Review: Passenger Coffee Roasters Homacho Waeno
(2017) About a month ago the family loaded up the car and headed to Lancaster County -specifically Strasburg, Pennsylvania - to gaze upon machines of uncommon strength and size. When one visits this town, it is usually to review locomotives of various sizes and realities. I knew the route to this town as the way to Smoketown Airport, home of a criterium of remarkable nerves. When we geared up to leave Strasburg’s train collection, it was some forty degrees and heavy rain. Belgian weather. Wouldn’t you know as I pen this a month later, it is forty degrees and heavy rain.
It has been a while since I put up a coffee offering that is so remarkable it should be sought after. A suggested location to have lunch was a gathering place called The Speckled Hen just around the corner, also in Strasburg. Whether you there with two wheels or four, this place does coffee right. It also does food right, so bring your appetite.
The Speckled Hen is a coffee shop/ light restaurant that is smartly dressed in décor that makes one want to enter for coffee, stay for food, and remain for conversation. The initial intention was just coffee. Lunch took over and the day passed by at a relaxing pace. The family ordered items such as grilled cheese and soup. The grilled cheese showcased feta cheese while the soups ranged from the complementary tomato as well as the seasonal butternut squash bisque.
Wanting to take advantage of their coffee pride I ordered a pour over of Passenger Coffee Roasters' Homacho Waeno. The description brought it as close to my favorite roast of my favorite company. The claim of watermelon intrigued me even more. I glossed over bergamot mostly because I had yet to look it up. I am also hardly a tea drinker.
What came out was a wooden board featuring a mini-coffee carafe, a small spoon, an empty glass tumbler, and a full tumbler of mineral water. This was above and beyond coffee preparation. Not wanting to look like a chump I discretely searched the interwebs for the procedure of such presentation and came away learning the purpose of the mineral water was palette cleansing. Without skipping a beat I took food bites and followed it up with the occasional shot of mineral water. I then sampled the coffee and felt the cold effects of the day warmed by the hot coffee. Oh to sit her for all eternity.
The coffee was so flavorful I bought some to bring home. Here is where the review part comes in and the Stops We Love category is vacated. The coffee was quite subtle yet left a deep mineral flavor to it. I have asked around what it means when brown flecks are left atop the freshly ground coffee, but I have yet to find out what it means. Strangely enough, each coffee that has left the bean husks behind share the same flavor profile of remarkable mineral aftertaste. At first I thought it was a water purification system that created it in house, but how it is possible it transfers into the home coffee making? Homacho Waeno roast certainly came through with that substantial roast taste.
Several issues ago peloton magazine featured an East Coast editorial about a rider who passed through Lancaster County. His route would have sent him pretty close to The Speckled Hen’s porch to get coffee. On the rainy day we passed through town the only non-motorized transportation were the gaggle of horse drawn Amish carriages carrying on with business. For the hardy rider it would probably be a rough ride dodging road apples, even with fenders affixed to the rig.
Should anyone have gotten out today in similar Belgian weather of varying levels of precipitation intensity, cold temperatures, and of course wind, having a warm mug of Passenger Coffee’s Homacho Waeno would warm one right up. Should you ride to The Speckled Hen don’t be surprised to have an urge to call home for a pick up. I walked away with more than beans: I also came away with a beautiful white and gray coffee mug stuffed with a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans for a fair price of ten dollars. Perhaps the mug could be manipulated into the jersey pocket and the beans consumed in an unhealthy way to race any of the locomotives home but that’s not the point. The Speckled Hen is a place to slow down and enjoy. Even the coffee beans betray a level of ‘Sit. Stay.’