The coffee arrived at our doorstep quickly and safely! The smell was enticing as we cut the tape on the box and we couldn’t wait to get started!
In an effort to not have anything sway our opinions or thoughts on the coffee, we didn’t read about any of these coffees on Lancaster County Coffee’s website before writing this review. The only information we had before brewing and tasting was the name of the coffee printed on the bag. The single serve/sample bags that we received were pre-ground (we’re assuming it was their standard grind: drip) and it worked wonderfully with our Hario V60 dripper.
One other thing to note was that none of the ~2 Oz packs (exact amounts varied slightly per the labels) that we received had a roasting date printed on it. We don’t know exactly when this coffee was roasted, but each one tasted fresh. None of the coffee smelled or tasted stale in any way. Each flavor of coffee was brewed with water that was between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. No sugar or creamer was added to any of the coffee.
Lancaster County Coffee describes this coffee as “Lancaster Signature Blend is our second signature blend that addresses the ‘trifecta’ of coffee acidity, body and sweetness. We think of it as a well-balanced clean coffee that has a smooth and full body, nice sweetness with a slight citric acidity that finishes with dark chocolate notes that are oh so subtle.”
This blend just so happened to be the first one we chose to try out, and we’re glad that we started with this one! Upon opening our first pack of coffee, we were welcomed with a mild, but inviting coffee aroma. We typically buy whole bean coffee and grind it just before brewing but this coffee was pre-ground for us. We were hoping that it wouldn’t be too fine or too course, but it worked perfectly! (This was the case for all 4 flavors.)
Now comes the fun part: the tasting! This particular blend really surprised us. We noted how smooth, mild and earthy the coffee tasted. There was a definite lack of acidity to the coffee that really stood out in a good way. This coffee was truly not bitter at all. While we were tasting this coffee, I told Steph that “I would love to make this coffee my ‘3 PM Break’ coffee at work.” This blend doesn’t really have any “kick” to it, and that makes it perfect for coffee to carry me through the rest of the workday. Overall, this coffee would be a very welcome addition to our mid-day coffee refuel. It is probably no surprise that this was Jason’s favorite of the four coffee’s.
Lancaster County Coffee notes that “Starbarn can be considered our variation on the French roast style. We feel it captures out zeitgeist and as such it is our signature coffee and most popular as well.”
Starbarn was the second coffee that we brewed and tasted. Immediately after opening it, a sweet and nutty aroma wafted towards us. This invitation was immediately met with brewing a cup to try out! While we were brewing this coffee, we noted how dark of a roast it was and the aroma of the beans was amplified through the process. This particular coffee, of the 4 that we tried, had the most “kick” to it. We both agreed that this would make excellent coffee for breakfast when you need to get going. The subtle, strong flavor that was produced from the beans testified of its dark roasting. This coffee was a bit more acidic and bitter to us than the Lancaster Blend as expected. All in all, this coffee’s kick makes for a sure-fire way to get moving in the morning.
Lancaster County Coffee describes it as “Layers of rich and moist devil’s food cake notes surrounded by sweet marshmallow cream filling. This tempting blend has all the fun of a freshly baked cake-like sandwich to make you say….whoopie!!”
So, the first 2 coffees that we tried were more of the traditional roasted and ground beans. The other 2 coffees that we received were flavored blends that use 100% Medium-Roasted Arabica beans with natural flavorings.
The first gourmet flavored coffee that we tried was the “Whoopie Pie” blend. Now, if you’re looking for an aromatic blend look no farther. Of all 4 coffees that we tried, this one by far had the most aromatic beans. Literally, as soon as we opened the package, the surrounding area smelled like a sweet, chocolate-covered marshmallow. Having smelled this wonderful little packet of ground beans, we wanted to get it brewed. We both agreed that during the brewing of this coffee, our kitchen smelled like a toasted s’more fresh off the fire. After tasting the coffee, Steph said that the chocolate on top of the natural coffee flavor puts the “Ooooo” in smooth! The coffee itself was a little darker than what a medium roast would be expected to be, and a little more acidic as well. The dark chocolate flavor made the coffee a little more bitter as well, but this is in no way a bad thing. Overall, this coffee would be the perfect companion to a dessert after a long, cold day.
Lancaster County Coffee describes this coffee as “Spiced and delightful.”
We wanted to save the seasonal blend for last, and we’re happy we did! This was the second flavored coffee blend that we tried. We received this coffee to taste around mid-to-late Fall of 2017. The leaves are approaching peak outside, and the weather is getting colder by the day. To say that we were excited to taste a Fall-Flavored coffee is an understatement.
We opened the “Pumpkin Batch” package, and the smell that greeted us could only be described as “Fall in a Bag”. There was pumpkin, there was spice and there were warm memories of pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread from years past being called into focus from the smell alone. Steph told me “I want our whole house to smell like this the entire Fall season!” When we brewed the coffee, it smelled like a pumpkin pie baking in the oven and there was a sweetness to the air. We found this coffee to be hardly acidic at all, and hardly bitter. It was definitely a medium roast and the pumpkin, spice, and coffee complimented each other’s flavor. None of the flavors overpowered each other. This coffee truly tasted of pumpkin and the Fall. This coffee was Steph’s favorite of the four coffees.