Saturday, March 24, 2007

Torreo Coffees: Mir Does Some Sampling

A couple months ago, going through one of my "MUST HAVE BETTER COFFEE" phases, when good old Maxwell House and Folger weren't cutting it, and even my Melita drip brand was boring me, and since I got a new coffeepot that seemed to call for NEW coffee to break it in, well, cause of all that...I went new coffee hunting.

And no, I didn't head to STARBUCKS. I do not like Starbuck's blends. Bleh.

I came across some intriguing coffee reviews that sent me, eventually to TORREO COFFEE's site. I ordered three not-at-all-cheap brands. The following are the TORREO COFFEE website descriptions:

1. Nicaragua El Progreso Cup of Excellence Lot #1
12 oz. Bag - $24.95 ( gave this one 95 points out of 100)
This first place winner of the 2006 Nicaragua Cup of Excellence is the culmination of the Talavera's family dedication to producing excellent coffees, while providing hope for a better economic future. A big coffee with lots of flavor. This coffee instantly got our attention and was well deserved in it's first place ranking. Notes of lemon citrus blossom, honey, and red currant make this solid structured coffee worth its premium.

Colombia Hato Viejo Cup of Excellence Lot #8
12 oz. Bag - $17.15 (91 points at
This 100% Caturra coffee is grown by the Ortega family on their small farm in the famous Narino region of Colombia. Grown in volcanic soil, under semi-shade, this prize winning coffee is a refined powerhouse, with a full body and a very pleasing fruit finish. Notes of caramel, grapefruit and pineapple help make this is an exemplary example of a traditional Colombian coffee.

3. A Guatemalan coffee I no longer see listed at their site, so, oh, well.

I'm no connoiseur (I don't even know if I spelled that right). I just wanted to try something true coffee in-the-knowers rated highly.

So, the result. I wouldn't reorder the Hato Viejo. Nothing about it made my mouth really go yay. I would reorder the El Progreso, if I didn't cringe at habitually paying 25 bucks for less than a pound of coffee. If hubby got, say, a 50,000 dollar bonus tomorrow, yeah, I'd get a couple bags. I'd even spring for the El Salvador Los Planes Pacamara, which got 96 points and costs 40 bucks a bag. Ouch. At least I know the coffee farmers aren't getting ripped off if the price trickles down to them (which seems to be the case here.)

I'm ordering some more from TORREO, hoping to find a more affordable single bean or blend that will make me as happy as the El Progreso. In my cart is their breakfast and house blends, a Costa Rican tarrazu, a Guatemala Rio Azul, and a Kenyan AA special lot. I'll let you know if these 10 buck a bag ones have a real winner.

If you're a coffee lover, why not let me know what you've tried that's been totally exceptional. I tend to like smooth and not overly acidic, and I adore winey and chocolatey ones, and a nice touch of honey or caramel won't put me off. But, hey, as long as it's not a really dark roast, I'm game.


Daniel Ausema said...

Honduras Coffee Company was one I really liked back in Michigan, though that's more for liking their practices than remembering anything about the taste. The prices were really reasonable there (I'd buy it at one of the September Hispanic festivals in Grand Rapids), but the shipping costs of ordering it from outside West Michigan has kept me from getting it since I moved away.

But I'll definitely in general put in my plug for shade-grown, fair trade coffee, wherever you can find it.

Some years ago I did one of those Gevalia offers to get a free coffee pot, and I really liked their Kenyan coffee (though I didn't like their Costa Rican coffee as much). These days I don't have a favorite exactly, but I just look for things that aren't carried in supermarkets. I've had some good Kona coffee and Sumatran coffee recently, though I don't remember the brands.

Bob said...

You need to try Lehigh Valley Coffee Roasting Co in Forks Township, just north of Easton. They are a small roasting company that sells reasonably priced coffee. Everthing I've had from them was good.