Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Coffee Review: Bay Area Coffee – Christmas Traditions Ground Coffee

On a recent trip to my local Grocery Outlet store here in Elk Grove, California (yes I seem to be finding some off the wall things here which is why I keep coming back) just grabbing a couple of things when I spotted a shiny blue bag towards the bottom shelf of the coffee area. With my curiosity perked, I found myself lifting this blue sparkling beacon from where it was nestled and was greeted by a simple Christmas themed picture and standard text. Off hand, it reminded me of some homemade products that I'm fond of picking up from some local distributors.  Though I couldn't find the brand or company right away on the label, I thought I would go ahead and try out Christmas Traditions Ground Coffee. Of course at 16oz (454g) for only $5.99, the deal was too good to pass up.

In appearance, it is honestly fairly simple so it is dependent on the metallic blue bag to catch your attention which shows that sometimes simple is the best. Though the sticker on the top isn't meant to be used as a reseal option, it can certainly be used as such, as long as you don't rip it while opening the package. The bag itself is also fairly easy to open which is nice since I highly doubt anyone would want to spill a bag full of coffee everywhere. The aroma that greeted my senses as a reward was filled with sweet hints of chocolate and suggestions of subtle hazelnut and vanilla. Once the coffee has been brewed, a medley of spices is brought forth. Taking a sip, I could still taste a tiny bit of the chocolate and vanilla but was surprised by the flavors of cloves and cinnamon. It took some time while sipping the coffee for me to realize that it reminded me of a more mellow and sweeter version of the Trader Joe's Vanilla Chai-Spiced coffee that I had reviewed back in July. This seemingly medium roast coffee truly is made to enjoy slowly and perhaps with friends.

Looking at the back label, I finally discovered that the coffee is distributed by Bay Area Coffee, Inc. which is located down in San Francisco. The company's website is as simple and straight forward as the label they put on their bags but easy to navigate. Reading the About Us page, it was surprising to find that the men in charge of Bay Area Coffee both worked with Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc. first before their individual paths led them to work together in creating and running Bay Area Coffee. They do list what brands they create and tell customers which area stores you can find their products on their Where to Buy page. It appears most of their coffee can be found here in California but there are a few stores in Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and one in Vancouver, BC that carries a few of their brands. With the company still being relatively small, it's understandable that it is mostly just distributed here on the west coast of the United States but if you are able to try it at some point I encourage you to do so. 

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