The coffee game has been strong the last couple of months. A lot of roasters are turning over lots/crops, and switching to different geographies with the change in seasons and I've had a lot of exposure to new roasters and offerings by using Crema.co that have been very tasty. Picking up from last time:
This coffee proved pretty tricky. You could smell the tasting notes of "tropical fruit, tamarind, and cherry jam" upon opening the bag, so I knew they were in there. But the large, dense, caturra and pink bourbon varietal beans were a bit elusive, needing a pretty fine grind, cooler temperatures, and a weaker strength. The cooler temperatures and the weaker strength allowed for more transparency and flavor separation, as well as bring the more delicate fruit flavors forward by favoring the lower extraction. Brewed at a 1:17 ratio (22.05g coffee > 375g water) in about 2:45 with 197*F water in the 02 size Hario V60 proved to be the balance to showcase a very nuanced side of Colombian coffee.
Espresso was a bit trickier yet, still preferring the cooler temperature and finer grind, but I actually like the slightly lower yield shots at about 18g > 34g in 27s with 2s preinfusion at 197*F the best. The coffee was able to hold up to 41g yields, but just lost a bit of body and started to become a bit drying on the tongue. What's interesting though is how much more fruit and creaminess came forward when made as a cappuccino, where I really enjoyed this coffee. 5 ounce cappas had a very sweet and creamy texture with tons of red tropical fruit flavors over a cashew like nuttiness that really made for a good single origin milk drink that I was quite surprised by. This coffee was $17.50 for a 12 ounce bag, with shipping included.
This 100% bourbon varietal is named after the Kanyege washing station and is noted as having flavors of, "Meyer Lemon, sweet, and baked rhubarb." Like the Colombian offering, this one did have the advertised characteristics, but they were a bit faint. As espresso, my first shots, when the grind was still too fine, might have actually been my favorites, that were not overly complex, but just densely syrupy sweet. These shots were pulled 1:2 or 1:2.5 ratio in 40 seconds.
When brewed the coffee again seemed to do best at slightly lower temperatures, but not too much faster than a 2:45 brew time for a 22.7 gram dose and 375 gram yield, a 1 : 16.5 ratio. The lemon sweetness was faint but present, and the sweetness was there in a very drinkable cup of "good" coffee. I did feel that going too fast on this brew (and as espresso) brought out some more vegetal flavors. This one is available for $18.50 for a 12 ounce bag with shipping included here.
Toby's Estate, out of Brooklyn, NY, is one of the long time players in the specialty coffee game that I've had yet to try, and my Crema.co subscription rectified that. Toby's Estate's QA Manager sums this coffee up really well:
This lot of Aidé’s is a perfect representation of the chiroso profile, expertly grown and carefully processed. It is sweet and clean, with brillant acidity coupled with juicy sweetness. It possesses all the wildness of a geisha, but with more complete tactile roundness and balance.
A brilliant treat of a coffee we are delighted to have returning to the menu.
“The Aide Garro is a beautiful representation of the complexity and diversity of Colombian coffee. This coffee reminds me of a juicy watermelon in its sweetness and is sparkling in its acidity. A brilliant cup of coffee I’m ecstatic to have back for a second year. ”
-Vicky, Quality Assurance
The tasting notes are watermelon, cherry, and lime, and as crazy as it may sound, they're bang on. The coffee is so, so juicy and sparkling sweet, showcasing the best kind of acidity in coffee. The sweetness reminds me of cherry flavored Jolly Ranchers, with the watermelon notes providing that in the sides of your cheeks juiciness, and the watermelon-lime acidity.
It's labeled as a "filter" coffee and brewed with the 02 size Hario V60, I'm loving cups that are brewed at:
- 23.4 grams in to 375 grams of 200*F water, a 1:16 ratio
- 70 gram agitated bloom to get all the grounds wet for 35 seconds
- Full flow of water pour from the center spiraling out (kettle tipped as much as possible), approximately 6 rotations to about 215 grams. This is a fairly aggressive pouring technique and but really mixes up the grinds, pushing outwards from the center, but by spiraling outwards with the pour, and finishing the last circle washing the sides of the filter, it really hits everything and keep the brew bed suspended and in good contact with the water.
- Another full pour, about 3-4 rotations to about 315 grams and give a good stir.
- One last full pour, either ending at 375 grams of water, or just before and then slowly washing any grounds stuck to the sides of the filter to top off to get to 375 grams of water. Give one last stir.
- 2:45 - 3:00 final brew time.
The coffee has been a bit trickier as espresso, which is somewhat to be expected for a filter focused coffee, but I'm still getting nice pours and decent body and crema. To ensure and tone down any underextracted notes from the lighter roast profile, I think I've settled on liking the following recipe the best:
- 18 grams in an 18 g VST basket, 202*F water
- 5 sec preinfusion (2 - 2.5 bar), 28-29 seconds at 8 bar (full pump pressure), 3-4 seconds back at line pressure
- 33-36 grams yield in around 36-38 seconds.
Although I think I prefer this coffee brewed, I suspect someone with more coffee and time, and perhaps an extended profiling machine like a Slayer could really pull some interesting shots with it. I think there's a lot of potentially to pull a big juicy watermelon bomb with a big flat grinder and some extended preinfusion/prebrewing and tapering pressure profile. This coffee is available from Crema.co for $19.50 for a 12 ounce bag and the shipping's always free.
Next Up: 4 Single Origins from Heart Roasters
It's been a long time since I've ordered from the old favorite, Heart Roasters, and their offerings have been sounding really good lately, so I have the 4 coffees incoming:
- Colombia El Hato: notes of cola, cherry, and marizapan, $19.00
- Ethiopia Jipat: notes of panela, passionfruit, and vanilla, $18.00
- Ethiopia Reko: notes of wild honey, blackberry, jasmine, and tangerine, $18.00
- Kenya Karimikui AB: notes of milk chocolate, white currant, hibiscus, and rose, $19.00
All orders over $65 ship free, and their two sample pack boxes really offer a good deal, and I almost got one of each, but you only get 8 ounces of coffee, and being that I typically like to use each coffee brewed and as espresso, I opted for picking out the larger sized bags of the ones that looked the best to me.
When this is posted I'll be in the middle of a camping trip where one or two of these coffees will also see Aeropress and French Press duties, so stayed tuned for that. Some readers have expressed wanting to follow along, so be sure to get your order in, and it would be fun to compare with what others are finding. Until next time, enjoy your coffee!