Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Coffee Review - Over The Rhine Blend

When I saw the band Over the Rhine promoting their own special blend of coffee (roasted by Chuck Roast) it struck me as kind of gimmicky. But more than just their music, Over The Rhine has always promoted a particular aesthetic, a certain way and/or quality of life involving music, poetry, nature, wine, etc... A college roommate of mine once said, "yeah I like their music, but they're pretty pretentious". I took offense at the time, but in retrospect, there was probably some truth to that. A sticker on the back of the coffeebag tries to encapsulate this aesthetic - "This...coffee is inspired by our love of good music, good conversation, good laughter, good living and best-kept secrets - all of which are meant to be shared". Gimmicky or not, I couldn't resist. Good coffee is one of my top pleasures in life, and, pretentious or not, I generally enjoy the whole Over The Rhine experience, so I figured I give it a go.

The mail-order beans arrived pretty promptly, and the next morning I put on OTR's latest CD "The Trumpet Child" and set about making a pot. I'm sad to say, I've never had worse coffee from an independent roaster. I've tried 3 pots now, using different amounts of beans, and they all come out tasting like something you might get at Dennys. The flavor is very flat - not rich or flavorful in the least (disclaimer - I like my coffee very, very strong/bold). Not a suitable accompaniment to any of their music. Maybe a suitable accompaniment to a Grand Slam or Moons Over My Hammy. The rest of the bag will be donated to the general coffee supply at work.


Laura-Marie said...

A long, long time ago, I used to order Moons Over my Hammy without the ham. Those were the days.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I adored OTR as a college student many, many years ago. As I grew older, I began to find them annoying. I suppose as I was younger, I had the time to be that pretentious, too. Now, as a mom with two kids and a full time job, I need for my music to be as to-the-point as the rest of my life. Having said that much, I must admit that I still like old OTR stuff on occasion.

I am curious as to how you were turned on to OTR. I'm from Cincinnati, so I heard them in my formative years. I think, too, there as a little case of "prophets without honor in their hometown," as far as I am concerned. OTR was touted as the messiah that would deliver a nation-wide audience to Cincinnati. My opinion (only my own, not anyone else's) is that we have grown tired of hearing about them around here. There's lots of other good local bands in Cincinnati.

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