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Battlefields espresso blend debuts

Monty Ruckman, coffee roaster at Cabin Creek Roasters in Edinburg, roasts a batch of coffee beans. The company released a new espresso blend that supports the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Photo courtesy of Monty Ruckman (Buy photo)

By Ryan Cornell

The latest coffee blend from Edinburg-based Cabin Creek Roasters has proven to be a hit, both in terms of popularity and caffeine.

An espresso blend made from Brazilian coffee beans, General Lee's Reveille joins the ranks of four other varieties partnered with the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

These include the Daughter of the Stars Decaf, Jubal's Jolt, Stonewall's Sunrise and Battle of Berryville blend, which was added at the end of last year.

Cabin Creek Roaster Monty Ruckman said he doesn't have any plans to introduce any more varieties, though a future blend could be named after the Battle of Third Winchester.

"One of the reasons why we came up with the Battle of Berryville blend and General Lee's Reveille is to have a complete product line to cover everyone's tastes," he said.

He described the espresso blend as mild and smooth unlike a European-style espresso, which is bolder.

"I've had people who don't have an espresso machine and just make it like regular coffee," he said. "One guy is constantly buying two pounds of it and drinking it like regular coffee."

Although the rest of his coffees are sold at multiple locations in Shenandoah and Frederick counties, he said General Lee's Reveille is currently only sold at All Things Virginia @ The Farmhouse in Woodstock. The espresso blend, he said, first hit shelves about three weeks ago.

The name of the blend was chosen among a list of 60 submissions related to Gen. Robert E. Lee. Last month, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation announced that it decided on General Lee's Reveille from a group of four other finalists: Traveller's Trot, Confederate Kick, Gray Fox and The General's Java.

Rob Aitcheson, foundation merchandising and tourism coordinator, described the espresso as having notes of chocolate and cherry and a pleasant aftertaste. He said he's still drinking the less-caffeinated Jubal's Jolt.

"I'm not quite up to that level yet," he said. "I would be doing circles around my desk."

General Lee's Reveille retails for $8 per half-pound. Depending on the vendor, between 10 and 30 percent of proceeds from the coffee varieties sold benefit the foundation.

Aitcheson said Cabin Creek Roasters has raised more than $2,000 for the foundation since starting in 2012.

"It funds all of our work, not restricted to any one department," he said. "It bolsters the foundation's financial standing and it's a great marketing tool."

The foundation has also partnered with a barbecue sauce sold at Wholesome Foods, two wines from Cave Ridge Vineyard, seasonings through the Shenandoah Spice Company, honey from Broadway-based Mud-E Acres and maple syrup from a supplier in Highland County.

For a complete list of locations where the coffee blends are sold and to order the beans online, visit cabincreekroasters.com

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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