When the folks at Volcán de Fuego reached out to me about trying some of their beans, they won me over quite quickly mainly because of their very clear dedication to freshness and quality. The fact that I’m quite fond of Guatemalan coffee didn’t hurt either!
Volcán de Fuego’s 1895 (named after their processing plant which was commissioned in 1895) is a single-origin Guatemalan coffee, from a single farm located at an altitude of 7,000 feet on the side of an active volcano. The company puts a lot of work into ensuring that they are selling an environmentally and socially responsible product, which is commendable! You can read more about their vision and mission on their About Us page.
Volcán de Fuego only roasts their beans once a week and they ship the day that the beans are roasted, so depending on when you place your order you may have a delay between order placement and shipment, but rest assured that it’s because they want you to have the freshest quality coffee possible. I received my coffee beans four days post-roast.
Whole bean: Beautifully roasted beans that were not oily (always a good sign in my book), and the coffee smelled like milk chocolate and buttery pastry. There was LOADS of bloom in all of my brew methods – they aren’t joking when they say they ship these beans fresh!
French press: Super smooth and sweet in this method. It tasted like the comfort of soft fleece pajamas. This is a coffee I would especially love to have alongside a dessert – the plush mouthfeel and sweet milk chocolate flavor just felt like the perfect way to round out a meal.
Chemex: Still smooth and delicious but more like dark chocolate in this method, and not quite as sweet as in the French press. This tasted more like a coffee I’d want to drink in the morning vs. in the evening. A little more “let’s get things done today” vs. “let’s savor this cup.”
V60: I brewed this for 3:30, and the resulting coffee was a bit more edgy than in the other methods, and a bit more like bittersweet chocolate and almond.
AeroPress: Similar to the V60 cup – “dark” flavor but with a good chocolate/nut balance and the barest hint of cherry.
Espresso: I wanted to try this coffee pulled as espresso because I’ve had great results in the past with other single-origin Guatemalans, and this did not disappoint. It took me a few tries but on the third pass, I was able to dial in a toasty, nutty, sweet shot that had outrageous amounts of crema. The one annoyance I had with these beans is that my grinder liked to “throw” the grounds all over my counter, so it created a messier workstation than normal. But, it was a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things.
Favorite parameters for this blend: 18 grams in, 38 grams out, 208 degrees Fahrenheit, 29 second pull.
With milk: This espresso stands up beautifully in milk. I made Shutterbug a latte with this stuff and from the very first sip, he went, “Oh, that’s GOOD!!” so I had to try some for myself. He was right, these beans are fantastic in milk drinks – I made lattes, cappuccinos, and flat whites and they all had a delicious chocolate/caramel flavor to them that was really decadent and comforting.
Usually, when I’m testing coffee, I have to “move on” to other bags pretty quickly so we rarely end up consuming an entire bag brewed hot — I’ll typically put a few ounces of leftover beans in a container for future cold-brew use. However, both Shutterbug and I liked these beans so much as espresso that we kept on pulling shots with it until the bag was completely empty. It’s a testament to how good this stuff is!
Summary: This coffee is a winner for anyone that enjoys the flavor profile of sweet chocolate (and who doesn’t?). It really was good in every method I tested, but it was especially good in a French press and pulled as espresso.
From the roaster: Heavy chocolate, citrus, herbal, sugar cane
Review conducted 8 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.