It’s been a good long while since I posted last, but I recently experienced a story that was so perfect for the blog that I thought I’d hop back on here to let you all know about an amazing coffee company. My disclaimer is that my first batch of Javesca coffee was free, but I am putting an order in today for more which I’ll pay full price for – you’ll see from their story that they are both a source of great coffee and a great influence on the world.
Husband’s roommate in college got married a few weeks ago. It was neat to see him again – I met him before Husband and I were even dating, at a pool party – and to see how happy he’s become with his new family and life. In the process, I met more of the guys who went to school with them, including the founder of Javesca coffee. His story was both inspiring and exciting to me as a coffee fiend; the founder and his wife were passionate about helping to feed the world, and created a business model where they could sell wonderful coffee that has been grown and roasted responsibly, and also donate meals to the hungry around the world.
What resulted were the amazing coffees I tried – my favorite of which is pictured above! The Tanzania Tweega – Peaberry had the depth of flavor that I love so much from artisanal coffee; it tastes like coffee but also like so much else! The buzz was good but the temptation was to sip small amounts at a time because there were so many other notes in there – I didn’t get the ginger as much, but the lime and the cherry were definitely forward for me!
I love finding ways to have a positive influence on the world, and Javesca does such a good job of packaging a good cause with a wonderful cup of joe; it’s so easy to let giving to charity fall by the wayside when life gets busy, so I’m so glad that having companies with this kind of commitment allows me to do normal things, like buying coffee, while they take care of passing on some benefit to other people. I am grateful to have met the founder through a friend, and to have gotten to become part of the story of his coffee career as he becomes part of the many stories shared on this blog.
You can enjoy Javesca coffee at their store or through ordering online, which I’m about to go do right now. 🙂
We don’t have an espresso machine (probably the only piece of coffee related paraphernalia that we don’t own…) but there was some ground espresso in the Match Made Coffee box, so I rooted out the old Aero Press to make an espresso-like pressure.
I first tried Aero Press at my friend M’s house, where it made small but velvety cups of coffee basically by sticking coffee and water in a filtered syringe and pressing the water through the coffee. When we were dating, Husband and I did a coffee themed Christmas where I bought him the electric coffee grinder we use every day, and he bought me the aero press. It’s a lot to wash so we don’t use it all the time, but it is fast and does make a delicious cup of coffee.
The San Diego Coffee Company espresso roast reminds me of drinking syrupy little espresso shots in Italy and Spain, and how quickly they disappear, almost sweet just because they are so concentrated! That tinge of caramel and sweetness is one of my favorite qualities of an espresso roast.
If you want to try your own roasts from Match Made Coffee, they have their whole bean and ground varieties at www.matchmadecoffee.com – I noticed recently that you can save money if you order the 6 month subscription as a gift. I was shopping for hotel nights so that Husband and I could have a night away for Valentine’s, and I realized that for the same price as one night in a downtown hotel, you could have coffee breaks together for 6 months! Maybe more exciting for a girl who has had a “coffee-themed Christmas” in her past, but still. 🙂
One Sunday afternoon, Husband and I were trying to get the motivation to power through the 2pm slump and somewhat failing – blame potatoes and chicken-and-apple sausage from lunch, I suppose, or the swim we took after church. So he suggested we try the Organic French Roast from Match Made Coffee’s subscription box.
If their Guatemala Antigua was smooth, this roast was deep – with a caramelized side that was almost carbon-like, just a little tiny bit of burn that characterizes dark roast coffee. French roast is, after all, on the very darkest end of coffee roasts, and instead of tasting like the bean it originally came from, it’s going to be sugary, chocolatey, and delicious.
It’s also nice to be drinking organic coffee; while you might not taste it, the organic coffee bean contains far fewer of the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that conventional coffee contains, and it doesn’t contribute to climate change or deforestation nearly as much as conventional practices. Sure, these choices make the coffee a little more expensive, but when it’s included in your $29.99 a month box, you are just getting added value for no extra cost.
I appreciate the dark roast because Husband tends to pick out light and medium roasts, and French roast is a special treat that my mom and I used to share at home. Drinking it this afternoon and writing, I feel like I’ve been given the permission to remember good coffee times as snow drifts lazily outside. It’s a lovely feeling.
Match Made Coffee was recently featured on NBC San Diego here, and you can check out their product online here.
Husband and I made our first cups of San Diego Coffee Company brew on Sunday morning, during the two hours we often spend before going to church, usually reading and cooking bacon and using our pour-over cups instead of the more typical french press.
What struck us immediately was that the Guatemala Antigua blend was smooth – coffee of many kinds can have a bitter undertone and this one was completely without bitterness. It didn’t have the intense fruity or floral tones that often characterize micro-roasts, but instead felt like the best possible cup of ordinary coffee. It was the micro-roast for everyone who ever was satisfied with a cup of regular, workplace-coffee-pot coffee; it’s tastier, but not weirder, per se.
Some blends of coffee just make me jittery, perhaps due to large quantities consumed or due to untold high quantities of caffeine per bean. This one made me alert – ready to start the day and excited to see friends at church but not odd and out-of-body. We poured more hot water through the pour-over to make two cups to take with us to church, actually, and enjoyed it just as much as it cooled while we listened to the service.
I can definitely recommend Guatemala Antigua here in our household, and that it goes well with Whole30 bacon and a tangerine; in the next few days, I’ll be transitioning out of Whole30 because we just had our last day (!!!), and I’ll do a yummy taste test of the sweet treats that came packaged with our coffees.
To check out Match Made Coffee for yourself, go to www.matchmadecoffee.com; they are currently offering a special Valentine’s themed box as the first box of a subscription: use the code VDAY17 to have your first box look like this: https://www.instagram.com/p/BP0M85Ng0hw/?taken-by=matchmadecoffee.
I have often thought that it would be nice to be able to get to know new foods and drinks through the “subscription service” model; I even tried it once when my sister gave me a free trial of Blue Apron. The use of exotic ingredients like watermelon radishes and spices that are outside my norm, like harissa, made me feel like I had a better grasp on what’s available to me as a cook.
One thing I hadn’t seen, however, was a coffee subscription box – it makes sense, because coffee can be roasted, sealed and shipped quite easily (no need for the big ice packs they use in food subscription boxes), and coffee roasteries have a special fingerprint and access to many single-origin coffees. There has also grown up a lot of interest in supporting fair-trade organizations that make coffee sustainably without polluting or degrading environments around the world where the richest coffee is grown.
Enter Match Made Coffee – I got to know them because one of their founders is an active WP blogger! This community never ceases to amaze me. I chatted with him and he agreed to let me try out their first shipment box and share with you all about it! The first shipment contains a beautiful coffee-holding wooden box, with 3 bags of coffee and 3 snack samples to pair with those coffees! The wrapping is decadent and contains the Match Made Coffee seal. You can get the coffees whole bean or ground.
A lot of people who don’t buy small-roastery coffee will probably see the $29.99 a month tag as steep, but I can ensure you that I have frequently spent 14-18 dollars per pound to get coffee from a place I’m travelling to bring back for husband – it’s a lovely gift that travels easily and makes my suitcase smell AMAZING. The coffees in Match Made’s boxes are smaller – will make a 12 cup pot or a couple french presses or half a dozen rounds with your pour-over, it seems – but given the fact that they amount to 3-9 little “coffee breaks” each time you get a shipment, with new flavors that you don’t have to locate and purchase yourself, it really becomes a curated, reasonable deal. For a pour-over of a single-origin cup of coffee in a shop, most places charge between 3 and 4 dollars. If you make these at home, you really aren’t losing out, and as I’ve often said in posts like The Ritual of Slow Coffee, coffee at home can actually be even more delectable.
For the next few days, I’m going to discuss the coffees in this box so that you can hear about each one for yourself, but to check them out more in-depth and sign up, the link is www.matchmadecoffee.com – enjoy!
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, I drank a cafe cortado made with almond milk and was grateful that little bits of my Spain experience were still possible in my journey in the States. Cafe cortado is simple despite the fancy-sounding name – it’s a shot of espresso with just a little bit of foamed milk, which means its smaller than a cappuccino but less harsh than taking a shot of espresso alone. Cortados on break from teaching in Spain were a quick pick-me-up – I don’t make espresso at home but small coffees still make me smile.
Does it ever happen to you that your day is so busy and there are so many tasks to be done in a very set amount of time that you just don’t eat at all? That has been today for me – my body has figured that my levels of stress hormones, I guess, mean that appetite isn’t worth having.
It does occur to me that one way to prevent unnecessary snacking is to stay busy (too busy to be hungry!) but for the most part, I think this is a bad habit on my part. For one thing, when my appetite does return, it returns without any rules or reason: it wants all the food, right now, and in massive quantities.
I do have some pretty amazing memories on when my body was running on coffee and fumes, though: in college, A and I sat together in a coffee house for 7 or 8 hours finishing our enormous final projects for a class; people we knew stopped by here and there to chat with us and commiserate about final projects in general, and it felt like the whole world was trying to learn with us. While we realized all of a sudden that we needed to eat at some point that day, and had to take a break, the memory stuck with me.
Perhaps I don’t want a lifestyle that makes me forget to eat regularly, but I do want, once in a while, to encounter projects or challenges so consuming that I don’t need food to focus on them. I like sometimes wondering if something is just outside of my abilities, and trying to push myself. It’s a bit like Julie from Julie and Julia trying to make her final recipe, which involved boning a duck; sometimes, we just want to try something so difficult that our body needs all its attention right there. Hopefully, though, my appetite will return tonight and I can whip up something tasty.