When I lived in London in the early 1990's, I was distressed that my living situation was such that I was unable to roast coffee. The original branch of Monmouth is very close to English National Opera, where I was spending almost every day, and it was a lifesaver. I still have memories of an exceptional Kenyan that he carried during the first months of 1992-one of the great coffee experiences of my life. I also had some great discussions with some of the staff and the owner-who was, incidentally, opposed to carrying any Monsooned Coffee on principle! (he poo-pooed by suggestion that I had tasted a moonsooned coffee that actually tasted good, and therefore I did not care about its peculiar origins!).
On another point that may interest some of you, in my recent travels I had Clover Coffee for the first time at Grumpy's in New York. If you are a fan of vacuum pot coffee, you will like it. As a hard core French Press person, this was not for me. I also like my coffee with cream, which I would not recommend for this method. Grumpy's also brews their coffee on the weak side, which makes this even less desirable. They have good coffee, but both coffee and shop elicited more admiration than love from me.
On a third point, (sorry to do so much at once, but I hate to post, and if I don't get it all in at once I will never get around to it) I recently saw green coffee offered for sale at my local Safeway! Actually, they had a roaster on site and were not really thinking they would sell much green coffee. My curiosity got the better of me and I bought and roasted some (a Kenyan, Tambor Estate). I don't think they are going to be competition for Tom anytime soon. The coffee seemed carefully selected to be as boring as possible (quite a feat with a Kenyan!) But it does tell us how fresh coffee is slowly becoming mainstreamed.
Monmouth is a great company - i have been on juries with their owner
and some of their staff. Known for quality -Tomhttp://www.homeroasting.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20Homeroast mailing list
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