To sleep, Peru Chanchamayo to dream

Generally speaking, I prefer a pungent, bold-flavored coffee to kick-start me in the morning. (Because if you’d ever seen me in the morning, you’d know that I need all the kick-starting I can get.)

Over the past few weeks, however, my morning brew of choice has been the latest seasonal coffee offering from Starbucks: Peru Chanchamayo. Yes, I know — it sounds like one of those faux-Mexican monstrosities Taco Bell keeps churning out. But in fact, it’s a smooth-drinking, mellow coffee that’s so subtle as to be almost unobtrusive. Not what I’m usually after first thing in the day, but it’s a welcome change of pace.

Peru Chanchamayo follows its earthy, herbal aroma with a light, nutlike flavor. The combination lingers pleasantly on the palate, making this a coffee equally suitable for sipping over long, leisurely mornings or with an evening dessert. (I’m not a nighttime coffee drinker, but I know that some of you are.) It lacks the brightness and acidity of my favorite varietals from Kenya and Ethiopia, but there’s something about Peru Chanchamayo I find appealing enough to have purchased two bags in a row… something I rarely do, given my mercurial tastes.

Like most Starbucks seasonals, Peru Chanchamayo is available for a limited time. So, while they still have it on the shelves, get yourself down to your local House of the Naked Fish-Tailed Lady and pick up a pound. I think you’ll enjoy it.

You can tell the barista your Uncle Swan sent you.

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