“I forgot my coffee yesterday! I’ll be down later this morning. This weekend will be a great weekend to blog about beans!”
Now that’s not something you hear every day. What in the world does that mean?
I’m always on the lookout for new products and slogans that contain the words “Sass”, “Sassy”, or “Kiss My…”, well, maybe not that last one. I found another one last week at work. Who would have thought that workers compensation insurance would have something sassy in it, besides myself?!?
A coworker of mine makes gourmet coffee. Not being that into coffee, I politely declined his original invite to try a cup of Pub Brew, Cordially Yours or YoHoHo he had brought into the office that morning.
I emailed him back and asked, “Are you the coffee guy around here or something.”
He replied with, “Yes, yes I am,” along with a link to his website, Bean Around the Block.
I got on there and looked around a little bit, and decided I needed to try at least one, so not to be rude. I decided to go with Cordially Yours, an “intoxicating amaretto with hints of French vanilla and chocolate.”
My late grandmother used to call me a wussy coffee drinker. What did that mean? Well, I don’t drink black coffee, ever, and I rarely drink coffee that doesn’t have any form of creamer or sugar in it, but I’m trying to move away from all that. So, I went down to Kevin’s desk and got a little sample of Cordially Yours.
You know those cherry cordial things that melt in your mouth AND in your hand? That’s what this coffee tasted like (without any creamer or sugar)! It was DELICIOUS!! I immediately popped back onto Bean Around the Block and looked to see how many bags I could order.
That’s when I saw it…
Sweet caramel-wrapped pecans and french vanilla with a touch of cinnamon
WHAT??? There’s a coffee called Sassy Pants? How did I miss this before, I thought to myself. I have to get a bag of that!!!
I emailed Kevin.
“How much is one bag of Sassy Pants, please?” I said. “Did you know my blog is named Sass, Brass & Bullets?”
“I didn’t! Are you packing right now? I might have to mind my P’s and Q’s around you,” Kevin said.
“Very funny, but I’m not carrying,” I replied.
It’s actually against company policy to carry concealed or bring firearms into the building at all.
“But Beth, why would you work somewhere that you couldn’t carry your concealed firearm?”
I know, I know, I’m working on that. It’s not such a bad place!
“I’ll bring you in a bag of Sassy Pants,” Kevin said. “You’re going to love it!”
“Great! I can’t wait. Then I’ll blog about it.”
So I tried Sassy Pants, and it wasn’t as good as Cordially Yours, but it was pretty good. Kevin also gave me a sample packet of Privileges to try, too. It’s really good! It makes me wish I was under the Eiffel Tower eating a crepe!
Privileges smells like the top crusty part of creme brulee when it’s brewing along with a hint of raspberry. Yummy! I think it would taste really good with that raspberry creamer that produced around Christmas time, too!
If you’re interested in trying out any of Kevin’s coffee flavors, visit his website, Bean Around the Block. He and his wife, Monica, run this business out of their home, for now.
About Bean Around the Block
Beth: Can you give me a little more detail about why started making your own coffee flavors?
Kevin: Sort of a convoluted story. I’ve been a coffee snob for years, always got premium stuff, mostly flavored. My favorite shop closed down out of the blue, but I knew from watching them fill orders that they were repackaging from another company, not roasting their own. So I sleuthed around a little until I located the roaster, and contacted them to find out how I could get their coffees. They said they only sold wholesale, but directed me to a web-based company who they said also repackaged their coffee under a different name. I started ordering from them, and it was indeed the exact same coffee, and life was grand. One day it occurred to me that mixing a certain flavor with another might be good. I started experimenting, and soon had 3-4 specific combinations that I really liked and generally made up. Well, our neighbors and friends, who would have coffee with us when they stopped by, really liked them too, and we started getting requests that the next time we ordered coffee, could we get them 2 pounds of this blend and a pound of that blend, etc. This went on for several months, the apex occurring in a month when I ended up ordering nearly $300 of coffee from this vendor. So, I called the roaster back, explained to their sales manager what I was doing and asked if he had any objection to me selling my own interpretations of their coffee. He said he thought that would be fantastic. We reached terms, I got a business license and a tax id, and here we are.
Beth: Not that I’m going to start making my own coffee, but how difficult is it to make your own coffee?
Kevin: You mean from a roasting standpoint?
Beth: Is that how you make all the flavors, by roasting? (can you tell I know nothing about coffee?)
Kevin: No, the roaster has a machine that applies individual flavors to the beans and ships them to me in that form. I them mix the individual flavors to my ‘recipes’ for our unique blends. Example: I get beans flavored individually with swiss chocolate, toasted almond, and pralines from the roaster. I combine these in the proper ratios to make Swiss Mist. Each of my flavors is an amalgamation of basic flavors provided by the roasters. We’re sort of like BASF; we don’t make the coffee beans, we make them better.
Beth: Gotcha! Thanks for explaining that. I am clueless when it comes to coffee beans.
Kevin: At some point, I’d sort of like to do my own roasting. The application of flavors requires a specialized and fairly expensive machine, though, and these folk do such a good job in the basic process, I probably wouldn’t be able to make a really significant improvement to the quality. So I’d need to actually get big enough that the savings from eliminating them as the ‘middle man’ would make up for the cost of the machinery. Not there yet, unfortunately. My little process is pretty well down to a science now, so until that day comes, we stand put.
Order your Sassy Pants today!
Thanks to Kevin and Monica for the samples!