Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good Thing #29: Dean's Bean's Ahab's Revenge

Dean's Beans roasts some of the best coffee out there, and they were organic and fair trade before it was cool. All their coffee is good, but Ahab's Revenge deserves special attention.

How quickly we forget. There was a time when decent coffee was hard to come by in this country, and the only options were things like Folgers and Chock-Full-O-Nuts, bought pre-ground in giant cans from the supermarket, or in jars of instant powder.

It tasted awful, but we drank it anyway because enough sugar and cream could make it palatable, and because it gave us a buzz. It tasted awful because of shoddy preparation and horrible growing practices. It also tasted awful because there are actually two types of coffee bean: robusta and arabica. Arabica is what we get in good coffees, but it's picky about where it grows, and is more difficult to grow in large quantities. It likes difficult terrain like mountains, and grows more slowly. Robusta, on the other hand, is perfect for factory farming. It may not taste as good, but it'll grow in the flatlands and it grows fast, so you can get large quantities of bad coffee. The other thing about robusta is that it has more caffeine in it than arabica.

Robusta doesn't need to taste bad, however. It just lends itself to bad growing practices that would kill arabica bushes. With Ahab's Revenge, however, Dean's Beans has brought us the only organic robusta on the market. It's wonderful. It's got all the flavor of a good arabica with that late night diner coffee punch that can even get my caffeine saturated heart racing faster. 

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