I didn’t become a regular coffee drinker until this past year. Way back when, I was caffeine-free. Later, my mornings started with Diet Mountain Dew, which was replaced by organic, fair-trade English Breakfast tea — quite a shift, huh? — which eventually gave way to coffee. J., on the other hand, has been a coffee drinker for as long as I’ve known him.
Our house brew the last couple years has come from Kickapoo Coffee, which is located about 2 hours from Madison in lovely southwestern Wisconsin. Kickapoo had the distinction of being named Micro Roaster of the Year in 2010 by the trade publication, Roast. (Click here to view the nice magazine excerpt about them as a PDF.) The Kickapoo website describes their organic and fair-trade approach: “In our search for the perfect roast, we team up with small-scale farmers who share our vision for quality. As these partnerships deepen over time, our farmer partners earn additional income while our coffees get sweeter and more delicious.” It’s a win-win-win situation: good for the growers, good for the roasters, good for the consumers.
J. likes bright, east African coffees, while I tend to favor less-sparkling brews from Latin America. To compromise, we generally rotate what beans we buy. (J. also likes to make his coffee strong but has dialed the strength down to medium for my sake, since I was getting jittery from just one cup of his rocket fuel.) Lately, we’ve been letting sale prices at the grocery store make the bean selection for us, so we’re currently drinking the Kickapoo Organic Honduras. Prior to that it was their Summer Solstice blend. Regardless of the variety, Kickapoo coffee is always delicious and a marvelous way to start the day, especially for a non-morning person like myself.
In the past, when I used to occasionally drink coffee, I always took it with cream or milk plus sugar. Once it became part of my morning ritual, my veganish ways led me to try it without any dairy. (I love unsweetened soy milk over my cereal, but can’t stand soy in a beverage.) It turns out that I actually prefer my coffee dairy-free now. I haven’t been able to give up sugar, so I put in a small amount that gives just enough sweetness for my palate.
What’s your coffee (or alternative morning beverage) of choice, and why? How do you take your coffee?