Salt Lake City, Utah, where freestyle skier Shannon Bahrke won a Silver Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, is also where she subsequently founded Silver Bean Coffee. Her large and diverse coffee portfolio includes product lines such as Sustainable Selections, Signature Blends and Athlete Blends, which are each named for a member of the U.S. Ski Team and contribute $1 of the purchase price to supporting the athlete and the charity of his/her choice. We sampled Silver Bean Coffee's Sustainable Selections, an earth-friendly line that includes Kona and Sumatra Blends, the decaffeinated Mexican Miravalles, the Peru Aprocassi and Costa Rica La Alianza.
A dark roast, the Costa Rica La Alianza makes for a great lunchtime pick-me-up, given that it might not be pungent enough for morning regulars. The aroma of the beans slightly resembles dark chocolate: sweetly rich and with a hint of something bitter. It is medium-bodied and not too strong, and its flavors are so balanced that it seems a shame to add milk and sweeteners. For those armed with all sorts of coffee paraphernalia, opt for a French press when brewing these Silver Beans.