Time to review another OCCR offering! I don’t typically drink a lot of coffee blends, but this was the freshest option I saw at my local Whole Foods, at 6 days post-roast. When I’m tasting a new coffee, I attempt to not look at the tasting notes ahead of time, so that I don’t get influenced by what I think I SHOULD be tasting. It’s sometimes funny to see how close (or far off) I am from the roaster’s perceptions. My guess on the blend was Brazilian/Ethiopian; I was only partially right, as this blend actually consisted of Panama, Papa New Guinea, and Ethiopian beans.
First impressions: The aroma was delicious. This bag had a much stronger and more prevalent scent than the OCCR El Salvador beans I had before; I immediately detected a hint of blueberries and thought that there must be natural-processed Ethiopian beans in this blend (Yup!). Ground, the beans had a cocoa powder and buttery scent along with the blueberries.
V60: I found the initial flavor just after brewing to be a bit plasticky (which didn’t surprise me as I often think this about Ethiopian coffees), so I let the cup cool a bit. Once that plastic smell dissipated, I smelled cocoa, orange, and blueberry. It is not too sweet – less sweet of a cup than a single-origin Ethiopian. The finish was a bit dry.
AeroPress: This cup had a bit more brightness – tart blueberry with depth from the cocoa. Great flavor and body to this cup. I ended up drinking the entire thing (about 8 oz)!
Chemex: Everything about this cup was nice, but more muted in flavor than the immersion methods. Light, clean, balanced cup.
French press: This was like the Chemex cup with all the elements turned up in volume. More cocoa. More berry. More body. More sweetness. More flavor overall, and more pleasure!
Summary: OCCR was aiming for a crowd-pleasing blend, and I think they nailed it. It has a nice balance in the cup, and it keeps your taste buds engaged thanks to the different layers of flavor. I liked this blend most in a french press because of its assertiveness. Thus far, this is my favorite of the OCCR beans I have sampled, either at home or in shops. I look forward to more research.
From the roaster: This is our signature blend and it is a crowd-pleaser. It has notes of citrus fruit and spice and a chocolate finish. This is our house blend and therefore draws its name from our own neighborhood in Oak Cliff. Blend origins: Panama, PNG, Ethiopia.
(Note: the link lists their blend as Guatemala/Indonesia/Panama. My thought is that OCCR is going for a particular flavor profile, so they adjust their blend based on what’s in season and what’s available, which is why the blend is different now vs. whenever it was listed on their website.)