My Love Affair with Coffee

First, I want to say I just pray for the victims hurt in Istanbul. Dear Jesus, comfort them, comfort those who lost someone and those hurt.

So I am a coffee guy. I have an Aeropress. I was a french press lover for a long time, but gave it up once the Aeropress came into my life. I love special, highly select coffee. It’s my thing, it’s what I splurge a touch on in our monthly budget. For Father’s Day, my fam got me a bag of Arabian Mocha Sanani from Peets…omgsh. Which is one of my all time fave coffees ever. Lemme nerd out for a sec…there’s a really interesting history behind Mocha Sanani. It’s a coffee grown in Yemen, exported out of the port of Mocha. And it was actually the port city name of Mocha and the chocolaty taste of the beans that Europeans began to associate the word “mocha” with the modern chocolate-coffee flavor. I can only get it now from Peets (from coffee producers that I regularly use anyway). Starbucks used to carry it, but gave it up for some reason. The price is through the roof, probably due to the civil war going on in Yemen…you’re looking at a cool $25/lbs not including S&H if you want a bag (splurge if you’re a coffee lover too; it won’t disappoint, trust me!).

(From when you could get it at Sbux, back in the day…)


My father in law upped the ante and gave me a huge gift Sbux card for daddy day. And what did I do with it, but go straight to the Sbux Reserve website and order a bag of what you see above…that is the Rwanda Mahembe. The tasting notes from Sbux including “tastes like candy,” citrus, honey, and chocolate.It is the second place finisher in the 2015 Rwanda Cup of Excellence. Priced at a cool $40/half lb, not including S&H. I had some left over on the card so I got a half lb of the Brazil Fazenda California. Tasting notes include lemon, brown sugar, and toasted hazelnuts. Gahhh…

So my wifey and I are about to have a new baby! That’s number 3 for us! And it’s a girl! And to celebrate…I am waiting to open the Rwanda Mahembe until she is born. Then, it’s aeropress time (and we’re doing a homebirth so brewing should be relatively easy).

Anyways, God made some good things in this world for us to enjoy, to put a smile on our faces and hearts. And one that definitely puts a smile in my herat and  on my lips, is good, gooood coffee!

Any other coffee fanatics like myself out there? I’d love to hear your faves!

15 thoughts on “My Love Affair with Coffee

      1. That’s great!! I used a french press for a long time. I have the Bodum 8 cup press I bought at Sbux. The best thing about the french press is that you retain all of the oils, which get filtered out even in the Aeropress for the most part. And then on top of the coffee in your cup you have that nice oily film from the beans, so good.

        And I LOVE Case Cielo! That’s like the thing I look forward to right after Christmas blend. It’s so good 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Okay, yet another small-world-moment: I roast my coffee myself. I have a small home roaster doing about half-pound (230 grams) per batch. My favorite for flavor consists of most coffee from Malaysia, but my nostalgic favorites come from Africa (including Arabia) because coffee was “born” there (Ethiopia specifically). The flavors from each major region, Africa, Malaysia, and America are all amazing, but I can’t really discern distinct “notes” unless I roast it well below dark (between light and medium). At a point beyond a medium roast the distinctiveness of the beans are lost and it becomes more about the roaster (man and machine). By the way, the discovery of coffee in Ethiopia, at least the process to use the crushed berry seeds with hot water, was discovered in an Ethiopian monastery, so I consider coffee somewhat of a religious experience…James may never have heard of coffee when he penned “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” but I believe that if he had, in his mind, he would have included coffee. I sure would!

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    1. Nice Matt, that’s a great small world moment. You have a roaster? That’s pretty legit. I dabbled in roasting for awhile last year. I used a slightly different method. I have a couple wood burning fireplaces at my house. I’d get the fireplace nice and hot (if I remember correctly, the necessary temp was ~425/450 F?) and then sit an iron skillet with the surface area covered with the beans on top of the wood. I found the key to really getting that smoky flavor over the top was to ensure that the wood smoke would cascade over the beans as it rose into the flue. And of course constant attention on my part as well as stirring/mixing.

      I could not agree more with coffee being a religious experience. I’m sure James would have included coffee in that verse! While we are talking favorites, my favorite was a coffee I had in January 2006, grown on the slopes of Mt Kenya. The soil it was grown in was this rich, volcanic ash infused earth and it imparted flavors into the coffee that I can only describe as being “snug by a fire on a cold winter’s day.” It was a distant taste (pun-intended) of a winter’s day in the Father’s house.

      Ethiopian is fantastic. The Yirgacheffe is always a go-to for me. I did not know that the processed of crushed beans and hot water was developed in an Ethiopian monastery! I love that story! What a great time that must have been, being a monk at a monastery in Ethiopia, maybe working long hours in the library copying parchments from one language to another, with a mug of coffee on the wooden table (I know that’s highly romanticized and drawing upon imagery from probably Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose there)

      I’m curious, what producer or coffeehouse do you get your Malaysian beans from? I don’t believe I’ve had a Malaysian coffee yet and you have definitely piqued my interest.


      1. The most common Malaysian varietal is Sumatran. You may know it by that name, but there are actually several varietals from that region. I’m blessed to get my green beans from a local guy, and I have a small drum roaster to roast them. And my favorite African varietal is Yirgacheffe, which is also the oldest. Yemen stole it from there and brought back to Arabia, then maintained a monopoly on it until some Europeans stole a plant from them and sent it to the Caribbean Islands. I’m not sure if it got to Malaysia from the Americas or from Africa. There’s a whole history/legend about the migration of coffee filled with intrigues and aspirations.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, interesting. I did not know that, but geographically makes sense. Yes Sumatra and I are friends…I’m good with just about anything off the Malay Archipelago…Java (including West Java), Sumatra, New Guinea, etc.

        When did Yemen take it from Ethiopia? I had no idea about that. Wow. And then Europeans brought it to the Caribbean. Crazy.


  2. Ethiopia and neighbouring countries on the African continent, to us here in Africa, is the epitome of authenticity. I usually buy at Anthony’s Golden Cup or drink there, while we solve all social, religious, political and any other problems the world may have. State Presidents should bug the place for the best advice! When I was as small as five years old, we roasted in a thick-based,black, flat cast-iron pot with diameter of about a foot and maybe three inches deep. It went on top of hot wood coals/embers, but rested on bricks so that the pot did not touch the coals. There should never be visible flames as it would make temperature too high. We used wood from the vineyards, especially, but also peach, apricot or plum, with the odd orange or lemon. Little or nothing to do with taste but everything with good heat. With the exception of the vine, the other woods have a long endurance and provide the most constant heat. My grandmother would sometimes add a dessert spoon of thick, yellow-brown sugar towards the end, but be careful as it could caramel and seal the beans. A too dark roast is bitter and begins to taste like my pet hate, Robusta, even!

    Anthony gets his raw coffee from the growers who export to South African from their countries on the continent, but also from growers in South America, etc. I can arrange you excellent prices provided you do not insist upon fancy packaging. It can go regularly vacuum-packed in a regular bag good enough for the hospitality industry. The fancy packaging is too costly and do nothing for your coffee experience. You could even get it from us in bulk and make your own brand over there. Use my Contact page on my profile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Pete that was a good story of how you roasted beans as as child. That’s awesome!!! If I was in S Africa I would definitely stop by Amthony’s for a couple cups!! 🙂 let me check out their page and I might get with you on that!

      So I’m curious, what flavors do you think the yellow brown sugar adds? I need to try that next time I roast. I think I need some coffee right now!

      Question, was coffee do you recommend from Anthony’s site to order?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The sugar really does more to seal the roast rather than to add taste. We have only ever done it with top Ethiopian Arabica. It is only a wee bit of sugar going in there.

        Do not just buy blends, until I can coax him into makinh his secret blend available to us. He is getting on in the years and I told him that dying without revealing his recipe will result in rest interrupted as I will have his bones rattling in high court. We need that blend. For yourself, let me chat with him tomorrow, but I would go straight for beans from the bag, no fancy blends. Have you ever had it like that, from a 90lb harvest bag full of deep roast? I will send you pics when I am there again.

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  3. I too love coffee. The aroma as it brews and the rich flavor of a fresh brewed cup is alway uplifting. One of my favorites is Cafe’ Du Monde. While working at a truuck stop many years ago I was talking with a customer who made regular runs through Louisiana and I had asked if they had heard of this cafe in new Orleans that a friend had told me i had to go if I went there and they said they had been there and him and his wife loved their coffee, and the next time he came through he brought me a gift of a can of this coffee and I have been hooked since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t heard of it! That’s cool, I’ll have to check it out next time I see it. I love it too, the aroma, the first sip after waking up, feeling yourself wake up over a cup, it’s just a great experience, a gift from God.

      I started home roasting and I love it. I’m hooked. I do it in a little popcorn popper called a whirly pop on my grill, it takes about 15 minutes and tastes so good!

      Liked by 1 person

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