Deserting Dessert coffee…and coming back again.
As I type this, I have a cup of our new Highlander Grogg next to me. If you had told me a year ago that I would be drinking this kind of flavored coffee, you would likely be met with a dirty look.
For years I’ve prided myself on being a ‘coffee flavored coffee’ kind of guy. My nerdieness for needing to know the elevation and processing in the region the coffee was grown was pretty hard core. And, for good reason. If you enjoy your coffee black, you really can learn the nuances in the coffee.
I remember trying my first ‘Carmel Macchiato’. In my opinion this is the grandfather of desert coffees in the US. At the time, I didn’t even know the difference between Arabic and Robusta beans. I was drinking my coffee with milk and sugar and remember liking this sugary confection with the cool Italian name. That was the first time. Then the next time I tried it, I remember thinking it was too sweet and, having the same reaction when I tried it again later. It was only when I took a trip to Italy that I found out that the Caramel Macchiato..is’t really a ‘Macchiato’ at all! A Macchiato is a shot of espresso with a dollop of foam. No pumps of caramel syrup. I had the straight dope in Italy and that was the end of the American chain store ‘Macchiato’ for me.
And so every time I saw a flavored coffee, I felt like it was a quick stab at these syrupy sugary drinks known as ‘Dessert Coffees’.
A Dessert coffee is usually a coffee to drink after you finish a meal. The difference between dessert coffee and regular coffee is that dessert coffee often has sugar, cream, syrups, flavorings, and other ingredients added to change the flavor.
Having come to the decision that I was a ‘coffee flavored coffee’ guy, I decided to look at the nuances of black coffee. What really defines quality coffee? How can coffee taste different just by where it’s grown and how it’s processed? I visited plantations in Latin America, Indonesia and Asia to do research. I took classes and read books. I was in full coffee elitist nerd mode. Looking back, this was essential foundation coffee education. My conclusion was that every good cup of coffee starts with a great bean. You can flavor and add milk and sugar to good quality coffee..but it’s still never going to be great a great cup of coffee. You can dress up a pig..but it’s still a bad cup of mud.
This is why our range of unflavored coffees isn’t extremely vast. We want each coffee to be distinctly different from the other. If you are drinking our coffee black for the first time and try our Cleopatra, then try our Iron Claw-I promise you-a lightbulb will go off! Things will click and all that confusing coffee jargon will make sense. AND if you do add milk and sugar it’s gonna be even MORE banging than what you might get from the chains stores.
All that being said, why would we turn around make flavored coffees? To be honest, I hated the idea. There was (and still is) no way I was making Banana Daiquiri coffee! Nope. No way. Heels dug in. But..we were getting requests for some flavored options from our crew. And I trust our crew! Our crew being you by the way.
So I looked at the options and the only one that I ‘approved of’ was English (or Black) Walnut. So, begrudgingly I tried it…and…it was kinda awesome. Actually…it was really good!
But there was still some work to do before I could put the Catfight name on it. Most flavored coffees use low quality beans. The idea being, ‘Hey-we are going to flavor it anyway! What waste good beans?’
That wouldn’t fly at Catfight. So, we use Arabica Single Origin Colombian beans as the foundation. Then, we infuse-rather than just flavor-(though sometimes that process is necessary too) the beans. This process takes longer as it requires the roasting machines get completely reset after just one batch. Lastly, if it’s gong to be Catfight-it has to be flavors that somewhat in the coffee flavor wheel. No Banana Daiquiri here. Sorry. BUT! Black Walnut sure is! Hence our Black Magic coffee.
Now, I feel really good about our flavored coffees. You CAN be a black coffee-I need to know the astrological sign of the person that picked the bean-kinda nerd. AND you can also enjoy a fun infused coffee too. Just today I was drinking our Great Pumpkin coffee and noticed we had Egg Nog in the fridge and tried them together. It was awesome!
We know the holidays are coming up and that means a LOT of eating…and nothing is better at the end of a good meal than a good cup of coffee. A dessert coffee.
We hope you make Catfight a part of your festivities.