I am so excited to tell you about all the cool things that are going on here over at Ink and Merlot. To begin, as you may have noticed, my website has changed to the correct name, however, I am still working on getting the domain name changed. Hopefully, here in the next few weeks we will be up and running as Inkandmerlot.com!

Next up, I am proud to introduce a new section to my blog, we are calling it the Weekly Roast Review, as of right now. Towards the end of last year, I was approached by a gentleman and his wife about reviewing their coffee. Now, right of the bat I was a little terrified. I just review coffee shops… I had never really gotten down to the nitty gritty of the coffee itself. As you all know, I’m known for loving flowery and sweet drinks. But reviewing a coffee? and black, unsweetened coffee? I was a little scared, but I can tell you it’s been an experience and a wonderful time of learning as well. I had to learn how to pull out the flavors and understand what I was tasting. I think I drank their coffee three times a day for about five days. Every time trying to pull something else out of the coffee. Sadly, Daniel was sick during the time that we were trying the coffee and so his highly intelligent pallet was of no help.  -_-

So! Enough talk about my fears, let’s talk about this wonderful couple and then dive into the amazing roasted coffee they offer!

Let me introduce to you, Joe & Michelle Davidson, a husband and wife filled with passion and faith. Married for 12 years and blessed with four beautiful children, they are a beautiful family and example of God’s blessings. In 2014 they were called to ministry for God’s kingdom. Two years later, God looked at them and said, “I want you all in on this. I’m sending you.” And so, they went. For those who may not know, working in ministry is not a cheap endeavor. It takes support, not only from the Lord, but from fellow believers, for the ministry to flourish and to grow. Joe & Michelle decided that instead of just asking for money from others, that they would offer something they were passionate about as a thank you gift. Donating to the ministry would mean a gift of their own home roasted coffee beans. It was a way to say thank you to those supporting the ministry, as well as a way for Joe & Michelle to use their passion for home roasted coffee.

Joe & Michelle are full of information on coffee and the process of how these beans go from a plant to your coffee pot. I spent a good hour with them, on the phone, discussing their ministry and listening to them explain to me so many things that I didn’t know. It might be a good thing to mention that they are located over in Virginia, so sadly I was unable to meet with them in person. With modern day technology, I could FaceTime with them! Next best thing, right?

Did you know that after roasting, the coffee bean reaches its peak between 12-72 hours? After that the beans tend to go stale and lose quite a bit of the flavoring. I ground and brewed the beans as soon as we received them, and let me tell you, if you’ve never had fresh roasted coffee beans, then you are missing out. There is a HUGE difference in the flavor and how the coffee tastes. I was even able to taste the difference, though black coffee normally isn’t my favorite. When I added cream to the coffee it was still different that anything I had ever tasted, and was so incredibly fresh. I can say without a doubt, that after having their coffee roast I’m much more open to drinking black coffee. I’ve had some since then, and am starting to be able to tell the slight differences in the coffees flavoring as well as notice if the beans are fresh or not.

Let’s talk about Kingdom Roasts’ process in choosing and roasting their coffee beans. When choosing a company to purchase their beans through, Joe & Michelle did research to make sure they wherever they chose from would be a ministry in it of itself. They wanted a company that was authentic from beginning to end. Somewhere they could be help support others and know exactly where the beans were coming from. They chose to work with The Radford Coffee Company, a nonprofit, volunteer based company that helps to support a community in Nicaragua. If you have a moment go look at their website to read more about their cause.

The Radford Coffee Company was not the cheaper option, but Joe & Michelle decided it was worth it. Their roast would be a ministry from beginning to end. Joe & Michelle chose to use Rwandan and Ethiopian beans. The Rwandan beans can be roasted from dark to light and everywhere in between. Whereas the Ethiopian beans are better roasted between a light or a medium. Daniel and I had the pleasure of trying the Rwandan beans. We ground the beans for both a drip coffee maker and a French press. Now if you have never used a French press before then you better get one! Let’s talk about the beans themselves though. When I first received the beans, I waited until the morning after before opening the package. I first took a nice deep breath of the open bag to get an idea of what I was facing. Right off the bat I could smell a chocolate undertone to the beans. Not to mention the glorious roasted coffee bean smell that makes me weak at the knees.

Using the French press we made 16 oz. of coffee, using 4 tbsp. of ground beans. Daniel and each evaluated what we got from the coffee, tasting it both black and with creamer. Daniel described the coffee as demure, with a low acidity. The aroma was balanced with a subtle hint of citrus on the back end. I felt the coffee was of a medium acidity. The aroma was full bodies with a hint of dark chocolate on the back end. As you can see we both had similar reactions and thoughts about the coffee. Daniel is amazing when it comes to guessing smells and flavors. I am still learning, but this was an amazing way to start doing so. When we tried, the creamer added to the coffee and decided that the dark chocolate became more prominent when it was added. We used a vanilla creamer, however, so that may have had a difference on what we were tasting.

Overall, Daniel and I have loved the coffee the Joe & Michelle sent to us. I finished the bag they sent us VERY quickly!

Joe & Michelle are doing amazing things through their ministry, not to mention the delicious coffee they are offering. If you want more information or to donate to the ministry and receive their coffee beans, check out their website here. God has truly blessed them with this calling. I have been praying for them and will continue to do so. I ask that you also keep them in your prayers!

Until Next Time!

May Your Coffee be Strong and Your Faith Stronger.

Bobbi Lynn