I believe I first heard of Square Mile Coffee Roasters back when I used to do a lot of browsing on the CoffeeGeek forums, to do research for notable roasters and to gather advice for what kind of grinder and espresso machine I should invest in. I don’t have a lot of time to visit their forums anymore, but they are a wealth of incredible information for anyone that is really serious about their coffee. Square Mile popped up many times when people brought up UK-based coffee roasters, so I made it a point on a recent visit to London to see if I could find a cafe that carried their beans. It was pretty easy, actually; I bought the pictured bag at Curators Coffee Gallery on Margaret St (fitting!) near Oxford Circus. The barista was SUPER excited about these beans, and the enthusiasm was infectious – he poured me a cup to try and my head just about exploded from pleasure!
I also saw these same beans later in my trip at Prufrock Coffee on Leather Lane in London; a good sign that two excellent shops were both singing its praises.
Whole bean: The scent of black grapes was the dominant feature here. This was an exceptionally sweet, buttery smelling coffee. It smells like a really good, rich, purple candy!
French press: Extremely smooth with a subtle flavor of purple fruit (currants, plum). This actually tasted like I had added sugar, it was so sweet.
Chemex: As is common with natural-processed Ethiopians, the coffee had a little bit of a plasticky odor to this method but it dissipated pretty quickly. This also tasted extremely sweet and had a flavor of grape and honeydew melon.
AeroPress: Fine straight, but it did seem a bit sour and unbalanced. Adding a bit of additional water made it smoother but bland.
V60: This had a finish that tasted like white sugar. Fills the nose with black grape and tastes of lusciousness and decadence.
Summary: This coffee was an exceptionally sweet flavor bomb filled with the rich taste of black grapes. I liked this the best made with the V60 but it was also excellent brewed in a French press and Chemex. I wish I could get more!! If you are anywhere near London, get these beans while you can, grind them fresh and give them a try if you like sweetness in your coffee.
From the roaster: Strawberry, dark chocolate, black grape
Review conducted 12 days post-roast.