My coffee year is off to a great start, with a lot of really good coffees. Kenyans continue to be my favorite as single origin espresso and brewed, but I’ll have to start shifting to South American coffees here soon as the seasons change.
This coffee has been so, so good, particularly as espresso. As seen in the linked post from Instagram, I really enjoyed it as a pressure profiled shot of sorts, going 18g : 46.5g in an 18g VST basket, 4s at 2bar > 36s at 8bar > 5s at 2bar and 201*F. I’ve started playing around with a refractometer as of recent and this coffee had a big 9.49% TDS, or Total Dissolved Solids, and monstrous 24.52% Extraction Yield percentage, or EY. What does this mean? First, that dialing in this coffee to really push out this extraction to maximize sweetness tastes delicious, and the coffee held up really well, begging for this type of extraction with no premature blonding or channeling. Second, not all grinders are capable of hitting these really high TDS and EY numbers because they simply can’t grind fine and/or consistent enough. All of the hype around the new grinders has people geeking out about these high TDS and EY numbers as well, so I thought it might be interesting to see if the Versalab M3 Grinder, that was originally introduced in 2005 hits these kind of stats as well. Clearly, and as expected, there are no issues there, it performs.
I urge anyone that likes big fruity, syrupy sweetness coffee that is roasted perfectly, IMO, to pick up a bag or ten from Kuma here, for $19. Kuma’s coffee always seem to be so perfectly roasted, retaining all of the wonderful origin characteristics, but developed enough to respond to changing brew parameters and methods.
*I have partnered with Versalab to continue using their grinder and conduct tests as well as create content for their Instagram and YouTube pages. So, they are not a direct sponsor of meticulist.net, but I am partnered with them, in full transparency. The Versalab M3 Reviews posted here are still my own thoughts and findings and were written prior to this partnership.
Sadly, it appears they no longer have this next coffee available. As mentioned last month, Misty Valley is a special region known for great naturally processed Ethiopian Coffees. This one was more well rounded, chocolate covered blueberry than pure fruit bomb, but very enjoyable either way. It retained a pleasant acidity that made it drink lighter than most naturals as a pourover, and is one of those coffees that can really satisfy just about anyone.
Last up from Kuma, is the brighter of their two blend offerings, favoring more tropical, fruit, and floral notes with more pronounced acidity. This particular batch was an East African blend that just had a nice balanced third wave profile; sweet, pleasant acidity, good body, complex but approachable, a really nice profile. Similar to their recommended specs, I enjoyed this coffee at 18 grams in to around 40 grams out in 32 seconds with 2 seconds of preinfusion. I preferred the brewed coffee ratios to be around 1:15.5 and on the slightly mid-long brew time side to maximize sweetness. Fresh Crop blend is available for $17 for a 12 ounce bag here. Also, be sure to sign up for Kuma’s email list, as the regularly send out 20% off coupons and keep you up to date on their latest new offerings, which always sound delicious.
I forgot that I was on Case’s email list, but when I was trying to decide who to order coffee from next, I received a message from them regarding two new coffees they described as being “fruit bomb”. That’s pretty much all it takes to have my attention with coffee, so I gave them a spin, and I’m glad I did.
Kenya Kainamui made delicious espresso at 18g in to 42g out in 30 seconds with 2s preinfusion at 201*F. None of these are really coffees that work particularly well with milk, but this one is so good, that straight espresso and Americanos are the only way to do it justice, as espresso. Brewed cups targeted pretty traditional parameters of 1:16 ratio and about 4:15 in the Bonavita Connoisseur or 3:00 brew times in the Hario V60. Pick this coffee up for $20 for a 12 ounce bag, with free shipping on orders over $30.
This one had me especially intrigued because washed Ethiopians have been anything but “fruit bombs” this past year or so. Opening the bag brought immediate promise with a big scent of dried blueberries. Brewed, this coffee favors stronger brew ratios, closer to 1:15 and times on the faster side to retain sweetness and floral notes.
Espresso proved tricky with this coffee, as going for sub 30 second shot times brought out semi-astringent under extracted notes in the finish, but going to long was possible to overextract as well. I was able to get a few really good shots at completely different parameters. I think my favorites were 18 grams in to 36 grams out in about 37s with 2 seconds preinfusion at 201*F.
12 ounce bags are $19 with free shipping on orders over $30.
I had not heard of Little Owl Coffee before a tweet from Barista Magazine came across my feed stating they were raising the craft-coffee bar, they then had my attention. They offer free shipping on orders over $50, so I decide to queue up these three bags and will be finding out for myself:
So, if you’re looking to taste along or try a new roaster, hit up Little Owl, and let me know what you think! That’s it for this month, if you have any recommendations on where to order from next, please reach out! Be sure to follow along on Instagram, where I have been pulling shots live on Sunday late morning - early afternoons for a now 7 or 8 week long segment I’m calling #sprosunday live. If you happen to catch it, I try and answer any questions you have as well as cover different topics or approaches I have to certain coffees.