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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gay Coffee: Not Quite As Fabulous As the Name Suggests

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge img_3987.jpg
First, we giggled; then, we became skeptical. What, exactly, can be so gay about coffee? Well, in the case of Gay Coffee, a roasting company based in Williamsburg, Mass., the exact gay nature of the coffee stems more from management (gay owned and operated) and the packaging ("Stone Butch Breakfast Blend," for example) than the coffee itself. When the coffee made its debut at the Castro Street Fair a week ago, we're betting it was quite a giggling hit -- after all, the target audience probably enjoyed the novelty of names like "Red Hanky Roast" (with a photo of a voluptuous butt -- and red handkerchief) and "Weekend Pass" ("All Aboard," the subtitle reads). The company also does some admirable things: the coffee's organic and fair trade, and 1 percent of all proceeds are donated to the LGBT Task Force. But once we brewed the roasts in our own SFoodie kitchen, we thought to ourselves: if you're going to market your coffee as celebrating the boldness of gay culture, maybe you should make sure your coffee isn't, well, weak. The Stone Butch Breakfast Blend ("Untouchably Delicious") was a light roast that came out at a tea-like strength, even after we brewed it a few times to rule out a fluke. Red Hanky? Somehow we thought the name would have suggested a roast that was a bit more, er, forceful. But even as a dark roast it remained pretty neutral. No thanky. And the Weekend Pass was one we'd probably pass up.
click to enlarge MATT J. SMITH
  • Matt J. Smith
To the company's credit, the designs are sassy and would make a cute gift -- and considering our fair city's reputation, we're betting this isn't the last $13 bag of gay coffee you'll be seeing. (Do let us know if you try some of the other roasts, including the I'm-so-excited Good Morning Mary!)

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Ellen Huet

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