There are coffee drinkers and there are coffee lovers. The latter are like wine connoisseurs who can identify and discern different blends merely by taking a swig and swishing the contents in their mouths. These are also the types that chew their fingernails when they go for a day without their morning Starbucks run. Even if you self-identify as a coffee lover, you haven’t tasted coffee until you diverge from the traditional coffee with cream and Sweet’N Low or even pure black coffee. You will truly appreciate a brew of morning Joe once you try some unconventional blends and mixes.
Back in 2006, Coca-Cola introduced the coffee-flavored-infused Coca-Cola Blak. Reception was mixed, and the product was discontinued two years later. However, you can still treat yourself to the same product by mixing regular Coke with coffee. Simply mix 2/3 cup of Coke and 1/3 cup of coffee over ice and you practically have a homemade version of Coca-Cola Blak. If you add maltodextrin, the artificial sweetener forms a bubbly froth for a sweet and tongue-tingly texture on the surface.
New Orleans Chicory Coffee
If you ever get the pleasure of traveling to New Orleans, then be sure to try one of the city’s local favorites. Many cafes in the area serve a signature blend made from the root of the chicory plant. It has a bit more smoky and woody flavor than ordinary coffee. When made the local way, the coffee is topped with a seasoning rub made from a combination of garlic, chipotle and other spices typically used for flavoring meat. Yes, this gives the coffee somewhat of a meaty and hickory aftertaste that first-time tasters may find off-putting, though most locals will not have their coffee any other way.
Blood Sausage Coffee
The name is exactly as it sounds. Blood sausage coffee is coffee made from congealed cow blood. It goes without saying that this variety is not for the squeamish. Most people who try it for the first time expect to take a single sip, retch for 30 seconds, throw the rest out and head to the bathroom for the mouthwash. However, most are surprised to find the taste quite agreeable. The fat from the blood gives the beverage a surprisingly creamy texture and sweet aroma.
Most people find $4 to be overpriced for a cup of coffee purchased at your local Starbucks or Seattle’s Best. However, even that price tag seems reasonable compared to the $30 you can expect to shell out for a 12-ounce cup of Kopi Luwak coffee. The coffee originated in Indonesia and is made from the excrements of the Asian Palm Civet cat. Yes, you heard that right; kopi luwak is coffee made from the dung of a wildcat. The civet subsides on a diet of coffee cherries, and the resulting droppings that come out on the cat’s other end contain traces of digestive enzymes that give the kopi luwak an unbelievably rich aroma. If you can stomach the idea drinking coffee produced from cat feces and are willing to shell out $30 to $100 for a cup, then be sure to add kopi luwak to your must-try list.
Where to Find Unusually Good Coffee
If your typical cup of Folgers no longer gives you that morning pleasure due to the tiresome taste, then it’s time for a switch up. Consider the following companies for buying your next bag of coffee beans for a truly unique coffee kick experience:
Fonte Coffee – Fonte Coffee was founded in Seattle in 1992 and is a prominent name in the coffee roasting industry in the Pacific Northwest. The company only procures the finest coffee beans from around the world and roasts them just hours before shipping, thus ensuring fresh quality with every batch delivered to clients. Over the years, Fonte Coffee has earned the trust and business of luxury inns and five-star establishments where customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. This includes top names in the hospitality industry, such as Four Seasons and Wynn Las Vegas.
Daily Grind – The Daily Grind is a family owned businesses located in New York and established in 1976. The company has imported coffee blends from countries that include Columbia, Sumatra, Guatemala and Ethiopia just to list a few. Most blends are also approved under the Fair Trade program, so your purchase benefits economically disadvantaged coffee farmers from third world countries. Daily Grind believes in giving back and has donated a portion of its earnings to local charities. In addition, customers also benefit from free shipping for orders exceeding $50.
Coffee Bean Direct – This company carries over 100 coffee bean varieties and over 70 varieties of tea, all sold at wholesale prices. Sampler packs are also available to help customers pick out a blend that is right for them. All blends are roasted within 24 hours of shipping, so freshness is always guaranteed with every purchase. All products are blended, flavored and packaged by hand at the company’s roasting facility located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
There is something about holding a warm mug of espresso and absorbing the fresh aroma through your nostrils that has become a morning ritual for coffee lovers. Your appreciation will truly be taken to the next level when your palate takes in the flavor and inherent, delightful bitterness of coffee not made from your ordinary beans.