Review: Sub Pop Black Vinyl Blend (Seattle, Washington)

On my way home from Vancouver, my Last Port of Call was the SeaTac airport. It seems I Keep Coming Back to the Sub Pop store that’s in the airport (I’ve browsed their wares on at least two other occasions), but with a nearly 4-hour layover, it was the perfect way for me to spend the Passing Afternoon. I had a Little Argument With Myself because I already had 7 other coffees to Taste Test – clearly, I was Out Of My Mind for even considering this, but Between You and Me Kid, I told myself, “Margaret, if you walk away from this chance, You Will Be Sad.” Time for Something New, So Says I! To hell with the Price Tag ($16) and what Other People think, All I Know is there’s Nothing Better than to Wake Up and Go Beserk because you’re looking forward to Good Things. Let’s get Into The Drink!

Whole bean: This beans clearly Fell On Black Days. It’s Been So Long since I’d had a bonafide dark roast – I’d forgotten When I Was Seventeen, it was How We Used To Live… drinking coffee as dark as the night sky with the Stars Gone Out. The beans were pretty oily on the surface, and with water added, they definitely created a Black Wave in my brewers – it looked like brownie batter (but didn’t taste like it). Oddly enough, the bag was labeled as a medium roast, but there’s no doubt in my mind between the oily sheen and the incredibly dark color and flavor of the beans that these beans had one foot firmly into dark roast territory.

V60: All Apologies from me, but I did not care for the coffee in this method. Drinking this was like having a Strange Encounter with rubber tires. Something In The Way this tastes was very much like Cinder and Smoke… my Little Mouth was definitely telling me, “It’s Not For You”! I don’t often feel like I need to add milk to coffee but I definitely did here.

AeroPress: Fairly smooth and nutty but still darker than a Black Hole Sun. I suppose for a blend named after black vinyl though, it couldn’t be roasted any lighter than this!

Chemex: Despite me doing my best, Always Trying To Work It Out, I wasn’t able to nail a good flavor profile with these beans in the Chemex. It tasted smoother than the V60 cup but still needed milk in my opinion.

French press: This method, on the other hand? It All Feels Right. Drinking this coffee in cups One By One All Day, I got to experience many sides of its personality, and this method was its Finest Hour as coffee. Surprisingly smooth. Fairly one-dimensional, but a pretty decent dimension.

Espresso: While it’s not marketed as an espresso roast, I think these beans are well-suited for this method. Its Saving Grace was how well the coffee flavor stood up in drinks, so Milk It to your heart’s content, as it will taste plenty strong, even in a latte.

There’s Only One Thing Left To Say… When you do enjoy this (ideally in an AeroPress, French press, or as espresso), it’ll make your Heartbeat race and the caffeine will definitely take you to Such Great Heights.

Summary: My #1 Must Have in a coffee is freshness, and these beans were definitely that. To be able to say I Went To The (Sub Pop) Store One Day and was able to come home with beans 5 days off-roast, that’s pretty fantastic! If you enjoy dark-roasted coffee, these beans are a Party In The Dark, to be sure. Used To Be this was something I would drink on a regular basis, but this will probably be my Last Ride purchasing these for myself, as dark-roasted coffee doesn’t Hug My Soul anymore. However, if you DO enjoy a good dark roast and you love Sub Pop, this is a no-brainer. Don’t give yourself a Heart Attack and make your loved ones have to Call The Doctor though… Try To Sleep when you can!

From the roaster: A full-bodied blend of Ethiopian, Sumatran and Latin high-grown Arabicas. Dark, rich and complex, touches the whole palate and stays clean.

To my knowledge, you can’t buy this coffee online, either through Sub Pop or through Lighthouse Roasters. Visit Concourse C in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport to get your fix!

Sub Pop Mega Mart (Online Store)
This coffee was roasted by Lighthouse Roasters, and sold in 16 ounce bags.

Review conducted 13 days post-roast.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.