My favorite thing about reviewing coffee is seeking out and trying new flavors and varieties. A while back I reviewed a number of coffees by Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man coffee company. Well, he’s back with a new offering; Hugh’s Blend. I came across a box a couple weeks ago during a shopping trip with my wife and I snatched it up immediately. With the exception of their Ethiopian brew, Laughing Man has produced some of the best K-Cups I’ve come across yet. I was elated to see something new from them on the shelf.
This brew is a blend of South American coffees done at a medium roast. During the brewing process it gives off a rich and pleasant aroma. The flavor is an odd mix of mild fruitiness – that’s actually a bit tart. But it also has a sweet cookie or graham cracker twist to it. It’s also a bit more bitter than I expected from a medium roast. But this was nothing drastic and was easily tamed with a little bit of extra cream. The flavors in this blend are unique, but they do not stand out very much. Overall it’s a decent everyday blend.
Compared to Laughing Man’s other blends, I feel that this one takes a backseat to the Duane St. Blend. But, I did enjoy it a bit more than Dukale’s Blend. It’s a very drinkable coffee and one of undeniable quality. But, I have a hard recommending it over their other offerings. If you like your coffee with faint sweet and fruity notes, it might be worth picking up a box and judging this one for yourself.
Score: 3 out of 4
Would Purchase again?: Maybe. This is a decent coffee but it doesn’t offer enough to stand out on its own when compared to so many other options. It’s certainly worth a look, but it’s not one of my favorites.
For this Nerd Fuel post, I’ll be taking a look at the last of Laughing Man’s K-Cup pods; Ethiopia Sidama. This coffee is Laughing Man’s light roast offering, but unlike most “light roast” coffees, this is not a blend but rather a single-origin.
As you might has guessed from the name, these beans are sourced from the Sidama region of Ethiopia. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Ethiopian coffee on it’s own. To me, most Ethiopian single origins that I’ve experienced tend to be too earthy and also somehow manage to be semi-acidic. I do tend to like blends that contain Ethiopian beans, but on their own I’m just not a fan. This coffee is no exception to that rule.
That being said, the quality of this coffee is obvious. It’s rich and flavorful. It smells absolutely delicious as it brews. So, this is really a matter of personal preference for me. If you tend to enjoy coffees that contain a deep, earthy taste. You would likely find this to be a coffee of interest. Despite my own personal distaste for it, I can fully recognize the quality to be found in this cup and have no problem drinking and even enjoying it. But, for me – there’s other coffees I’d rather be drinking.
Score: 3 out of 4
Would Purchase again?: Doubtful. While this is an undeniably quality coffee, I’m neither a fan of light roasts or straight-Ethiopian coffees. That doesn’t mean that might not enjoy it, so don’t hesitate to give it try. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
For my next Nerd Fuel review, I’m taking a look at another Laughing Man coffee, the Dukale’s Blend. This coffee is named after the farmer that Hugh Jackman met on his trip to the coffee farms of Ethiopia. If “184 Duane St.” is to be considered Laughing Man’s house blend, “Dukale’s” could be called their signature offering.
This is a medium roast coffee. It has a deep, earthy flavor to it. Despite being a medium roast, it has a pretty full flavor. But to me, it’s a bit too “muddy”. I cannot say for sure, but I’m pretty certain that a good portion of this blend is made with Ethiopian beans. Ethiopian coffees have a very distinct flavor, and I taste quite a lot of it in this cup. – So your personal preference will play a big part here.
The quality of this coffee cannot be denied. I find it to be much better than many others out there. But, I don’t feel it compares to some of the other options Laughing Man brings to the table. Overall, it’s going to be largely a matter of personal taste.
Score: 3 out of 4
Would Purchase again?: Maybe. When compared to Laughing Man’s Colombian or Duane St. Blend, I find this one to be a distant 2nd. Regardless, it is a very good cup of coffee. Fans of Ethiopian coffees might find a real treat here.
Next up on my list of coffees is another offering from Laughing Man; the 184 Duane St. Blend. – Named after the location of the actual Laughing Man coffee shop in New York city, this is the obligatory “house blend” from Laughing Man.
This is a very mild cup of coffee. It has a nice earthy, roasted scent to it. It’s very smooth and extremely drinkable. It does have a somewhat complex flavor, but this is common with many house/signature blend coffees. I find to be very enjoyable. To be honest, even though I haven’t posted reviews of them yet, I’ve tried all of Laughing Man’s K-Cups and this is my probably my favorite. It’s just as good as their Colombian in terms of quality, but not near as bold. So, it’s very much a matter of opinion as to which is better.
Overall, this a very solid choice. It’s a coffee that’s mainstream enough to serve to nearly any guest, at any occasion, but unique enough to stand out as well. The care and quality is obvious. But, as with Laughing Man’s other branded coffees, it does come at a bit of a premium price tag.
Score: 4 out of 4
Would Purchase again?: Yes. The Duane St. Blend has really become a favorite of mine. It ranks right up there with the infamous “Donut Shop” coffee for me. It’s moderate enough for nearly any coffee drinker, but also luxurious enough to stand out on it’s own.
Well, my week-long vacation is starting to wind down but it’s been very productive. This week I’ve clocked in a lot of late nights, many of which were fueled by coffee. For these next few coffee reviews, I’m moving away from the holiday offerings and focusing on some more mainstream selections. Recently, my local store started carrying the Laughing Man brand. For those who don’t know, Laughing Man is a popular coffee shop owned by the actor Hugh Jackman. As the story goes, Mr. Jackman went on a trip to Ethiopia, where he met a coffee farmer. The two of them collaborated and Laughing Man Coffee was born. Recently, Laughing Man and Keurig teamed up to offer K-Cup pods. The rest is history.
There are number of Laughing Man options available for Keurig owners. I’ve tried them all, and I’ll be sharing my review in the next few post. For this first review, I’m going to look at the Colombia Huila offering.
Colombian coffee is very popular. Most major brands offer some type of Colombian option. Laughing Man’s offering is a pure, single-origin coffee. It’s a dark roast, but it’s not at all bitter. In fact, this cup is very smooth, almost silky. It does have a semi-sweet and deep wood-smoke aftertaste that I find quite pleasing. However, if you’re simply not a fan of dark roasts, or generally don’t care for Colombian coffee, this might not be a coffee you’ll enjoy
Some people swear by single-origin coffees. They claim that they offer a purity and singular taste that cannot be rivaled by any blend. I generally prefer blends and in fact, usually find single-origin coffee to be a bit bland. But in this case, I have to walk that back. This coffee is absolutely fantastic. It is simply delicious, yet complex and interesting. Laughing Man coffee does sell with a premium price tag. A box of 16 cups, sells for about $12.00 in my local store. But I have to confess, it’s worth the price.
Score: 4 out of 4
Would Purchase again? Yes. This is a great tasting, quality coffee. It makes for a good early morning cup of joe. Some might find the roast to be a little too dark, but I find it very enjoyable.