Owlbert’s Coffee Selection Guide

Always wise, never foul.


owlbert in the trees picture

Greetings & Salutations.

We hired Owlbert to be our Pigeon Bouncer. His job was to keep the pigeons off the front stoop at the warehouse because they were leaving "deposits". We had no idea that not only were we hiring the best pigeon bouncer in all the land, but we were also getting a ludite coffee aficionado to boot! -Ben

As you may have surmised, I am the one called Owlbert, and upon this retail establishment do I find my roost. I also do frequent a haberdashery of high repute some three furlongs hence upon a fortnight, and one may upon a whiles find me accompanying gentlemen and ladies while engaging in only the most noble of tomfoolery.

The purveyors of this fine establishment did query me as to which coffees show the most promise for a wholly delectable and ambrosial piquancy by the purchasers thereof. Therefore, I have leveraged my magnificent whit and enumerable experiences to provide you, dear reader, a trustworthy & reliable enumeration below. Enjoy, my friends.

Ex Strix Scientia — From the Owl, Knowledge.


Questions & Answers

Dinner Party

Question: Owlbert, I’m having some good friends over for a formal dinner. We like to have fun, and we enjoy good strong food. I’ll be serving pan seared steak, roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, and red wine. What would you recommend as a coffee that pairs well with strongly flavored foods?

Answer: Ah, yes, the quaint enjoyments of compatriots true and savory vittles. ‘Tis verily one of life’s simplest and grandest joys. I am reminded of a recent evening, during the waxing of the winter moon, whereupon a select few of my own acquaintances journeyed to my domicile for a delectable dining experience similar to that which you have described above. I found that Papua New Guinea Sigri, Sumatra Mandheling, and Ethiopia East Harrar were all bold enough to maintain prominence upon the palate amidst such a cornucopia of intensities.

photo of owlbert at a dinner party - selecting green coffee beans for food pairings

Light Lunch

Question: Hey Owlbert! I’m having some neighbors over for a light lunch on Sunday afternoon. I’m planning on starting out with a plate of raw veggies from our garden (bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers) and ranch dip. Then we’ll have a crisp salad, and I’ll also have some light Pinot Gris wine on hand. What’s a good coffee to serve afterward?

Answer: Kudos to you, old chap, for throwing wide the doors of your residence, and graciously inviting the wayward vagrants to exult in the bounty of your garden. The man is truly blessed who giveth unto the betterment of yon community.

When, in the course of time, I am bequeathed with time to spread a table with a firstfruits harvest from my own garden, I find it important to choose a coffee varietal which is crisp, refreshing, and not too heavy on the tongue. Ethiopia Yirgacheffe is my primary choice in these instances. I surmise that Ethiopia Yirgacheffe is our most refreshing & thirst-quenching offering, and therefore quite well suited to a light Sunday afternoon lunch with friends.


owlbert looking out the window on a rainy day with coffee

Can’t Wake Up

Question: It’s a grey, rainy Monday morning, and all my senses are asleep. I just had a bowl of cereal and couldn’t even taste it because I’m still half asleep. Is there a coffee that will awaken my senses? Not just with caffeine, but with exciting flavors and aromas?

Answer: But of course, my good man (or woman)! Not everyone truly appreciates the intricacies of a potent arabica brew, and the bourgeois do frequently assume inaccurately that a darker roast is nigh unto a bolder flavor. When the order of the day is that of activity, yet my fowl senses are foul, I turn to one of two options: Kenya AA, or Yemen Mocca Sanani. The Yemen can be slightly milder, but is just as complex — especially as it cools.


Snuggled by the Fire

Question: I’m snuggled by a warm wood fire in my den on a windy night. I’m cozy and relaxed. What am I drinking, and what am I eating?

Answer: A cold & windy night, lazing beside a crackling fire with a fine feathered friend reclining against one’s fluffed down…surely there be few delights greater to be had upon this mortal coil. Dear reader, if you feel the unction to bake, I shall endorse making cream cheese cinnamon rolls, and brewing a sufficiency of Guatemala MC Decaf. If, however, you should prefer the niceties of unadulterated relaxation, I would suggest that you have a bar of fine dark chocolate — 70 percent cacao — and brew some Sulawesi Toraja to accompany it.

photo of owlbert in front of a fireplace with coffee

For the person who doesn’t like coffee:

Question: I have some “friends” that are convinced that cheap store-bought pre-ground coffee is yummy. What do I do?!

Answer: Truly, truly, it is a sad commentary on the human condition that seemingly intelligent beings can be so deceived. The proverb, Do not cast your pearls before swine comes to mind, but upon further meditation, it behooves us, as the enlightened coffee purveyors, to shine the light of freedom upon the unwashed masses. Therefore, I say this: you should give your “friends” a stern talking-to, including the phrases “Life is too short for Max-swill.” and “Friends don’t let friends drink bilge water.” Thereupon, I would suggest that you brew something like Burundi Bourbon in the Aeropress to show how good, fast, and easy great coffee can be. You could also brew a Costa Rican coffee, which tends to be milder — this to acclimate your friends to the true flavors of coffee.

Question: What about people who will drink any coffee, but only if it’s loaded down with cream and sugar? Is there anything I can brew for them that will help convince them that black coffee is great?

Answer: I suggest to you that you begin with roasting the beans to a fairly light profile. Perhaps City, to Full City. For beans, try thy hand at Sulawesi Toraja or Mexican Chiapas. Brew in an Aeropress for thicker, creamier coffee, or brew in a Chemex for more drip-like coffee that’s clean and pure. You may suggest to your friend to sip the coffee, which will cause the liquid to strike all the taste buds on their tongue, hence imparting the full natural sweetness of the bean. Be patient, my friend…it may take some time, but eventually, their tastes shall evolve, and they will have you to thank for it.


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