Verve Coffee & The Occasional Bakery – Tasting

For those busy mornings where a coffee shop stop isn’t in the cards, we often default to brewing up our own coffee drinks at home.  Whether it’s a cold brew, drip coffee, V60 or an espresso concoction, you can find ways to make your in-home dose of caffeine pretty darn enjoyable.


Today we tried some of Verve Coffee‘s best selling beans and utilized our Coffeebloggermke baristas with some of our in-home brewing gear.  We used a Hario V60 ceramic coffee dripper, found HERE on Amazon for under $20.  For espresso drinks, we used the Breville BES870XL, which can be found HERE for under $600.


Since Verve is a California-based roaster and we haven’t made the trip out there yet, we decided to bring Verve to us.  Their STREETLEVEL espresso blend is comprised of coffee beans from the Antigua and the San José Poaquil regions of Guatemala.  Their DON JOSE single-origin is from the Ojo de Agua region of Costa Rica.



We were extremely happy at how quickly this coffee was roasted and mailed out.  It arrived on our doorstep on May 2nd, after an April 30th roast date. With this order we also snagged an enamel pin, because some of us are obsessed with enamel pins and thought these were the cutest ever.


The initial sniff test of Verve’s STREETLEVEL was very fragrant; we detected notes of deep cherry and molasses.  Now we’re ready to grind this up and try it out!


Espresso: The espresso was so bold without any trace of bitterness at all. It was the perfect way to start off our tasting to really taste the complexity of the roast. We definitely tasted the notes of  Marmalade and Maple Syrup.


Cortado: The addition of the perfectly steamed milk to the espresso took this shot to the next level. It brought out the notes of stone fruit more prominently and was the perfect pairing for the strawberry tart, compliments of The Occasional Bakery. 


Iced Caramel Latte: We made this twice – one hot, one iced. The housemade caramel from The Occasional Bakery really upped the game on this already delicious latte. It really complimented the maple flavor present in the beans. Banana bread with a cream cheese drizzle was a perfect addition to this latte.


Don Jose V60 – We expected this to taste somewhat fruity and tealike, but instead it had darker, earthier notes. The Don Jose single-origin wasn’t at all acidic tasting or bitter. This would be a great pick for the both the coffee guzzler and coffee savorer.


Latte – Finally, just a latte. No flavoring, just your average, traditional Latte.  Except this wasn’t average!  Verve’s STREETLEVEL espresso was a huge hit, with its maple syrup notes shining through – without adding anything extra.


All of this morning’s bakery items came from The Occasional Bakery.  She specializes in creative and delicious tarts and mini-cakes, and they can be ordered online for local pickup, or found at popups during the summer.  Follow her on Instagram to get updates on where to find her!


Strawberry Tart – This lemon tart base had a light lemon pastry cream and was topped with fresh strawberries. We loved the bright, fresh fruity taste; perfect to pair with your morning coffee.  It didn’t leave that heavy feeling in your stomach. 



Caramel Apple Tart – This cinnamon tart shell was lined with a layer of salted caramel and filled with tart caramelized apples. More than just a garnish was the fresh whipped cream and drizzled with a gooey caramel sauce.  It was pretty much as incredible as it sounds.  This dessert has dimension in both texture and flavor.  The tartiness of the apples was not overpowered by the delicate whipped cream or caramel.  This could be a serious competitor for the best caramel apple tart in the world.



Unicorn Party Cake – This mini whimsical delight consisted of soft layers of vanilla sponge cake with sprinkles and topped with Italian meringue vanilla butter cream. Tiny, ornate details are what The Occasional Bakery is known for, so it’s no surprise that there was a little gold unicorn horn to complete this imaginative dessert.


Caramelzed Banana Bread Mini Bundt Cake – Lightly sweetened, incredibly moist and full of flavour, this mini banana bundt cake was topped with a cream cheese icing drizzle. What we like about this one is that it could be either a dessert or a breakfast, and go great with coffee either way.  This one was quickly eaten, and we probably could have eaten 20 more of these. 


If you feel like Brewing coffee successfully at home is beyond your realm of comfort without a Keurig or coffee maker, check out some of the Brewtorials found HERE at  Happy tasting!

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