The Brews

Be Good Not Bitter
“Be Good, Not Bitter” is more than just a brand name; it’s a motto and an accurate description. The aroma and flavor of this coffee stand out, and when I say it’s dark, I mean extra dark. Blindfolded at midnight with no moon under the covers with a lover, full-on French or maybe Italian roast kind of dark. But enough about my weekend (hey oh…).

Freshly roasted to order, this coffee works well in a standard drip brew but really shines in espresso form. I’ve tried both ways, and it’s highly aromatic and pleasant, like a campfire in a cup, with a lot of flavor. It’s not bitter, but certainly potent. I wouldn’t judge you for adding a little cream or foamy milk – in fact, I just made it into a latte with my Moka pot and a manual milk frother.

BGNB also puts a lot of effort into their packaging. It comes in a sturdy box that can take a few minutes to unpack (well, I mean if you’re filming yourself doing it like I was…), but it ensures that your wonderfully roasted beans don’t come with a hole in the bag – something that happened to me exactly one time and I hope to never experience again (Grounds… grounds everywhere).

If you’re looking for a tasty new brew that prides itself on sustainable freshness and roasting to order, definitely consider checking out Be Good Not Bitter.

Player One Coffee – Bourbon
It’s time to wake up and smell the pixels. If, like me, you find that taking out the cartridge and blowing on it just doesn’t jump-start your morning the way it used to, then look no further. This was a happy find that I’m glad I picked up. Smooth. Complex. A mild hazelnut, which I normally don’t go for, but in this case it is well-balanced and understated. If you squint real hard you might notice an acidy sweet that balances just right (or maybe you’ll just go, “Hm, that’s delicious.”)

Bag design is clean and on point – the little 8-bit Jack bottle and tumbler glass surrounded by Mario coins says more about me than I care to think about.

Roast is a true medium and makes for easy drinking black or with creamer. If you go for the latter, I’d suggest something with a fairly neutral flavor profile as you don’t want to miss the bonus flavor content of this brew.

Now excuse me while I press “Brew” to play again.

Apocalypse Coffee Roasters – The Wanderer
Log Entry: 3 April, 1923

Dawn finds me alone. It has been six weeks since our expedition for the Lost City began, and most of the company has been lost to the perils of the jungle or simple fatigue. Cats the size of a man. Bush so thick that the grip of my machete becomes slick with sweat after only a few minutes of cutting. Only I have managed to carry onward, pushing deeper into the inhospitable land, but I have wandered for so long that I fear I may never locate what it is I seek.

Coffee is the key. The smooth drink imbues me with a vitality strong than that of the deep jungle that surrounds me. With notes of apple and honey, it brings energy to these hard mornings without which I might have long succumbed to the elements. Sourced from Costa Rica and roasted to order, the freshness of the bean really shines through.

Should I ever return to civilization, I would recommend this medium roast to anyone.

I must go now. Drums sound in the distance. The Folgers tribe is on the move.

Mythic Coffee Co. – Blucifer Breakfast Blend
The traveler, weary from a long flight, looked outside the plane’s small window, and there he was: Blucifer. The famous blue horse statue at Colorado International Airport, long a subject of fascination for travelers and locals alike, was a mystery to many. Few knew the truth. Blucifer was no mundane sculpture – he was a demon, brought to life by an ancient curse and tainted by the guilt of patricide.

His piercing red eyes and striking blue coat unnerved the traveler as she approached. Blucifer had once been summoned by a powerful sorcerer who had imbued the horse with dark magic and set him loose upon the world. But the traveler knew Blucifer’s weakness.

Despite his fearsome reputation, Blucifer seemed to soften as the traveler approached, as few would dare. An offering was placed upon his pedestal: a humble mug of coffee. If Blucifer could move, he would have sighed as if to say, “Thou knowest me!” The breakfast blend, light and tangy, was far more palatable than some of the dark roasts favored by other eldritch beings. Not overpowering, it would have gone equally well with a sweet or hearty breakfast – had he been able to eat.

In the end, it was this love of coffee that would prove to be Blucifer’s undoing. One fateful day, the traveler prepared the brew with a dash of holy water. The demon horse weakened. With a final thunderous whinny, Blucifer froze in place, turning into a simple, lifeless statue. And so, the people of Colorado breathed a sigh of relief, grateful to the mysterious traveling barista. But would their newfound safety last?

Apocalypse Coffee Roasters – The Invasion
The aliens had invaded Earth, leaving destruction and chaos in their wake. My small group of survivors huddled together in a basement, afraid of what lay above. It was in our darkest moment, as supplies and hope both ran low when I stumbled upon a mysterious bag of coffee.

As we sipped the rich brew, bread-like and malty but balanced with just the right amount of citrus orange bite, we took heart. Truly, this coffee was like nothing we had tasted before; a moment of respite in the midst of disaster.

Suddenly, alien footsteps were overhead. We braced ourselves for the worst, finishing off the dregs of the pot before resigning ourselves to the fight to come. But to our surprise, instead of the blast of a ray gun, the aliens moved away. Properly caffeinated, we gained courage to face the threat and soon ventured beyond the basement.

Stepping outside, we watched as the aliens retreated into the sky. We had survived the invasion, and it was all thanks to that mysterious bag of coffee.

(Great bag art too).

Mythic Coffee Co – Abominable Snowman
As I scrolled through the Mythic online shop, my eyes were immediately drawn to a bag with stunning art; a giant abominable snowman attacking a snowbound house while fiercely clutching a coffee bean in his hand. I added it to my cart while the rest of the no doubt wondered what I was laughing about. The entire site boasts a thrilling lineup of cryptid and monster-themed coffee blends, and I can’t wait to explore the rest of their selection.

When it came to the coffee itself, the Abominable Snowman blend did not disappoint. The perfect balance of medium roast, smooth and rich in flavor, with low bitterness, it was the perfect companion to my kids’ delicious chocolate chip cookies. The only critique I could offer is that it may be a bit underwhelming for a small batch roast, but that’s a minor detail in comparison to the overall delicious taste.

In conclusion, the Abominable Snowman blend is a particularly tasty brew that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone and I eagerly look forward to trying out the rest of Mythic’s exciting offerings.

Bones Coffee – Jamaican Me Crazy

Part 2 of my coffee flight from Bones. I selected based on bag art – their signature skeleton dude wearing a Rasta hat and hanging out in the jungle with his bongo and a bunch of jungle flora and fauna caught my eye. Also, once in college my Jamaican professor gifted us sampler bags from his home town in the islands and I remember being a fan.

So I was looking forward to the brew this morning and wasn’t disappointed. Not entirely… I am not hazelnut’s biggest fan.

<< Tangent begins >>

It’s like the ex that you keep giving another chance because you had a lot of history early on, but every time it’s like “Oh, yeah, this is why we don’t work.”

Nothing wrong with hazelnut, but I just find flavored coffee to be mildly overpowering. I’m that oddball that actually enjoys coffee-flavored. Hoppy beers, peaty Scotch, and hot wings are also a few of my favorite things.

<< Tangent ends >>

Nonsense aside, how does it taste? Well, the hazelnut is actually quite mellow. Very light and bright flavor overall with an extremely mild harshness that serves to balance. It goes down real smooth and seems like a lower caffeine content than what I’m used to – here I just polished off my second cup and my heart is still chugging along at its usual, unhurried, early morning pace.

I would recommend to fans of flavored coffee in general and hazelnut in particular. And the artwork would make a fine addition to any gift assortment.

Kicking Horse Coffee – Dark Roast

Trying some tasty brew from our Maple Leafed Neighbors to the North. Pretty mellow for a dark roast. Just enough of a pleasant roughness so as not to be bland but not overpowering. Paired with a vanilla/vanilla cupcake was a fine way to start this New Years Eve morning. Black, as usual, brewed with my drip pot, it comes out of the bag with a medium-fine grind that works well on a paper filter. I would categorize this as more of a medium dark / city roast and would recommend it to anyone. More sensitive palates might benefit from a little cream and sugar (because, couldn’t we all?) but dark roast fans could probably enjoy it black.

Returning to the pot for my second cup. Would recommend.

Copper Moon – Dark Sky

Right from opening the bag, I was treated to chocolately and roasty vibes and aromatic promises of the liquid magic to come. This is a mellow and restrained brew that’s probably somewhere between a Vienna and French roast and a perfect way to start the day… or for the midday cup… or for late afternoon when you really need to crunch and get things done.

If you’re not typically a fan of dark roast, this might just be the one to make reconsider.

Bones White Russian
Drip brew, 1tbsp / 6oz water, Served black

While I’m still in the early stages of my journey into the wide and delicious world of small batch coffee, I would imagine that Bones are among the best in terms of bag art. Every one of their flavors have unique and eye catching designs that usually get at least a chuckle out of me. After I brew, I almost want to hang up the bag. Here’s an unsolicited request: sell sticker packs. I’d buy those by the roll.

Now, as for flavor. In honor of the Dude’s favorite drink, the call it “White Russian” which of course contains Kahlua. I might point out that Kahlua is a coffee flavored liquor… so essentially, we have a coffee that is flavored like a coffee flavored liquor. Please pardon my glibness… sarcasm doesn’t type well.

They seem to accomplish this by doing a blend of hazelnut – giving the brewed concoction that hot flavor characteristic of ethanol – and a light roast. Normally I don’t particularly go for flavored coffees – I like my beans black, earthy, and roasty – but this is quite tasty.

Bones offers a sample pack consisting of 5x 4oz. bags. I think of it as a “coffee flight.” That’s an option I would like to see more companies offer in the future and would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to dip a toe into the world of small batch roasts.

Dunkin’ Original Blend
Ratio: 1tbsp / 1oz water

As far as “fast food coffee” goes, I think Dunkin’ (formerly known as Donuts) has to lead the pack. High brightness and mild acidity give the original blend a distinctive flavor even when brewed at home. Almost a nippy sweetness, especially at the end.

I am a habitual black coffee drinker, but I realize its not for everyone. However, if you are considering making the jump or even just experimenting, this brew is a good place to start. Mild enough to go without cream or sugar and moderately caffeinated so I can have an extra half cup without my hands starting to shake.

The price is somewhat higher than most supermarket brands, but still far lower than what you’d pay for a specialty roaster.

Copper Moon Coffee

Blast Off – Strong Roast

I’m usually partial to darker roasts and this one did not let me down. Surprisingly mild for this style. Probably more of a full city than a French roast. I ordered this pre-ground and prepared it using a drip machine. Might have almost been fine enough to put through my Moka pot (which I might do later this week).

While it doesn’t affect the taste, I have to point out Copper Moon’s artwork. It’s a funny astronaut reaching for a cup of coffee in space (so the cup would not be steaming, but we’ll ignore that for now), and instead of using color it’s displayed using a difference in texture. It’s a subtle detail and I appreciate little things like that.

Would recommend. 5/5

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Medium Light Roast

Well, this is recognizable as coffee. It’s brown for starters. Definitely has some of the malty/grainy flavors that were characteristic of the previous batch. Roast is neither bitter or overpowering. Very bright and smooth. Mild acidity. There are definitely a few green beans that survived the 1st crack, and I think that’s where the grassy flavor is coming from. My grinder needed a few tries to get through it.

This resulted in a somewhat coarser grind than would be ideal for drip. Would recommend using a French press with near boiling water for superior results.


Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Blonde/Extra Light Roast
Batch: ETH20210902

More like a thick tea than coffee. Nothing resembling roasty bitterness, which – granted – is what you would expect for something so light. When I ground the beans, many of them were still bordering on green. So much so that it broke my conical grinder. I ended up putting the whole batch in the blade grinder.

Not altogether unpleasant. The smell actually reminds me of the mash for beer making; grainy and malty. Earthy. Mildly tangy. Not sour. Almost salty. Yeah… like a smooth, creamy, green tea but with more body.

This was an experiment. One which I do not plan to repeat.


Mexico Narruno
Nayarita Washed
Med-Light Roast

That’s delicious. This is the light half of a batch I split last week. It had a solid 72 hours to rest post roast which I am finding makes a difference. This is the first time I’ve experienced something that I would describe as fruity in a coffee. Honey-like and maybe a little on the bready side. It’s smooth and mild with a hint of nutty flavor. I will try the dark roast next and see how it compares.


*Shrugs* It was on sale.

Okay, hear me out… of the options for cheap grocery store coffee, this is decent medium roast. Moderate bitterness, and very little of that metallic flavor often associated with cheaper coffee. Staleness might be a factor here, as it often is for pre-ground and prepackaged coffee. However, the metallized fiber tube packaging will actually keep better than plastic.

Not to say it’s great by any means, but for cheap coffee it’s not bad. The dollars to flavor ratio will keep this on the go-to shelf.


Mexican Chiapas
Batch: 202106MCH

At first, I thought that I had over-roasted and was ready to toss the batch. Thankfully, the kids pulled me into something before I could do so and I ended up forgetting about it for a couple days. Through additional research, I learned that freshly roasted coffee goes through an out-gassing phase and the flavor profile was vastly improved by this rest.

Roasty and smoky, like chocolate on a s’more that got crispy over the fire. French Roast style that borders on carbonized. A campfire in a mug, but in a pleasant way. My current grinder cuts very coarse, so I had use more than normal in order to get a halfway decent body. Would do again, but would probably go for a slightly less dark roast – maybe full city or Vienna.


Bali Blue Moon
Batch: 202106BBM

The results of my first home roasting experiment turned out… OK. Very low acidity but also very thin body. Moderate upfront brightness which is pleasant, but generally, I prefer a more robust flavor.

This was intended as a Full City roast, and I think a couple of beans might have ended up fully carbonized while I was attempting to fan the smoke out of my kitchen.

Room for improvement, but still a worthy first-attempt and a fine way to start my day.


%d bloggers like this: