Why title it “Holiday Blend, 2016?”
Because here’s the coolness of it; the Java Jack’s Holiday Blend is different every single year.
As the holidays approach, Brent searches for the finest coffee beans he can find.
Sometimes this involves international travel to places distant like Columbia or Ethiopia. There he meets the growers of the coffee beans he uses in Java Jacks.
And Brent is both a creative and a craftsman. Like a good chef, he understands both the biology and the chemistry of the coffee bean.
He first makes sure that the not-yet-roasted beans are just right. He’s looking for just the right color, shape and texture.
I have personally watched Brent and Sarah Patton, reach into a “perfect” mound of unroasted beans and discard one or two with a hidden (to my eyes) blemish. That’s the kind of care you get with the Java Jacks coffee cup.
From year to year and from season to season, coffee changes. What bean might roast up delicious from one locale in Ethiopia, could behave very differently the next year due to specs such as humidity, rainfall, and plant disease.
For instance, recently in Central America, a hail storm devastated the coffee plants in a region. This changed the availability of that coffee for the season.
Complex, Subtle Flavors
Like a wine expert, Brent tastes fine subtleties in various roasts.
In fact, if you are in Java Jacks and catch him there, ask him (or Jenny, Justin, or Sarah) about the complex flavors in a particular cup. He’ll tell you, then you can see if you taste them too.
And hey, you might not, at your first sip, because like much that’s complex, subtle, even delicate, it requires some education and practice to get good at it.
The first time I listened to opera, I didn’t get it. (And hey, the same was true for punk-rock for me.) When I first was exposed to algebra, I thought it was a grand waste of time, but further experience showed me its beauty.
The same can be true of good coffee. In fact, the first time I tasted Ethiopian coffee, I didn’t like it. But I kept trying it. Then, one day, I drank it black and loved it. I found that I could finally appreciate the bright fruity notes that it offered.
Back to Brent.
After he has found the just-right beans to work with, he begins blending them.
He recently picked up a small roaster just to allow him more flexibility in the tinkering process. Before, he had to roast ten pounds of coffee just to see if it was going to be any good. Now, he can really experiment.
In this 2016 Holiday Blend, Brent is working with coffee beans from two different regions in Ethiopia, and one from Guatemala. Brent has cheffed these flavors, getting the roasts just right, and the ratio perfect. It’s a medium roast that will light up taste buds you didn’t know you had.
One Cup, Two Hours
I sat with a cup of the Java Jacks Holiday Blend for two hours. It was one of those days when I had some time to just sit, talk, and enjoy. Nice on a cold winter day.
As I first took the cup from the bar, I sipped it and immediately was impressed by the African fruity notes of the blend. And I noticed that it had a spicy finish, hinting of cinnamon.
I was describing this to a friend and he asked a reasonable question: “Is that just naturally in the bean?”
Yes, yes, and yes.
No artificial flavors have been added. That sweet fruity taste is there naturally.
But here’s the thing with a great cup of coffee made with specialty graded beans, the cup continues to hold up as it cools. And here’s the neat thing, it’s flavor profile changes as it cools. Flavor notes that you weren’t noticing at first present themselves in the cooling process.
So after I sat with my cup for about 45 minutes, I started tasting a red berry flavor in the cup. When the brew was hot, I wasn’t catching it. But all of a sudden, there it was. The more I drank it, the more I noticed it.
Finally, a definite chocolate with just a hint of vanilla came through as the coffee cooled after about an hour and a half.
I also got another cup so that I could just try out some cream.
I added a little cream in a separate cup.
Here’s what happened. The cream drove out the subtle notes in the coffee.
I gradually added more and more coffee to the creamy cup and found the complex notes in the coffee return.
I’m telling you, it was an experience to just sit and enjoy it and taste the changes as it cooled.
The Java Jacks 2016 Holiday Blend will only be here for a few weeks. And year to year it changes. It’s one of a kind.
It’s Brent’s way of crafting something for you, made from the best coffee beans in the world.
Therefore, don’t take my word for it; try a cup.
And you can buy it by the pound.
Especially relevant, it makes a great gift for your guests.