NOTES FROM THE CUPPING TABLE

| December 9, 2009

As you know, CAFFE VITA goes through great lengths to source, roast and serve the finest quality coffee available. In pursuit of this endeavor, CAFFE VITA regularly pays premiums far and above the industry average to ensure that we receive coffee of superior quality and support all levels of the coffee supply network.

Recently I have been reading a lot on the history of coffee and, in the midst of our current recession have become rather intrigued about periods of economic hardship and limited coffee supply. What happens to the coffee world during such times and what steps do roasters, cafes and coffee houses take to keep people drinking their beloved coffee? What lengths would you go to if coffee as we know it was simply no longer available?

You’d be surprised at the possibilities, alternatives and substitutes people would try to pass off as coffee, none of which come anywhere remotely close to the aromas, flavors, nuances, comforts or other distinguishing qualities we know as coffee. But, necessity is the mother of invention and during difficult times, one variation -coffee blended with chicory- was developed and actually found a niche amongst coffee drinkers in Europe and in parts of the southern United States, notably, New Orleans, LA.

I was able to track down some of this blend of coffee and chicory and thought I would do a taste test to see how palatable this coffee alternative is. This of course was a blind taste test in order to give each sample a fair chance of being identified. I brewed the coffee and chicory through a french press and compared it to a french press of our CAFFE LUNA, a robust french roast blend of coffees from Indonesia, Central and South America. The results were shocking!

The coffee and chicory blend had some interesting robusta like qualities of earthy, peppery aromas layered with depths of cinnamon and sweet tobacco smoke. It was tremendously viscous in the cup looking like watered down motor oil. The flavors were borderline unbearable, tasting like generic coffee with overwhelming acidity and a tremendously bitter aftertaste. Very little resemblance to coffee at all- the only real similarities were in the body, full and viscous and the color of the brew as well.

This was really no contest for CAFFE LUNA- a standout coffee in any arena displaying heavy, smokey aromas complementing maple, vanilla, nougat and dark chocolate flavors. A full-bodied, low-acidity coffee with a sweet, buttery, lingering finish.

A fun experiment in coffee tasting and rest assured CAFFE VITA will continue to go through extraordinary efforts to source, roast and serve the finest coffee available and WILL NOT be brewing up coffee and chicory any time soon! CAFFE VITA is, however offering 12 oz bags of our featured coffee of the day for $8.95 as well as our HOLIDAY BLEND for $10.95 at ALL of our retail locations, so stop by and try some of our world class coffees!

And dont forget to visit our FREE weekly coffee cuppings EVERY WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY @ 10 AM @ CAFFE VITA- CAPITOL HILL- 1005 E PIKE ST.

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