Review: Café Grumpy El Salvador La Esperanza La Cima (Brooklyn, New York)

With a name like Café Grumpy, how can you not smile when thinking of this roaster? I’ve been to Brooklyn a couple of times in my life but neither trip was long enough for me to have time to check out local roasters, so I was happy to finally get a chance to order from these guys online. Shipping is a bit pricey at just under $10 for two bags, but I added a $13 mug to my order to break the $50 free shipping threshold, so I essentially got this cute coffee mug for free. It scowled at everyone in Shutterbug’s office for a while, but he decided it would be less likely to wander off at home.

Whole bean: Lemon meringue pie, heavy on the lemon curd. Wow!

V60: Meringue, pleasantly toasty on the front with a lovely sweetness that lingers on the end.

AeroPress: This was quite sour and bright as a concentrate but it smooths out a bit as it cools. This tasted like a lemon meringue pie that wasn’t baked with enough sugar. When I added a little bit of water to the concentrate, this became downright bland. Don’t do what I did!

Chemex: This was a less toasty version of the V60. So smooth and sweet – I enjoyed this a lot.

French press: This was thick and rich and very sweet, like vanilla pudding. I didn’t really get any lemon character in this.

Summary: I thought this was a really lovely coffee that shone in almost every method – I didn’t enjoy it in the AeroPress, but it was really good both in the pourover methods and in the French press. I liked the balance of the lemon and vanilla flavors. Some might find it a bit sour/puckery, but I thought it made the coffee really interesting and it made me want to keep drinking it, for sure.

From the roaster: Lemon peel, hibiscus, vanilla, graham cracker

Café Grumpy El Salvador La Esperanza La Cima

Review conducted 4 days post-roast.

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