African coffees are not usually my favorites, but I can never resist trying a new offering from the Starbucks Reserve line, so I eventually gave in to trying the Malawi Lake of Stars coffee a try on a recent visit. I have to admit that I did wait until my store was sold out of the Galapagos coffee before making the switch, which is what took me so long to getting around to this post!
I am willing to admit when I was wrong, and I was definitely wrong to put off trying this particular coffee for so long. The coffee is rich and incredibly smooth, with none of the citrusy acidity that I often find in African coffees. It did, however, have a trace of citrus flavor to it, but that was subtle and came only after a long, lingering chocolatiness that really dominated this coffee. The finish was clean and smooth, too. I like mine hot, but have since gone back and tried this iced and found it to be very refreshing, with the same flavors coming through and without any bitterness.
It almost makes me glad that my Clover store is out of the Galapagos, because now nothing stands in the way of me getting the Malawi reserve.
New research suggests that coffee drinkers live longer than con-coffee drinkers. If that’s true, I could probably live forever. The study looked at more than 400,000 men and women between the ages of 50 and 71, and those with some preexisting conditions – cancer, heart disease and stroke – were excluded were excluded from the study. The results were surprising. The study found that men who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day had a 14 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, 17 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease, 16 percent decreased chance of dying from stroke and a 25 percent lower risk of dying from diabetes than those who drank no coffee. Women faired similarly. Those who drank 2-3 cups a day had a 15 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, 21 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease, 7 percent decreased chance of dying from stroke and a 23 percent lower risk of dying from diabetes. Results improved for those who drank more coffee, too.
I was fortunate enough to visit the Galapagos a few years ago, and I did see locally grown coffee for sale on San Cristobal while I was there. I don’t remember it making as big an impression on me as this Reserve coffee did, although I do remember being pretty satisfied (and surprisingly so, since when you travel coffee can be a crap shoot) with all the coffee I had. Needless to say, I was excited to see that Organic Galapagos San Cristobal was one of the newest Starbucks Reserve offerings this month. Galapagos has some very interesting microclimates and can be a great place for growing coffee, although you wouldn’t necessarily expect that to be the case.
This coffee is produced in very small quantities by a single farm, Hacienda “El Cafetal.” It is a medium bodied coffee, with a wide range of interesting herbal notes to it and a very clean finish. I didn’t get as much citrus as I find in many other coffees from nearby regions, and that plus the herbaciousness of the coffee made it very unique. It is very refreshing and fantastic iced, although I definitely like it hot as well. This is probably one of my favorite Reserve coffees to date, and it is at a good price point (for such a rare coffee) that this is one I’m taking home with me and not just having from the Clover.
While theme parks can certainly offer up some tempting snacks, they’re not exactly known for the quality of their food or beverage offerings. Disney is hoping to upgrade their coffee options by partnering with Starbucks, who will be opening stores inside all six Disney properties in both California and Florida. The stores are going to be designed to blend in to the parks, so they won’t look like the Starbucks that you might see down the street. In fact, there won’t be any Starbucks logos visible from outside the store, and the cafes will have their own names. There will still be Starbucks branding and drinks inside, of course, so you will know what you’re getting when you venture inside the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe – as the Starbucks location inside Disneyland will be named after the Three Little Pigs.
The stores and baristas will match the themes of their locations and blend in to the parks, but the entire drink menus will be Starbucks. There may be a few signature Disney items, such as Mickey shaped cookies, available for park-goers as well. No news on prices yet, though we’re guessing that it might be a bit more expensive than your average Starbucks location, much like airport Starbucks’ tend to be.