Sylvania Reflections

Larry's Opinions and Items Of Interest From Penn's Woods

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Greencastle Coffee Roasters II

We're no longer on the honeymoon with Greencastle Coffee Roasters!

The Greencastle Guatemala Antigua was, I believe, a bit stale. At least I had to put 50% more coffee into the coffeemaker to get a decently strong brew. And we were not all that thrilled with the taste. It was a bit rough. But that might have been the taste of those beans.

The Columbia Supremo, a coffee I'm very familiar with, did not have the good taste of Columbia Supremo I've come to enjoy. I also had to put 25% more Greencastle coffee in the pot to get the strength we are used to.

So I can no longer recommend Greencastle Coffee Roasters. We were not pleased with the quality or the freshness of the coffee. We won't be buying any more from them.

The Columbia Supremos we are happy with are Gloria Jeans and Dunkin Donuts. Though I don't think Dunkin Donuts specifically say their coffee in Columbia Supremo, we do enjoy their coffee. After we finished the Greencastle coffee, we got a pound of Gloria Jeans Columbia Supremo. There's no comparison.

I ordered another three pounds from another coffee roaster, this one in Oregon (I'll tell you more about that after we've sampled the coffee). Beverly normally doesn't get too excited about whether a coffee is good or not, implying that coffee is coffee is coffee. But she did say that she would be very unhappy if we went through another three weeks of coffee hell if this new source turns out to be like Greencastle.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Scott Township Web Site

I've been working on a web site for my township. It's an effort to document stuff I've discovered and get it available for others to reference. I've told the Secretary/Treasurer what I'm doing, but she hasn't yet brought it up to the supervisors. She's not too sure they'll be receptive to it.

So at this time, I'm calling it the "Scott Township Unofficial Web Site". Maybe forever.

It's still a work in progress, but I've gone live with it. Access it at

I put a link to it from my own web site, so the search engines should soon be discovering it. Yahoo seems to have the most active web crawlers, so they will most likely be the first to show it in their searches.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Trip to Erie

We're headed north to Erie tomorrow (Wed March 8) to visit Beverly's father at St Mary's. On the way, we'll be stopping at the Brick House for $3.00 cups of coffee. I love their cappuccinos!

Then after visiting Ray, we'll be stopping by Pat & Earl's to drop off about 20 bags of newspapers for recycling. Earl shreds them and uses it for bedding for his cows. We're going to try a new route over back roads from St Mary's to Pat & Earl's. I don't think it'll be any quicker, just a different route.

Then home.

Friday, March 03, 2006


We just got three pounds of coffee over the Internet from Greencastle Coffee Roasters in Greencastle, PA. Greencastle is about 10 miles north of Hagerstown, Md on IS81. That's close to the East-West center of PA, just north of the Mason-Dixon Line. I was looking for a coffee roaster close to home so shipments would arrive in a reasonable time. They're about 160 miles from here as the crow flies.

I ordered the coffee on a Monday morning, it was shipped USPS Priority Mail on Wednesday and arrived here on Saturday. It came in three paper bags, plastic coated inside. And the three bags in another plastic bag, stapled shut. And that bag in a USPS Priority Mail box. I immediately threw the larger bag in the freezer, planning to take out one pound at a time.

Since moving to PA, we've been drinking Gloria Jeans Columbia Supremo. We got turned on to Columbia Supremo and Gloria Jeans by a Consumers Report article. We've been buying it at a GJ kiosk in the Grove City outlet mall just north of here. The coffee from GJ's is a bit inconsistent, but at it's worst, it's still good. And when it's good, it's REALLY good. So that's the gold standard we use for comparing coffees.

Well, back to Greencastle. I got three different coffees:
Columbia Supremo, Dominican Republic Barahona and Guatemala Antigua.
Greencastle's description of each is as follows:

Columbia Supremo . . .
"Colombia's coffee industry is second only to Brazil's. Unlike the majority of Brazil's coffee, though, most of Colombia?s coffee is excellent; the highest grade being Supremo. Colombian coffee beans are grown at high altitudes, carefully picked, and wet processed. The cup is full bodied, yet milder than Sumatran; and acidic, but not nearly as much as the African coffees. Colombian provides an attractive balance of nice acidity, full body, and excellent flavor. Truly a classic!"

Dominican Republic Barahona . . .
"The Barahona variety of coffees from the Dominican Republic is the best and most highly regarded kind. The cup displays classic characteristics and, arguably, is a close second to the famed Jamaican Blue Mountain."

Guatemala Antigua . . .
"Of all the regional market names in Guatemala, Antigua is the most famous. Guatemalan coffee is a nicely balanced coffee with a superb aroma that is lively and very heavy-bodied. For most people, Guatemalan Antigua would be an ideal cup of coffee. Another distinctive characteristic is the serendipitous spiciness or smokiness that offsets the high acidity."

So far we've tried the Guatemalan. Beverly was not overly pleased with it the first day and said it was OK, but she wouldn't want another pound of it. But on the third day, she was saying that it's a good coffee and we should get it again. I liked it. It certainly does have a different flavor than GJ's Columbia Supremo. It is a little more acid, giving it a little after taste that doesn't linger a long time. We'll try it again.

Overall we are really pleased with Greencastle and highly recommend them.
But then, we're still on the honeymoon with them.