Peace Coffee: Birchwood Breakfast Blend Review

We recently received some samples of Peace Coffee to review. I know that when you think of a bicycle website, coffee wouldn’t come up as a “review” item. Well hold your horses, Peace Coffee has to be the world’s most bike friendly coffee company. Before I go into the review of the Birchwood Breakfast Blend, let met give you some history on Peace Coffee.
peace coffee

Here are some excerpts from their site…

In late November 1995, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) invited a small group of Mexican farm leaders to Minneapolis to discuss the U.S. Farm Bill. At the end of the meeting, Luis Hernandez from La Selva, a Mexican coffee cooperative, complained that during all the talk, he hadn’t sold a single coffee bean. He looked at IATP and said, “You guys should be selling organic fair trade coffee.”

Peace Coffee continues to grow out of experiences in the coffee regions, time spent working in local cooperatives and a desire to push fair trade to the highest level. Since the first batch of Guatemalan coffee, we have made connections with coffee cooperatives in Mexico, Sumatra, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Peru, Nicaragua and Colombia. We have also changed the supply chain by co-founding Cooperative Coffees (, a coop of roasters formed to import 100 percent fair trade coffee direct from the farmer coops that grow it.

Peace Coffee today includes a staff of twelve and coffee varieties of fifteen and growing. We roast, pack and distribute our coffee beans all under one eco-friendly roof in Minneapolis. In the Twin Cities metro, Peace Coffee still delivers by bike year-round and our suburban accounts get their coffee from a big, bright biodiesel van. What remains unchanged is our complete devotion to the idea of a fairly traded, farmer-friendly product and the wonders of a great cup of coffee.

So now that you know that Peace Coffee is super cool and way GREEN, let’s go on with the coffee review.

They sent us 3 types of coffee to review, the Guatemalan, Columbian and Birchwood.

Since we had 3 types of coffee, we figured we can post a review of them each week. So for this week’s review, we started off with the Birchwood Breakfast Blend.

peace coffee

Here are some “specs” of the coffee:

A pleasant echo in the woods. Easy sipping, slightly sweet without the sugar. The floor of this wood is dusted with hints of clover. All things in natural balance. Truth.

Roast Level: Medium
Acidity: Medium
Body: Heavy
Aroma: Molasses
Flavor Notes: Well rounded, bright yet heavy, citrusy yet earthy, mellow with a touch of punch.
Source: Peru, Sumatra and Mexico.

Named after the quirky and delicious Birchwood Cafe in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.

The Birchwood Blend is a light roast, so it means its not super bitter compared to other roasts such as Sumatra and French. Usually the lighter the roast, the flavor is not as strong. I usually LOVE dark roasts and prefer a French from Starbucks. So that means I’m looking for the maximum flavor in a coffee.

Before you start wondering why I think I should be giving a review on coffee, well I’m what you could call a “coffee snob.” I turn my nose up to crap coffee such as Folgers, Sanka, Flavia, Maxwell House, MJB, Hills Brothers and more. Even if I were to drink coffee at a restaurant and I didn’t know what kind it was, usually the water flavor, lack of aroma and acidity levels will give it away that its a cheap brand. Besides, crap coffee usually gives me a wicked stomach ache due to the high acidity levels.

Ok back to the Peace Coffee! So I cleaned out my coffee grinder just so I wouldn’t contaminate the flavors of the Birchwood. After griding a few beans, the grounds looked very light and earthy, almost like dirt…hey I did say earthy.

In my opinion, the best way to enjoy coffee is with a French Press or an Espresso Machine. I made enough grounds so both Priscilla and I can enjoy some Peace.
peace coffee

What’s great about the French Press is that you get a rich full bodied cup of coffee. What do I mean with those pretty fancy words? Basically the coffee is a bit thicker, you can taste more flavors than you would with a standard drip machine since you don’t have a paper filter catching some of that goodness.

So how does it taste? Are you ready for this…an absolute dream! The Brichwood Breafast Blend is so friggin’ smooth that I couldn’t believe it! At first I had the coffee black…(the same way I like my bikes)just so I can get an idea of what it is I’m dealing with. The flavor is very mild, not too strong and its not one of those blends that makes you balk because the flavor is too strong. But what was nice about the Birchwood Blend was that it went down well, not acidic at all and its one of those that after you take a few sips you say…”wow that’s good!” Priscilla and I were raving so much about the coffee to each other, our kids heard us and insisted on trying it. I refused to give up my cup since it was soooo good, but Priscilla, the wonderful mom that she is, allowed the girls to get a few sips. They loved it too.

If you’re into light to mild roasted coffees and don’t like the darker stuff like, then the Birchwood Breakfast Blend is perfect for you. I think that some people get turned off by the bitter taste of coffee, but I have a feeling that the Birchwood is the perfect blend to get someone to fall in love with coffee or even to just enjoy it for a mid day coffee break.

So if you’re still drinking crap coffee, please give Peace a chance…get it…But seriously, its really good stuff and its only about $9.99 per pound.


  1. Noah

    Coffee and Bikes. They go together, especially for the commuter. I have a stainless steel French press that fits in a water bottle cage. It’s a life saver.

  2. tad

    I too preface my commute with a cup or two of coffee (while I’m surfing and the like). My press has a very fine filter but I don’t grind my beans as finely as you do. Don’t you get tons of dregs?

  3. Ghost Rider

    Wow, those beans ground up incredibly light! I prefer darker coffees, too (I was raised on “sneaked” cups of esspresso, courtesy of my great-grandparents, who would sneak me into the kitchen to partake while my mother wasn’t looking), but I am VERY intrigued by that beautiful coffee.

    Noah, where might the rest of us mortals find a french press that fits into a waterbottle cage?

  4. ken "kb"

    RL that review is yummy…i was just wondering ’bout your press as well then Noah talked about it. Hmmm come to think of it i sometimes adjust my commute to get to a quality Java. Polly’s on 2nd st rocks da house in Long Beach…and any Peet’s will do. Thanks kb peace out!

  5. RL

    There’s always some fine “silt” on the bottom of my cup. But nothing that would get in between my teeth. Besides, the fine grinding makes for a richer coffee.

  6. Dr. Mac

    Enjoyed the review! Being a coffee connoisseur myself, I’ll be placing an order from Peace Coffee real soon to put my French Press through the paces!!

  7. miz_mo

    Peace Coffee is delicious! Another bike related element of this particular flavor is that the Birchwood Cafe (of the Birchwood Breakfast Blend) has a bike team.

  8. John

    I put my French Press aside to drink with the masses at work. Foldgers. What the hell was I thinking? Back to the press tomorrow.

  9. db

    Noah posted at Commute by Bike about his press:

  10. db

    By the way, that coffee looks fantastic. I’ll have to get my St. Paul-resident brother to send me some…

  11. wow gold transfer

    Curt Schilling I am so tired of your self righteous preachings. Talking about how Manny didnt try and how shameful that was. Did you ever say anything about how you conned the Red Sox into an 8 million dollar deal and then revealed you were injured and didn’t throw a pitch all of this year. Stop judging other people and worry about yourself you seem to know whats best for everyone but yourself

  12. Raiyn

    Wow, that was random……..

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