging Brews: Second Time Around

Now, I am a 100% advocate for fresh-roasted coffee. But after returning from a few months of travel, I realized I still had at least one cup’s worth of beans to brew from this amazing coffee – BaristaOnDutY’s Light Roast Vietnamese Caphe R16.  I fired it up, and much to my surprise, I was greeted with elements of caramel, raisin, and wine – almost like a nice pinotage or syrah. This was very different from the woodsy, tobacco-like qualities I had experienced upon fresh roast. I must say, after a few months – yes a few months – of rest, this coffee still had some mind-blowing characteristics. Of course I lit up a cigar to go along with it, which turned out to be the perfect pairing. Perdomo Lot 23 Belicoso, a mild cigar with woody and sweet spice notes, complimented this coffee so well. For as little as $4.95, you can enjoy this torpedo for about 30-45 minutes along with a sweet caramelly, rested, light roasted Vietnamese Caphe R16 from Coffee + Cigar Pairings.


Previous R16 Reviews

Raging Brews

Raging Brews: The Smokehouse

Mean Chicken-N-Waffles with BODY

Raging Brews: The Smokehouse

A few weeks ago, we did a review on BaristaOnDutY’s Light Roast Vietnamese R16, which featured woodsy, tobacco and molasses scents highlighted by Asian spice, soft caramel, sweet raisin, and plum. The cup profile announced licorice, smoked wood, and some dark fruit  – I know, I’m salivating! After a few days of rest, this coffee boldly expresses dark plum, berries, caramel, and honey – but this time around we paired it with a suggested lighter cigar – La Gloria Cubana Churchill 7×50 NT that lasted us for a little over an hour. Dive into Raging Brews: The Smokehouse.

Raging Brews: Vietnamese Caphe by BODY (BaristaOnDutY)

The Vietnamese Caphe is such an incredible coffee, it’s ridiculous. Its atypical shape, aroma, and taste qualities made me keep by nose deep into the beans for the majority of the tasting. Provided by (@BaristaOnDutY), this coffee’s dry whole bean aroma was a collaboration of several scents: onions, spice, tobacco, leather, smoked wood chips, grassy. Its ground dry aroma is where we experienced more of the sweeter scents like caramel and soft floral accents. The wet aroma (immersing in water) – Oh My God – intense tobacco & molasses was very apparent. We also got hints of sweet raisin, plum and more of that caramel – but also a smoked wood.

So we finally get to taste: winey, licorice, tobacco & cigar accents, would be great for espresso, a very clean finish. About halfway through, all of the dry and wet aromas along with the upfront tastes blend together very well and are quite pleasurable!

The Beans: The beans were actually quite small in comparison to the average bean. Interestingly enough, the texture of the beans were both smooth and rigid and had a color variation of both dark and light.  These unique traits give it character and an unconventional beauty.

Pairs Well With: A light cigar, A rich chocolate dessert

What to look for soon: best preparation methods (espresso, drip, French Press, phin filter)

Get to know your BODY (@BaristaOnDutY): /

Does My Coffee Smell Like Raisins?

This is a follow up to the last blog post “Making Coffee Tasting Fun!”

Some coffee aficionados might ring my neck for this, but…you don’t have to be a master at coffee to recognize its intricacies. If you’ve got taste buds and your nose works, you can properly describe the taste qualities of coffee as well as experiencing its simple pleasure.


  1. Start with a bag of whole bean fresh roasted coffee. If you don’t have fresh roasted, purchase a bag of whole beans from your local grocery store or from your fave coffee shop.
  2. Using a course grind setting, grind the proper amount of beans for your brew.
  3. Brew the coffee using your preferred brewing method (French press is my fave!) Make sure to use fresh, cold water.
  4. Pour into your fave coffee mug.

The Taste Test:

Once I prepare my coffee, I usually take it black, and if I am tasting it for the first time, I most definitely take it black. All coffee producing countries have certain taste characteristics and identifiable qualities, but sometimes you have to approach tasting without any expectations but with an open mind. Many coffee connoisseurs can identify what region a coffee is from just by smell alone. But we’re going to approach it a little differently. Soooo, Let’s Start! Today we are tasting a coffee from Peru.

  1. Dive head first into the mug and SMEELLLLL the coffee’s aroma. Do any memories come to mind? The aroma of your coffee is going to trigger certain scents that you’ve smelt before. This coffee from Peru smells like raisins, pear, and a little bit of a soft cream.
  2. Slowly taste the coffee, first letting it touch the tip of your tongue, of course letting it cool to a temperature that is acceptable enough to drink.
  3. As the coffee begins to wet your palate, let it roll from the tip of your tongue to the base of your tongue, again inviting personal memories of combinations of smell and taste. A lot of aficionados are very cultured and well travelled, and sometimes they tend to apply “high-end” terminology to describe a coffee’s taste. But on a personal level, use the tastes that you’re used to and that you identify with the most to describe your coffee. My coffee tastes like pear, a bit of cocoa – very balanced.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “taste is 80% smell and 20% taste” – it’s true. When we combine the wonderful aroma of the coffee with what our taste buds are telling us about the coffee, we get the awesome opportunity to experience the world of coffee on a much deeper level. And that is the simple pleasure you can have each morning in your cup!

Making Coffee Tasting Personal and Fun!

Some coffee aficianados use high-end terms and their world travels to describe the many taste characteristics of coffee. I’m going to share how you can apply your most personal and local memories to the coffee in your mug.

Ethiopia’s Dictator Revokes Coffee Licenses of Major Exporters

Ethiopia’s dictator revokes coffee licenses of major exporters

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (APA) – Ethiopia’s dictatorial regime led by accused war criminal Meles Zenawi on Wednesday revoked the coffee export licenses for six major export companies and shut down another 88 coffee supplier unions with warehouses stocked with coffee.

The decision was made after the government accused a number of exporters and coffee suppliers of hoarding.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also revoked the international coffee standard certification for the six companies.

“These companies cause big economic damage to the country which has resulted in the decline of the country’s coffee earnings this year,” said the ministry.

The major exporters of Ethiopian coffee affected by the decision are Mulege, S. Sara, Legesse Sherefa and Kemal Abdela.

The dispute between the government and the coffee exporters started when Ethiopia introduced last year a new electronic commodity exchange.

The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange was set up to replace a murky auction system that was often abused by market players.

Some exporters have been reluctant to sell their beans through the country\’s new electronic commodity exchange which began trading in December, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told parliament last week where he urged the exporters to immediately start selling their stocks. The ministry accused the exporters and coffee suppliers union of creating the coffee shortage in the local market, resulting in price increase in the country in the past few weeks.

Coffee accounted for about 60 percent of Ethiopia’s foreign exchange revenue in the 2007/2008 season when Ethiopia earned more than $525 million from exporting 170,888 tones of Arabica coffee.

Ethiopia, the birth place of coffee, is Africa\’s biggest coffee producer.

Some 15 million smallholder farmers grow coffee in Ethiopia, mostly in the misty forested highlands of its western and southwestern regions.


U.S. coffee importers and roasters are worried that a new auction system in Ethiopia makes it almost impossible for them to buy coffee from the particular farmers whose beans they want.

Seattle Times business reporter

U.S. coffee importers and roasters are worried that a new auction system in Ethiopia makes it almost impossible for them to buy coffee from the particular farmers whose beans they want.

The system, overseen by the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, mixes coffee beans from different growers before selling them for export.

That’s a big deal to specialty roasters who prefer beans from certain growers and processors, and sometimes have worked with them to improve quality.

During a visit to the Ethiopian exchange in February, one Seattle coffee importer became concerned about how the new system would work.

“We spent a whole day going through the phases of grief — anger, denial and acceptance — just trying to get our arms around what’s going on,” said Craig Holt, owner of Atlas Coffee Importers.

The new auction system and its implications are poorly understood, Holt and others said.

What they know for sure is that they’re unable to order many of the coffees they want.

Some have had trouble getting any coffee from Ethiopia, although it is not clear whether the new auction system is to blame.

Royal Coffee, an importer based in Oakland, Calif., has not received shipments from Ethiopia that ordinarily would have arrived by now.

“There seems to be a wrench in the gears,” president Robert Fulmer wrote on the company’s blog. “To say there is confusion and chaos in Ethiopia is an understatement.”

Last week, Ethiopia closed the warehouses of six of its largest exporters, accusing them of hoarding coffee and contributing to a shortage of foreign currency.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the government plans to start exporting beans itself.



The changes haven’t affected Starbucks, a spokeswoman said. The company buys coffee through the exchange and from cooperative unions and estates, which are allowed to sell directly.

The U.S. imports 12 to 15 million pounds of Ethiopian coffee annually, less than 5 percent of that nation’s total coffee exports. Japan is the largest importer of Ethiopian coffee, taking about 66 million pounds a year, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Ethiopia’s new exchange estimates that specialty coffee, which is high-end coffee for which consumers pay a premium, represents about 3.7 percent of its coffee exports. Specialty coffee includes coffee bought by importers and roasters who have relationships with certain coffee growers.

The exchange said in a December paper on specialty coffee that it can hone its contract specifications to reflect geographic criteria and other refinements. For further traceability, “the direct channel by which growers can directly export coffee can be used,” the paper said.

Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle is among those counting on it.

Coffee buyer and head roaster Perry Hook is excited about a shipment of 2008 Ethiopia Natural Yirgacheffe Beloya beans that he just bought from the importer Ninety Plus Coffee.

He doesn’t have much hope of getting anything so specialized from this year’s crop.

“We’ll still buy Ethiopian coffee, because they have some of the best coffee in the world,” Hook said. “It’s the specialty ones that can be tied back to specific producing areas and handled in specific ways that we’re not going to get [this year]. We’re just going to hope something happens down the road and that in 2010 we can get these kinds of coffee again.”

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or