Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A few words about coffee

Lately, Kristi and I have been starting our days with Cashua Coffee, roasted right here in South Carolina.

Cashua roasts in Florence, roughly a half-way point between owners Jason and Cathy Savage of the Columbia area and Joshua and Neva Campbell of the Myrtle Beach area.

Kristi has known Neva for years, and the Campbells used to hang out in our old, departed coffeehouse, The Living Room Coffee Bar & Used Books in Myrtle Beach.

Kristi and I have been very happy with Cashua's roasts and offerings. So far, we've tried their winter blend, Kenya, Nicaragua, Brazil, Espresso blend, and probably another varietal that I'm forgetting. Cashua has been as good as Larry's Beans (of Raleigh), which we served at The Living Room.

Scroll down this page to find Columbia-area and Myrtle Beach-area retailers that carry Cashua, or order Cashua online by clicking here.

This morning, however, Kristi chose a larger cup than usual, and unaware that I had not poured any coffee for myself, she finished all but what amounted to an inch's worth in the bottom of my mug.

Running late as usual, I compromised.

So now I'm in my office at Coastal Carolina University, sipping a quickly cooling 16-ounce cup of Starbucks Sumatra, purchased at the Piggly Wiggly in Carolina Forest on this freezing, windy morning.

Logging into email, I noticed that Yahoo News announced that Consumer Reports once again has picked Eight O'Clock Bean's Colombian for its best coffee. (Read the report here.)

Starbucks, Consumer Reports said, did not rank among the top ten coffees.

I've heard this Eight O'Clock Bean claim several times before. It's a consistent winner among big media outlets, like network morning shows, as well as Consumer Reports. But I've tried it before and wasn't impressed. Something of body and quality seemed to be missing. Larry's Beans, Cashua Coffee, and even Starbucks seem to offer broader flavor profiles. But because I am a devoted coffee drinker, I will give Eight O'Clock Bean's Colombian another try sometime soon.

By the way, Yahoo Food lists Michaele Weissman's 10 Ways to Judge Good and Bad Coffee.

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