Black Oak Coffee Roasters

November’s Angels Cup comes from Black Oak Coffee Roasters. It’s a blend of dark roasted beans. I’m a little disappointed that the past four Angels Cup deliveries have been blends. I was hoping that some intrepid roaster would create a dark roast single origin. I suppose it might be a waste to dark roast single origin beans.

Upon opening the bag, I first smell the strong ashy/smoky aroma followed by hints of chocolate and nuts. Subsequent sniffs brings a nice balanced aroma of smoky and chocolate. Making my latte, I taste this sweet chocolate flavor on the first sip. It tastes very much like a dark chocolate milk. What’s surprising is that there’s no bitterness that normally comes with dark roasts. With the lack of bitterness and the sweet chocolate flavor, I ended up making a second cup.

To be honest, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these beans. The previous blends have been average flavor-wise. They are good but didn’t “wow” me like some of the single origins. I know it’s not a fair comparison (single origin vs blends) but after drinking so many single origin, it’s inevitable to make certain comparisons. I think this dark roast blend stands out because of the lack of bitterness while maintaining some of the sweetness tasted in light/medium roast beans.

COFFEE ASPECTSYES / NO
Intense AromaYes
Balanced AromaYes
Other AromaNo
Intense 1st sipNo
Balanced FlavorYes
Chocolate FlavorYes
2nd cup?Yes


Congregation Coffee Roaster

November’s Trade Coffee comes from Congregation Coffee Roasters. The beans come from the Guji, Ethiopia. Upong receiving the bag, beans from Ethiopia tend to have a distinctive aroma… flowery, fruity and yet somewhat nutty.

From the aroma and past experiences with Ethiopian beans to make my latte, the flavor profile so far has been very similar across multiple roasters. These beans continue with the fruity, berry flavor profile in the latte. The flavors have a more berry/fruit forward taste and also tasted sweeter than the previous beans (an espresso blend). The after taste after each sip was a nice refreshing milk chocolate flavor that lingered at the back of the tongue. Ethiopian beans do not disappoint.

COFFEE ASPECTSYES / NO
Intense AromaNo
Balanced AromaYes
Other AromaNo
Intense 1st sipNo
Balanced FlavorYes
Chocolate FlavorYes
2nd cup?No

What’s Brewing Coffee Roaster

Octobers Angels Cup comes from “Whats Brewing” Coffee Roaster. The Vienna Roast is a blend that they roast for use to make espresso. I’m surprised that they claim it is versatile as a drip. I regret not trying this out on pourovers.

Upon first opening this, I’m greeted with a strong ashy aroma. Making my latte, I’m greeted by subtle fruit and nutty flavors. I also taste a slight roasted flavor as part of the after taste. To be honest, this doesn’t stand out as amazing but I can see why the roasters claim this as a “good work horse” for regular espressos.

COFFEE ASPECTSYES / NO
Intense AromaYes
Balanced AromaYes
Other AromaNo
Intense 1st sipNo
Balanced FlavorYes
Chocolate FlavorNo
2nd cup?No


The Ocean Cleanup in LA

Have you heard of the “Great Garbage Patch” in the Pacific? Did you know that there is a company “The Ocean Cleanup” dedicated to cleaning up this garbage, to recycling the plastic and finding ways to reuse the collected plastics. This mission to clean up the ocean is admirable and I support them through yearly donations. You can request a donation receipt as well by selecting the topic of “Donation Receipt”. In the future, I hope they will be able to use the plastic collected to make more than just sunglasses like plastic bottles and items that contain mix use of plastics and metals. And yes, I even bought the sunglasses and blogged about it.

Through various research organizations, the Ocean Clean Up organization observed that one of the sources comes from the rivers that flow into the ocean. During periods of heavy rain, plastics that have been discarded upstream/upriver get washed into the ocean. As a way to counter the plastics that end up in the ocean, the Ocean Clean Up team also started to collect plastics that come from the rivers. One such collection effort can be found in LA. Known as Interceptor 007, it is located at the mouth of the Ballona Creek at Marina Del Rey. They even broadcasted live the “maiden voyage” to position the Interceptor at the mouth of the creek and the rationale to deploy in LA.

I need to find some time to take a stroll down to Ballona Creek to take pics.