Sea Island Coffee
I don’t believe, and I sincerely hope that I am right in this, that I have ever had breath ‘like a juiced up holy roller’, but even still, I won’t be the only person to whom the immortal words of the Wildhearts return every New Years Day, as I crawl out of bed in search of a ‘caffeine bomb’. As such, an integral part of my Christmas shop is good quality coffee, and much of it. How fortunate then, that I should have discovered the sumptuous delights of Sea Island Coffee – the exotic coffee merchants of Knightsbridge.
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Purveyors of all things caffeinated, the brains behind Sea Island Coffee can boast more than 50 years experience in the industry, so it is little wonder that they have a good eye – or perhaps that should be a good nose or mouth – for an Arabica blend that will soothe even the most delicate of souls. What is surprising, however, is that this tasty nectar does not necessarily cost the earth. With prices ranging from £5.49 to £31.99, Sea Island offer coffees that not only suit any taste, but also any wallet.
The problem I often find with strong coffee is that it is usually accompanied by an astringency that verges on violence, leaving the taste buds blanched and incapable of going about their usual work, so Sea Island’s Jamaica Blue Mountain was a joyful find for me. A rich, full-bodied blend that packs the vibrant punch of the island that produces it, tempered by a creamy sweetness that mellows the expected acidity, Jamaica Blue Mountain is the ideal morning-after saviour; more of a gentle wake-up call than a super-charged detonation.
For those whose tastes run more towards the milder flavours, Sea Island’s Geisha Costa Rica Coffee is a subtle, yet multifaceted little number, quite equal to its alluring name. With complex aromatics that include notes of lavender, cocoa and molasses, it won’t suit all palates, but is entirely deserving of the Great Taste Gold Award it received in 2011. The savour lends itself to black coffee, holding, as it does, enough intricacy of its own without the addition of conflicting flavours.
In contrast, the Sea Island Maui Estate coffee works beautifully as a latte. Fresh from the only coffee farm in the world commercially growing the Mokka coffee bean variety, Maui Estate holds a sweetness that needs milk to complement it fully. It is mild and light and speaks of relaxation, which is exactly what I need on the afternoon of New Years Day.
So, whether you’ll be feeling the worst and the words of the Wildhearts ‘Hangover, so hung over, pour me a doctor, send it over...’ or simply enjoying the quiet of a cold and frosty afternoon, let us wish you a Happy New Year and ask you to drink one for us... A coffee, that is.
All Sea Island Coffee’s are available from www.seaislandcoffee.com, available as whole bean or ground coffee for cafetiere, filter, turkish, aeropress or espresso.