Berres Brothers Papua New Guinea

This coffee features a very sneaky stealth flavor.
The first third of this cup I was thinking, “Eh. Not very impressive.” It’s smooth, subdued, and pleasant, but not outstanding.
Then I took a long distracted sip, let it blossom on my tongue, and realized an outstanding flavor had snuck right up on me.
This falls into a rare class of coffees which taste better the more you drink it. The flavor builds on itself. Powerfully complex, it simmers out a very loving, rich coffee undertone with sweet fruity notes, tinged with the subtlest hint of pecan.
This is an all-day-long coffee, morning straight through afternoon. This is a coffee that could singlehandedly make a Monday at the office much more pleasant.
From the package: “Papua New Guinea. Deliciously captivating, powerfully flavorful. A dark-roasted aromatic with a hint of wine-like apple flavor.”
Now that they mention it, I can kind of detect a green apple nuance in the flavor.
It’s good. In fact I would go so far to say … it’s Groovy.

Berres Brothers Kenya AA

It’s the first word that popped into my mind upon the first sip of this coffee.
It’s a warm December day here in Texas. The windows are all open and the wind is blowing. My kids and I are all finally recovering from a bug I brought back with me from an airline on Thanksgiving day. And here I am, sitting back and enjoying a bright coffee on a brilliant morning.
Life is good. So is this coffee. The taste is so tangy and alive that it sparkles on the tongue.
The Berres Brothers package reads: “Kenya AA. Refreshingly aromatic, delectably smooth. African beans create a crisp, powerful balance with swirls of sharp.”
Sharp what? I don’t know. That’s literally how it ends. But this coffee is smooth, and the taste is very crisp. The highlights dominate the flavor. It’s sharply sweet with a citrus punch that glides high over the warm roasted nutty flavor of the more umber coffee notes, like a masterful saxophone playing with an aggressive and jazzy base guitar.
This is not morning coffee. This is afternoon coffee, or early-evening-before-the-party coffee.
And, my friends, it is most definitely a very Groovy Brew.

Java Juice

This arrived unexpectedly in the mail. I remember contacting them back when I was writing a two part article called “The Triumphant Return of Instant Coffee?”
Months later, surprise! And a pleasant surprise it is.
I’ve always thought that packaging coffee extract in single serving packets would be a good idea. Especially if you’re backpacking or in some remote location where brewing a cup of coffee is difficult or a bad idea, it’s nice to know you can get something like this Java Juice to take along because … no matter what, coffee is an imperative. Even at the top of a mountain, or in a submarine. Or on the International Space Station.
The coffee must flow.

They sent me four flavors to try:

  • Original
  • French Vanilla
  • Black Gold
  • Swiss Water Decaf

A few minutes ago I opened one of the Original packets and dribbled the uber-black concentrate into 10 ounces of hot filtered water.
Right up front let me tell you it’s good. It has a strong flavor and tastes very fresh. That being said, the flavor of coffee is surprisingly delicate and easy to damage. I’ve tried several top of the line extracts over the years and none of them could be considered a replacement for regular coffee, mainly because of what I call “dilution tang.” Something about adding water to an already brewed suspension of coffee slightly damages the flavor. I mean, you get this even with regular coffee after you add an ice cube to it. So I’m not putting Java Juice down when I say the taste suffers from this dilution tang — it’s just a fact of life. I took a (albeit unnaturally strong) brew of coffee — the extract itself — and added water to it. What I ended up with is a very robust, fresh, flavorful cup of coffee with that tell-tale tang of dilution.
That being said, it tastes VASTLY better than ANY freeze-dried instant coffee, and much better than most pre-ground stale tinned coffees. The dilution tang can be masked by adding a sweetener, and the trade off is that you now have a good coffee that is completely portable. You don’t have to mix it with hot water — cold water works just fine, if you’re into drinking iced coffees — or you could add it to milk to make an instant cappuccino.
On the fly.
That is where Java Juice really shines. Out camping, hiking, fishing or hunting, anywhere away from home — it’s far better than horrid office or hotel coffee.
I’m now drinking the “Black Gold” and it, too, is very tasty and especially fresh. It’s rich, full bodied, and exceptionally smooth.
I hereby make it official. Java Juice is Groovy. Not to mention very portable.

Other coffee extracts I’ve reviewed: X Cafe & CoolBrew