Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: Joe Around the World

BENNINGTON -- The journey was set to begin last week when 12 coffees arrived.

Just one problem: No coffee maker.

Till today, when the Hamilton Beech showed up. In red ... type of red I lust for. I have a thing for "Lusty Red" and certain people who know me best go out of their way to find things in this shade. But it's not such an easy shade of red to find. There are degrees of Lusty Red. This coffee maker is one of them.

And so, my journey Around the World in Twelve Coffees began at 11:33 this morning.

Today's brew takes me to Ethiopia, where I'm enjoying a cup of "Harrar" joe. According to the description on the box above, "Harrar is famous for its 'chocolate' character with medium body, earthy flavor, light acidity and wonderful smoothness."

Before I give me review of Harrar, here's a note for makers of coffee cups: Lefties! I'm ambidextrous, but in the case of holding a coffee cup I'm a lefty so I don't see that cool Peace, Love & Happiness saying and design. Here's what I see because it's a righty cup:

But let's get back to the Ethiopian joe. It is smooth, earthy-grainy, too, but there is no hint of chocolate. The only way I'm tasting chocolate in my mouth with this coffee is if I grab some of these dark-chocolate-covered raisins, chew them and then take a slug of the Harrar:

But even that method is less than satisfying because coffee and raisins don't mesh so well.

I'm on my second cup of Harrar. It's really not that good. It tastes like ... it was filtered through someone's used gym sock. It gets 1.5 joe perks out of 5.

I'm going to let you decide where tomorrow's java journey takes me. These are the flavors: Brazilian Baha, Colombian Huila, Costa Rican Tarrazu, Euro-Espresso Blend, French Roast Blend, Guatemalan Amatitlan, Hawaiian Isle Blend, Kenya AA, Louisiana Blend, Mexican Coatapec and Sumatra Mandheling.

Email your selection to Also, don't be afraid to send the Kulk packs of your favorite coffee (338 Main Street, Bennington, Vermont 05201). If you do send me an unopened pack, I'll brew it in my new lusty red coffee maker and review it. Here's a request, too: I'd love a pack of Jamaican Me Crazy.

Till then, here's to lefties holding righty coffee cups the wrong way.

UPDATE: Now we're talking: