It’s always a nice surprise when I get an offer to review a coffee from a small roaster! The driving force behind 3 Sunflowers is a lovely woman named Megz. It’s worth reading her story in her own words on the Our Story page on the 3 Sunflowers website but to sum up, this coffee was born out of love, and out of a desire to find a coffee that could be consumed black with no bitterness. I know a lot of people are looking for this same thing!
When I received the coffee, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I was given a 1 pound bag, instead of the 12 oz bags that seem to have become standard in the industry. The coffee doesn’t have a roast date on it, but it has a “sell by” date, which is dated one year from the roast date, and the coffee is shipped to the fulfillment center on the same day as roasting to ensure freshness.
Whole bean: Earthy, dark aroma. There was the barest hint of oil on the beans. The earthiness immediately made me think of Indonesian coffee (and it turns out there was some of that in this blend).
French press: Notes of tobacco and vanilla with a hint of nougat. Smooth overall and very rich in the cup.
Chemex: The coffee had a plentiful amount of bloom, which was a testament to its freshness. Perhaps because it is a blend, or because I am not accustomed to making coffee at home that’s roasted past a medium level (this coffee classifies itself as medium-dark), but I had a hard time dialing in the proper grind size to ensure a 4 minute extraction. My first attempt resulted in a 2:45 brew time; I set the grinder much, MUCH finer than usual on my second attempt and I still only hit a 3:30 extraction. The coffee itself didn’t benefit from the thick filter, in my opinion – while it wasn’t “not smooth,” there was a sharper flavor to this cup that wasn’t present in the other cups, and I think this is a coffee that definitely benefits from leaving the natural oils in the cup.
AeroPress: Smooth brew with a nice rich body, but less complex than the French press cup. I drank this as a concentrate, as it was quite pleasant without any additional water added.
V60: There was a bit more of a balanced flavor here vs. the Chemex cup, but I still felt like there was a slight astringency to it that wasn’t present in the immersion methods. But, there was a powdery finish on the palate that I rather liked.
Summary: For those people who aren’t down with the light-roasted coffee that dominates the coffee scene these days, and are looking for a smooth, full-bodied, rich, and uncomplicated cup of coffee, the Jade Blend could be right up your alley. I feel like this coffee is best enjoyed in an immersion method like French press or AeroPress, as the pourover methods’ filters seemed to bring out uncomplimentary notes.
From the roaster: Caramel, cocoa
Review conducted 13 days post-roast.
Disclaimer: I received this product gratis in exchange for a fair and honest review. Even though I received this for free, I treat and test it the same way as if I had paid for it out of my own pocket.