Ritual Coffee Roasters brought the heat to Crema.co with a lineup of coffees that I coincidentally chose based on tasting notes alone, not even knowing who the roaster was. It's not secret that I'm a long time fan of their espressos, their seasonal blends are always tasty and interesting, and their single origin "Sweet Tooth" offerings are always very tasty as well.
Luck 13 was no different, creating a blend that was both interesting and sweet and approachable. This was was a bit more tame than some of the more dynamic offerings, like last year's Acid Trip, but was still one of those coffees that had enough going on to keep the straight shot snob interested, yet was still balanced and sweet enough to be approachable to the novice and work in milk drinks. Their suggested brew recipe, as discussed in this post, was spot on in creating a very syrupy sweet shot with some (balanced) sparkling acidity and some subtle tea like nuance. This coffee is no longer available, but check out their next seasonal blend, Seawall Stroll.
This coffee has been a real all rounder: sweet, floral, nuanced, dense, and with rich body. It perhaps sacrifices a little in the transparency department, but is very good in all the other ways. Interestingly enough, I've run into this with Ritual's coffees before, where the tasting notes on the bag and the website are different. While the bag lists "green apple, fruit punch, and white grape", I actually think the website is more accurate to what I'm tasting when brewed with notes of "mandarin orange, nectarine, and watermelon." I'm enjoying this brewed on the V60, following brewing instructions from Ritual, but adjusted to a 1:16 ratio.
It's also quite good as espresso, dosing 18 grams in an 18 gram VST basket, to 36 -40 grams out in 30 seconds, not including 2-4 seconds of preinfusion. I give a range on this because this coffee did respond nicely to changing the recipe to create shorter, more densely sweet shots, and longer more transparent with nuanced spice shots. The coffee retained a nice body and crema, and though I preferred it brewed, it worked surprisingly well for shots.
Square 1 is a new to me roaster out of Pennsylvania that has beautiful artwork and bags, and a nice selection of coffees at reasonable prices. Hexproof is a blend of Brazilian and naturally processed Ethiopian coffees that smells like blueberries upon opening the bag. Their description pretty much sold me on buying this coffee:
The fragrance of this freshly ground coffee contains a medley of sweet berries. On the cupping table, we tasted blackberries, blueberries, and champagne. As it cools, it gets creamier and increasingly more jammy with hints of lime zest and the finish of blueberry sweet tea. We taste: blackberry jam, pound cake, black tea
Cups in the Hario V60 proved it needs a very coarse grind and cooler temperatures to keep the brew times from creeping too high. 23.75 gram doses with 380 grams of water (1 : 16 ratio) that started to exceed 3:00 brew time starting to bring out the slightly more roasty notes of the Brazilian component. For my taste, I wanted that to be more a backbone bass note, so I targeted brew temps around 196*F and a 2:30 brew time to bring out more of the fruit, acidity, and nuanced notes referenced in the description.
Using the Aerobie Aeropress with more traditional Aeropress recipes (cooler temps), the coffee was actually lighter, more transparent, and with more acidity. I found my favorite cups were:
- Inverted method with the plunger pushed up to the edge of the "3"
- 15.5 grams of coffee or so
- 185*F water
- Vigorous pour, stir, top off. Add cap with rinsed paper filter, flip onto cup. Pull up on plunger slightly to keep from dripping.
- 1:30 steep, 20s plunge, just about 1:50 - 2:00 total time.
This coffee is a very reasonable $16 including shipping at Crema.co here. I am definitely looking forward to trying future offerings from SQ1.
I've long followed very successful baristas Charles Babinksi and Kyle Glanville's LA area multi-roaster shops G&B Coffee and Go Get Em Tiger, for their interesting practices, great roaster picks, homemade recipes, and general cool vibe, and they recently announced they've been secretly roasting coffee for the last 18 months and are now ready to start selling it. They offered a well promoted "friends and family" buy to get in on the first 5 shipments of their coffees shipped at 2 week intervals.
I will continue to receive coffees from GGET, and I also have the following in my playlist at Crema.co:
- Ethiopia Nano Challa from Ritual
- Ethiopa Kercha from Onyx
- Ethiopia Chena Wush Wush from Theodore's Coffee
I guess the Ethiopian coffees were sounding pretty good to me at the time added. Although some of the coffees on Crema.Co sell out before I receive them, they're always getting new coffees, like Henry's House, which was recently added as a roaster. Crema.co is a supporter of this site, but I'm happy to be transparent and honest that I fully recommend their service as a great, simple way to get a variety of very high quality coffees delivered to your door. Click here or the banner below for $10 off your first order.