While growing up and watching the long-syndicated show ‘Friends’, I often remember the friends conversing at their favorite coffee shop, Central Perk. Central Perk offered the friends the comfort and convenience of a central location for dialog, and its insignia was synonymous with the series. Growing up in a small town, I sought a comfortable environment to enjoy conversation and a great cup of coffee. Fast forward a couple decades, and the popularity of coffee shops clearly continues to thrive. I’m fortunate to now have access to multiple locations for great coffee and to share conversations with friends and family.
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – Friends Central Perk Review
In collaboration with Warner Bros., The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) created a special edition of ‘Central Perk’ coffees and tea to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ever-popular series, ‘Friends’. The Central Perk coffees include either medium or dark roasts in bags or single serve coffee pods. For fans of tea, Citrus Berry Black Tea is also offered.
Dark Roast Whole Bean
Upon opening the bag, I spent a minute just smelling the beans. The beans exuded a deep, intense, and dark aroma. They were roasted very dark and revealed plenty of oil and glossiness.
While I generally prefer the French Press method of coffee consumption, I chose the traditional pour-over method. The resulting crema was gorgeous and what you might expect from quality beans. Upon initial taste, the coffee was extremely rich and smooth with hints of cocoa. A few seconds later, a light bitterness permeated my tastebuds. The coffee was strong and bitter initially, but it seemed to mellow as the temperature dropped.
The Central Perk Dark Roast is well-suited for coffee drinkers who appreciate a bold and refined bite to their coffee.
Medium Roast Ground
I also reviewed the Friends Central Perk Medium Roast (Ground) coffee. Its aroma was distinctly lighter than dark roast. The pour-over method was used again, and its crema was equally as beautiful as the dark roast. The medium roast tasted lighter and would be a great everyday coffee based on my flavor profile. While equally as smooth as the dark roast, there was no sign of any bitterness. If you're the type who prefers well-balanced over strength, then the medium roast would be a good option. True to its flavor notes, this brew offers a soft and balanced finished.
Overall, both roasts could be used with any brewing method. Although I preferred the medium roast due to its lack of bitterness, each roast offers distinct flavors. For dark roast aficionados, the Central Perk dark roast will not disappoint. While enjoying both roasts, I couldn’t help but reminisce about Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Monica. The coffee serves as a great reminder to appreciate great coffee with good friends!
Central Perk Coffee Background
For those who don't know, the famed Central Perk cafe from the show actually exists in New York City. It's 199 Lafayette Street at the corner of Broome Street in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood to be exact. The coffeehouse is popular not merely because of its role in the hit show but for its authentically classic take on coffee. Their brew has won over the hearts and taste buds of many coffee lovers and now, with the release of CBTL's Central Perk coffee, you can savor their coffee without having to leave the house.