Review: Methodical Coffee Ethiopia Guji, washed (Greenville, South Carolina)

There’s no real system I follow when choosing coffees to review; some are sent to me by roasters, some are gifts from friends, some are coffees I seek out and buy directly from roasters’ locations or websites, and some just jump into my path while visiting coffee shops at home or in my travels. This bag from Methodical Coffee is in the last category. I travel to Tyler, Texas a few times a year and my favorite coffee shop there is the Foundry Coffee House – I’m always happy getting a Kalita Wave pourover of whatever coffee they are featuring that day. The Foundry largely features Texas roasters like local Tyler roaster Porch Culture and Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters out of Dallas, but in recent months, I’ve seen them branching out and featuring roasters from out of state, notably Madcap out of Michigan and most recently, this particular bag from Methodical Coffee from South Carolina.

I generally follow a couple of rules when buying coffee: I only buy coffee that has a roast date on the bag (no “best by” dates), and I try to only buy coffee within 2 weeks of the roast date. This bag of washed Ethiopia Guji from Methodical was 20 days post-roast when I spotted it, but I broke my rule and decided to buy it anyway because 1) I find that coffees from Ethiopia and Kenya still have a lot of bloom and taste quite delicious up through the 3-week mark, 2) I knew I could do a tasting the next day, and 3) the bag said blackcurrant, which is one of my favorite flavors in the universe.

On a slightly shallow note, the quote on the back of the bag really spoke to me and also contributed to my desire to check out this roaster. I am attracted to the ritual and the beauty in the process of making coffee; it’s a science and an art all in one, a combination of the objective and the subjective. The paradox of the simplicity of making coffee vs. mastery reminded me of music; it’s not hard to make music at a basic level, but it takes a lifetime to attain mastery. Frustrating? Sure, but the beauty is in the striving and the learning process. I felt shallow because I got seduced by the packaging… but I promise I’ll look at what’s inside, not just what’s outside!

Whole bean: mild aroma. The beans were three weeks old when I began this tasting so I don’t know if the beans would have smelled/tasted more flavorful had I come across this bag sooner.

French press: I wrote “whoa” in my notes. Thick, richly flavored, full of purple fruit (definitely could taste blackcurrant in this!!).

Chemex: Delicate and floral. Lovely subtle cup but after the vibrancy of the French press cup, I was left wishing for a bit more flavor. However, I brewed it again in a Chemex the next day and was quite pleased with it.

AeroPress: Thick, syrupy texture. I tasted Meyer lemon in this – not too tart. Bright and lively coffee! I did end up adding a bit of additional water to the AeroPress concentrate and it made the coffee more balanced but still quite bright.

V60: Complex and layered in the cup. I tasted citrus, floral notes, and the blackcurrant again… it wasn’t too strongly weighted in any one of these directions; it’s a cup that kept me drinking again and again in an effort to decipher the flavors. Loved this!

Summary: Sometimes, breaking rules leads to unexpected pleasure. I very much enjoyed this coffee, and the various brewing methods brought out different dimensions in it that I savored immensely. Looking forward to checking out more from this roaster in the future!

From the roaster: Sweet lemon, floral, blackcurrant

Methodical Coffee Ethiopia Guji (washed)

Review conducted 21-24 days post-roast.

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