South Carolina

Reviews of coffee shops and roasters in South Carolina.

Bold name. Bold flavor. My review of Black Ass Coffee.

Black Ass LogoI have to admit, when I first heard the name “Black Ass Coffee” I laughed. What kind of company would actually give themselves such a bold name?

Where it all began.

Black Ass Coffee was formed by two serious coffee drinkers who were tired of overpriced, stale, burnt coffee. Who said “burnt” is “better” in the first place? And why pay a premium for “over-roasted” coffee? So, stubbornly, we started the hunt to find good “strong” coffee.

Taken from their website.

Frankly, I’m 100% on board with that mission statement. I appreciate the bluntness of the owners- we all can relate to hating a gross cup of coffee, can’t we?

What stunned me the most was when the owner contacted me from their twitter and asked me if I would do

Waking up to Black Ass Coffee!
Waking up to Black Ass Coffee!

a review of their coffee. Not one to say no to a cup of free brew, I quickly agreed. A couple days later I received samples of their “Raging Mule” and “Rico Suave” blends. I must admit, I was extremely impressed with the promptness which was offered, even to a lowly blogger such as myself. They even waited to roast and grind until the last minute to provide me with the freshest coffee possible! And all that from a company based all the way in South Carolina!

The coffee is great, solid stuff. On my first cup of Rico Suave I knew I was in for a treat. The self-proclaimed “wonderfully smooth and aromatic” blend met expectations on first taste, then exceeded them with each successive sip. It has a smooth entrance, with a burst of flavor right away. It has a light, fun taste; I would compare it to walking outside on a spring day and having all the smells hit you- it’s light, breezy, yet extremely aromatic and beautiful at the same time. The beans are clearly arabica, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they originate from the African or Arabian parts of the world. The unexpected part about the taste is the punch that follows- quick, to the point, and strong. Moving on, the coffee returns to its mild, smooth state and completes with a clean finish. I would recommend this blend to anyone in love with aromatic coffee and a medium-bodied taste.

Dark Oak TreeI never thought I’d say a cup of coffee kicked my ass, but Raging Mule did this, and I really wasn’t sure what hit me. This dark blend has earthy undertones, and if it were an instrument I’d peg it as a deep tuba playing a constant low note. On first sip, some coffee light-weights probably won’t like their cup. I found the dark taste to take a second to get used to, but it did begin to grow on me. The initial impact is like getting hit by a truck, while the taste reminds me of a deep brown oak tree. As the initial impact fades away, a second wave hits you as the coffee moves to the back of your mouth and touches your palette. It’s taste is consistent and true, never wavering for an instant. It finishes with a clear strong note, as if the tuba were raising in pitch for an instant just to let you know it’s still there. The after effects will leave you going “Whoa! That’s strong stuff!” right before you take another sip.

Black Ass Coffee really impressed me. They’ve got sweet deals on their website, and you can keep track of these from their twitter. If you’re looking for a light and breezy blend of watered-down screeching coffee, this won’t do it for you. If, however, your into full-bodied roasts that will wake you up with a sharp kick in the morning, grab a bag of this stuff. You won’t be let down by the coffee or by the service that it’s delivered with. I sure wasn’t.

The Coffee Guy
P.S. I must apologize: this review has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, swine flu is not conducive to drinking coffee. You can expect more frequent blog posts now that I’m over it and on with my life.