Friday, February 16, 2007

Coffees this Week...and Cigars...

Where can you find a vintage image of a pin-up girl with both cigars and coffee?

This week I'm not only telling you of some of coffees we have available (rotating in the brew pots from day to day and available daily in whole bean form), but I'm also pairing the coffee with some of the cigars I've enjoyed along with them in the past several weeks. Please feel free to comment and share your own pairing preferences with any of these. All of the blends that we get from Two Rivers Roasting contain around 50% of the primary origin, which is unlike many other blends where the origin coffee may comprise only 5% of the total.

Organic Columbian
- A wonderfully smooth, nuanced cup, with a clean acidity and brightness that lingers nicely. Its medium roast tastes darker than it is and there's an almost green tea-like quality to this coffee, and a bit peppery. A Torano Reserva Selecta Petit Corona would be the perfect cigar, in my humble opinion, to pair with this coffee. It's a mild, somewhat "sweet and creamy" tasting cigar (or as "sweet" as a natural, non-flavor infused cigar can taste) that would make a nice counter-balance to the Organic Columbian's spicier acidity.

Nicaraguan Blend - This coffee has a lovely aroma, with some soft cocoa/cacao notes. This is a bright coffee with fruity notes and a strong clear finish. Has a very nice mouthfeel. I've been enjoying some Honduran Bench Press cigars gifted to me from a customer who has become a wonderful friend and this smoke meshes perfectly with the Nicaraguan, both in flavor and aroma, as well as appearance. It's a somewhat rough-looking, medium to dark smoke with a dark wrapper and a fine leathery, spicy taste. If you can enjoy both the Nicaraguan coffee and the cigar while sitting by a crackling fireplace or fire pit in the backyard, so much the better.

Guatemalan Blend - With 50% pure Guatemalan, this blend has a soft acidity, tobacco-like smokiness, is medium bodied and is very nicely balanced. There's a quality to this coffee that reminds me of fresh, just-rained earth...deep forest earth. Try this coffee with the Torano Signature Collection Toro, a full-bodied, rich, sweetly spicy cigar.

Kenya Blend - I'll just magpie what I wrote about the Kenyan below: "Silky in the mouth with light, leafy sweetness and gentle herbal aroma; Kenya’s bright tartness is smoothed out in this blend, creating a beautifully balanced cup." The other day while in Green Bay Kim and I picked up a few cigars from Bosse's shop, some of which were the Kahlua Cigars Delicioso by Drew Estate. While I didn't actually partake of the Kenyan coffee and Kahlua cigar together, as we smoked one of the cigars on the ride home, I'm confident that this would make a good pairing. The cigar is sweet and nutty, which I think would be a nice compliment to the herbal mellowness of the coffee. A nice midmorning combo.

Puerto Rican - See the posts below for some profile info on the Puerto Rican. Silky smooth, chocolaty and nobody else around has it! Hey, it was President Teddy Roosevelt's favorite coffee (another fine cigar smoker himself). I'm not sure what specific cigar I'd pair with this coffee, but it would have to be something smooth and mellow, with some chocolate notes and a nice Connecticut Shade wrapper. Perhaps the Torano Reserva Selecta again, with its Connecticut wrapper, and probably the torpedo style (something about the torpedo just seems "right" for pairing with coffee from Puerto Rico).

Ironically, just as I was finishing this post this afternoon, who should pop in for a cigar/coffee chat but our own local cigar mentor and entrepreneur Joe Donati. Joe runs Lakeshore Cigar Company in Manitowoc, a great looking little spot across from Washington Park with a very cool and relaxed atmosphere. The conversation became doubly ironic when Joe (whilst enjoying a cup of the Organic Columbian) brought up the idea of putting on an outdoor cigar event this summer that would include Stumpjack coffee and some possible pairing tastings. Veeeery interesting...

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