Rise Up From The Ashes

The Grind
It’s difficult to imagine a time in history before the cultivation of the mighty coffee bean. It was most likely bleak and everyone was cranky. Thankfully, we live in a civilized time where our biggest problem is choosing our favorite bean and brew that gets us through our day. Doing this through bleary eyes is a challenge but Jason is up to it.

The other day I hopped on over to En Fuego in Murphy, TX in order to satisfy my craving for a nice Macanudo Court. While there I got to talking to the owner, and asked if there was a comparable cigar to my beloved accompaniment to scotch (I drink Laphroaig, if yer buying.) He told me there was a very flavorful Nicaraguan cigar that came quite close, and was one of his personal favorites. He then explained how the cigars just taste better there for him, as the soil is quite volcanic. Now, knowing what really sets Hawaiian coffee apart from just about all others, I casually mentioned that Nicaraguan coffee was probably pretty damn good as well. Well, the floodgates of information just POURED out of this guy upon my making that assumption. He told me that he usually needs sugar or Splenda in his coffee –a confession that likely made me grimace a bit- but the intense flavor of Nicaraguan coffee meant such additives were unnecessary.

Needless to say, I was very interested in getting a hold of some of this coffee.

Further research at home revealed that there are roughly 40,000 coffee plantations on this bicoastal Central American country. So getting a hold of a fresh batch actually proved quite easy. And let me tell you, at least as far as I’m concerned, if you’re paying $50 for a pound of Kona coffee, then you’re a damned idiot. Because you can get just as top shelf quality coffee from here as you could from Hawaii. Maybe even better, considering it won’t take as long to arrive at your doorstep. And I only paid 14 BUCKS! That’s right, kids; it turns out we can enjoy gourmet coffee without having to eke into the family diaper budget!

EDITOR’S NOTE: I should probably point out that the diapers are for the kids. But once Season 4 of Walking Dead finally rears its stupid head on Netflix, I may have to strap one on for the ensuing binge.

As for the coffee itself? Well, I ordered the Café Las Flores which is grown on the soils of the Mombacho Volcano near Granada. A couple forums suggested I get San Sebastian, but I couldn’t find any that was sold online. Can’t say I’m at all disappointed in my choice, though. The coffee was very sweet and fruity, which led me to suspect they use honeyed processing rather than watered, a more common process for Sumatran coffees but is quickly gaining popularity in Central American countries over the past few years. It had an almost chocolatey finish as well. Needless to say, I could see immediately what the cigar shop owner meant by not having to add sweetener. Nature –and possibly the milling process- already took care of that.

Now to find out what it tastes like with a cigar. Stately and mayoral, one can only assume…

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