Eiland Coffee has become a somewhat go-to coffee company for me when I’m looking to keep things local (Dallas). Not only are their coffees available at my local Whole Foods for when I’m in a pinch, their roasting facility is along a major highway which I take at least a few times a week, so it’s relatively convenient for me to drop in for a fresh bag when their shop is open (as long as I can get there before 5:30 pm… traffic in Dallas is unpredictable!).
On my most recent visit to Eiland, they had fresh Costa Rican coffee available. Historically, I have not enjoyed Costa Rican coffee. It’s made me cry. It’s smelled like gasoline (though I don’t think that was the fault of the beans). It’s felt like a socially awkward encounter. It’s been a coffee equivalent for me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (sorry for any fans of that band, but that is NOT a compliment coming from me). I really wasn’t all that keen on trying this particular bag (once burned, twice shy?), but the young woman behind the counter at Eiland gave me a whiff of some of the roasted beans, and they smelled delicious! Surprise, surprise. So, I agreed to get a bag. I figured if any roaster could make me change my mind about Costa Rican coffee, it would be Eiland.
Whole bean: Fruity, kind of similar in scent (berry, juicy) to Ethiopia Harrar, but with slightly less intensity. Sweet aroma.
V60: Very smooth but not dull in flavor. Strawberry jam flavor with a nice bright finish. This kept me sipping!
AeroPress: As a concentrate, this had a lovely toasted marshmallow flavor with some acidity on the finish. Very easy to drink! I added a bit of additional water just to see what it would do, and it made the brew smoother but blander. No hint of fruit or brightness.
Chemex: I had a bit of a hard time getting the grind size right; made this coffee twice and still ended up a bit underextracted, in my opinion. This requires a finer grind than I usually do for the Chemex method. Both times I made this, it tasted rather bland and uninteresting in this method. Smelled like matches, with just a hint of vanilla. None of the fruity sweetness that was present in the V60 cup made it into the Chemex cup, which surprised me.
French press: Reminded me mostly of fruit punch. Strong berry flavor, rich mouthfeel.
Summary: Hats off to Eiland for offering a Costa Rican coffee I actually liked! That’s no small feat. I liked this coffee best in the V60 and in the french press, with the V60 just edging out the press pot because I think the juiciness in the beans is more amplified by a filtered method.
From the roaster: Fruit punch, vanilla, round body, juicy acidity.
I took so long to finish this review that the coffee is no longer available in Eiland’s shop, but you can browse their current online selections here: Eiland Coffee Online Store
Review conducted 1-4 days post roast.