Boulevard’s favorite coffee for home-brewing is Peet’s, a San Francisco Bay Area company that helped birth Starbucks. But out of the house, you can often find us at Heine Bros., Please and Thank You or Press On Market.
A sampling of premium varieties; weights vary:
Peet’s, Emeryville, Calif. Kona, $24.95 for 8 oz. The pitch: The region known as Kona on Hawaii’s big island has been synonymous with superb coffee for more than 150 years. Steep volcanic hillsides and a microclimate of sunny mornings and cloudy afternoons create the perfect conditions for cultivating smooth, sweet-flavored beans. The taste is mild and mellow, with a hint of tropical sweetness; it’s like Hawaiian hospitality in a cup.
Heine Bros., Louisville. Kentucky Dream, $15 for 12 oz. The pitch: This blend of Nicaragua and Sumatra has a warm aroma of gooey cinnamon buns. It is sweet with a medium body, and a dry smoky finish. You can feel extra good about purchasing this tasty blend because $5 from the sale of each bag will be donated to the Forecastle Foundation to further their efforts to restore the world’s natural awesome here in Kentucky through their efforts on the Green River with The Nature Conservancy and on Pine Mountain with Kentucky Natural Lands Trust.
Starbucks, Seattle. Reserve Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chelba, $17.50 for 8.8 oz. The pitch: To deliver something truly unique, 700 smallholder farmers near the village of Chelba separated out their finest-quality coffee cherries for natural processing. Those cherries bask gracefully for a period of 20 days, soaking up the rich flavors and juicy body present in this vibrant cup. Driving through this region is magical in itself. The landscape lets you know something special flourishes and evolves here. The air gets lighter and the smell of brick-red top soil is always present—suggesting a light rain was just ahead of you. This is one of the highest altitudes you will find in Ethiopia as well. As you go deeper into the thicket of the coffee trees, soft limestone crumbles with blocky basalt begin to expose themselves on small stream banks. In the distance, sparkling water drops fall off bright red cherries causing you to squint in awe—you’ve finally discovered the treasure!
Good Folks Coffee, Louisville. Columbia Microdot, $19 for 12 oz. The (spare) pitch: A Castillo and Columbia varietal grown by farmer Enodth Paz Mosquera on the Deporcali farm in Columbia’s Cauca region at an elevation of 1,500 meters. The roaster notes the coffee’s hints of floral, banana and white grape.