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Café Fair

Café Fair Organic Coffees
Café Fair

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I love my coffee. Coffee in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, coffee in the early evening, hot coffee when it's cold and iced coffee when it's hot, I love my coffee. (I come by this passion honestly -- half Danish, I have more than a handful of relatives aged 90+ who swear the secret to long life is consumption of ten or more cups of coffee daily. So, I was excited when asked to review four coffee blends by Café FAIR ~~ hard work, I chortled, but someone has to do it. Did I mention that I love my coffee?

There are several overal pluses to Café FAIR coffee: Organic -- an obvious, 'no brainer' plus. It's nice to know that my coffee beans are naturally grown and that there's no nagging doubts about whether lingering traces of herbicides or pesticides are contaminating my drink of choice. Shade Grown -- another huge plus. I've become aware of the benefits of shade grown coffee only in the last few years -- bottom-line, it's really nice to think that forests aren't being cut down, natural habitats aren't being destroyed to grow coffee. This makes me feel good -- think I'll have another cup. Fairly Traded -- by itself, this plus would tip the balance when choosing between two coffees. Fair Trade is the practice of paying SMALL farmers a fair minimum price so they can compete in the world coffee markets and make a decent living for their hard work ~~ just like buying directly from your local small farmer. Coming, as I do, from a long line of (Danish) farmers, I give enormous kudos to supporting small farmers. Hmmm, think I'll brew another pot.

Less important to me, but worth a few words, is the packaging of Café FAIR coffee. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the 'easy open' top really was easy to open ~~ no undue pulling, tugging, stretching, pulling in vain before finally reaching for the scissors. Nope, it opened easily. AND the plastic dohickey used to close the bag afterward stayed in place. Good job.

That said, I wasn't attracted by the package -- black with a bright pumpkin colored middle, some dark rusty-red accents and white information boxes. Not only does the package appear overly 'busy,' it just isn't, well . . . attractive. (Note: I ran the packaging by the tiniest little focus group of four and this was the uniform consensus.)

Does it matter? Not a bit if you already know what brand you're seeking. But, on a shelf crowded with choices, my gut feeling was that I'd pass over this brand without really seeing it. I'd opt for something a little cleaner, brighter. Along these lines, the tag line "The Socially Responsible Coffee" left me cold -- it made me feel that buying this coffee was a chore. I'd like to see more emphasis on the taste -- something like "Socially Responsible – Exceptionally Good." Hmm, better leave this to the marketing experts.

A word on amounts: I don't measure coffee. I pour to about the two-thirds plus a hefty pinch area of the filter and turn the coffee maker to brew. So, use the amount you'd normally use.

Morning Blend

The aroma was good, the flavor was pleasant, a true medium body morning coffee. Those in the household who are less intense about their coffee pronounced it "A great start to the day." I liked this blend but thought it didn't have quite enough body, enough robustness, to really satisfy -- the second time around, I goosed it by adding a couple heaping tablespoons of the French Roast coffee and was much happier. Bottom line: it depends on how strong you like your coffee.

French Roast

Hmmm, smell that coffee. Strong, intense, inviting . . . opened my eyes, it did. The flavor was rich and bold, lots of body to this coffee. If your preference is for seriously intense coffee, this one's for you. AND this coffee is perfect for brewing, chilling, and making iced coffee drinks for the summer days ahead. Poured over ice, a dollop of cream, a mini-slug of cane syrup -- yummm. Oh, and a hefty dash of the ground beans does wonders for gravy. A generous couple of pinches in a Moraccan stew makes a nice counterpoint to the stew's sweetness -- adds complexity to the flavor, my grandmother would say. Lots of peripheral uses for this coffee.


A lighter-bodied, flavorful, mellow coffee with just the right amount of 'nuttiness' to its taste. An instant favorite with two of my neighbors. As you might already guess, this blend was a little too light-bodied for my tastes to serve as my 'regular' coffee. Still, I found this blend to be an excellent dessert coffee, a savory ending to a fine dinner. And I liked it as an afternoon iced coffee -- particularly when mixed with the French Roast. If your preference is for a lighter, bright, nutty-but-not-too-nutty coffee, this one's for you.


Ahhh . . . my favorite. Great aroma, perfect body, rich, smooth . . . well, just perfect. I liked it in the morning, liked it in the afternoon, liked it on the cold days, like it on the hot. Just plain LIKED it. Yep, liked it.

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