Taking a brief intermission from the run with Klatch Coffee, this week I’m sharing a really tasty coffee I picked up in San Diego a couple of weeks back. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is one I’ve wanted to try for a while now, mainly because Caldwell Coffee is always raving about it. And visiting their shop in La Jolla was a real treat. I had a shot of their Monkey Bite espresso off their fantastically teal colored La Marzocco espresso machine (I think it was a Linea PB, if memory serves me), which was everything you would want in a shot of espresso: layered, interesting, sweet, approachable, balanced. Their batch brewed house Holiday Blend featuring quite a bit of Geisha was also tasting juicy as hell, and incredibly good for “house blend” coffee.
I asked the barista what she recommended for a light roasted, interesting, and fruity or floral coffee, and she pointed me in the direction of this Yellow Honey Pacamara from Finca Loma La Gloria in El Salvador, and I’m glad she did. This honey processed coffee is filtered by its color with a portion of the mucilage removed, and gains some sweetness from the fermentation that occurs in the mucilage, but is said to drink closer to a washed coffee. The Pacamara variety beans are huge, and roasted to a very light warm tannish color.
I did brew a few cups in the Bonavita Immersion Dripper, which were very sweet, but this coffee really shined through the V60, where more of the complexity was highlighted. Described as being “intense with notes of pineapple, cream, and white wine,” the coffee is very sweet, smooth, approachable, but definitely interesting and maybe a bit of a stretch for someone new to specialty coffee all together. Personally, I loved the pineapple like acidity, creamy mouthfeel and a neutral oak Chardonnay like finish, with just a hint of lingering vanilla and crisp fruit. Bird Rock’s recommended parameters on the back of their fantastic bags are: 27 grams of coffee : 350 grams of 200*F water, with 50 gram bloom in 3:00 – 3:20, pouring in 50 gram increments. I wasn’t quite sure to read this as 350 grams of water PLUS a 50 gram bloom, meaning a 1 : 14.8 ratio or if it was in fact a really strong 1 : 13 ratio.
Personally, I brewed this coffee at:
- 21.25 grams of coffee to 330 – 340 grams of water or about at 1 : 15.5 ratio
- 60 gram stirred bloom
- Pour to 150 grams, stir again.
- Pour in 50 gram increments until finished.
- Total brew time 2:45 – 3:00
I found the coffee’s sweet spot to be in the 2:45 – 3:15 brew time range, as I did a couple cup pushed out to brew in 3:30, but found them a bit over extracted, chalky, and lacking the juiciness from the pineapple.
As espresso, these flavors are all intensified. The juicy pineapple sweetness and a creamy vanilla body make for a very zippy short cup. It needs a very fine grind through the 18 gram VST basket, pulled a bit longer (38-40 grams) to tame the acidity, around 30 seconds.
Overall, I really enjoyed this coffee and will definitely try and place an order from Bird Rock in the near future. $19 for a 12 ounce bag is what’s listed on their site, though my bag purchased at the café was a proper full pound. The Red Honey is also available on their site and I had a taster of that, and it's even more juicy and fruity, but less nuanced. Their pricing isn’t a bargain, but they do highlight the fact that they are willing to pay more to support the farms they partner with and create a sustainable relationship, so I can feel good about that.
Thanks for reading and hope you all are drinking some tasty coffee over the holidays.