I had another one of my brief audition-related coffee hiatuses recently and the first coffee shop I went to when I was able to start up again was Oddly Correct. I don’t remember how I first heard about this roaster/shop (probably from one of those online lists of “best coffee roasters in Kansas City”), but it stuck out to me because this is a shop that takes their coffee seriously enough that they only provide milk and sugar on request; they don’t have it sitting out for customers to doctor their drinks like most places do. I could see this practice coming off snobbish and intimidating to people that do regularly use milk and/or sugar in their coffee, but I also think that encouraging people to try the coffee black first is a good thing – these lightly roasted coffees have the potential for so many subtle flavors to enjoy, often without the need for anything extra! I still remember the first coffee I realized I enjoyed black (an Ethiopian Harrar) and it was a revelatory experience after years of adding progressively less and less sugar and milk to my cups.
I had a fun exchange with the barista on duty; when he greeted me, I could feel that he was prepared to launch into a little script about what Oddly Correct was about and how they don’t have milk/sugar out, but I flat-out told him, “I haven’t had a cup of coffee in three weeks, I want a pourover, and I want it black, so please recommend something really special for me!” He visibly relaxed while looking a little horrified (“THREE WEEKS?!”), and he said that this Colombian was his favorite and that I would love it. Coincidentally, I had already chosen a bag of it from the shelf to purchase, so I got to taste it brewed with a Kalita Wave in the cafe before experimenting with brew methods at home.
Almost any coffee would have tasted terrific after a three-week absence, but this really was good. I had a hunch though that I would like it even better brewed at home!
Whole bean: Really sweet, sugary aroma with light notes of citrus/orange.
V60: I brewed this for 2:50. This may be a coffee that needs a longer extraction time, as I felt the final result was a little blander than I would have liked. It had a beautifully light and delicate flavor but I wanted a little more intensity.
Chemex: My usual Chemex grinder settings were too coarse for these beans, as the coffee only brewed for 3:00. Still, even with the shorter than usual extraction time, the coffee came out tangy and syrupy, and it was the fruitiest in flavor of the four methods. I think it would have been even better with a finer grind (but I didn’t want to waste this batch by dumping it and starting over). This was pretty close to the flavor of the coffee that I had in the cafe.
AeroPress: Really tangy citrus flavor – much too strong to drink straight out of the device, actually. I added some additional water to the concentrate and this brought out some lovely brown sugar flavor with tangerine, and resulted in a lovely plush mouthfeel. Terrific!
French press: Of the four brew methods, this was my favorite. It made the sweetest-tasting cup, heavy on orange and white sugar.
Summary: This seems to be a coffee that benefits most from immersion methods if you like strong flavors. Try this in a French press or an AeroPress for sweet citrus notes. This was not a bad coffee for the pourover methods but it may take a while to dial in the grind just right for optimum flavor extraction, and I’ll think you’ll get a more consistent and user-friendly result with an immersion method.
From the roaster: mandarin orange, cane sugar, dessert wine
Review conducted 7-8 days post-roast.