I enjoy a nice cup of tea, but I consume a lot more coffee than tea on a typical week. Which sporadically leads to a bit of beverage envy: Tea drinkers can bring a tea bag with them on a hike, stash bags in their desk or even make a cup of their favorite tea while on the road. Coffee drinkers? We generally are at the mercy of whatever brew is available, whether good, sublime or awful. I know, the ratio of ingredients to final product is different with coffee, but still, coffee filled tea bags should be a thing right?
As it turns out, they are! I had a chance to try out Steeped Coffee’s ‘coffee bags’ with mixed results [see: Coffee in a Tea Bag!]. The coffee was good, but fairly weak. When Mr. Espresso announced that it too is offering steep coffee bags, I thought “sure, let’s give it another try!” so they kindly sent along a few samples, along with a pretty swanky mug from their Oakland, California facility. Turns out Mr. Espresso has been roasting and selling coffee since 1978, and is famous for roasting its coffee over oakwood rather than a gas fire. The benefit? A more humid heat that reduces acidity while enhancing body and sweetness. In a bag!
The packaging is very retro Italian, and of course Rome is known as the City of Seven Hills. Is that the inspiration for “Seven Bridges” blend? Nope. The company’s Web site decodes the name: “There are seven bridges that keep the people of the Bay Area connected, and the Seven Bridges Blend pays homage to the diversity of people and tastes in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Brewing instructions are on the back of the package, as you can see:
Key to notice is that the company recommends 1 coffee bag + 8 oz of water. Most coffee mugs are 11oz or 12oz so this means it’s going to end up maybe 2/3 full. It’s that ratio of ingredient to final product. I followed these steps carefully to brew up a cup, including 30 seconds of dunking to maximize the strength of the brew.
Here I am, ready to pour exactly 8oz of boiling water into my Mr. Espresso mug:
As soon as I opened up the packaging, there was a lovely aroma of coffee – heavenly! – and it lingered as I brewed up my steeped coffee bag in the ceramic mug. Thirty seconds of dunking followed by 5 minutes of sitting and steeping and the results were strong and dark, as you can see with this teaspoon:
I probably should have covered the mug while it was steeping, however, since it was very warm, not hot by the time I went to taste it. And oh! that taste. Turns out that they are spot on with the oakwood roasting and it was noticeably smooth and just a hint sweet, not the all-too-common burnt or bitter taste of many coffees.
There may be snow on the ground too, but my preferred way to consume coffee is over ice with some cream:
Verdict? Delicious. The only wrinkle is that if you want a full, big mug of strong coffee you might be using two steeped coffee bags not one: 8oz came out great but 15oz would have been rather weak if I just added more water. Cost is a factor too, of course. Mr. Espresso sells these at 8 coffee bags for $14, or $1.75 per bag. Then again, if you have to use two for a big, strong mug of delicious coffee, isn’t $3.50 about how much Starbucks would charge?
There might be less expensive solutions to have coffee on the road (like the microground Via packets) but these Seven Bridges coffee bags from Mr. Espresso are pretty darn sweet as an alternative, and definitely worth checking out. Check ’em out at www.MrEspresso.com to learn more.
Disclosure: Mr. Espresso kindly sent me a half-dozen steeped coffee bags and a logo mug so I could sample their brew and write about it. Feeding my coffee habit? A win.