Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just a really long ramble about coffee.

We've been drinking Starbucks Estima Blend for a long time.

And for almost as long, I have really loved it- we both agreed it was good- very smooth, roasty sweet and deep flavor.  The last few bags I bought, though, tasted bitter to me.  A disappointment.  I tried Googling the issue and didn't find anything. Obviously that means it might just be me, because Google knows everything. Maybe the blend has changed.  Maybe my palate has changed.  Either way, it was just tasting off.  Every day. 

Three off bags later, I thought it might be good to expand our horizons- I have no idea what we're missing if I never try anything new, you know.

I'm starting with two blends from World Market.  The Costa Rican Tarrazu, and the Guatemalan Estate- these are the Fair Trade Certified twins the chain offers.  The Guatemalan option is also organic. 

I love World Market,  I do.  But I am always really disappointed that they don't do more to add a Ten Thousand Villages quality to their items.  I've never found Fair Trade chocolate there, and though I love the colorful, eclectic items from all over, World Market seems to just throw a Wal-Mart vibe at me, insofar as where their items come from.  If they got more concerned about this, of course their prices would go up... and so it goes.

Anyway.  As I type I am drinking my first cups of the Costa Rican from my french press.  First impressions-full and bright.  I like it.  Not love, but, I will give it a shot, at least through the bag.

Another bonus.  Price. 

A 16 oz. bag of Estima is about $11.  You do get to trade the bag in for a free tall brewed coffee at Starbucks, which is something I'll miss.  But still.  Let's call it $11.

A 12 oz. bag from World Market is about $9.  But, for every 6 bags you buy, you earn a free bag of coffee.  Add to it the bonus that every Wednesday is double-punch day for coffee purchases, and you get a free bag after just three purchases.  See here.

Breaking that down....
Estima Blend from Starbucks = about $.69 an ounce.  (With a free $1.49 tall coffee at the end, if you care)
World Market blends (with the Wednesday double punches) = about $.56 an ounce.

While I'm on the topic of hot beverages, I should mention I do drink this rooibos tea nearly every day,  and I love it.  You can get it at Ten Thousand Villages here in Sioux Falls.  I always knew it was made from a South African root (it's not actually "tea"), but, was delighted to see that "everyone" actually does drink rooibos tea in Zambia.  Now it's like a nice connection for me.  Rooibos is good for you- in addition to being naturally smooth, sweet, and delicious without adding a thing to it.  It also doesn't get bitter if you steep it a long time, like green tea does (my other favorite tea).  The flavor stays the same and doesn't go "bad" so you can take your time drinking it, and just leave the bags in the tea pot.  Ten Thousand Villages does carry a great selection of equal exchange coffee, too- but because it's pricier, I think I'll stick to offerings from other retailers for now as I expand our coffee horizons.

Phew, that is all I wanted to say. 


Lauren W said...

I tend to be a little over-zealous when it comes to buying coffee, and for that reason, I have tried MANY different blends. I'm not sure I've had either of these, though. They just might go on my list the next time I head to World Market.
Meanwhile, have you tried Kona coffee? It's grown in Hawaii, and it is a definite favorite in our house :)

theKband said...

One of my favorite blends is Black Beauty from Cherrybean Coffee company: their stuff is at the Co-Op and Farmers market.
Just a suggestion. We like Starbucks as well, although we prefer Caribou. But, my absolute favorite is from these guys.