Ethical Coffee for Local Milk

By Analiese Paik

The Farmer's Cow line of whole bean, locally roasted coffees being tasted by a panel of big coffee drinkers.

At a recent Farm-to-Chef meeting, Robin Chesmer of The Farmer’s Cow announced they were adding coffee to the company’s retail product line and would be entering the restaurant business by opening a cafe in Mansfield, CT this May. The Farmer’s Cow Calfe & Creamery will serve their new line of locally roasted, Rainforest Alliance certified coffees and “feature all of The Farmer’s Cow products – especially the ice cream” said Chesmer. “The ingredients for our sandwiches, soups and salads will be locally sourced.”

Kathy Smith of The Farmer’s Cow, who was sitting next to me, offered to send over some samples when I suggested a tasting. Once the three canisters of 100% Arabica, whole bean Breakfast Blend, De-Calf and Dark Roast coffees arrived, I planned a group tasting using professional guidelines and an evaluation form from I quickly invited one of our local readers, a real foodie with an excellent palate, to join our group. On the designated morning, four “cuppers” gathered to taste test The Farmer’s Cow’s Up Early Coffees. After a primer in the difference between fragrance and aroma, how to properly break the “crust”, and evaluate the coffee on taste, acidity, aftertaste and body, we worked out way through the line.






We used professional tasting sheets and didn't compare observations or notes until we were done.





After sniffing fresh grounds, then sniffing and tasting fresh coffee for almost an hour, we compared notes and found none of us could find flaws with any of them. We agreed that they were all balanced, had no off or overpowering flavors or aromas, and would deliver a drinking experience in line with “the taste most Americans want” in their coffee and that is reminiscent of  “that reliably good cup of coffee you get at the local diner”. I thought they would be “pleasing to most palates” and would do well in supermarkets and in their cafes.

Each coffee was evaluated for fragrance using fresh grounds, and for aroma and taste using fresh made coffee. We found them to be pleasing to most palates.

Don’t be afraid of the dark roast; it’s mild for its category and has a “warm, nutty taste”, was “earthy and soft” with a “very pleasant, lingering aftertaste” according to our tasters. One cupper said the decaf was her favorite and had a “pleasant, well-rounded, earthy aroma”. We found the breakfast blend to be the mildest of the three coffees and an appropriate choice for the hesitant, new, or occasional coffee drinker. Try them yourself and let us know if you agree.

Where to Buy Farmer’s Cow Coffee:

The coffee is just getting into stores so this list will expand quickly. Big Y will start carrying it in early March and Stop & Shop will also be carrying the coffee in the spring.

Current retailers:

Ridgefield Organics, Ridgefield

P&M Market, New Haven

Roberts Food Center, Madison

Noel’s Market, Colchester

Whitneyville Food Center, Hamden

Highland Park Market, Coventry

Tri-Town Foods, Uncasville

Westchester Marketplace, Westchester

Winsted Super Saver, Winsted

Grist Mill Market, Higganum

The Hoot, Mansfield

Lazizah Bakery, Yantic

Fairvue Farms, Woodstock

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