My first experience with Victrola’s beans was their Kenya Nyeri Tambaya Peaberry, which was NOT a favorite of mine, but I have heard enough good things about this roaster that I decided that I needed to pick up a different bag of theirs while in Seattle. I am fond of washed Ethiopian coffees, so I decided to give their YIRGZ a try.
This is a little different than a typical Ethiopia Yirgacheffe due to the YIRGZ classification; the “Z” stands for zero defect. The beans are sorted three times for color, size, and density to separate the most exceptional beans from the rest of the crop. Washed (or wet-process) Ethiopian beans have a reputation for being very floral and sweet.
The scent of the whole beans reminded me of ground almonds and amaretto syrup. Ground, it brought out a slight cherry aroma.
V60: Definitely floral (jasmine?) and fragrant. Had a little sour note on the aftertaste, but not unpleasant. Tangy and bright.
AeroPress: Smooth and full-bodied with a little bit of floral character. This was my favorite for its personality – sweet but not shy!
Chemex: The coffee smelled like iced tea. The flavor was very clean, but all of the subtle fruity notes were stripped away in this method. As it cooled, it started to smell like asian pears, but the taste seemed almost watered down to me compared to the richness of the AeroPress cup.
French press: This cup had more tannins and was less sweet than the previous cups. It was okay, but I got too much tea-like flavor and not enough fruit/floral notes.
Summary: I like this much better than the last coffee I tried from Victrola. The AeroPress cup was my favorite for the lovely balance between the rich mouthfeel and the bright, flowery flavors.
From the roaster: Ginger, cherry, hibiscus, lemongrass.