Blogs of Bravery coffee review
Perhaps sensing a niche, Boca Java coffee recently started a line of coffees called Blogger's Fuel; a series of blends with names like Blogger's Boot-up Blend and New Media Mavericks and an offer that 500 bloggers couldn't resist: Free coffee in exchange for reviews on your blog.
My forays into coffee began in the military, where hot caffeinated water would have been perfectly acceptable — come to think of it, maybe we could have mixed that water with the sludge that filled the dingy glass carafes to make something a bit more palatable — and ended when I could once again make myself a decent cup of tea. (I really consider those triple-shot mochas I indulge in to be more of an adult hot chocolate with a caffeine kicker...and it's so much more socially acceptable to ask for a triple mocha than the other... but i digress...) The upshot is, not being much of a coffee drinker myself, I've recruited someoneElse, the resident coffee aficionado, for a series of reviews of the various Blogger's Blend coffees.
The first coffee I tested was Blogs of Bravery, a good, serious-minded blend that left you with no doubt that you were drinking a real cup of coffee. No frou-frou stuff here — it is not flavored or spiced or altered in such a way that would leave you wondering what you are drinking. With Blogs of Bravery you have no doubt that you are drinking a solid cup of good coffee.
In my testing and review of some of Boca Java's coffees, I figured it made sense to not only talk about each of the coffees but also how I make it.
Basic preparation method used:
- To make the coffee I am using a french press.
- The coffee is ground with an electric grinder on a coarse grind.
- Boca Java recommends 1 3/4 to 2 level tablespoons of coffee per cup of water.
Since the amount of coffee recommended by Boca Java seemed a bit more than I normally use (which is closer to 1 level tablespoon per cup of water), in my first cup I used 1 1/3 level tablespoons of coffee per cup of water.
<ok, so getting into the religious aspects of coffee making here, but... /> Like any serious coffee drinker/maker, I started by boiling water, bringing it to a brisk boil. I put 4 tablespoons of coarse ground Blogs of Bravery into the french press and added 3 cups of (very) boiling water.
<Back on my religious high horse for a moment... As any true coffee acolyte knows, water must be vigorously boiling when combined with the coffee in order to make a decent cup of coffee — it is why coffee made from coffee machines is universally lame...anything less won't do any coffee justice.../>
After letting it steep for 3 minutes, I push the screen down on the french press, give it a few seconds to contemplate (and for any remaining errant grounds to settle) and then pour my first cup of Blogs of Bravery .
While I normally drink coffee with adulterants (sweetener and milk) I also like it black and in this case I really wanted to get a feel for what Blogs of Bravery tasted like without modification. I poured a small cup of it into a ceramic mug and tasted it.
My initial impression was "Wow — now that is coffee!" — a straight to the point, no nonsense, leave no stone unturned cup of java...
Let me use a couple of common types of coffee as reference points to help me describe Blogs of Bravery — you know how a medium roast Columbian compares to French Roast, where the French Roast coffee is darker, deeper in both taste and residual impression, whereas Columbian is lighter in both initial taste and aftertaste?
Blogs of Bravery combines elements of both — it has the lighter up front taste on the palate like a medium roast Columbian, yet carries with it a deeper taste and feel — where after just a few sips you become aware of its deeply committed undertones and sustained follow through. This is not a frivolous nor even an ordinary coffee, as pleasant and comfortable as it initially appears (though it is true that at first taste it is a suprisingly congruous addition to your day). However, it is in the follow-up, the secondary taste and feel of the coffee, where you encounter its depth of character, and robust, sustaining delivery of the coffee experience. Similar to a French Roast, Blogs of Bravery provides a sustained richness in depth of taste; it was, however, without the deep darkness of the French Roast — a warming and ultimately satisfying sensation.
I then mustered my courage and made another cup of the coffee, this time with amounts of coffee more reflecting Boca Java's intented density — this time is was 6 level tablespoons of Blogs of Bravery coffee in the 3 cups of (very) boiling water in the french press. Again, I waited 3-4 minutes before pressing down the screen and pouring my next cup in a ceramic mug. Again, I tasted it black before adulterating it with sweetener and milk. It was stronger as I expected, but did not increase in bitterness as I kind of suspected it might. Rather, the coffee maintained its high integrity, delivering the depth of the flavor and strength of character experienced in the first cup, but bringing it more to the forefront. Both the initial rich taste and the deeper follow through were enhanced — a seriously stronger preparation without adversely affecting the taste or experience. If you are going to have a late night blogging against tyranny, or need to march in street protests for hours, a cup or two of this stronger preparation provides a sustaining boost. You will have no doubt that you have treated yourself to authentic coffee whose intrinsic integrity matches your own.
For minutes after you take a drink of Blogs of Bravery you are left with nice and definitive taste of the coffee — you know that sensation after eating a coffee bean (chocolate covered or not) where the strong coffee taste stays with you for a bit? Drinking Blogs of Bravery has that sort of immediacy (in a good way) — a taste of authentic coffee that doesn't immediately dissipate, but sticks by you in a way that lets you know that you are not facing your blog alone.
Have to stand up for human rights in a somewhat despotic society? Have to confront forces that are toxic to the environment and the creatures that live there? Need to address social concerns that people need to hear but largely don't want to? You are not alone — with Blogs of Bravery you have a coffee that will stick with you, help you slog through the morass, and help keep your morale up and your fingers flying on the keyboard while you try to fix the problems of the world.