My first foray with this new to me roaster out of Denver, CO was this washed Ethiopian coffee described with notes of Black Currant, Watermelon, and Dark Honey. I think that description was pretty accurate, this coffee was characteristic of many washed Ethiopian coffees of the last year, with maybe a bit more depth and body than some of the more tea like examples. I preferred this one brewed on the V60 at 1:15.5 ratios. Espresso proved a bit tricky, as I never really felt like I nailed a shot, but never had any bad ones either. I think this coffee’s sweet spot is probably around a 1 : 2.5 - 3 ratio with some pressure profiling and 202*F. This coffee appears to be sold out.
This was my first South American coffee of the season, and it was a great one. This coffee showed a real duality of sorts. As straight espresso it was a bit more comfort roast than I typically drink with big body of dense chocolate with a bit of a fruit undertone. With milk, however, this coffee made for great cappuccinos with big milk chocolate notes, a hint of fruit, and even some chocolate malt hints. This coffee liked to be pulled and brewed on the cooler and faster side. I pulled these shots at 18 grams in to 34-36 grams out in 27 seconds at 198*F.
The Bonavita Connoisseur auto drip brewer didn’t quite brew fast and cool enough to make the cups I really liked out of it, but the Hario V60 sure did. Using 197*F water and 1:16 ratios in 2:30 brew time brought out a pleasant acidity and lighter more sparkling sweetness like the pomegranate and melon notes referenced. This was a great coffee that was really fun to work with and see the two different sides of. It appears to be sold through as well, but serves as a promising sign for this year’s Colombians.
This coffee is a pretty classic and great example of a good natural Ethiopian. It was great brewed with slightly cooler water and on the fast side to bring out the lighter fruits and acidity. I targeted 1:16 ratios on the V60 using 197*F water and 2:30 brew times. The general logic for naturally processed Ethiopian’s as espresso is cooler and faster, however this resulted in some underextracted flavors to my palate. So, instead I side time aside and targeted shots that still had a decent flow rate and cooler temperatures, running closer to 35 seconds at 197F and 1:2 or 1:2.5 ratios. This coffee was again good in milk, and just had great overall balance across all brewing methods. $19 for a 12 ounce bag here and free shipping on orders over $50.
I got turned onto this one in particular via a home-barista forums debate that sparked a discussion of the best lightly roasted coffees in the US, where this “Nordic Style” espresso blend was routinely recommended. Many suggested high 1:3 yield shots with extended preinfusion and long pull times, and that’s just what I did and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Shots with 10s preinfusion, 40s pump on, and 5 seconds back at line pressure and 202*F at the grouphead were tasting harmoniously balanced and rich using 18 gram in an 18 gram VST basket to roughly 50 grams out.
The discussion on H-B forums got started via a recommendation for the top 5 single dosing grinders for lightly roasted coffees, so I figure I needed to get some stats on this one as well. As the picture above indicates, I routinely hit very high extraction yields, with the one in the video recorded for Versalab’s YouTube page reaching 24.71% EY. Not only did these shots post impressive numbers, they plain tasted great. They weren’t thin or watery despite the high yields and just had great texture, sweetness, acidity, nuance, and drink-ability, it was an exceptional example of a good “third wave” espresso. Currently available for $18 for a 12 ounce bag with free shipping on orders over $50 here.
If you’ve been hanging around these parts or my Instagram in the last year, you know that I’m really on a big Kenyan kick, mainly because they have been far richer, sweeter, thicker, and fruit forward than Ethiopians of recent, and there have been some exceptional offerings from roasters all over the world. This one is no exception, and may be one of the more interesting ones. As a brewed cup, it has everything; juicy acidity, deep layers of floral nuance, sweet spice, and rich mouthfeel. I preferred cups brewed at 1:16 ratios in 2:30 - 2:45 brew time on the Hario V60 with 203*F water. The wet grounds and first hot flavors are that of a distinct sweet spice, that I think is clove.
As espresso, it responds well to the same profile (and grind setting) as the Leam Hammer; 18 grams in to 50 grams out with 10s preinfusion, 40s pump on, 5s trailing pump pressure, at 202*F. I feel like it looses a bit of the clove in favor of more wine like acidity and red fruit, and it’s almost equally as interesting. I’m really happy with this coffee overall, and wish the bag wasn’t almost all gone. It’s also unusual for a coffee of this caliber to sell for just $18 for a 12 ounce bag.
I’m lucky enough to have two more coming up from Dragonfly, including a naturally processed coffee from the famed Elida estate out of Panama as well as a naturally processed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. I look forward to seeing how well Dragonfly does with dry processed coffees with these two, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. I’m not sure where I will order from after these, since it will be another week or so before I need to place and order. One of the other top recommendations for lightly roasted coffees in the US was roaster, SEY coffee, so I definitely want to try them out, though I also received an email from Ruby today offering free shipping all this week using the code SHARE, so that is also very tempting, since their coffees are always top notch.
As always, if you have any suggestions, questions, comments, or would like to submit a coffee for review, please contact me or leave a comment below. Until then, thanks for reading and keep making tasty coffee!