The Good: Reasonably priced, Good aroma, Good flavor, Company's ethics
The Bad: Does not have the dark chocolate flavor it promised, Requires grinding.
The Basics: The Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is a decent dark roast coffee, but it does not live up to its promised inclusion of a dark chocolate flavor within its palate.
I am always amazed what I find locally - I live in the back woods of Michigan and most of the local shops contain only major, mass-produced brands. But, a few years ago, our little berg got a discount store, which appears to be a store that buys trucks of returned merchandise from other companies (so they don't have to bother restocking the merchandise) and sells the products at a pretty severe discount. This has had the effect of me being able to try a number of things that, as it turns out, my wife has looked at online and considered getting for me, but are just cost-prohibitive for a family (like us) on a budget. The day I brought home a bag of Kicking Horse's Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee, she looked right at it and remarked that she had been looking at that exact flavor for me online!
Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is good, but the bag promises a dark roast coffee with a dark chocolate flavor. It certainly lives up on the former promise, but not the latter flavor.
Kicking Horse is a Canadian coffee producer and their gimmick (if it can be called that) is that the beans are organically grown in the shade of the rainforest and the company is a Fair Trade company. For Fair Trade coffee beans, Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is very competitively priced (even outside my local discount store!). The bags of Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee weigh 10 oz. and are whole bean. Because this is a whole bean coffee, grinding is required. We use a Cuisinart Supreme Grind Coffee Grinder (reviewed here!) and that worked wonderfully to bring out the flavors of the Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee. The Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is easily protected from absorbing scents of other foods and the bag can be resealed using the wire-based "tie."
The Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee has a powerful aroma in the bag, which foreshadows a very strong coffee blend.
Ease Of Preparation
Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is an easy coffee to prepare, assuming one has a coffee grinder and a scoop! First, open the bag. Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is vacuum sealed when first purchased. After opening foil bag, one must grind the beans. We recommend grinding it fresh to get the most out of the coffee flavor, as it releases its flavor when ground and if it sits around ground, it is likely to absorb flavors from the air around it. Once ground, procure a scoop (not included) and measure out one heaping tablespoon for every two cups of water in your coffee maker. Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is intended for automatic (drip or percolating) coffee makers, like my Hamilton Beach coffee maker (reviewed here!). This is NOT an instant coffee. As a result, it needs to be brewed.
Consult your coffee maker's instructions for how to brew the coffee. However, as far as the basics go, you'll need a coffee filter, like the Crucial Coffee #4 permanent filter (reviewed here) we use, into which you put the Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee and then brew through your coffee maker.
The Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee smells homogeneously like a very dark blend of coffee beans. The coffee scent is not unpleasant, but the smell foreshadows well the strong coffee flavor without hints of any other flavors.
In the mouth, the Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee tastes strong, bitter, and like coffee. There is not a hint of water to the flavor of the Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee, but neither is there anything in the flavor palate that insinuates dark chocolate. Instead, this is a powerful dark roast coffee that lives up to the promise of being just that.
As it cools, the Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee exhibits no more chocolatey flavor than it does when it is hot. Sugar and creamer cut the bitterness of the Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee, but does not bring out any of the promised flavor. Indeed, a flavored creamer quickly overwhelmed the bitterness and any subtleness to the coffee flavor, which surprised me for such a dark, strong coffee-flavored coffee.
The Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee has a fairly bitter aftertaste. This is not overly surprising and the bitterness is in no way oppressive for consumers who love dark roast coffees.
This is coffee, not something that has nutrients in it! The Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee does not contribute anything to one's daily recommended allowance of anything. The Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is a blend of Central and South American coffee beans.
This is a caffeinated blend and to its credit, it is a good "wake me up" coffee! This has enough caffeine to energize consumers in the morning when one begins consuming it. Because it is a caffeinated coffee, it appears to not have undergone any of the chemical processes that sometimes cause complications in decaffeinated coffees. This is a blend that actually wakes up the consumer.
Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee is not marked as Kosher (I'm not certain why), but it is both organically grown and Fair Trade Certified.
Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee ought to be stored sealed in its container with bag’s top folded down. Coffee is known to absorb flavors of food nearby it, so keeping the bag folded tightly closed is highly recommended. The bag came to us fresh, but we used it up well before its expiration date.
After brewing, coffee grounds ought to be disposed of. This is not an ideal coffee to make a second pot with (second brewings I attempted came out 1/3 - 1/2 as potent as the first brewing), so this is not an ideal coffee for the coffee miser. These grounds may be thrown in the trash when used or put in a compost pile, if available. Coffee grounds make great compost.
Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw Dark Roast Coffee smells good, tastes appropriately strong, but makes a bit of a flavor promise it did not quite meet.
For other coffee reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Starbucks French Roast Coffee
Edward’s Flavored Coffee Boston Cream Pie Coffee
The Coffee Fool Fool's Caramel Nut Coffee
For other drink reviews, please check out my Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.