I generally know exactly how much coffee is in my house at all times, and I try and plan ahead to buy beans (from local coffee shops or through mail-order) when I know I’m running low. However, sometimes life gets in the way, and I end up needing an emergency fix from my local Whole Foods. Such was the case a few weeks ago, which is how I ended up with this bag from Third Coast (10 days post roast).
Third Coast Coffee is a small-batch Austin-area roaster, and it is also a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, which is a cooperative of coffee companies dedicated to importing coffee according to the principles of direct, fair, and transparent trade. All of the coffee offered by Third Coast is fair trade and organic, with the exception of one which is in the process of getting organic certification.
Whole bean: Upon opening, I noticed the beans were a bit oily, and the roast level looked rather uneven. However, upon looking at the description of the Espresso Pacifico on the roaster’s website, I found out this was by design:
“this is our take on a classic black-and-tan; once very popular, these fell out of favor during the “dark ages” of the 70s and 80s. We choose a pair of Latin American coffees, roast one medium and one dark, and blend them for a cup with exceptional depth and just a hint of smoke.”
Espresso: I really didn’t get what I considered to be a “great” espresso out of this bag; there were some satisfactory shots, but I don’t think this blend had the flavor I was after – it was roasted too darkly overall. At its best, this blend had loads of crema and a hint of cinnamon and milk chocolate, and it made beautiful-looking lattes, but there was a mild flavor of charcoal throughout which I really didn’t like (even “just a hint of smoke” is too much for me, I guess!), and after just a couple of days at my house, the beans developed a fishy aroma, which I REALLY didn’t like. I find that oily, dark-roasted beans turn rancid quite quickly, and since the beans were already 10 days old when I bought them, they didn’t have much of a window before they became unusable to me.
AeroPress: Sorry, but I didn’t get a chance to use this in an AeroPress before the fishy aroma hit. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say though that this coffee probably tastes like a dark roast coffee!
Cold brew: I did, however, opt to experiment with this for a batch of cold-brew coffee, and the result was excellent: rich, chocolate flavor that was extremely smooth and sweet, even without sugar. I poured myself a shot glass of this stuff (undiluted) to taste it, and it went down very, very easily. If I was in the habit of making cold brew for myself on a regular basis, I think these beans + roast level would be a great choice.
Summary: For an emergency bag of espresso beans, I think I could have done worse… much worse, in fact. However, I don’t think I’ll buy this again unless I specifically am planning to make cold-brew coffee, as I think it is particularly suited to that purpose.
From the roaster: Woodsmoke, chocolate, caramel