On Sunday, I had an interesting experience with one of my favorite coffees from the past several months, the natural-processed Ethiopia Wondo Bonko Sidamo. This coffee, whose greens came from PT's in Kansas, has that lush bouquet of distinctive fruited notes, both on the tongue and in the nose. I had roasted a batch of this to just a shade past first crack on Saturday afternoon, making it very young in the post-roast sense. I brewed up a batch in the morning using the V60, then did the same in the afternoon.
When the Average Joe goes to seek out his usual Cup of Joe, the tendency is that there is not a whole lot of variety to it. In most cases, the idea that there are "origins" or "roasting profiles" or "in-season offerings" go against the very spirit of that indomitable, dependable constant: a simple cup of coffee. A little cream, a little sugar, and all is well with the world...right?
In the blogging, twittering, and generally-interneting specialty coffee world, there seems to be a renewed interest in not just the way we brew coffee, but particularly in the specifics involved in the ways we brew coffee. Take, for instance, the french press: it allows coarsely-ground coffee to be saturated with hot, almost-boiling water for roughly four minutes to create a brew that is then filtered by the pressing action of the french press, thereby separating the grounds from what has now become brewed coffee.
Why does a light-roasted, natural-processed Ethiopian often give off a great deal more of the herbal bitter notes, rather than the fruited notes foretold by the dry and wet aromas, when brewed in a syphon? This is one of those brewing conundrums that has been sitting around in my head for several months now. Take a batch of roasted coffee and brew it in a press or in a pour-over, and bam! you get tons of berry notes all up in your retronasals, you know? But just as often as not, that same roast will yield a syphon pot that is...just...lacking.
This morning, I pressed a batch of Panama La Berlina Estate Typica. I remember it having a wonderful, full and round mouthfeel, quite viscous and pleasant. I go back and forth between thinking it's a bit syrupy and a bit hefty, like whole milk. No chalkiness, either, which is extra nice. And its taste? Brightness like a Central American coffee often has, with citrus fruit notes that fade into a graham cracker finish. It's a somewhat juicy cup, too, in that it doesn't give off too much of a drying sensation.
This morning, I brewed a batch in the V60 at home, then brought it here to the office. Since I had a lot of leftover batches lying around my kitchen, I combined the end of two batches to get an acceptable amount of coffee for my desired yield size. The coffees? Roughly 60% of Costa Rica Don Mayo La Ponderosa Bourbon and 40% of Ethiopia Beloya Selection Eight, both of which were kept on the lighter side of the roasting spectrum.
PT's Coffee very graciously sent us bags and bags of coffee and espresso for the Bash a couple of weeks ago. There was some Ehtiopia Sidama Ardi Natural left over and we snatched it up for our office enjoyment (which is what we are sipping on this morning). The citrus fruit notes have mellowed out a bit after a couple of weeks but there is still a deep, sweet fruit and spice taste that is keeping me well satisfied. Thank you PT's and thank you Mike!
We are planning to add a new focus for the blog in the next several weeks. Starting soon, we hope to regularly review coffee from different roasters locally here in Louisville, as well as across the country (and beyond!). This will provide us with an opportunity to not only cup great coffee in the office, but also to provide those reading our blog exposure to roasters and shops who are bringing specialty coffee to the mainstream. Get excited; we sure are! And to all you roasters out there, you are welcome to send us free samples, if you wish!
We received our first shipment of Aerobie Aeropress brewers this morning. I wasn't sure what to expect from a frisbee manufacturer, but the reviews I've read were all very positive. As soon as we could, Lee and I both headed off to the break room to brew up the first two cups. Lee used more water with a medium grind. I used less water with a grind only a little coarser than espresso.
This is the first of what we hope to be many tasting blogs in the future featuring roasters from Louisville, the Midwest, and nationally. Our hopes in doing this are threefold. First, we want to bring exposure to great roasters and shops we believe are doing good in the specialty coffee movement. Second, we want to introduce these roasters to the readers of our blog. And third, we love trying out great coffees in the office!
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!
Enjoying a V60 of some Kenya Nyeri Gathaithi Peaberry in the office. Roasted a bit darker, around a full city to full city + to tone down the brightness and acidity and bring out more winey sweetness. This cup has a buttery mouthfeel that sits on the back of the tongue, with lemon sweetness. Very nice.
This is the third installment of our blog series focusing on microroasteries (and shops) around Louisville, the Midwest, and also across the country. Our good friends Pearland Coffee Roasters are a young roasterie based out of the town of the same name, Pearland, Texas. Pearland is a rapidly growing city located just outside of Houston.
So satisfying. That is all that can be said about the "Costa Rica Naranjo San Juanillo" roasted by Kane at Sunergos Coffee that we just Chemexed in the office. The dry aroma is peanut butter, while the wet aroma is toffee and molasses. It has a nicely bright acidity. A very sweet cup. Toffee and graham cracker. We are getting some cherries, apples and cane sugar comments in the office. It leaves an aftertaste on the tongue of sweet dark chocolate. Wow. Much goodness on a Monday morning.
Barbara, our Prima accountant, just invested in a Hottop roaster and we are enjoying the fruit (pun somewhat intended) of her labor. Monday, she brought in a bag of her new Costa Rica San Marcos Tarrazu from Sweet Maria's. We have been salivating as we waited for the three day roasting mark to pass. Today, we broke open the bag and plundered the treasure.
It was a dark and misty morning. The sun lay slumbering behind the horizon. All normal people remained in bed. I stumbled over to Nord's Bakery, bleary-eyed and half dead. I needed a hard-hitting shot of donut, and I needed it fast. The tinny clang of the bell announced my arrival. I was greeted by the always cheery staff. "Mhpshdlhuyh," I replied. I held up four fingers and pointed to the donuts I wanted.
So, it has been an embarrassingly long time since we have blogged. Perhaps one could blame it on the holidays, or the New Year, or all the time spent trying to stick to those resolutions that we are about to break soon anyway, but in the end there is really no excuse. I'm not even sure what to write about, to tell the truth. We have some ideas for educational and helpful blogs in the future, but alas this is not one of those. So I will just take the time to speak of the good things in coffee that I have experienced over the last several hours.
Pioneering a new front for specialty coffee, pour over brewing represents the intersection of artistry and excellence. In this guide, we set out to examine the available options and scrutinize them side by side.
This is the first of our two part guest barista review on the
pour over brewing method. For these reviews, we bring you Collin Moody (
) reviewing the 155 Series, and John Letoto (
) reviewing the 185 Series.
Collin Moody's review of the 155 Series Kalita Wave Dripper
Collin is from Houston, Texas but currently lives in Chicago and serves as the lead barista at
in the Wicker Park neighborhood of West Town, Chicago. He's an avid home brewer and has contributed some great posts to the coffee community. Check out his blog,
. But for now, check out his review below:
The Baratza Forté is the newest coffee and espresso grinder on the planet – what in the world is it all about? We've pitted it against some classics and peeked under the hood to help get the word out: this grinder's got guts!
The siphon is the most complex of all manual brewers and the cup it produces might be the most unique. For a clean, full, and flavorful coffee, hit play and let Chris walk you through the whole process.
The Clever is one of our favorite coffee makers for no-fuss, no-matter-where, single-cup brewing. Gather a few familiar tools, quality ingredients, and your new Clever and you'll have a delicious cup in front of you in just minutes, sans hassle.
The end of the Big Eastern Brewers Cup is just about here! We've seen dozens of top notch services this weekend — and tasted most of their fabulous coffees — but now it's time to watch the last of them and learn which of the final 12 competitors our judges scored highest.
Welcome, watchers near and far, to the 2nd installment of our LIVE Big Eastern Brewers Cup coverage! You're looking at the internet's only on-the-fly, off-the-cuff, all-inclusive report of everyone's favorite filter coffee comp. Come see what happens on day 2!
The next phase of the United States competition season is upon us! This weekend, the SCAA, the BGA, and sponsors like Prima present the Big Eastern Event. Watch with us – on the web or in the flesh – as Brewers Cup competitors bring their best, hoping for a spot on that national stage.