I know – most of prior Thirsty Thursday posts have revolved around beer BUT here’s the thing – I drink coffee every day.
I survived college and graduate school without taking a sip – really! As an undergrad, I remember going with a friend to an independent coffee shop and not knowing what to order. I saw the word “mocha” on the menu, and thinking it would taste like chocolate, ordered the largest size available. Needless to say I was severely disappointed and could not understand what was in this drink that was so magical and coveted by so many.
Fast forward about *cough* 20 years and I could not imagine starting my day without a delicious cup of coffee. Now I am not sure if it is psychological (part of my morning routine) or if it really does get me going BUT my Keurig is always filled and ready to deliver me a single cup of coffee to bring with me to work.
But how good is the coffee that comes out of my K-cup really – I mean it’s passable (once I add sweetener) and it’s easy to “brew” it during the week when I am rushing out the door.
In all honestly – I would prefer to go to Starbucks everyday, but for me, it’s not economical.
BUT recently my husband purchased me a french press as a Christmas gift and it was life changing. It really brews the best tasting coffee but my supply of Starbucks Christmas Blend is dwindling and I don’t want to buy a random new bag of coffee only to brew an inadequate cup.
What’s a coffee loving girl to do?
Well – as luck would have, over the weekend I was able to meet Jeff and Emily Brooks, owners of Giv COFFEE, whom in my opinion roast and brew some of the best coffee I have EVER had.
Don’t believe me – I will give a bit of a spoiler here – Giv COFFEE is the first and only coffee I have ever tasted where I did not have to add any additional accompaniments. Yup – nary a sweetener or liquid (other than the coffee) was in the glasses that I tasted.
Sitting down with some wonderful pastries (thank you Hartford Baking Company)
Jeff gave a brief history of how Giv COFFEE came to existence – he has been roasting beans for about 5 years after traveling to Carabello Coffee, a philanthropic coffee roasting company in Newport, KY. Back in Connecticut he started roasting coffee and Giv COFFEE was born. The vision behind Giv COFFEE is that they work to put as much into the roasting of the beans as the farmers put into producing the beans.
Jeff and Emily work with growers from several countries, many of whom produce beans in micro lot quantities, to obtain the highest quality beans, and then make sure these farmers receive a fair price for their crop. And if that was not enough – Giv COFFEE donates $2 for every bag of coffee they sell in their retail store to a variety of organizations close to Jeff and Emily.
Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Giv COFFEE
In addition to just showing and allowing us to taste their products – I had the opportunity to compare two different brewing methods (French Press and Cemex) for two of their varieties of coffee. What Jeff wanted to impress on us was that these two methods actually put the control of brewing a cup of coffee in the hand of the homebrew – something that a cup of drip coffee most times lacks.
The first one was Celso Garcia Organic from Mexico.
The difference in the color of the coffee when brewed in the Cemex and the French Press where stark.
Whereas the Cemex brewed coffee looked and tasted tea like (a bit more bitter) the coffee brewed in the French Press had a more muddy appearance but it had more body because this method allows the fats of the coffee to seep through. The filter in the Cemex stops those oils, which in my opinion gave it a lighter flavoring.
Second up was Dos Montoyga. These beans were grown on a micro lot (think very very small quantities)
Again – the comparison of the two brewing methods was stark and surprising different. I was drawn to the fuller flavored French Press method but really both of the varieties we tried were beyond anything I have ever tasted. So much so – that I my fear that I would need to add sweetener became a distant memory as the tasting went on.
We were almost done with the tasting and demonstration when Jeff brought out a Ball jar, a coffee filter, some hot water and 25g of coffee. Don’t have a fancy Cemex or French Press – no problem. Jeff showed us that with even the most rudimentary utensils- good coffee can be brewed, you just have to have the right beans.
Giv COFFEE has had an online store for several years but within this past year Jeff and Emily have opened up a storefront at 194 Albany TUrnpike/Rt44, Canton CT 06019 ( Cafe Hours: M-F; 6am-6pm, Sat; 8am-6pm, Closed Sunday) where they not only roast and sell their beans but a variety of light breakfast and lunch items. And if that is too far away from you – Giv COFFEE is sold at Hartford Baking Company in West Hartford.
I learned a lot about brewing a perfect cup of coffee at this event. Giv COFFEE is a great Connecticut Company that is roasting and selling fair trade coffee. I can honestly say it is the only coffee that I know I will take “straight, no chaser” and that high praise from a sweetener adder like myself.
Disclaimer: I was asked to attend this event free of charge in exchange for writing a review on the blog. Although this post is sponsored, the opinions are completely my own, based on my experience.