Happy Father’s Day

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My very first memories of our mornings in the O'Hara household was my father getting up and quietly heading to the kitchen. His first mission....coffee.

As a child, I remember the sound of the spoon scooping up spoonfuls of coffee into the electric perk. Within minutes, you heard the beginnings of our Corning Ware Coffee Maker heat, sputter and spurt as it "percolated" (I know it's not a word) our coffee. The smell of coffee begins to head through the house and you know it's time to get up.

My first experience drinking coffee was at a young age enjoying a cup with my Dad. He's sitting in the dinette area reading the paper enjoying a cigarette and sipping his coffee. Me...I'm waiting for an opportunity to speak to find out what adventures he is planning today and how I can tag along. I was lucky....he always enjoyed me tagging along

Today, (40 some odd years later) I wake early and begin the rituals of our day. I smell the coffee brewing and the fond memories of my dad come quickly in my head..."So what adventures will I go on today, Dad?" "I know you're with me in spirit."

Happy Father's Day❤️

Lolita

Let's Make Irish Coffee

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"If you are lucky enough to be born Irish, you are lucky enough". ~Unknown

It's a great time of year...Right in the middle of Lenten season...Christmas is a distant memory, Spring is around the corner which means warmer weather (hopefully) and people are gearing up for spring break. THEN....here comes St Patrick's Day. A day that was the holiest of holy days for our family. (wink wink smiley face) My parents were hosting a party or going to one. Either way, there was a party. 

When I was older, and after college, I moved to Southern CA. There was a great place I loved hanging out in Newport Beach CA. It was a little Irish Pub/Restaurant called Muldoon's Irish Pub. As the sun begins to set in SoCal, it always cools down quite a bit even in the summer. I always enjoyed a wonderful cup of Irish Coffee made dark with some good ol' Irish Whiskey. Still a favorite beverage for me today AND especially since I roast coffee...well it's an awesome cup! 

A little history about the beginning of Irish coffee:

Irish Coffee began back in 1942 at an airbase near Limerick. This was a main airport for Flying Boats flying between Europe and the US. Weather along the west coast of Ireland can be very bad causing the fights to return back to the airbase and waiting for the weather to clear. 

On a particular stormy winter night, a pilot decided to return back to the airbase and wait out the storm. Mostly of Americans, (the flight was heading into New York) the restaurant was informed that the flight would be returning and the passengers would be there overnight. A young Irish Chef Joe Sheridan decided to prepare the passengers a warm and wonderful drink. He brewed rich dark coffee, added a small amount of brown sugar, some Irish Whiskey and floated some creme on top. As the passengers began to take in their first sip they were amazed at the wonderful taste. A passenger asked "Hey is this Brazilian Coffee?" "No" Chef Joe replied..."It's  Irish Coffee."

Irish Coffee became a staple on the menu and if it wasn't for a travel writer, Stanton Deplane, it wouldn't have become such an international success. Stanton took the recipe to Jack Keoppler, a bartender at the infamous Buena Vista in San Francisco where they worked diligently to recreate the recipe. The problem was that the whipped creme kept sinking to the bottom. Through trial and error they realized they needed to add a little sugar and make a thick creme, not cold whipped creme to set on top. 

Today, the Buena Vista is still famous for making and selling Irish Coffees. They say that they average about 2,000 Irish Coffees a day.

I am adding the original (and awesome tasting) Irish Coffee from the Buena Vista. Dazzle your friends & family and offer this wonderful drink on these cool/chilly nights. 

Here is the original Joe Sheridan Irish Coffee Recipe:

Cream - Rich as an Irish Brogue  
Coffee - Strong as a Friendly Hand
Sugar - Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue
Whiskey - Smooth as the Wit of the Land.

Pre-heat a clear stemmed glass with very hot water. Empty the water, and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Now add some freshly brewed rich coffee and stir.  As soon as the sugar is melted, add a generous measure of Irish Whiskey (about 2.5cl). Stir again, then wait for the brew to still. Now take a hot teaspoon and pour gently whipped fresh cream slowly over the back of the spoon. The cream should be "half whipped" i.e. not too stiff and not too liquid. 

I suggest Lolita's Blend, Brazil Dark or any dark roasted coffee of your choosing as your coffee base for this wonderful Irish drink. Cheers, or if you wish to say it in gaelic, Slàinte

Lolita 

 

 

Making Espresso Based Drinks With a Moka Pot

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Since the beginning, I've been a big promoter of enjoying coffee at home. With family and friends...getting together over a cup of coffee and something sweet...always made for a good time!

I also believe that you can make a lot of great tasting coffee drinks at home AND they might even taste just as good (or better) than when you head out! I'm not saying to never go out and enjoy coffee, just like I would say to never go out to enjoy a wonderful meal. People tend to go out every day for coffee and spending a lot of money. Instead enjoy coffee out every once in awhile...purchase great, fresh roasted coffee from your local roaster and make great tasting coffee at home. 

However, I wanted to talk about a great little piece of old school/workhorse/simple & easy equipment to make coffee or rather espresso right on your stove top.  Then... you can use it to make other great tasting espresso based drinks. (wink wink smiley face)

A Moka Pot, sometimes called macchinetta del caffè (means small coffee machine) is a stove top coffee maker. Whether you use gas, electric or right on a campfire...this is a great little coffee/espresso maker to use anywhere. 

The basic function is that it works similar to a pressure cooker. It has a valve that goes down to the small water tank to build up pressure to go through the grounds giving you coffee brewed at a higher temperature and a higher pressure delivering more of an espresso. 

There a several sizes to choice from...I have a 6 cup (which is literally 6 espresso sized cups). This is the one I sell online as well. However they have some that are smaller such as a 2 cup or bigger like a 10-12 cup. 

The great part is that you can make some great drinks right at home with this gem. Here are some ideas. 

  • Basic Espresso-Right out of the pot right into your espresso cup. Its short but strong. Enjoy straight up. What's nice is that you will get a bit of the crema like you will see when making from a big espresso machine. 
  • Americano- The name comes from WWII when the American soldiers were in Italy and requesting coffee from the Italian coffee houses. Italians don't drink brewed coffee like we do...it's espresso. So when the soldiers didn't like the strong taste, they asked them to add some hot water. Since then when a solider came in the coffee owners and staff called the drink an AmericanoPour your espresso into a standard size mug and add hot water (close to boiling or from a kettle) up to the rim. Depending on your personal taste, add some creme or sugar or both!
  • Latte- A latte s basically 1/3 of espresso and 2/3 hot milk. Depending on the size latte cup you are using, fill 1/3 with espresso and add 2/3 heated milk (whole, nonfat, 2%, almond, soy, cashew, etc). There are several ways to create the froth such as a steamer/frother, microwave can give you that effect or take a whisk and stir in air quickly to give you the billowy froth. Now you have a latte. Add a flavor such as cinnamon, or a couple of drops of extract such as vanilla, maple, eggnog, hazelnut OR add some pumpkin Spice...YUM! Remember, you can pour this over ice for a cold version too.
  • Mocha- It's a latte with cocoa. In your latte cup, add some cocoa powder. Or add a square of 100% cocoa chocolate. I like it to be richer with a less sweet taste and if I need it to taste a little sweeter, I might add some stevia. However, you can use chocolate syrup/sauce, a Hershey's kiss (or two), whatever "floats your boat". Finish off by adding your espresso and your hot milk and you have a wonderful tasty treat. Just like the latte, enjoy it hot or over ice. Who loves chocolate? This GAL! 

The Mocha Pot, which has been around since 1933, is a great addition to your home brewing accessories. I do have some in stock, however, check out Amazon or look up Moka Pot or Bialetti and check out all the sizes available. 

Price point is NOT expensive. (6 cup runs about $39.99) and a great way to enjoy some of the espresso based drinks you love to order out and enjoy! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment or right me directly shawn@johnnylolitas.com

Lolita💋

 

 

Pour Over Stations

Pour Over Stations....

A beautifully handmade piece that provides a quick & delicious cup of coffee. I know many of you out there love your single cup Keurig machines. I get that...they are quick and super easy to use. I owned one too, many years ago. AND...I bought a commercial version that was plumbed right into my water system. 

The one thing that we never liked about our Keurig was that the coffee never seemed hot enough. I know that is probably more MY problem than the machine, but I do like a hot cup of coffee and I do like to sip and enjoy and not have it cool down so fast. 

Since starting our business and roasting coffee, Johnny has been searching for unique ways to build simple pour over stations that we could take with us everywhere and enjoy a great cup of coffee. We've seen many wonderful ideas via Pinterest and have created some of our own. 

We are looking to build additional stations using salvaged items and maybe adding other elements. Johnny enjoys working with wood so I had him create a large pour over station where I could pour up to 3 single cups of coffee. I wanted a couple so I could take with me to "Home Parties" or events. These work great as I can travel and use them as a crate to fill with coffee, creamer, sugar etc. Many people have really liked them and Johnny has begun designing other styles that are smaller or more compact for any size home. 

What is great about these in wood is that we can stain the station and possibly add initials or a name. You see here I have our logo. We are also looking into wood burning as well. 

The neat thing is that you can hide all your items like the ceramic pour over, creamer, sugar, honey etc. and flip it around so it shows just the front. It fits under the cabinet too. 

Another style Johnny & I really like is more of an industrial style. So with the help of Pinterest we made this copper tubing style. Equipped with a heat proof funnel!

I love the simplicity of it and its compact to hide anywhere you wish. A customer of mine saw some Instagram pics of it and loved it so much, she wanted to have Johnny make her one for her office! 

We are going to be adding more of these pour over stations on our website, however, if you are interested in a wood style or our industrial copper style...drop me a line...I would love to chat! 

Lolita 💋 

A New Year, A New Review

It's me! 

It's me! 

As I'm sitting here sipping my coffee (Lolita's Blend...shameless plug) I've been reviewing last year. Wow...did 2016 happen already? Where does the time go? My Mom always said that I needed to cherish each moment and don't wish your life away because it will fly by in a flash. 

It's that time of year where everyone is looking for a fresh start. Lose weight, more exercise, de-clutter & organize and start anew. I try my best to plan both personally & professionally....goals I wish to accomplish each year. Most years...I wasn't successful. I looked at the goals and saw many failures. However, I found that I never took the time to review the year before, see some of the goals I did complete and be thankful for what I did accomplish. As well as recounting all the wonderful things that happened during that time. Sometimes I met part of my goal but didn't look at it that way...I saw failure. Not anymore....

A great resolution!  

A great resolution!  

2016 was about a new beginning. We moved back to Arizona to be closer to family, revamped Johnny Lolita's and Johnny has been focusing on his consultancy-Career Coaching. Although we left our recruitment world, it never left John...it followed him everywhere. So in addition of assisting me on the coffee/confections side...he's continuing his career coaching business. (Click here). In which I can assist him from time to time.  

Each year, there has been one thing that many who preach the power of goal setting, building your business, etc is to be a little more vulnerable and tell the world exactly what you're doing. I never wanted to for fear it was too personal...won't help me reach my goal,...why discuss it? In reading further, many explain that if no one knows what you're wanting to accomplish, how are you going to get there? This year, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and opening up. 

A quick review of 2016 and things we are thankful for:

  • Back in AZ and reconnecting with friends & family.
  • Started Johnny Lolita's and began building locally.
  • Successfully started to sell roasted coffee locally (Phoenix metro) via online sales, word-of-mouth, social media & events.
  • Maintained our current customers in TX, NM, PA, NY, GA, DC, TN, WA, FL, CO & CA.
  • Took my Food Handlers course, & received certification for cottage kitchen and began selling my confections and baked goods locally. Excited that it's been successful and building quickly.
  • Started custom gift containers and have sold to corporate accounts, realtors and individuals.
  • Did a couple of large events ( wedding & corporate) and sold "favors" & "thank you" gifts to attendees. 

When I take the time to review...I feel I am making progress. I appreciate everyone who has contacted me and given me the opportunity to roast fresh coffee and/or bake items for themselves, for gifts or some sort of event. Without you all OR "y'all...Johnny Lolita's would not be here. 

I truly L❤️VE what I am doing now. I love creating things that will put a smile on someone's face, I love talking to be people about "The Art of Coffee & Entertaining at home." The ability to create fun & creative ways to deliver gifts....I could blather on. 

Now here comes the hard part for me. Opening up and letting you in on my dreams I have for Johnny Lolita's. Okay....here it goes.

Goals for Johnny Lolita's: 

  • Have a small building (lease) with a commercial catering kitchen so I can build upon my confections/baking side of business
  • Start "Coffee parties" at customers' homes to educate on coffee, brewing & other fun accessories for the home.
  • Providing blogs on entertaining at home with coffee, and other fun ideas for the home.
  • Partcipate in at least 16 "boutique/events" to sell our products. 
  • Continue marketing our online sales of fresh roasted coffee shipped to your door. 
  • Market our local delivery of fresh roasted coffee to your home or office. 
  • Obtain a vintage trailer or some sort of mobile vehicle to revamp and utilize at events as well as weddings, birthdays or corporate events selling our fresh roasted coffee and sweets. 
  • Create new products (coffee accessories or other home products) to sell online. 
This would be cool.  

This would be cool.  

The list above are my top goals I wish to accomplish for Johnny Lolita's in 2017. There are some lofty goals however I am willing to do the hard work it takes to see this become a reality. Of course I need your help...in your continued support of our small business. Letting us know if there is anything we can do for you. 

Johnny and I wish to thank all of you who have purchased our products and have supported our business. We wish to grow so please share our story and our business with others. We have our business on all social media platforms so please feel free to share. Whether you're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest...the one that is your "social media of choice" please invite others to be a part of our community. We thank you in advance and wish everyone an awesome 2017.

Lolita💋 

 

 

Sharing Some Local L❤️VE

Yes...this has nothing to do with coffee or confections. However...Johnny and I want to share other things too. We really want this to be a place to learn...not only about coffee and sweets...but about cool stuff we might create or find along the way. Last weekend was a day of exploring and finding an adorable and unique shop!

Johnny at Big Earl's

Johnny at Big Earl's

We decided to head up to Cave Creek for the day. We used to live in the area and hadn't had a chance to visit since we've moved back. Wow! Has the little town of Cave Creek grown. It is filled with delicious eateries and unique shops. 

We had lunch at a favorite place of ours "Big Earl's" for a tasty hamburger. Big Earl's was a great place to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. It was one of our most popular stops when we lived up here. It was our reward for all the hill climbing we had accomplished on our bicycles. 

The town of Cave Creek reminds me of a little resort/vacation town. Lots of people and activity all around. A great place to sit and watch cool vintage cars and beautiful motorcycles cruise the main part of town. 

We decided to walk off our lunch and check out what's new. Super cool and unique shops...nothing "touristy" lots of handmade items and a couple of high end boutique stores for men and women carrying some of the hottest western inspired looks from brands I see in "Cowboys And Indians" magazine. 

This photo is from yelp

This photo is from yelp

I wanted to tell you about a cute and unique shop tucked right off the main street. What caught my eye was the small sign they had out on the sidewalk. Attached was a sock that had something obnoxious printed on it and I started laughing. I had to go in. Needless to say, Johnny and I spent an hour in there. I've added a bunch of pictures....just enjoy. I loved all of them, even the foul mouthed one. I know, I'm sorry. 

Walls of socks

Walls of socks

The shop is called Sockfish Trading Company. What a fun store that is all about socks...and other fun items. I love dark humor and I love obnoxious quotes and comments. I love that I can wear what I am feeling today and it's hidden under my jeans. 

Great prices  

Great prices  

Another cool thing is that sometimes the really obnoxious comment is stated at the bottom of the sock that is tucked away in your boots or favorite shoes. So you know it's there. 

Monkey Business  

Monkey Business  

They have a section of pet friendly socks for the dog and cat lovers in your lives. 

Pet lovers  

Pet lovers  

Not to mention your favorite cocktail and coffee drinkers out there. There is something for everyone. 

Coffee

Coffee

What a great gift to add this holiday season. Especially for men. In the corporate world they are restricted to suits and ties. They can get a little wild with a pair of brightly colored socks. I love to see a wild pair of socks peep out from a gentleman's suit. Shows their fun & crazy side. 

all shapes, colors and sizes  

all shapes, colors and sizes  

Walls and walls of socks even for a wedding party.

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Another plus...these are very well made. They are soft and comfortable. They have all styles from knee socks to crew socks and the red style as well. 

Many styles and themes  

Many styles and themes  

Lots of laughs

Lots of laughs

It was just a fun place to shop and enjoy all the fun items they sell. They had bright colored baseball style caps, scarves and purses for women. Additional cheeky items like these gum packs with funny slogans printed. What a great place to put together a fun gift basket.

Packs of gum  

Packs of gum  

Johnny's camping themed socks  

Johnny's camping themed socks  

I encourage all my Phoenix area friends to check out Sockfish Trading Company  in the town of Cave Creek. Johnny purchased a pair to start his collection. If you don't live in the area, that's okay...they have a wonderful website to view their beautiful and fun socks. Click on the links I've included to go right to their website. 

Lolita 💋

 

A Big Shout Out & Thank You To My Amiga Pamela

We are in the heat of summer. Especially in Arizona where we feel we live "Two zip codes past hell!" So many small business owners and entrepreneurs working hard perfecting their craft, meeting potential customers and building relationships. Working for yourself can be very hard....and yet I wouldn't change it for the world.

In steps Pamela Enriquez....she brightened my day and actually made me cried at her thoughtfulness towards me when I know she herself has her own load of day-to-day challenges. 

I was introduced to Pamela though another great friend and talented artist Georgina Diaz when I first started my obsession with coffee in a small building off highway 28 in La Union, NM. That is where Johnny L💋LITA's first started.  

Some of Georgina's work  

Some of Georgina's work  

Johnny and I started our Artisan's Thieves Market where I met the most wonderful and talented artists from Texas and New Mexico. Pamela and her mom participated in several of our markets and the moment I met her I was instantly a fan of her work and a fan of her! 

You must check out her Facebook page  (Pamela Enriquez-Courts (Artist)). I am a fan of "Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and all things "skeletal". Pamela creates such beautiful work but what impresses me the most is her attention to detail especially in fabric. Not only will a "Calaca" (a dressed skeleton for those who do not speak Spanish) have a beautiful dress...the actual fabric she paints will have a print on the fabric or her lace...Oh her lace is so detailed and delicate. To paint like that....unbelievable. 

My Cafecito de Lolita!  

My Cafecito de Lolita!  

I was chatting via Facebook messenger to Pamela and I mentioned a possible dream of doing coffee and baked goods in a vintage trailer and wanted to know if she had anything with a coffee theme or baked goods. She said she would look into it and would get back to me as she was working on numerous orders and getting ready for a large show in Santa Fe. 

The other day in the mail I had a package from Pamela. I immediately wrote to her and asked her what do I owe? Pamela said "she is a gift". She continued that I had a good heart and I always have the sweetest and most nspirational things to say so she wanted to gift her to me. I was so taken aback. I opened the package and found the most beautiful painting. I turned it over and saw what she named her and I cried. "Cafecita de Lolita y Pan Dulce" which translates to Lolita's coffee and sweet breads.  

Such a beautiful gift that I will cherish. I told Pamela when I get my trailer and start my coffee and treats...she will proudly be displayed in my trailer. I am overwhelmed with such love from my Amiga in New Mexico. 

Future trailer ??? 

Future trailer ??? 

If you want to see more of Pamela's work, go to her Facebook page. You can find her beautiful work...original and prints plus find out where she will be traveling to attend some of the best art shows in the region.  

To my beautiful Amiga Pamela...besos y abrazos.  I can't wait to get that trailer. 

Lolita💋 

Summer Is Here...How About A Nitro Brew

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I'm sure you've seen all over the TV and Internet how Starbucks is bringing Nitro Brew into their stores across the country. This isn't a news flash or something new to the coffee world. However, I will say once again, it was a smaller coffee roaster that introduced this creation awhile back. 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters out of Portland OR, always a strong leader in coffee roasting and other amazing offerings was one of the early producers of nitro brew...selling it in a can...however, Austin Coffee Roaster, Cuvée Coffee seems to be (from what I've read) the first to introduce and serve coffee on tap! Yet I've read others who've stated they were the first to create and bring Nitro Brew....depending on where you are and who you talk to, there might be a difference of opinion. Please know...I can not tell you for certain who started it! Regardless... all the new wonderful ways to drink coffee...was created by a smaller coffee roaster.

So what is Nitro Brew? It is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas. Much like your stouts or Guinness where beer is forced through a pressurized system adding the nitro gas which creates that creamy, "stout style" head. The taste is smooth, clean and so enjoyable. It's a silkier & heavier mouth feel when you drink it. 

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You typically don't add ice, cream etc...you enjoy it black. If the coffee beans are roasted beautifully and the cold brew coffee is made correctly, the final result with nitro will be an incredible experience. As I've talked about before in past posts about making cold brew coffee, you will have a much smoother tasting coffee with no acidic aftertaste.  

Many specialty/artisan coffee shops do sell Nitro Brew for you to enjoy during these hot days of summer. (Yes! Phoenix is hitting 114 degrees this weekend) BUT..... You can enjoy it at home especially if you have someone in the family who enjoys making their own craft beer OR just invest in a tap and get some nitro and "BAM"...you're the hit of the party offering this wonderful alternative way to enjoy coffee. Seeing the cold brew flow out of the tap slow and smooth....leaving a beautiful creamy top is an experience for the eyes. 

There are many videos and instructions on making Nitro Brew at home and it's simple. Now....there are companies out there that are dedicated to selling tap equipment specifically for cold brew coffee. I purchased a "Kegerator" through Amazon and found it very simple to create the cold brew on tap! 

If you L❤️VE entertaining, this would be a wonderful and tasty addition to your "line-up"! As the temps heat up, a nice way to enjoy your coffee. 

Lolita💋  

 

 

Coffee Cockails

Well...Happy Cinco de Mayo!  

It's a party out there and what wouldn't be better then to have coffee + booze to equal YUM! Johnny and I are looking at some great coffee drinks that are refreshing and tasty too. 

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So how about a Salted Carmel Coffee Martini? You can use your Cold Brew Coffee too!    

Here is what you'll need: 

  • 1/2 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 2 oz Coffee (cold or room temperature) 
  • Sea Salt
  • Caramel Sauce

Directions: 

Rim your martini glass with caramel sauce and salt to taste. I would dribble a little of the caramel sauce inside the glass too.  

In a shaker, combine Kahlua, Vodka and Coffee with ice. Shake, shake shake... Strain and serve in the martini glass.  

Its different and refreshing. What a great way to enjoy a little salty...a little sweet...and a little kick! 

Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo and drink responsibly!  

Lolita💋 

Featured Coffee; Buzz Kill

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I've been drinking coffee ever since I was very young. (No, coffee does not stunt your growth 😉) Of course when I was young...the coffee mom made for me was more cream and sugar than coffee.  

I've always L❤️VED coffee...been drinking it all my life. Always coffee with caffeine too. Never had a desire later in life to drink decaf. I recall when I was younger drinking decaf at a friend's house who's parents didn't drink caffeine and I took my first sip and cringed.  😱

Decaf always tasted like chemicals to me....now that I know how decaf was (and with some still is) processed...I now know I WAS tasting...chemicals!  

Since I started roasting, I needed a decaf bean to roast for my customers. Honestly, I wasn't thrilled at roasting a decaf bean and serving. My fear was the taste. I was fearful that I was going to serve the same chemical tasting decaf I remembered as a kid.   

With the advancement in the coffee industry and the new generation of roasters in the last 15+ years, there are new ways of processing decaf that offers a wonderful cup. One such process is the Swiss Water Process. Swiss water process is a natural chemical fess process that removes 99.9% of the caffeine while maintaining the coffee's origin and flavor. 

Currently we offer our Buzz Kill Decaf that comes from Colombia. It has gone through the Swiss Water Process and arrives in bags just lot our other coffee beans do.  

The Colombian delivers a smooth, slightly heavy body with a hint of chocolate. It's rich, sweet and delicious. Although I've been one not to be concerned about the effects of caffeine...I do enjoy a cup or two in the evenings. I do not add sugar to my coffee and this cup has a natural sweet taste. A great way to enjoy a full bodied cup of coffee.

We roast on Mondays & Thursdays and delivery locally the following day OR ship out (2-3 day shipping) the following day.  

Lolita💋