Recently, I went to a networking event in my city. It was a first for me. I was a little nervous because I was going by myself. Early on a Saturday morning, I put on my new dress and shoes. When I arrived, I was surprised to see how full the parking lot was. I had to squeeze into the last parking spot. The event had started a little over an hour before I arrived.
There were two perks for the event, the first being the price of admission. Yes, you read correctly. You see, the price of admission was going to be a donation to the homeless shelters in my city, so I was able to start off the weekend with a charitable donation. I decided the price of admission was reasonable, and I wanted to contribute.
The second perk was what really caught my attention. There would be coffee vendors allowing us to sample their coffee during the event. I love coffee. I didn’t always enjoy it black as I do now. As a person with type 2 diabetes, coffee is something we are encouraged to consume, in moderation, especially without sugar. One day, a few years ago, I went cold turkey. I started drinking my coffee black. It took a bit of getting used to, but I have really grown to enjoy it. When I drink coffee, I get things done. It is a good habit as long as I am not too late into the day getting to that cup of energy. I usually have 2-3 cups a day.
There were four coffee vendors there, and I eagerly went to each one to sample their selection. I met some friends, made new friends, and handed out a few business cards. Networking mission was a success, but what did I think about the coffee samples?
Heights Cold Brew Coffee Company was there with their signature cold brew. I have had it before, and I do enjoy it. Smooth and strong, without being bitter or acidic, is always a hit with me. The cold brewing method is new to me, and although I have not tried it at home, I do want to. The only thing I am missing is a coffee grinder to start my own cold brewing adventures. It will happen. Someday.
Next, I tried two samples from Roticana Coffee. The first was a straight-forward American coffee. It was my least favourite sample, as it was rather plain. I then tried their Turkish Blend with Cardamom. The vendor was using a traditional setup to brew it. He explained that it was a strong coffee, and the cardamom was added to make it easier on the stomach. He advised me that Turkish coffee is so strong that people don’t drink a lot of it at once. It was thicker than a normal cup of coffee. I had a roommate once from Isreal who did not understand the North American version of coffee. She once made me what she called her ‘mud coffee.’ It was similar to this. Thick and granular, not filtered. It was a palatable, unique coffee experience.
Mill Town Roasters offered two samples also. I got to try Bonito Warriors coffee, a light roast Colombian blend, named after the villagers who came together to create this coffee to save their village. It was a fruity blend, which was not my favourite of the two. The other one, Mogiana Dark Estate, was a lovely Brazilian blend which I went back for another cup of. I am a fan of dark roasted coffee, and if it is smooth with a punch, it will be coffee love for me. This was also the only table offering cookies to nibble on while sampling. Smart move, offering snacks with the coffee, in my humble opinion. Way to rise above and stand out!
When you go to an event, and you are expecting to sample coffee, you generally do not expect to find coffee flavoured with whiskey or rum. If Freddy Bean Roasters is at your event, then all bets are off. Not only do they offer non-alcoholic barrel-aged spirit-infused coffees, but they had three ways to try their coffee. Whiskey Barrel Coffee is a medium roast of 100% Arabica beans. I was able to try this blend as regular brewed coffee, and an iced coffee. I preferred the whiskey coffee hot, and as a coffee fan, it was not a new one for me. Trying it iced was new, and it was paired with the other blend, only offered as iced coffee to sample.
Why Is The Rum Gone? is a medium roast of 100% Arabica beans. As a fan of Screech Coffee, by Jumping Bean Coffee, it was not the first time I have found this delightful combination. I really enjoy the Screech coffee because it is really great. Yes, I drink flavoured coffee often, and I like Kahlua flavoured coffee also. Once in a blue moon, I will add a little Bailey’s Irish cream or another liquor or spirit to my coffee, but generally, I drink it without anything added. I was able to appreciate the rum flavour in the Why Is The Rum Gone? iced coffee. I rather enjoyed it. I will be finding a way to try a hot cup soon, as I want to compare it to the Screech coffee.
While I was talking to the Jeremy MacFarlane of Freddy Bean Roasters, I asked him what was next in line for the barrel roasting coffee company. He said they were working on a moonshine blend, with Moonshine Creek Distillery products in mind. He also said they would like to try a screwdriver mix, which would be vodka and orange juice inspired coffee. I am curious to try these new blends, and I will give them a taste before passing any judgements.
With my sampling done, and the event nearing the end, I found the organizer to ask how much money was raised with the ticket sales. I found out that a donation of $1,272.00 was raised for the Fredericton Homeless Shelters from this event. With approximately 150 people in attendance, the event was definitely a success. I hope to attend more events like this in the future.