Good morning, my raccoon-eyed peeps. If you’re like me, you deeply identify with the “don’t even talk to me before I’ve had my coffee” memes. There’s nothing wrong with your socially acceptable addiction; we all have at least one. Personally, my crutches have always been caffeine, shopping, and the dog park, but I’ve been trying to cut back on most of them recently, aside from hollering at fat-ass corgis when they walk by. In an attempt to better myself, I’m also trying to only have one cup of home-brewed joe per day.
But change can be hard, and it’s just plain common sense that it's easier to stick to something if you enjoy it. And as I’ve mentioned—I’m not the only coffee freak on the planet; as it turns out, I’m in the company of YouTuber, influencer, and so-called “It -Girl” Emma Chamberlain, who has found tremendous success not only through posting videos of herself making peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches (4.2 million views), but also by launching her own coffee brand. So when I received a selection of Chamberlain Coffee products, I got excited about the possibility of killing two birds with one stone—seeing whether this addition to the celebrity-backed specialty-beverage roster is any good, and kicking my expensive draft latte addiction.
I was honestly surprised at the variety of options Emma Chamberlain’s coffee brand offers (and how many I really like—but I’ll get to that in a minute). I almost exclusively buy Bustelo coffee, which just means that if I find something I like, I tend to stick with it and am not always willing to shell out extra cash just for cute branding or a new trend. That being said, Chamberlain Coffee is realllly cute. The colorful animal-themed packaging, and ingenious resealable bags make the products feel special, and make them excellent gifts. I was lucky enough to set up my own little barista station with bags of Night Owl, Fluffy Lamb Vanilla, and Witty Fox Hazelnut ground coffee, a single serve Variety Box, Cold Brew Elephant, and the Wildcat Instant coffee, but when I looked at my little influencer caffeine setup, I wondered if the coffee, too, would be better online than IRL.
For one, I’m a pretty strict hot coffee drinker, as I need it immediately upon waking, and don’t care much for pre-bottled iced coffees. For whatever reason, the La Colombe or Wandering Bear from the store always tastes stale to me, and a little plasticky. But I was pleasantly surprised to experience Chamberlain Coffee’s Cold Brew Elephant XL brew bags, which make brewing your own super-smooth and strong cold brew at home easy-peasy. I’m a bit of a dunce and didnt have a receptacle large enough to decant the sack o’ cold brew kicking around, so I had to wing it, as I do most things in life. (If that sounds like you, Chamberlain is way ahead of you, babe—her entire personal brand is built around being “chill.”) Ineptitudes aside, after simply putting the bag in a big ol’ jar in the fridge overnight, I was still able to enjoy a vat of cold brew at home for a week. More importantly, the cold brew itself tasted great. Chamberlain's brew bags take all the messy bits out of making quality cold brew at home and provide a richer, more flavorful coffee than leftover drip on ice, which I was working with before. I felt infinitely superior to all the plebes waiting in line for their coffees as I strolled smugly past, sipping from my branded tumbler.
Alright, on to the beans. I'm not interested in a breakfast roast or a blonde; give me a tall, dark, and full-bodied stud every goddamn day. So it’s no surprise that the dark-roast Night Owl Blend is my favorite. It has a really rich, almost nutty flavor that really gets my gears moving in the a.m.
Also, in a shocking turn of events, I am straight-up OBSESSED with Chamberlain Coffee’s single-serve coffee bags. I highly suggest ordering a Variety Box so you can choose your own fave roast. I even did a side-by-side comparison of Night Owl ground coffee in my drip machine vs. the Night Owl brew bag made with boiling water. I was astonished at how similar they were in flavor and strength. I will say that I noticed a bit of a difference in depth, with the drip coffee being overall fuller-bodied, even when left to steep the maximum five minutes. When I used the single-serve bags to make cold brew overnight in the fridge, I found it allowed adequate flavor development, and I much preferred them that way. That being said, they are my new travel staple, as you can pretty much ensure access to hot water wherever you are, which will ensure you’re never more than five minutes away from a damn fine cup of coffee.
To paraphrase Dr. Folger, M.D. who said, “the best part of waking up is [coffee] in your cup,” I couldn’t agree more. I am a bean-water fiend, and sometimes as I’m laying in bed at night I get excited for the next day’s java. We all know it's cheaper making coffee at home, especially these days, and if your tastes run to the fancier non-dairy milks—fuhgettaboutit. But if you have some boutique coffee shop-level cold brew chillin’ in the fridge, or some Chamberlain Coffee Witty Fox Hazelnut Blend on a timed brewer, you can elevate your morning without the steep price tag.
Did I think coffee from a YouTuber would be this dank? No, I did not. But you’ve got to give credit where it’s due. All in all, I’m happy with my new little caffeination station, and to Emma Chamberlain, the girl I wish I was in high school, for making us all a little more excited to get out of bed in the morning.
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