Review:53×11 Coffee’s “The Chain Breaker”

I admit to being a snob in a few areas – I am a Mac snob, a wine snob and a coffee snob.  Despite those criteria and my unexplainable attraction to all things Rapha, I have no resemblance to a fashion, society or other type of snob.  The list of different beans that have found their way into my grinder is lengthy.  While some have been more memorable than others, I’ve never stopped my search for a better bean.

A couple weeks ago while ordering some other cycling items, I decided to randomly add 53×11 Coffee’s “The Chain Breaker” to my cart.  I thought if nothing else, the label was cool and the brand was cycle-centric.

Upon receiving my order and opening the bag, my first reaction was a head-snapping astonishment.  The aroma was strong and acidic.  Disappointing thoughts that I had found where Folgers came from before they added the enigmatic flavor crystals entered my head.  When I put them through the burr grinder, the people down the hall that usually comment on the pleasant aroma that wafts through the halls wondered if I had burned something.

I went through the ritual of scoop, tamp, clean the edges and twist the portafilter in place.  As the elixir slowly filled the cup, I noticed a new character emerging from the steam.  It was bold and pleasant.  As I finished the preparation, I began to wonder how the first taste would placate my palate.

Immediately, I was surprised.  It had a full body but very balanced flavor.  My fears of heavy acidity quickly dissipated.  It was wonderful.  About halfway through the cup, I proclaimed to nobody in particular “this is the best coffee I’ve ever had.”  Throughout the rest of the week, I introduced the coffee to those who stopped by my office coffee bar and the positive reaction had been unanimous.  The week was capped off when my cycling buddy and I met to compare off-season training progress and discuss 2010 plans, his unsolicited proclamation summarized the same thought – “this is the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had.”

My random purchase had provided an unexpected gift.  My mood-enhancing morning coffee ritual will be further enhanced.   Since my office has no windows, I can’t make any claims of rainbows appearing, birds chirping or other Disney happy scenery myths happening outside, but who knows.  The only recommendation I can give is for you to visit 53 x 11 online at www.53x11coffee.com, other online retailers or hopefully you can encourage your local LBS to make this a part of the coffee ride.


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