Coffee-a-Month Roundup for 2018

By January 2, 2019 culture One Comment
2018 coffee

Sometimes it seems that life is merely an ongoing attempt to break bad habits and establish good ones. It can feel like a burden, even though I love dreaming about change. In an attempt to make life routines a bit more fun, I’ve been building a coffee-a-month habit for the past few years. IT IS THE BEST. I love warm drinks. I love good coffee. I love creative packaging and branding. Discovering new roasters and ordering up a bag of beans each month has been a pure delight.

Here’s my tasting roundup for 2018. Some picks were better than others. Some I remember better than others—let’s blame poor notes and poor memory for missing details. Several are tagged highly recommended because these were the most pleasing to my tastes. You’ll see that most are from Central or South America; those coffees are my favorite, so I typically pick a bean grown from that part of the world.

Coffee-a-month will continue in 2019, so if you have a great coffee roaster to recommend, please post it in the comments!


Coffee Selections for 2018


populaceJanuary: Populace Coffee Co. \ Guatemala

I enjoyed this one! A great cup of coffee from one of my favorite regions for beans. The packaging was simple, which gave it a rather personal feel. It was a good pick to kick off the new year of coffee tasting.
Roaster location: Detroit, Michigan

prestaFebruary: Presta Coffee Roasters \ El Salvador

Highly recommended! I also loved this branding and packaging—the handwritten note and decal were an especially nice touch. A great cup of coffee with notes of milk chocolate, caramel, passion fruit, and apricot. Basically, lots of layers of flavor. Even good without dairy or sugar!
Roaster location: Tucson, Arizona

ParlorMarch: Parlor Coffee \ Guatemala Pulcal

Highly recommended! Described as having “a profound depth of sweetness that resonates with poached pear notes underpinned by a marzipan sweetness and browning sugar base.” YES to all that. This was a delicious cup of coffee with delightful branding and packaging. I could drink this as my standard daily coffee.
Roaster location: Brooklyn, New York

sirius colombiaApril: Sirius Coffee Roasters \ Colombia

Highly recommended; I grabbed this bag in a pinch for April because I was swamped with work and needed one less thing to think about. Mike and I have our weekly coffee date at Coffee Hound, so this was an easy bag to fill my April pick. I love most every Sirius roast, but Colombia is all-around lovely, with tasting notes of caramel, red fruit, and orange zest.
Roaster location: Bloomington, Illinois

Turq lionMay: Fine Coffee Roasters \ Costa Rica Cafe Vida

Highly recommended! My friend Tim Burton is roasting beans in small batches under this fantastic label. I loved everything about it—the coffee and the branding. And it’s all the more special because I know the roaster firsthand!
Roaster location: Heyworth, Illinois

laughing manJune: Laughing Man Coffee Company; Colombia

When my sister made me aware that Hugh Jackman had a coffee company, I had to try it. I ordered this bag online, but soon discovered it was also available in major stores. (Who knew?) This is some strong, strong coffee—think Starbucks, punch-you-in-the-face level. I’ve decided that Wolverine must be laughing at the wimps who cannot drink his coffee. Drink at your own risk.
Roaster location: Huila, Colombia

kaldiJuly: Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co.; El Salvador, El Manzano Honey

Mike was traveling on business and visited a large Kaldi’s shop in Kansas City. This was my treat! He brought back a bag of El Salvador beans, which is one of my favorites. Although this is available in major stores, I loved getting a fresh bag right from the home state.
Roaster location: St. Louis, Missouri

cafe locoAugust: Creative Coffee Lab, Guatemala Cafe Loco

My friend (and fellow Lodge Lady) Dorothy brought this home from her trip to Guatemala! It was super strong and rich. I tested it several ways but couldn’t get the brewing quite right. What a treat to have a personally delivered bag of beans direct from the growers!
Roaster location: Panajachel, Guatemala

sirius peruOctober: Sirius Coffee Roasters \ Peru

Highly recommended! This is my favorite straight coffee from Coffee Hound; I typically get this as a pour over and was happy to see beans for purchase. Tasting notes of citrus, grape, and toffee. Photo courtesy of Coffee Hound.
Roaster location: Bloomington, Illinois

tinker coffee November: Tinker Coffee Co. \ Malawi

Highly recommended; bonus points for a great in-cafe experience (Coat Check Coffee) during the Indianapolis Half Marathon! Tasting notes of fruit punch, ginger, and animal crackers—it was quite good, and I’m not typically a fan of beans from Africa!
Roaster location: Indianapolis, Indiana

sirius switchbackDecember: Sirius Coffee Roasters \ Switchback

Ended the year with a pick of Mike’s from Coffee Hound, their signature Switchback with tasting notes of chocolate, apple, stone fruit. Not my favorite from Sirius but a really great cup of coffee. Photo courtesy of Coffee Hound.
Roaster location: Bloomington, Illinois

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