Tasting Blog: Ethiopia Sidamo Haile Selassie by La Grange Coffee Roasters
A few months back we came up with the idea to start writing regular blogs that would feature different roasters from around Louisville, the Midwest, and even nationally that we felt were doing great things in coffee. Like we stated in the first blog, we hope that we are able to bring exposure to these roasters, and we love tasting new coffees!
La Grange Coffee Roasters is the work of Chris Cockrell of La Grange, Kentucky, an historic railroad town in Oldham County, just outside of the metropolitan area of Louisville. The folks here at Prima know Chris very well, as he stops by the office from time to time to talk roasting, brew methods, or to kindly drop off a bag or two of coffee!
You can find Chris and the crew of LGCR at the La Grange Farmers Market every Saturday morning from May through October in downtown La Grange. What is so great about what LGCR is doing is the focus to educate the community on coffee, from the farm to the cup. I remember Chris telling us stories of letting folks taste a freshly roasted coffee just days off roast, and comparing it to a several month old coffee, and noting the difference. You will also find examples on the table of green coffee, and the same coffee roasted, so that people can get a visual of coffee beyond the dark fines of store bought coffees they may be accustomed to at home.
We have had several of Chris' roasts either in the office, at home, or at the Bashes in town. Most recently we were able to enjoy some dry processed Haile Selassie from the Sidamo region of Ethiopia, taken to probably around a City + to Full City roast. We first brewed for the office in a Chemex, at 60 grams to a liter, at around 200 degrees. This was an incredibly sweet coffee, a classic Sidamo. The aroma was one of the more enjoyable I have experienced, with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg, like a fresh baked pie. This coffee had notes of cardamon and fructose sweetness in the beginning, but as it cooled strawberries, peaches, and various dried fruits came to the forefront.
We had a great time with this coffee. We had some great syphons with parameters of 370 ml to 28 grams at 202 degrees that brought out more spice from the coffee; I tried an aeropress at about 20 grams to 300 ml with a 45 second dwell time which produced a very clean cup with more clarity on the fruit notes, and we pulled some excellent shots of espresso about six days off roast that were surprisingly great shots; fruit bombs, yet not too bright. We were also able to test out the Bunn Trifecta using the Haile Selassie, and after some tinkering to find the right parameters, really enjoyed our cups.
La Grange Coffee Roasters is a great representation of the exciting things going on recently in Louisville coffee. If you haven't had the chance to make it out to La Grange on a Saturday morning, do yourself a favor and grab an iced v60, perfect for a hot Kentucky summer morning! For more information about Chris and La Grange, check out their website here.
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$53.00Hario's stainless steel water kettle, the V60 Buono, has been spotted popping up in coffee houses and the kitchens of baristas for some time now. A detailed search on the web will reveal, for the moment at least, that the Buono seems to be widely accepted as the most useful pouring kettle available. What makes this kettle so popular amongst pour-over enthusiasts? Several reasons stand out.
First, the thin pouring spout enables greater pouring precision as well as a slower, more consistent and controlled rate of pour, both of which are very helpful in achieving a precise, prolonged extraction.
Second, the stainless steel construction and large 1 liter capacity contribute toward keeping up the brew temperature for the duration of the entire brew cycle.
Third, the ergonomics involved in the design of the kettle help to make using it much easier. This may not seem like much, but if you're brewing large batches of coffee and pouring for three or more minutes per batch, doing several batches of coffee will quickly become a chore if your kettle doesn't cooperate with you.
Combine all of these facets with the fact that the Buono is manufactured by Hario, a very popular name in the coffee-brewing community, and the kettle's popularity is easily understood. For best results, combine the Buono with a V60 Dripper or Chemex to get a truly exceptional cup of coffee.
$81.98It can be difficult in the world of specialty coffee to find a brewer that not only looks fantastic but also produces a fantastic product. Eva Solo has done an exceptional job of combining both elements into the Cafe Solo. The Solo seems a little strange upon first glance for the very reason that it may be the first coffee brewer of its kind: one that is clothed. The designers at Eva Solo had the ingenious idea of using the same material that keeps divers warm (neoprene) and wrapping it around the glass carafe... thus keeping the coffee hot during the 4 minute brewing period.
Not only are its looks something to take seriously, but the Solo's coffee is not to be underestimated. Because of its use of "total immersion" brewing (similar to that of a french press), the grounds are evenly and completely submersed in water. This provides extraction that is difficult to achieve by other methods of brewing. It is advisable, however, that once the 4 minutes of extraction is complete, the coffee should be immediately served or transferred into a thermal pot (we recommend one of the Zojirushi carafes). This will prevent over-extraction from taking place which results in a bitter tasting coffee.
The Cafe Solo is unquestionably a unique and exceptional specialty coffee manual brewer. Because of its simple usability and superior design, the Cafe Solo is a force to be reckoned with in the specialty coffee world.
The TACKY Inlay Station is a wood pour-over stand beautifully designed for your viewing and brewing pleasure. The seamless "inlay" design gives the stand its name and also a unique look that anyone who appreciates fine wood craftsmanship will admire. The Inlay stand is available as a one, two, or three hole station and in a variety of woods. Pourover brewing is both delicious and artistic - the Inlay adds to the whole experience.