When I first started writing this column last year, I was faced with a dilemma of how specific I should be with the coffee side of the pairing. If it were to be like a traditional wine style pairing, I would need to accompany strains with particular farms and cultivars of coffee – like an Ethopian Worka or a Panama Elida Estate. Cannabis and coffee are very comparable in this way. Each specific grower produces something that is different from the others, even though it is all the same base plant. But unlike individual Cannabis strains, which are easier to find in one form or another, it would be nearly impossible to expect anyone to seek out these hyper-specific coffees should they want to try the pairing presented.
Whereas most espressos are actually blends of various farms, Cannabis is generally consumed in its singular strain form. It is this dynamic, or actually the antithesis of it, that informed this Cannabis and coffee combination. Rather than choose a drink based on a blended espresso shot and an individual weed varietal, let’s do it the other way around. While there are not a ton of exceptionally blended Cannabis products on the market, newly launched Polite has worked with a top medical Cannabis firm, SMJ Consulting, to create thoughtful combinations of not only various cannabinoids and terpenes, but also Ayurvedic herbs. Their Power Up just begs to be enjoyed with a well dialed-in shot of single origin ‘spro.
Most espresso blends aim to be middle-of-the-road in flavor. Nuttiness, syrup, baker’s chocolate – these are all staples of coffee blend tasting notes. But when a cafe offers a single origin espresso, drinkers can appreciate the more complex and varying notes that can come out of coffee. The similarities between Cannabis appreciation and coffee connoisseurship become much more clear when complex floral, deep meaty umami, or tart citrus notes shine through the small cup of localized brew. More often than not though, bright flavors – ranging from cherries to tomatoes – are most common with single origin espresso.
These pleasantly sour notes pair perfectly with Power Up, regardless of consumption method. The tincture includes grapefruit, lemon eucalyptus and gotu kola extracts, while the disposable vape heavily features the terpenes limonene and gingerol, all of which tend to complement single origin espresso. Meanwhile, Power Up has very little THC. Instead, it presents a 2:1 CBD to CBG ratio, for a high that has very little psychoactivity but is euphoric, positive and incredibly uplifting.
The primary use for this Cannabis and coffee pairing is a quick attitude adjustment. If you just can’t seem to turn it around by mid-morning, the highest quality espresso and a jolt of CBG should undoubtedly do the trick. Other suggested activities for this combination include meandering through a farmer’s market, hitting the golf course (including frisbee), or before afterwork drinks for the first time in who knows how long. Ultimately, Power Up and a shot of single origin espresso are a reflection of the hard work and countless hours of attentive blending that went into them.
This article was originally published in the April 2021 issue of Northwest Leaf.
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