In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this week’s episode is all about the history of Irish Coffee. Starting in a flying boat terminal in Ireland, then making its way to San Francisco, the story of how Irish Coffee made it into mainstream culture is well worth hearing.
This episode of The Boise Coffee Podcast is brought to you by My Espresso Shop. Use offer code “BOISECOFFEE” to get 10% off your order including any espresso machine or grinder. Visit MyEspressoShop.com today!
Welcome back to The Boise Coffee Podcast! In this first episode of Season 3 I discuss how a city’s culture influences their coffee culture, then I give some tips on how to find great coffee when you’re visiting a new city. Here’s a quick rundown of those tips:
Do your research. Try Googling the name of your city + specialty coffee (for example, “Phoenix specialty coffee”), and then begin narrowing your search terms accordingly. I like to copy the names of coffee shops that look interesting and paste them into the notes app on my phone, that way I have a running list.
Prioritize your list of shops based on how close they are to wherever you’re staying (hotel, AirBnB, etc). You don’t want to get your hopes up about a cool looking cafe, only to realize it takes a 45min drive across town to get to.
Check out online reviews of the shops that look the most promising. I like to use Foursquare, but any similar service like Yelp or Google Reviews will work just as well. I find that Foursquare has less paid reviews and better reflects local favorites, but your milage may vary.
Be respectful to the staff of the coffee shop you choose to visit. If their coffee doesn’t quite live up to the hype, don’t throw your coffee in their faces – just make a note of it for yourself, and enjoy the caffeine rush.
Leave a review using whatever app/service you looked the shop up on. This will help other coffee junkies, and it will leave you a digital paper trail to follow the next time you’re in town.
This episode of The Boise Coffee Podcast is brought to you by My Espresso Shop. Use offer code BOISECOFFEE to receive 10% off your order of any espresso machine or grinder. You’re not gonna find a better deal than this, so if you’ve been looking at a new piece of equipment now is the perfect opportunity to grab it and save some money! Head over to MyEspressoShop.com now!
I hope you enjoy the first episode of this brand-new season! You can look forward to the second episode in just one week – following that, I’ll be reverting back to the normal bi-weekly schedule. Thanks for listening, and if you like what you hear please leave me a review on iTunes!
Nearly two years ago I wrote a review on Puroast Coffee, and I wasn’t incredibly impressed. Puroast claims that their beans offer 70% less acid than traditional coffee, and 7 times more antioxidants. Back in 2015 I decided to take their health claims at face value, focusing my review instead upon the taste of the coffee – and it left a lot to be desired. I wrote, “The coffee was, in a word, tasteless. It lived up to Puroast’s promise in that it definitely was not acidic, but on the other hand it was also not…anything.” I didn’t hate their coffee, but I also didn’t recommend it based on the product I received and the brewing methods I used.
Then, about 10 days ago I received an email from Puroast asking for a follow-up review. I agreed, finding the prospect of reviewing the same coffee company again both compelling and a little strange. While I’ve never done this before, I’m always keen to offer coffee a second chance.
I’ve done my best to let this review stand on its own – I’d rather not spend time looking back and comparing Puroast’s 2017 product to that from two years ago. With that said, I will admit that I was more impressed with the company’s overall presentation and professionalism this time around. They’ve improved everything from the look of their website to their recommendations for brewing techniques/recipes. Last time I received a pre-ground bag of coffee and no instructions on how to brew it. This time I was given whole-bean coffee and brewing recommendations based on how Puroast baristas make the coffee in their flagship Miami coffee shop.
Puroast sells coffee that contains higher antioxidants and less acidity than your typical brew. These benefits, however, aren’t the focus for their company. As one representative told me, “The roast comes first and the wellness is simply a byproduct of roasting innovation and putting quality above everything else. It can truly be said that no one else roasts their coffee the way Puroast does.”
This is something I can appreciate.
With that said, Puroast definitely makes sure consumers know their coffee’s health benefits. They’re listed front and center on the coffee bags, as well as on the home page of their website. In fact, they have a whole section of their website dedicated to their coffee’s health benefits. This page includes the research done by Dr. Shibamoto from UC Davis – his findings revealed the benefits that Puroast’s roasting process has on their beans.
I’m glad that Puroast’s roasting process makes their beans healthy and potentially more easily consumed by people who are sensitive to acidic beverages. What I’m even more interested in is whether or not their roasting process can produce a great tasting cup of coffee.
This time around Puroast sent me their Espresso Roast to try. Although the bag I received did not have a roasting date on it, it did have a “best by” date of July 31st, 2018. I’m assuming they sent me freshly roasted coffee for this review, but if I was a consumer at a supermarket or resell location, I wouldn’t be able to tell for sure.
Puroast recommended that I brew their beans using a Greca/moka pot. A representative told me that this is the go-to brewing method used in their Miami coffee shop. As a big fan of the moka, I happily obliged.
Their recipe called for a fine ground size, and that the coffee grinds be left uncompressed (not packed down) in the moka filter basket. I found that for my moka pot about 21g of finely ground coffee was the perfect amount.
The thing with espresso roasts is that I expect them to have a darker, richer flavor when compared to roasts intended for filter brew methods. I knew ahead of time that Puroast’s coffee wouldn’t be acidic – that’s kinda their shtick. So in that case, I was looking for tasting notes like chocolate, hazelnut, caramel, or something similar. Unfortunately, I didn’t get those.
The Espresso Roast I received from Puroast was earthy, dark, and slightly bitter. It was distinctly espresso, but the kind of espresso I would expect from a standard second-wave coffee shop, like Peet’s or Caribou Coffee perhaps. It did not resemble specialty coffee.
That’s not to say that it was bad or undrinkable by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I enjoyed several cups, both black and combined with steamed milk to make a faux-latte. I found the coffee to be highly caffeinated – it was enjoyable to sip while burning through my email inbox and getting work to-do’s accomplished. It just isn’t what I expect from specialty coffee.
I actually think that’s okay, mostly because I’m not convinced that Puroast Coffee fits the mold of a specialty coffee company. They don’t sell a variety of single-origin roasts on their website, focusing instead on blends. They have sections of their online store dedicated to both flavored coffee roasts and K-Cup single serving pods. In short, they are selling to a completely different demographic than specialty coffee drinkers.
When compared to commodity-grade diner coffee, or even the more common roasts from big companies like Starbucks, I think Puroast has a great product that I would recommend. On the other hand, they don’t hold a candle to specialty coffee companies like Intelligentsia or Blue Bottle.
This is the first time that I’ve reviewed the same coffee company twice, and I must say that I began with more than a little trepidation. I’m happy to report that my opinion on Puroast has improved since our paths last crossed.
I still would not recommend their coffee to those who are interested in buying specialty beans to brew at home, and I would add that Puroast has a ways to go if they hope to become a third wave coffee producer. However, I think that the average person will find Puroast’s coffee to be rich, caffeinated, and more tasty than the big chains they may be used to. I agree that the moka pot is the best way to enjoy Puroast at home.
Puroast continues to fill a niche for those who’s stomachs may be sensitive to acidity. However, I agree that the quality of their product makes them a great option for anybody who might otherwise buy their coffee from a large chain.