By Gabby Zaldumbide
An affinity for coffee can develop early on in life. I’ve been a coffee drinker since high school. Well, maybe even earlier; my mom had to call Poison Control once when I was two because I’d eaten a bunch of coffee beans after climbing up on the kitchen counter. I was fine, but I acquired the taste for coffee! As a senior, I’d sleep in as long as I could without making myself late, splash whatever coffee was left in my mom’s pot into a to-go mug, and book it up the hill to my school. My parents drank it black, so I did, too. I still do; a dark roast pour over has been one of my favorite things for a long time.
My coffee passion continued into adulthood. As an early bird, recent college graduate, and adult-onset hunter, I’ve come to depend on my daily cup of joe to function. I’ve even figured out ways to get my caffeine fix in the backcountry. After being a barista for several coffee roasters, I’ve come to deeply appreciate well-roasted beans, and Gundog Grind is no exception.
Gundog Grind is based in a small town in South Carolina. Like any good hunting buddy, they’re all about the birds, family, friends, and of course, the dogs. Four upland hunters created this company based on their passion for community along with their appreciation for delicious-tasting coffee. Their small business is devoted to maximizing the social bonds created over coffee, family, and the love of the outdoors.
Their coffee is as good as a seasoned hunting dog. Full of rich flavors, their coffee is available in light and dark roasts. Every roast utilizes green coffee beans from South America and Indonesia. Warm, inviting flavors, like Toasted Pecan, French Vanilla, and Kahlua Caramel are used to create tasty blends that are ideal for an early morning breakfast or a late afternoon spent recounting the day’s hunting adventures.
I couldn’t make up my mind about which flavor I wanted to try first, but luckily, they have a Field Trialer Sampler Pack available. Included are four of their top flavored roasts: Toasted Pecan, French Vanilla, Kahlua Caramel, and Sugar Cookie. Their unflavored light and dark roasts are available for purchase as well. Whether you love black light roasts or cups of french vanilla coffee with cream and sugar, Gundog Grind has a roast you’ll want to wake up to every morning.
In addition to their main roasts, Gundog Grind has their own Conservation Coffee collection, too. They’ve partnered with the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society to make Pecan Pie. Cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecan flavors will kick-start a day in the field or provide a flavorful jump to a late-afternoon. Plus, 50 percent of the profits go back to RGS. They don’t guarantee selecting this roast will put more birds in your game pouch this season, but they promise it will do a lot for birds in the future.
Another featured roast in the Conservation Coffee collection is the Delta Waterfowl medium roast. Similarly to RGS, 50 of the profits from each bag sold go back to support Delta Waterfowl’s conservation efforts. Likewise, 50 percent of their Toasted Marshmallow roast’s profits go back to conservation as well. Not only is their coffee delicious, but your purchases will make your wallet happy, too.
Like many hunters, I’m grateful for my daily morning coffee. Being in the field is no excuse to not drink some, and I always appreciate a good cup of joe more than a bad one. Gundog Grind, especially the Field Trialer’s small lightweight packs, are perfect for carrying into the backcountry to enjoy a piping hot, deeply flavorful cup of coffee no matter the hunting season (or, let’s be honest, time of day). Plus, with 50 percent of my dollars going back to conservation and the other half supporting a small business, I feel great about the purchase, too. I’m already counting down the days until my first cup of Pecan Pie out in the elk woods this fall.