May 24, 2012

Runner's High Coffee Mini-Review, And Me Being an Idiot

So I made coffee yesterday, and I have to admit, it wasn't very good. The result was sort of a hot liquid, and dark brown, and it really even smelled a little like coffee. But it wasn't quite there. This was particularly disappointing, because I had spent a pretty penny on a pound of coffee, which I basically never do anymore. (This is, perhaps, the greatest perk this blog has given me. People send me coffee in the mail now, which is indescribably great.)
Only I see this at my local coop grocer, and I can't not buy it. Sure, it was expensive (everything at tiny health food grocers is), but just look at it. It's like their marketing department (or just the dude who designs the bags) interviewed me. It's coffee, with running shoes on it, and an LSD joke for good measure. And oh, it's a blend that prominently features East African beans, my perfect poison. (As an aside, shouldn't it just be Kenyan and Ethiopian? We haven't had any great Latin American marathoners in over a decade.)

And so I'm going to go running yesterday, and since I just woke up, I need to have a cup. I do the things I normally do, and everything seems fine. (But perhaps it isn't... This is a tease to keep reading. Please do.) Only the result, to be blunt, tastes like my Grandma's Folgers. Well, let's pull that back. It's wasn't quite that bad. There was a hint of something that maybe, sort of, was something that had an inkling of what coffee could be, in another life, or something like that.

I ran my six miles anyway, crawling up and down the lovely hills of Lawrence, KS, at a steady clip. It went well, or at least as well as ancillary mileage done on a sidewalk can. But I couldn't shake the coffee. Or rather, I couldn't shake the lack of coffee. This was supposed to be good, I thought. I had already imagined a nice glowing write-up, or at least, a fun little mention.

But I didn't get that, and instead, I wondered if I'd be left writing a post about not liking a coffee, something that almost never happens.

But as it turns out, I do like this coffee. In fact, I pretty much love it. Another preparation today, and it was glorious, full of all sorts of fun flavor notes and juicy hints of acid-laced trail mix. Furthermore, I ran a 10K PR today, after drinking this very coffee. Coincidence? Well, maybe. And also, I guess I should say I'd never actually run a timed 10K, so whatever I managed was going to be my PR, by default. But still, the coffee kicked ass, and I ran 38:45 for 10K, which was about what I had hoped for. (And yes, if you're a top level Latin American marathoner, you're clearly much faster than me. Sorry about that earlier jab.)

This is the part where I explain why, and also, why I shouldn't be trusted with heavy machinery. This morning, as I went back for round 2, I noticed that my grinder was off. Not just off, but way off, lingering over in french press territory, when I needed a fine grind for my pour over preparation. (It had been set thusly so I could make cold press.) I nudged the setting back, and to the left, and proceeded as normal.

Now I know what you're thinking. Well, I don't know for sure. Maybe you have serious things to think about in your life, more heady things than coffee. But I don't, and you are reading this, so things can't be too hectic. Anyway, I'm going to presume to know something like what you're thinking: Isn't that kind of a huge mistake? How did you not notice that the grounds were the size of rock salt, rather than table sugar? Aren't you supposed to be an expert or something? Doesn't someone pay you to make coffee? To hell with it, I'm gonna go read Peter's blog instead.

Well, you should read Peter's blog, since he has a cat named after a smart Roman guy, and also, while you're there, he has an interview with me. And you do have every right to ask those questions. But, this being my blog and all, I don't have to answer them. Cheers.


  1. I must find this coffee to try...I must. If it's as palatable as you say, it also must become a pre-race ritual.

    1. It's been a few more cups, and I'm still liking it. The company is Just Coffee, and you can see if anywhere near you carries it here: