Technically, I purchased this coffee at the end of 2016 and wrote up notes on it very soon after purchase, but I wanted to save the review to start the new year off with a bang, and Blue Bottle seemed like a good roaster to start this blog off on the right foot in 2017! This Blue Bottle review will actually be in two parts, as I bought this varietal both in whole bean form and pre-ground (gasp!). Yes, I broke the rule of just about every coffee geek and bought pre-ground coffee, but for a very good reason, as I wanted to see for myself if Blue Bottle’s Perfectly Ground really could live up to the taste of freshly ground coffee. More on that later, but for now, here are my notes on the whole bean version of this Kenya Embu Gikirima!
Whole bean: Honestly, I kind of forgot to observe this coffee’s notes, as it smelled great right out of the box and I was excited to start brewing. Oops! But it was quite fragrant, like caramelized sugar and tea and all sorts of good things.
V60: This brewing method made a cup that tasted like toasted marshmallows, with a slight “pithy” flavor like lemon pith. Not a very tart cup, but it had just a little bit of citrus bitterness to it. I did brew this on the long side (3:45) so perhaps a shorter brewing time would mitigate the pith.
AeroPress: A surprisingly smooth brew!! Caramel scent and flavor dominated this mug, with a tart finish like lemon candy to keep the taste buds interested.
Chemex: Grapefruit. Very tart and dry. My mouth was puckering.
French press: Very silky mouthfeel. Rich, sweet flavor with just a hint of brightness and tartness to keep things lively.
Summary: This coffee tasted best to me in the immersion methods, with the French press being my personal favorite, as I felt it had the best balance between sweet and tart.
Check back in a few hours for more on this coffee, this time made from Blue Bottle’s Perfectly Ground beans (their version of pre-ground coffee).
From the roaster: Cacao nibs, tea, citrus