The Daily Double Shot – Obama is Smokey and Sweet

On Sam’s last business trip to Seattle, she set out to buy some new beans from the Seattle Coffee Works cafe to try some Seattle roasted coffees. As we all know, Seattle is known for a few famous and popular coffee brands, but we wanted to try something uniquely Seattle. I had caught wind of a special coffee blend that is made exclusively at SCW. It had a presidential quality to it. One that was equal parts funny and creative. It was the Obama blend, Indonesian origin beans mixed with East African to create a blend that was similar to the blend of our president.

When we finally ground the coffee, it had a darker roasted smell to the beans. One would instantly realize this was no trendy San Francisco espresso roast. (It seems like the trend in San Francisco tends to be on the lighter roast side when it comes to espresso.)  I tamped the grinds into the portafilter, and pulled some shots.

The first straight espresso sip, was very bold, with that darker roasted taste (like the smell, duh!).  As I let the taste linger in my mouth a bit, it started to fill my buds with a smokey-sour taste.  A little too sour for my personal liking.  Instantly, we realized this was a roast for drip coffee methods and not for espresso.  I suppose some may like their espresso in this format, but the Ritual Nine Darling Road has spoiled my senses and is still my favorite, because of it’s lighter, floral (and campfire) taste.

I eventually decided to try the beans in a French Press.  This time, I set the grinder to a coarser setting and poured in about 5 tablespoons of coffee into the cylinder. I poured about a 14 ounce mug of boiling water and let it steep (percolate? coffee experts correct me on the terminology) for about 4 minutes.  Around the 4 minute mark, I pressed down, and poured the coffee.  The flavor of Obama was different, than with the espresso.  It was still dark and smokey, but the coffee tasted sweet, with only a hint of the sour note.  Definitely a lot better as a coffee than as an espresso.


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Fran's Chocolates – Seattle

fran's chocolates

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

Salted caramels are all the rage amongst chocolateers these days. And in my opinion, Fran’s Chocolates makes the creme de la creme.

I received a 3-tiered box of chocolates ($90) from my PR agency for Christmas and have been itching to have more ever since. I reluctantly shared the tier of the heavenly chocolates with the office but was able to sneak a box of the award-winning smoked and gray salted caramels home to share with the family.

The salted caramels are made of  “rich smooth chocolate, soft buttery caramel and the unexpected boldness of the gray and smoked salt.” The mouthwatering, chewy goodness had me smiling at first bite… and the whole 5 minutes after the experience.

You can purchase a box of 20 gray and smoked salted caramels for $24 on If that’s too pricy for you, you can try the salted caramels from Trader Joe’s. They’re completely different than Fran’s (hard shell filled with liquid caramel), but they’re good in its own way.

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