Coffee Review

By Jimmy Dinsmore, The Perk Life

Let’s be honest, caffeine is one of the main reasons we drink coffee. I can devote an entire blog post about the near uselessness of decaf.

Mornings are enhanced by the rich, creamy, aromatic flavor of coffee, but that’s not what jolts us awake and makes daily chores achievable. It’s the caffeine. So, I spent some time recently exploring the vast offering of double caffeinated coffee offerings.

In an earlier blog post, I offered my take on Death Wish Coffee. In this double caffeinated showdown we have three competitors taking on Death Wish. Realtree Coffee vs. Ignitor vs. Da Bomb.

First, Realtree Coffee Max is a double caffeinated bold blend. Most are familiar with the Realtree outdoor brand, and this KCup houses a camouflaged exterior with the Realtree antler logo. The flavor is full and fantastic and worthy of a thermos while up in a tree stand, pre-dawn. The jolt of caffeine, combined with the dark, full flavor warms and awakens your inner hunter. Comparably, Realtree is smoother than Death Wish, and tastes better black. As someone who prefers creamer in coffee, Realtree’s flavor blends well with some milk or flavored cream with the taste enhanced rather than being overpowered.

Next up is Ignitor Coffee. This is also a double caffeinated offering from Trilliant Foods. As a KCup, Ignitor offers a captured, bold coffee. According to their website, they achieve the rich, extra caffeinated flavor by using only green coffee beans. It’s true that green coffee beans are chock full of flavor. However, in this capacity they are higher in acid. While this is good for the flavor and boldness, it can also affect those with more sensitive stomachs. So, while I enjoyed the kick in the pants and the big, delicious flavor of Ignitor, it won’t be for everyone.

Last up is Da Bomb, by Java Factory Roasters. Unlike Realtree and Ignitor, Java Factory’s primary focus is on coffee. They offer a variety of blends, included an entire line of flavored and seasonal blends as both beans andKCups. Da Bomb has a bold, hip name. And certainly the flavor that hits the coffee cup is just as bold. This is a great first cup of coffee. It’s similar to Death Wish in that you notice the extra jolt. While caffeine has no flavor, you can just taste the boldness of Da Bomb. Blended with cream or milk, or even flavored creamer, it was a great start for the morning. Enjoy a cup for your morning commute and the extra flavor and extra caffeine will make it that much more bearable.

NOTE: All coffee reviewed and written about here was purchased by me, as part of my coffee addiction. All reviews and opinions are my own and like most things in the world, are subjective.

Cold Brew Coffee

By Jimmy Dinsmore@TPLcoffee

It’s been a hot summer all around the country. And when it’s hot, not everyone is fanatical about coffee and living the perk life as I am. Some want that hot coffee cooled off. Thus, iced coffee has always been an option. But, lately it seems cold brew is trying to surpass iced coffee as the cool kid on the caffeinated block.

So, what is the difference between iced coffee and cold brewed coffee? Iced coffee is, as the name says, hot brewed (regularly brewed) coffee put and chilled over ice. Meanwhile cold brew is coffee that is brewed cold and never heated. And that’s the big difference.

The heat brewing process, a time honored and delicious method, does change the chemistry and flavor of the bean/grounds. Because the grounded up coffee are never hit with high heat temperatures, there’s less acids released and thus, cold brew coffee has a smooth, less acidic taste. It’s especially good for those who enjoy coffee but often struggle with stomach and digestion issues as a result of too much coffee.

stp_coldbrewedcoffeeAlso, by quickly chilling your coffee over ice, that actually waters down the flavor and decreases the caffeine from iced coffee. Cold brewed coffee has a high bean-to-water ratio and is much stronger and more caffeinated. Plus it’s a nice treat on hot summer days.

While cold brew is available at most coffeehouses and is even being hyped by national chains like Dunkin Donuts, the cold brew process can be done at home with no special machines or equipment. In fact, you don’t need a coffee maker at all to cold brew. You do, however, need patience as the process is long – twelve hours long.

Here’s how cold brewing at home works:

  • Grind your favorite coffee bean (it matters not the roast level) to a slight coarse level, very gently grind it so that it’s at the texture of bread crumbs. A ratio of 1:8 coffee-to-water mixture is ideal, so base the amount of coffee used to how much cold brew you intend to make.coldbrewprocess
  • In a mason jar, or easy-to-seal container, add the coarsely ground coffee and add the appropriate level of water. Stir briskly, and then seal and let sit for 12 hours. It’s best to store it in the refrigerator, but it can also be stored at room temperature.
  • Once the mixture is properly seeped, it’s time to filter it out. Take the mixture and using a coffee filter, or a kitchen sieve, and empty into a bowl or another container. The large grounds should filter out. Remove the filter and the grounds (remember they make for great compost), and then filter back into the mason jar or container. Check the mixture for any more grounds, residue or for a murky/thick texture. If there is, filter again the same way. Once all grounds are removed, you have a delicious, ready-to-drink cold brewed coffee.

You can serve over ice (but remember that waters it down technically) or serve as is. Flavor with cream or sugar or drink black. Cold brew coffee tends to blend well with flavored creamers and that also helps to keep it cold.

Cold brewing at home is a trial and error process. Remember to just barely grind the beans. The coarser, the better for a delicious cold brew coffee.

coldbrewfinal

Coffee Review

Okay, I bought into the hype of their Super Bowl commercial. Let’s face it, that event is highlighted by beer and soda makers, not coffee makers. So it HAD to be good, right? And they claim to be the World’s Strongest Coffee. And hey, I love coffee, so I was curious.

I ordered their KCup kit from their website. It came with both the Death Wish coffee and their Valhalla blend. Both are STRONG. The Death Wish was as advertised. It has a bold flavor that resembles Starbucks, but without the burnt taste. Rather, Death Wish has almost a Guinness-like undertone. I flavored it up with French Vanilla creamer and that was a nice flavor compliment to this bold coffee.

The Valhalla blend was also strong. It had a different flavor than the Death Wish (less chocolatey and more fruity), but I enjoyed it equally. For die-hard bold coffee lovers, Death Wish is a hit. For those who are less adventurous, the Valhalla blend is more their speed.

6199TDervZL.01_SL500_

I do plan to order some Death Wish for my Ninja coffee maker so I can customize it further. Will report on that adventure in the future.

Death Wish definitely was a great adventure for The Perk Life.

–Reviewed by Jimmy Dinsmore