Elemental Coffee – Colombia San Agustin

Here’s the final sample of coffee from Early May’s MistoBox!

Elemental Coffee - Columbia San Agustin

Just like OQ Coffee’s sample bag, I opened the bag and I could immediately smell the coffee beans inside. This time, it was a much more familiar scent since the beans originate from Colombia and most Canadians are more familiar with Colombian coffee.

Before I tried anything, I read the card that MistoBox sent in the box and it says that the “… farms are planted with caturra, typica, bourbon and castillo varieties to make this lot. The cup opens up to a nice citrus acidity with orange and papaya fruited notes, paired with molasses heavy sweetness and a round body.”

I took a sip without adding sugar or milk and I instantly thought, “complex, rounded, bold and STRONG!” This coffee will definitely appeal to the more hardcore coffee drinkers who want something to wake themselves up with at 6am in the morning to rush out the door!

After adding some sugar and milk, I started to pick up the fruitier flavours and found that it has more of a papaya taste than orange and citrus, though there’s definitely a mild acidity to the blend. The deep molasses flavour comes out most prominently at the end of the cup.

Verdict: Although I feel most comfortable with this type from my MistoBox, it’s not my favourite. It’s got too many flavours mingling with each other, which contributed to its complexity but at the same time almost made it TOO complex. It’s a personal preference, but I like cleaner flavour profiles.

Curious about this coffee? Pick up a bag from MistoBox through here or check it out from Elemental Coffee Roasters here. From what I can tell, their Saucha bag will change every now and then according to season!

However, their checkout page seems to be a little broken right now and it keeps telling me that my postal code is wrong and that I need to choose a shipping method that doesn’t exist. I’ll update at a later date to see what’s going on!

xoxo,

B.elle

OQ Coffee Co. – Sulawesi Toarco Station

I tried out the third sample I got from my MistoBox today.

OQ Coffee Co. - Sulawesi Toarco Station

My first impression of this coffee bean came when I ripped open the top and a huge whiff of freshly roasted coffee hit my nose! It definitely wasn’t as delicate as the Case’s Agaro Jimma or Water Avenue’s Finca Buena Vista and reminded more of the more common varieties but not in a bad way.

The roast appeared a little darker than Case’s and Water Avenue’s beans, so that might be why it smells a bit stronger and more like the typical roasts we find in the supermarkets. The beans also looked a little larger than the others, but that could also be the variety of coffee bean that they used. (I’m not very educated on the different varieties of coffee beans!)

Without any sugar or milk added to it, the Sulawesi Toarco delivered a full, almost wine-y taste that comes from the juniper and other spiced notes. I think it reminds me of wine because of the spices they chose since many red wines use those during oaking.

I didn’t pick up any of the floral notes the card had mentioned. None. But that could be because I had just eaten lunch and floral notes can be a bit difficult for me to detect.

It’s got a distinct bitterness that’s characteristic of coffee, but I found it to be much less sharp than typical coffees and sharper than the other samples I’ve tried.

Verdict: Out of the samples in the box so far, it’s not my favourite. It’s not as distinct or as novel in flavour profile as the others, but I do enjoy its resemblance to wine. It’s still better than most commercial coffees available and it would do perfectly as the first morning roast after a long night of partying, but I’m not sure if I’d get it online to ship to Canada. If it was available on the shelf, I’d take it in an instant!

Interested? You can buy a bag here at MistoBox.com or here at OQ Coffee Co.’s online store, which also does not ship to Canada. *sigh*

xoxo,

B.elle

Objects of Worship by Claude Lalumiere

Objects of Worship

Twelve strange, eerie, sensual stories by a bold new voice in weird fiction. Capricious gods rule a world of women. Zombies breed human cattle. The son of a superhero must decide between his heritage and his religion. Young lovers worship a primordial spider god. The apocalyptic rebirth of the god of elephants. Monstrous chimeras roam through a devastated future Earth. A retired fisherman caught in the middle of a conflict between gods and superheroes. Teenagers struggle to survive a surreal ice age…

Published by ChiZine Publications, this anthology of Claude Lalumiere’s take on Canadian weird and surreal fiction is fantastic at the very core of the word’s definition.

Each story delves into his multiversal imagination with superheroes, ethereal gods, creepy visuals that make your insides squirm in strange ways, all mixed up with sexy, Canadian flair. The twelve stories carries a thread of darkness of the barely-unknown, beckoning you to keep turning the page with a twinge of apprehension, fear and excitement.

My favourite story came at the beginning with The Ethical Treatment of Meat, where Lalumiere brings you to the delightfully post-apocalyptic world where zombies go to church and have backyard barbeques with brain cake and brains on the grill. They also farm humans for their brains, which raises the issue of animal cruelty and trying to cope with the core of your nature.

Besides the copious amounts of superhero and comic book influences, one of best things I found about this anthology is that Lalumiere allowed some of his characters and locations cross over through the stories, creating his universe but blurring it with our reality.

This will be a book I look forward to reading again and again.

Stories in Objects of Worship:

  • The Object of Worship
  • The Ethical Treatment of Meat
  • Hochelaga and Sons
  • The Sea, at Bari
  • The Darkness at the Heart of the World
  • Spiderkid
  • Njabo
  • A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens
  • A Visit to the Optometrist
  • Roman Predator’s Chimeric Odyssey
  • Destroyer of Worlds
  • This Is the Ice Age

 

Interested? Try finding it at your local library or buy it directly from ChiZine Publications or Amazon.ca.

xoxo,

B.elle

Case Coffee Roasters – Ethiopia Agaro Jimma

Here’s the second of four samples I got from MistoBox!

Case Coffee Roasters - Ethiopia Agaro Jimma

Every sample came in these resealable brown paper bags that fit perfectly into the box they sent it in and they picked different colours for each bag. I’m not sure if the colours are used each time or if it’s by region or if they pick new colours each month, but it definitely does help when trying to pick the morning brew.

This was the second sample that I opened and it turned out to be a slightly lighter roast than other commercial coffee beans. It’s not as light as the Finca Buena Vista, but it’s still lighter than say… Starbucks’ Pike Place.

The smell actually reminds me of a barbeque for some reason. I don’t know why, but it’s that toasted scent that first hits my nose! It’s still quite lovely and dry as they say on the card included in the MistoBox, but I don’t pick up any of the apricot and honey.

It tastes so sweet even without any sugar! The first flavour I got was literally peaches and raspberries and I had to double check with the card to make sure that I wasn’t imagining things! The finish is a little dull, but the overall profile is very delicate and perfect for beginner or casual coffee drinkers.

Verdict: It’s a much lighter and delicate coffee that would probably appeal to more people than the typical coffee and it delivers a cloyingly delicious flavour.

Want to check it out? You can buy it here at Mistobox.com with free shipping or here at Case Coffee Roasters’ store site for a $5 flat shipping fee!

xoxo,

B.elle

 

Water Avenue Coffee Company – Finca Buena Vista

I got a sample of this coffee by Water Avenue Coffee Company from the May MistoBox. What’s a cafe without some good coffee, right?

Water Avenue Coffee Company - Finca Buena Vista

My first impression of the bag was that it’s ultra cute, chic and resealable, but it doesn’t give me much of an impression of the company itself. It’s great that they listed the three main flavour notes on the front, though.

When I ripped open the bag, I noticed that the coffee beans were a lighter colour than I’m used to. Maybe it’s because they haven’t been roasted as long?

The smell is so intoxicating. Lovely notes of honey and fruit peek through the savoury roasted elements of the coffee beans. The light roast really highlights the subtle non-coffee fragrances and shows off what I think is the high quality of the farm.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t smell anything when I ground the beans and brewed my coffee.

The taste? Oh. My. God. It’s got the cleanest finish I’ve ever had in a coffee and I could really taste the honey notes right after the fruity acidic flavours that’s consistently through the product. LOVE IT!!

Verdict: I am extremely tempted to buy a whole bag from MistoBox (it’s 12oz and free shipping!), but I’ll wait until I try the others I got.

Want to buy a bag? You can get it here at MistoBox.com or here at Water Avenue Coffee but they don’t ship outside the US! 😦

Have you subscribed to MistoBox? How do you like your coffee?

xoxo,

B.elle

MistoBox – May 2013

MistoBox is a monthly coffee sample service based in the US. For $23USD per month to Canada, you get four 1.75oz bags of gourmet coffee that you’ll never get the same twice and your first month is $10USD. For $35USD per month, you can upgrade to four 3.4oz bags of coffee!

This is my first time subscribing to MistoBox and it took about 7 business days to get from Phoenix, Arizona to Toronto, Ontario.Image

I think I’ve died and gone to coffee heaven.

MistoBox

MistoBox

MistoBox May 2013

First of all, I just want to say that I totally fell in love with this packaging. It’s so darn cute and smart! I don’t need to find another space for the coffee samples because I can just keep them in that oh-so-adorable box!

The card itself describes each of the coffees inside with a link to MistoBox’s online store. It doesn’t list any other locations about where to buy them, but MistoBox does offer free shipping.

As far as I can tell, these boxes are the same for each subscriber. From left to right, here’s what I got!

Colombia San Agustin

Elemental Coffee // Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

A group of 50 producers join together to make up this lot of Los Naranjos San Agustin. These farms are planted with caturra, typica, bourbon and castillo varieties to make this lot. The cup opens up to a nice citrus acidity with orange and papaya fruited notes, paired with molasses heavy sweetness and a round body.

Sulawesi Toarco Station

OQ Coffee Co. // Highland Park, New Jersey

While this stellar Sulawesi has certain traits in common with Latin American coffees due to its washed processing, it still retains a typical Indonesian vibe. Aromatic notes of flowers, pine, and juniper are balanced by its textured body, followed with a spicy sweetness of cloves and coriander that come to dominate the cup as it cools.

Ethiopia Agaro Jimma

Case Coffee Roasters // Ashland, Oregon

This washed coffee from the well-known coffee growing town of Agaro is more sweet, delicate and clean than most dry process coffees typical of the region. The dry aroma is full of apricot and honey sweetness. Berry and peach notes burst out of the cup and as it cools a nice floral and bergamot notes emerge.

El Salvador Finca Buena Vista

Water Avenue Coffee // Portland, Oregon

This coffee comes from the El Cachillo mountain in the Apaneca Llamatepec mountain range, known for producing coffees of the highest caliber. This farm is planted with only the bourbon variety. Bright, tart acidity of pomegranates and tangerines are met with distinct honeyed sweetness and a clean finish.

~~

So, they sent me some gourmet coffee from each coffee-making continent! I opened up the Finca Buena Vista from Water Avenue and I immediately melted at the scent of these freshly roasted coffee beans.

I can’t wait to dig into these coffees, but I have to go out and get milk first.

How do you like your coffee? Will you subscribe to MistoBox?

xoxo,

B.elle

Cuccio Nail Polish – Tel-Aviv About It

I recently got my hands on this new(?) nail polish from Cuccio. It’s not a terribly well-known brand like OPI or China Glaze, but it seems to be a pretty high quality formula.

Cuccio Colour - Tel Aviv About It

I tested it on just my thumb when I first got it and it was still wet after 45 MINUTES. OUTSIDE. IN THE SUN. But when I tried it again, it actually dried at a reasonable rate. Maybe it was the base coat I used the second time? Or maybe it was because it was super humid that first time?

Either way, I really, REALLY like it now. It’s super shiny even without a top coat and the darker neutral shade really appeals to me! The best part? It went through a ton of abuse over a couple days and it didn’t chip or lose any shine.

Cuccio on hand

Verdict: Get it! At only $10 CAD, it’s almost a steal. It’s available on cuccio.com, but you need to make an account to order. It’s also available at other online retailers, but I haven’t seen it in stores yet.

Have you tried it?

xoxo
B.elle