This bag of Stumptown beans was an impulse buy; it ended up being the final bag of coffee beans I purchased while in Seattle. I had never tried beans from Ecuador before but the description on the bag sounded good, and the beans were extremely fresh.
Incidentally, almost all of the cafes I bought beans from on this trip offered me a free drink with purchase of a bag of beans. Great… except I bought 4 bags in the same day. Even I can’t stomach that much coffee in 8 hours! Stumptown did let me have a small sample (about 2 oz) of their nitro cold brew on tap as my freebie, since I told them I couldn’t handle a full drink. Refreshing stuff. I’m not big on cold brew, but this was nice on a sunny, warm day. It reminded me of a craft beer in texture.
Anyway, back to the Ecuador Cariamanga…
Whole beans: Tannic like tea… my throat tightened up once I smelled the beans. However, there was also a light, sweet note to these beans. You know those orange-slice jellied candies that are covered in granulated sugar and sold in bags at drugstores for 2/$1? These beans smelled like those candies.
French press: Sweet but tart brew with plenty of tannins. Light golden color, even after 4 minutes of brewing. I was most reminded of orange juice with just a touch of honey, along with black tea. Pretty refreshing, actually! The tannins were bothering me enough that I wondered if adding just a bit of sugar would mitigate them. It did – but even just 1/4 tsp of sugar made this brew much too cloyingly sweet for my taste. Blech.
Chemex: Light body. Kind of bland. Where’s the orange character? This coffee was much subtler overall with almost no citrus. It smelled like almond shortbread.
AeroPress: Ahhhh, here’s the orange flavor. Quite tart and brash. Full-bodied and assertive. I made this the traditional way as a concentrated coffee, and ended up not adding any hot water at all.
V60: Super smooth and balanced in the cup. Sweet and citrusy and a little buttery. Much less tart than any of the other methods.
Summary: Not bad at all! This is a very bright, lively coffee. It actually made 4 very different cups of coffee to my taste: French press – tea; Chemex – almond cookie; AeroPress: orange juice; V60: marmalade. Which is best? I liked the AeroPress and V60 versions best; I would probably opt for the V60 most days because I liked its balanced nature but the AeroPress kind of knocked me over with its intense flavors.
From the roaster: Tangerine, butterscotch, almond
This coffee does not appear to be sold online at the moment.