Classic Spicewood 71 is Cuvee Coffee’s bread-and-butter. It’s one of the few blends they produce, made up of specially selected beans from their other single-origin varieties. It’s what they use in their world-renowned nitrogenated Black and Blue coldbrew coffee on tap. And it’s what I’m drinking!
In a serendipitous sequence of events beginning with an atypical stop at Caffe Medici, I received a free 4 oz bag of Spicewood 71 in celebration of their 8th anniversary! I knew then that it was destined for the Bruer, and so here we are. The official description from Cuvee is “sweet melon fades into toffee and caramel with an orange citrus balancing a malt chocolate body”. I get some of that, but overall it tasted a little… generic? Like not good or bad or exciting or fruity or chocolatey. It tasted fine. But that makes sense for a blend meant to be the foundation to the rest of the lineup. It can’t be too bold. It has to be crowd-pleasing, and that’s exactly what it is. So the next time you’re out and want some easy-drinking coffee, Spicewood 71 is for you.
I’m a sucker for “Limited Edition” and “Special Release” items. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to stop seeking out rare / seasonal / one-time-only beer, for example. But when Cuvee announced a seasonal peaberry variety, I couldn’t resist. Peaberry, by the way, refers to a less common (about 5% of all coffee beans) where there is only one seed in the coffee fruit (instead of two), which is smaller and pea-shaped. Enter: Cuvee Coffee Santa Rita.
The official tasting profile on the bag says grape-like acidity leads into strawberry sweetness and a dark chocolate finish. I totally kind of sort of get that. It certainly has some upfront acidity, but without being as harsh has the Huckleberry coffee from a few posts ago. The beauty is that it balances itself with some more full-bodied chocolate-y flavor. It took a few sips to decide if I liked it. And then I decided that it’s great. If you come across one of these fair ladies, grab it and thank me later.
I’ve been using my Bruer coffee maker almost daily and love it! As I mentioned in my review, I want to showcase and keep track of the different varieties I’m cold-brewing both to share the goodness as well as remember for myself.
The newest bag of beans making the drip trip is from a local shop called Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. They have a great setup on the lake with lots of delicious treats (including homemade ice cream) to enjoy with your coffee. I grabbed a bag of their Fair Trade Organic (FTO) Quack’s Blend, which is a special blend made specifically for Quack’s 43rd St Bakery across town in Hyde Park.
It’s hard not to compare to the other coffees we’ve brewed so far, so I’ll at least say I don’t like this as much as the Cuvee Fazenda Pantano. It’s along the same rich, chocolate-y flavor profile (as opposed to the fruity, acidic style of the Huckleberry). However, it has an over-roasted flavor and reminded me a lot of hot coffee poured over ice. It’s not totally unpleasant, but it’s noticeable, and a little disappointing. We’ll certainly work through the rest of this bag, but will try a different blend next time I stop into Mozart’s.
Whoa. My first blog post as a dad. It’s been tough. As Wes sleeps (or doesn’t), we sleep (or don’t). These past few weeks have been rough, so to combat the morning … and day … and night … exhaustion, we’ve dialed up the coffee intake quite a bit. And in the Texas summer, iced coffee is really the only option.
Well it happened again. More family came into town and self-restraint went out the window. Both of our moms came to visit as well as my sister Jackie. We ate a ton, so let’s get to it.
Even before they arrived, froworker Tyler and I grabbed lunch downtown at Swift’s Attic. I’d been touting their “Bowling Alley Burger” as one of my Top 3 Burgers in Austin, so the time had come to try it. I’m not sure if I had hyped it too much in my own mind, but it didn’t quite live up to my own expectations. Very good! But probably not Top 3-worthy (keep reading).
Swift’s Attic Bowling Alley Burger
The family arrived and got settled at their hotel while we were finishing up at work. We picked them up and headed to Fonda San Miguel for some Interior Mexican. After some menu translations for the inexperienced palates, we all ended up with some fantastic meals. I had the Camarones Adobados, loosely translating to six huge grilled shrimp on top of corn tortillas, peppers, onions, and a chipotle-black bean sauce. Ev got the biggest Chile Relleno either of us had ever seen. And, for obvious reasons, we passed on even looking at the dessert menu…
Fonda San Miguel Camarones Adobados
…because from FSM we zipped over to Cow Tipping Creamery. Who didn’t see that coming? Since they had already sold out of the daily special, I got a Salty Sweet stacker and Jackie got a Gimme S’mores. Due to a mix-up in the truck, they also brought us a Whiskey Rivers on the house. It was a lot of ice cream…
Saturday we ran some errands downtown and found ourselves at Clark’s Oyster Bar for lunch. I’ve had it before, and couldn’t resist ordering the burger this time too. A thick, juicy patty topped with gruyere and a smear of fancy mayo (called Sauce Gribiche). On the side come some of the most addictive matchstick fries. My sister Jackie got the same thing and both were demolished. This burger pushed Swift’s Attic out of my Top 3.
Clark’s Oyster Bar Burger
Six hours later, after running more errands and still barely hungry since lunch, we had reservations at Olivia in South Austin. We’d heard good things, and my mom found it listed on several “Top Spots” lists in her Austin research. How was it? “Blown away” would be a good start. The highlight appetizers for me were the Brussels Sprouts and the Lamb Tongue. My pork loin entree, paired with grilled watermelon, was good but didn’t stand up to Jackie’s Mushroom-Truffle Cream pasta. We almost didn’t get dessert … until my mom ordered three out of the four on the menu. I rarely order it, but the Creme Brulee had to be the best I’ve ever had.
Sunday morning we took it easy before heading to la V for brunch. Before the waiter could finish telling us about the special Sweet Potato Doughnuts, I cut him off and ordered some, along with large French Press of Blue Bottle Coffee*. The doughnuts took forever, attributed to making sure the kitchen could execute them perfectly. Anyway, eventually they arrived and were incredible. I panicked when he took our ordered and got the scrambled eggs with trout roe and brioche toast, which was very good, but not memorable. We rounded things out with very cute mini eclairs. Also good, but they didn’t hold a candle to the doughnuts.
*it was tasty, but why not serve some amazing, local Austin coffee?
After brunch we enjoyed a lazy Sunday at home and watched a movie before ensuring the family got excellent barbecue before heading back to Florida. We headed to Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ to show-off our hidden gem that happens to also serve dinner. I ordered a whole spread including 5 chicken tacos, 3 brisket tacos, a beef rib, guac, and queso. The tacos, on homemade flour tortillas, in my opinion have no equal. The chicken is my favorite. It’s the best chicken I’ve ever had, on the best tortilla I’ve ever had. Everything was devoured.
And no trip to Austin is complete without visiting Whole Foods downtown, so we stopped by for dessert. After a quick walk around the store I decided on blueberry cheesecake gelato while the rest of the family went to town at the chocolate case. Ev also snatched up a tres leches cake to share with Jackie, which turned out to be my favorite.
It’s always fun to host people when they’re in town… because that means showing them our favorite places to eat. And no one ever leaves hungry.
Well it happened again. We had guests in town and we went on an eating frenzy. Four of Evelyn’s good friends from college came to Austin to check out the city and see Evelyn before our little man gets here. Here’s a recap of how the weekend of indulgence played out.
My dad and step-mom came into town to visit for the first time, so we showed them the ropes. And by ropes I mean we ate a crazy amount of food in a very short period of time. Like a few weekends ago, it would be a lot for a week, let alone two days.