It’s always nice to look back at the end of the year and to take stock of all the great coffees I got to try throughout the last twelve months. This was a good year – I was really pleased to discover quite a few new (to me) roasters that I enjoy very much! The list is pretty coffee-centric; I didn’t have very much espresso this year, partly because my machine was out of order for a couple of months… but it’s now working again (thanks, Shutterbug!), so I may make up for lost time in early 2018… Anyway, these were my favorites from 2017 in the following four categories:
Favorite “everyday” espresso: Eiland Coffee Roasters Espresso X
I liked this espresso blend so much that I bought several bags as gifts for friends this year! Smooth, sweet, and chocolaty. In my opinion, it was just decent when brewed in an AeroPress, but it is absolutely exceptional when brewed as true espresso, so have a crack at it if you have the means to do so.
Favorite “splurge” espresso: Ritual Coffee Roasters Day Drinker Espresso
This is a rarity… it smelled like clean laundry and sunshine and flowers. That may not sound particularly tasty but I found it to be actually rather magical. The flavors in the shot ranged from chocolate to citrus to flowers and delicate spices… the roaster mentioned star anise and rum-soaked pears and candied ginger, which I definitely could see once they mentioned it! Very complex, very delicious. Not the sort of espresso I would want every day or one that I would serve to most people, but it could very well be right up your alley. After all, you’re interested enough in coffee to end up here on this site, right?
Favorite coffee blend: West Oak Coffee Milk and Honey
West Oak Coffee is one of the roasters I tried for the first time this year, and it certainly won’t be the last – I absolutely loved their Milk and Honey Blend. It tasted like chocolate-covered blueberries, and it was the perfect mix of comforting and interesting to the palate. I actually ran out of these beans before I realized that the Milk and Honey is actually an espresso blend (whoops!), so someday, I plan to do another tasting of these beans, this time pulling shots. I have a hunch they’ll be pretty great.
(Update, June 2018: I did finally end up tasting these beans as espresso, and they’re especially well suited to milk drinks – I liked them very much in a latte. I stand by my original assessment though; my rankings for 2017 haven’t changed!)
Favorite single-origin coffee: Patriot Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Idido
When I posted my review of this coffee in February, I noted that it was the first real standout of coffee I had this year, and it certainly set a high bar. It still ranks as my favorite coffee that I had in 2018 — something about the gentle complexity and the subtle but unforgettable sweetness in the cup I brewed in my Chemex was incredibly satisfying to me.
And here is my top 10 list for most enjoyable cups I’ve had in 2017!
10. Quills Coffee Ecuador La Papaya (V60 and Chemex)
9. Ceremony Coffee Roasters Destroyer Blend (AeroPress)
8. Blue Bottle Coffee Kenya Embu Gikirima (French press)
7. Driftaway Coffee Colombia Huila Finca El Tabor (French press)
5. Ritual Coffee Roasters Day Drinker Espresso (straight shot)
4. West Oak Coffee Milk and Honey blend (V60)
3. Eiland Coffee Roasters Espresso X (straight shot)
2. Slightly Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Torea Village (French press)
1. Patriot Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (Chemex)
If you didn’t see your favorite coffee listed here, please feel free to message me to give me a heads up to check out your favorite roaster! Thanks for reading, and I look forward to posting many more reviews in 2018!