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CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Howard » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:02 am

(Didn't know where to put this)

This is a coffee tasting note. My daughters came back from Oaxaca the other day and brought me some organic coffee, grown, roasted and ground in Oaxaca. I gave up coffee 4 or 5 years ago on a regular basis as I found the occasional withdrawal too much hassle to put up with. But every once in a while, I'll have a half a cup or a half decaf half caffeinated cup of coffee if I've been up all night. It really wasn't a big deal for me to give it up because it's so hard to find a really good cup of coffee. Starschmucks makes pretty good tasting coffee flavored milk drinks but their plain coffee just doesn't do it for me. I think it's too heavily roasted but that's just me. And I do seek out the un-chains but often their coffee is only marginally better than commercial grade stuff, sometimes considerably better but it's still rare to have a really exceptional cup of coffee.

Anyway, here's what the label on the stuff the kids brought back says: (I'm sorry but I don't know how to put accents on the Spanish. I'll have to learn)

Union de Guerrero Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico
100% Cafe Pluma Organico

I brewed this 1 tablespoon to 1 cup boiling water in a French Press type pot with just tap water for 5 minutes before pressing. I added no milk/cream or sugar.

Beautiful chocolately brown color with some reddish highlights. The aroma fills the kitchen. That in and of itself is sort of meaningless, I've smelled the most wonderful coffee smells in the past and been most disappointed by the flavor. But this is exceptional coffee. It's got a rich mouthfeel that surprised me. There is an intrinsic sweetness that is very subtle but adds to the richness. Waves of deep authentic coffee flavor coat my tongue and palate and there really are distinct cocoa notes that are quite pleasant. There is just a touch of sharp or bitter to keep it structured but if this was wine, and I was talking about tannins, I'd say they were well integrated and not obtrusive at all. There's even a definite, moderately long and very pleasant finish.

Truly remarkable. This is what coffee is supposed to taste like, I believe.
Howard
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Robin Garr » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:10 am

Howard wrote:(Didn't know where to put this)


This is as good a place as any, Howard. Thanks for a truly descriptive and interesting note.
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Gary Barlettano

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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Gary Barlettano » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:47 am

Howard wrote: Starschmucks makes pretty good tasting coffee flavored milk drinks but their plain coffee just doesn't do it for me. I think it's too heavily roasted but that's just me. And I do seek out the un-chains but often their coffee is only marginally better than commercial grade stuff, sometimes considerably better but it's still rare to have a really exceptional cup of coffee.


Howard, if, like me, you do not appreciate the BBQ'ed beans prepared by the Caffeine Cowboys on every corner of the galaxy, then you might appreciate products from Peet's Coffee & Tea. This company which is currently located in Emeryville, CA and soon to move to Alameda, CA is the antithesis to Starbuck's. They hand-roast, deep-roast and slow-roast their coffees without burning them. Every order is roasted to order, packaged while it's still hot, and shipped the same day. I'll spare you the sales pitch and simply suggest that you head to that website. For the folks in the SF Bay Area, they have a storefront in Emeryville now in which you can sample all their coffees not unlike a wine tasting.
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by ChefCarey » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:45 pm

Gary Barlettano wrote:
Howard wrote: Starschmucks makes pretty good tasting coffee flavored milk drinks but their plain coffee just doesn't do it for me. I think it's too heavily roasted but that's just me. And I do seek out the un-chains but often their coffee is only marginally better than commercial grade stuff, sometimes considerably better but it's still rare to have a really exceptional cup of coffee.


Howard, if, like me, you do not appreciate the BBQ'ed beans prepared by the Caffeine Cowboys on every corner of the galaxy, then you might appreciate products from Peet's Coffee & Tea. This company which is currently located in Emeryville, CA and soon to move to Alameda, CA is the antithesis to Starbuck's. They hand-roast, deep-roast and slow-roast their coffees without burning them. Every order is roasted to order, packaged while it's still hot, and shipped the same day. I'll spare you the sales pitch and simply suggest that you head to that website. For the folks in the SF Bay Area, they have a storefront in Emeryville now in which you can sample all their coffees not unlike a wine tasting.


They don't have a presence in Berkeley anymore? They used to be just across Shattuck near The Cheese Board (Stuart and I were discussing this in a former thread.)
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by ChefCarey » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:52 pm

Howard wrote:(Didn't know where to put this)

This is a coffee tasting note. My daughters came back from Oaxaca the other day and brought me some organic coffee, grown, roasted and ground in Oaxaca. I gave up coffee 4 or 5 years ago on a regular basis as I found the occasional withdrawal too much hassle to put up with. But every once in a while, I'll have a half a cup or a half decaf half caffeinated cup of coffee if I've been up all night. It really wasn't a big deal for me to give it up because it's so hard to find a really good cup of coffee. Starschmucks makes pretty good tasting coffee flavored milk drinks but their plain coffee just doesn't do it for me. I think it's too heavily roasted but that's just me. And I do seek out the un-chains but often their coffee is only marginally better than commercial grade stuff, sometimes considerably better but it's still rare to have a really exceptional cup of coffee.

Anyway, here's what the label on the stuff the kids brought back says: (I'm sorry but I don't know how to put accents on the Spanish. I'll have to learn)

Union de Guerrero Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico
100% Cafe Pluma Organico

I brewed this 1 tablespoon to 1 cup boiling water in a French Press type pot with just tap water for 5 minutes before pressing. I added no milk/cream or sugar.

Beautiful chocolately brown color with some reddish highlights. The aroma fills the kitchen. That in and of itself is sort of meaningless, I've smelled the most wonderful coffee smells in the past and been most disappointed by the flavor. But this is exceptional coffee. It's got a rich mouthfeel that surprised me. There is an intrinsic sweetness that is very subtle but adds to the richness. Waves of deep authentic coffee flavor coat my tongue and palate and there really are distinct cocoa notes that are quite pleasant. There is just a touch of sharp or bitter to keep it structured but if this was wine, and I was talking about tannins, I'd say they were well integrated and not obtrusive at all. There's even a definite, moderately long and very pleasant finish.

Truly remarkable. This is what coffee is supposed to taste like, I believe.


Spent some time in Puerto Escondido (in Oaxaca.) Stayed in a place right on the ocean. As is my wont I was the first one up every morning. One of my graduates managed the restaurant. The restaurant was open to the ocean and on both sides as well and sat high where one could watch the merchants setting up in their palapas and the surfers doing their thing. I made coffee every morning and sat there alone (except for the fat one-eyed cat and the little iguana who came out to sun himself - the cat would look leeringly at the iguana and twitch his tail) drinking terrific coffee and feeling the ocean breezes. I loved it. Pretty close to my concept of heaven. (Ask your daughters about the clear plastic bags of water hanging in public places. )
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Gary Barlettano » Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:46 pm

ChefCarey wrote:They don't have a presence in Berkeley anymore? They used to be just across Shattuck near The Cheese Board (Stuart and I were discussing this in a former thread.)


I'm certain that particular coffee shop is still there by which you probably mean the orginal Peet's founded by Alfred Peet back in 1966. Now, there are many Peet's, although they are not as omnipresent and pervasive as Starbuck's.

I was referring to their roasting plant and headquarters in Emeryville which they will soon leave for bigger and better digs in Alameda.

By the way, Jerry Baldwin, the fellow who bought Peet's from Alfred Peet and made it what it is today, was one of the founding fathers of Starbuck's.
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by ChefCarey » Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:08 pm

Gary Barlettano wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:They don't have a presence in Berkeley anymore? They used to be just across Shattuck near The Cheese Board (Stuart and I were discussing this in a former thread.)


I'm certain that particular coffee shop is still there by which you probably mean the orginal Peet's founded by Alfred Peet back in 1966. Now, there are many Peet's, although they are not as omnipresent and pervasive as Starbuck's.

I was referring to their roasting plant and headquarters in Emeryville which they will soon leave for bigger and better digs in Alameda.

By the way, Jerry Baldwin, the fellow who bought Peet's from Alfred Peet and made it what it is today, was one of the founding fathers of Starbuck's.


Yep, that's the one I meant - Walnut & Vine. I started drinking dark roast coffee and haven't looked back. I first bought coffee there when I moved to Berkeley in 1968.
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Howard » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:12 am

Thanks for the heads up. If I ever go back to being a caffeine junkie I will definitely check them out.
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Howard » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:17 am

Chef Carey wrote:

Spent some time in Puerto Escondido (in Oaxaca.) Stayed in a place right on the ocean.


The girls didn't know anything about the water in the plastic bags, they didn't see that at Huatulco, where they stayed for a few days. They DID however, give me a few details on how they bought this coffee. Turns out they were having dinner in some little place on the beach and a peddler walked by with the coffee for sale. They bought it on a lark, never expecting it to be exceptional coffee.
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by ChefCarey » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:23 am

Howard wrote:Chef Carey wrote:

Spent some time in Puerto Escondido (in Oaxaca.) Stayed in a place right on the ocean.


The girls didn't know anything about the water in the plastic bags, they didn't see that at Huatulco, where they stayed for a few days. They DID however, give me a few details on how they bought this coffee. Turns out they were having dinner in some little place on the beach and a peddler walked by with the coffee for sale. They bought it on a lark, never expecting it to be exceptional coffee.


Yep, the Mexican government spent a ton of money developing Huatulco as a tourist destination. Guess they don't want all those bags around. Puerto Escondido remains under the radar still today, I think.

After a few days of puzzling about it, thinking I would be able to figure it out (I didn't), I finally asked a waiter in an open-air restaurant where they were hanging everywhere. They are to confuse the flies.
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Howie Hart » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:41 am

ChefCarey wrote:.... when I moved to Berkeley in 1968.
cool
8)
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by ChefCarey » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:32 am

Howie Hart wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:.... when I moved to Berkeley in 1968.
cool
8)


It was a hell of a year for me. :) Tet Offensive in Bao Trai, Chicago during the riots, July in Paris during the riots, moved to San Francisco and stayed with Marvin and Barbara Garson ( he published the Express Times; she wrote MacBird) for a while, my wife found a place in Berkeley while I was in Paris. Had a photo show at San Francisco State in the student union during the stike there. It continued into '69. I was awake at 4:00 AM when the People's Park thing began. I called and awakened a friend of mine - the photographer who took nearly all the published photos of the People's Park...er...confrontation. National Guard, CS gas (third time in less than a year for me) more riots. Moon landing. Manson family - come to think of it, it was a helluva two year period. :)
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by Howie Hart » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:43 am

ChefCarey wrote:... come to think of it, it was a helluva two year period. :)

Mine was not as exciting as your two years, but it was an interesting time: '68 - Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Okinawa, Vietnam; '69 - Vietnam, 1 week on a ship (landed on Okinawa the same day as the Moon landing), Okinawa (while all my friends at home were at Woodstock), Treasure Island (spent Columbus Day watching a parade in SF) and finally home again. 8)
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Re: CTN: Union de Guerrero Cafe Pochutla, Oaxaca Mexico

by ChefCarey » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:13 pm

Howie Hart wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:... come to think of it, it was a helluva two year period. :)

Mine was not as exciting as your two years, but it was an interesting time: '68 - Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Okinawa, Vietnam; '69 - Vietnam, 1 week on a ship (landed on Okinawa the same day as the Moon landing), Okinawa (while all my friends at home were at Woodstock), Treasure Island (spent Columbus Day watching a parade in SF) and finally home again. 8)


I'm sure I drove over you many times while you were on Treasure Island. :)

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