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A 'Top Chef' Star Just Dropped One of the Best Coffees We've Ever Tried

Prepare to upgrade your morning pour-over situation.

<p>Dan Newman</p>

Dan Newman

If tasting wine has taught me anything, it’s that sticking my nose in a glass is a surefire way to get excited (or nervous, on occasion) about what’s to come. But, as I’ve recently learned, sometimes sticking my nose in a big ol’ mug can bring on the same set of emotions.

The first time I smelled a freshly brewed cup of James Beard award-winning chef Gregory Gourdet’s Kann coffee (named in honor of Kann, Gourdet’s celebrated Haitian restaurant in Portland, Oregon), I wasn’t expecting to be enveloped by vanilla, star anise, and cinnamon. After the first sip, I learned that this wasn’t just any old cup of coffee — this was an absolute treat that honors Haiti’s role in the history of coffee production.

Coffee has historically been a critical export for Haiti. Nearly half of the world’s coffee beans were produced here in the 18th century, largely at the hands of enslaved Africans. This industry was a driving force in the Haitian revolution, resulting in freedom from French colonial rule and marking the world’s first Black republic in 1804.

To develop the blend that would be served after meals at Kann, Gourdet teamed up with Portland’s Black-owned Deadstock Coffee. In each cup, single-origin Blue Mountain coffee beans grown in Haiti meet a beautiful blend of spices. By shipping pre-ground bags of Kann coffee, Gourdet is sharing one of the most memorable experiences of the restaurant across the U.S., both as a souvenir of a special meal and as a tantalizing preview for guests who haven’t yet been able to secure a reservation.

Related: How Gregory Gourdet Is Creating a Home for Haitian Cuisine in Portland, Oregon

I’ve been enjoying cups in my porcelain pour-over, but you can also use a French press or an automatic drip coffee maker. Gourdet notes that Kann coffee can also be used as a coffee rub for meat and vegetables, a tip I’ve yet to try, but without a doubt plan to in the future). It plays especially well with steamed oat milk and macadamia nut milk, which have a higher fat content that balances out the dark roast.

“Given the cultural significance of coffee to Haiti, it feels incredibly rewarding and meaningful to be able to bring that history into homes nationwide,” explains Gourdet. “I’m thrilled to be able to offer a taste of the Kann experience to folks who have yet to make it in.”

Pre-ground, 10-ounce bags of Kann coffee are available for pre-order here. Orders will ship during the first week of January.

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