Coffee. Coffee is the life line for many of us who struggle to get our eyes open in the morning to get to the daily grind. And many of us are highly addicted to the sweet dark liquid far beyond that first innocent cup of the morning.
We Finns are the expert coffee drinkers of the world.
Studies show that Finns drink the most coffee per capita every year.
That earns us some bragging rights at least, right? Oh and most of us have ours black, without sweeteners, like the long, dark bitter nights of the winter that we are used to.
Personally I am a huge coffee drinker. A few cups in the morning, a cup before lunch, at lunch and one at mid afternoon. And if there are any big meetings, parties, celebrations, friends coming over, etc. there will be coffee.
That is the Finnish way. I am continually looking for good coffee and good ways to brew it.
And when KitPest asked me if I wanted to write a piece on Contact Left coffee, you can bet that I did not hesitate one bit answering.
Contact Left Coffee
Actually Contact Left is firstly a company that sells outdoors gear. It is a family owned business founded by a soldier with a mission to improve peoples outdoors equipment and skills.
They offer a wide variety of products from canine work gear, to military kit, to fabrics and finally to coffee.
They do not explain their coffee line in almost any way in their website, but then again, why would they need to? It’s coffee! That’s all that matters. They roast all their coffee in the UK and their product pages have very thorough explanations and sources of the beans, so the customer can be ensured of the quality.
I also made some homemade whiskey-coffee ice cream with Contact Left Coffee. Damned good!
In the following I will lightly review the blends I had the pleasure to try out and also summarise the information of each flavour that Contact Left provides.
And as a disclaimer already here: I am not a barista, nor do I have a fancy degree in coffeeology, so I will not be able to give you perfect, on the point taste notes.
Just my two cents. Also I have not felt in anyway obliged to write this or to give positive feedback.
All opinions are my own and freely expressed. But I do want to thank the good people of Contact Left for this opportunity.
I actually waited for just a few small satchels, but I got several packets and flavours, which overwhelmed me! Thank you.
This was the first of the blends I tried and it really set the bar high for the other flavours. As the package says, it is “Super F#&king Strong”, dark roast espresso bean actually.
The beans are from high mountains of Ethiopia and you can get it in full beans or ground.
Contact Left promises it to be high on caffeine and says the flavour to be intense, with pungent spice and tobacco.
I like strong coffee and I have drank cups full of this stuff and I still cannot get enough.
So if you are put off by such strong words in the flavour notes: man up like a true commando!
Paratrooper (Airborne, Ed.)
This was probably my favourite flavour of all the flavours.
The pack just went too fast. I actually gave the rest of the coffee I had to an actual paratrooper friend of mine.
I felt he deserved the exquisite coffee more than I do.
Contact Left says that the Paratrooper is medium to full roast, with woody notes and spicy finish.
To me the flavour was extremely smooth and rich, even chocolaty, just like jumping static line on a clear, sunny day!
And like the paratroopers are the spear head of the armed forces, so is this excellent coffee made of rare grade 1 Arabica beans grown in Vietnam. A strong recommendation!
This blend went again too fast.
Around the time I opened up the Sniper we were running low on regular coffee, and so I offered my special coffee for the wife to be used sparingly instead of regular coffee.
And one morning I noticed the package was empty and I had barely had time to fully enjoy the Sniper!
Truth be told I did drink several cups of it, but most was in the morning so I was not too focused.
Despite that mild setback, I found the flavour of the Sniper to be well balanced and rounded. Strong, but not too strong.
It is supposed to be light to medium roast and have caramel in the taste and fruit in the aroma.
Contact Left tells the Arabica beans to be larger “Supremo” beans from Colombia. And their notes agree with my thoughts of the balance of the coffee!
Thin Blue Line
This one is dedicated to our boys in blue uniforms. The company promises this to brew the perfect cup before or after the shift.
The roast is medium and the taste to be full bodied with honey and caramel. Such rich flavours are only to be expected from a quality coffee from Guatemala! And I concur.
The Thin Blue Line is a nice, sweet coffee. This is the most recent package I have opened, so I do not have a too extensive opinion about it yet. But I just made a batch of cold brew out of it and that was extremely delicious!
All of us need to pause a little and reload after a long day at work before heading out to do a work out, jiu jitsu practice, or what ever.
And this coffee is just the solution for that situation. The perfect pick me up for that.
It is supposed to be high strength coffee with rich caramel sweetness, much like a few other blends above.
The beans are grown in the Caribbean islands, mainly Cuba.
To me the coffee has an almost fruity scent and the taste is light in the beginning, but nice and rich in the end.
There are still a few flavours on their line that I need to try: the Banging Body decaf and Stand To.
I am sure those blends will be extremely good like these flavours above have been.
As I said, I am not an expert, but I think I can differ good coffee from bad and I definitely give my stamp of approval to the Contact Left Coffee.
If you want to try some and you like strong coffee, I would recommend trying Commando or Paratrooper, but if you are fan of lighter coffee and like yours with milk Reload would be my pick.
Too much coffee?
Even though I have praised coffee and professed my personal addiction to you guys, I need to also extend a few cautionary words of advice.
I have recently been studying Lt.Col. David Grossman’s book “On Combat”.
It is an exceptional book in my opinion, worth reading by any soldier and LE officer alike.
If you want to understand combat or high stress situations and how those moments affect you mentally and physically both there and then and after the incident, pick it up.
In the book Grossman also briefly mentions coffee and caffeine. He explores the effects of sleep and sleep deprivation to our nervous system in high stress situations.
Sleep is paramount in preventing and treating PTSD and similar conditions.
Sleep deprivation and true tiredness lower our minds natural ability to work against traumatic events.
Grossman says that caffeine and coffee are good tools in combating sleep deprivation and help us to spike up before a mission or patrol etc. But that coffee is only going to help you if you have not abused it and build up a strong resistance to it.
In his view a normal amount to be able to keep coffee as an usable ally is to only have two cups a day.
If you are drinking more, you probably do not benefit from the refreshing and waking up effects of caffeine.
Personally this gave me a pause and I have tried to cut down my coffee drinking in steps to bring it closer down to two cups.
I want coffee to be of use to me when I need it the most. And if I only have two cups daily, I want them to be of the best quality and Contact Left Coffee is a fine choice for that.
Cost: £££ (£7 per pack) from here https://www.contactleft.co.uk/coffee.html
Value for money 4. It is not exactly cheap coffee, but it is great quality. So I would say the cost and value for money are well balanced with the Contact Left Coffee.
Ease of use: 5, Ground coffee is most straight forward , with full beans you of course need your own grinder, but then you get the perfect coarseness you need for your chosen brewing method.
Construction: 5, Hard to say this about coffee. But the beans are sourced from all over the world and are promised to be of the highest quality, so I would say they deserve top marks from this one.
Alliness: 5, Roasted in UK for quality. Who does not like military/LE themed coffee? Keeps you well motivated in your line of work!
All the photos were supplied to us by the author, this Kit Pest Review was first published in Noble & Blue blog, written by the Finnish pipe smoking Padre with a gun Noble
For more of their stuff go visit their page at; https://nobleandblue.wordpress.com/
Hopefully you have enjoyed reading it and, if you have any thoughts, comments or questions relating to this article then please feel free to leave a comment!