This is my first time trying coffee from Zoka and this Seattle area roaster has an absolutely huge selection of coffees (and teas) on their site, well laid out with flavor descriptors saving you from clicking through each. This white-honey processed Catuai varietal from the Dota, Tarrazu region of Costa Rica is described with tasting notes of concord grape, black currant, and bright acidity.
Right out of the nice resealable bags this coffee is roasted a little darker than last week's Costa Rican from Sweet Bloom, and the hybrid processing method produces much less chaff than the fully washed coffee was well. As would be expected, the coffee has a heavier body and richer, deeper mouthfeel, and is very balanced overall. I found the coffee easy to overextract and bring out more roasty notes, so I kept brewing cool and at a faster pace. Through the 02 size Hario V60 ceramic I brewed my best cups at:
- 1 : 16.5 gram ratio using 197*F water. I used 22.7 grams of coffee for my desired 375 gram yield.
- 60 gram stirred bloom for 30 seconds
- First pour to 225 grams (on the 22.7 gram dose), stir
- Additional 50 gram pours maintaining the water level.
- 2:45 to 3:00 total brew time
The coffee favored a bit of cooling off and served as a nice single origin coffee for those wanting a bit heavier cup that still featured the coffee / origin's notes. There was a strong honey aroma upon brewing, and a honey / currant sweetness in the cup. I would say the grape came through in the form of the mild and balanced acidity, and this coffee seemed to peak earlier than most single origins, tasting best around 5-7 days post roast.
The coffee was tricky to get right as espresso, but when hit, I think I enjoyed it more than the best brewed cups. It was sweeter, richer, and had more acidity. The deeper base notes when brewed translated to more body as espresso, though it was not a thick dense shot either. The grape and honey notes came through in sweetness, and the acidity was a bit more sparkling in the finish, which I liked. Shots were pulled at:
- 18 grams in 18 gram VST basket
- 36-39 grams out in 27 seconds at 197*F
The coffee did pretty well with milk as well. I suspect because it's not a fully washed coffee it has a bit more oomph to punch through, and it can hold up in an 8 ounce latte. There weren't any particular flavor descriptors with milk, but it didn't get completely lost.
$19.50 for a 12 ounce bag with free shipping over $50 here. Check back the next two weeks for two other coffees from Zoka.