Review: Simple Beans FUCK COVID-19 Social Distancing Blend (La Jolla, California)

Did the name of this blend catch your attention? It sure caught mine!!

I haven’t been super motivated to write new coffee reviews lately; my energy level these days is lower than usual (from stress) and I sort of unofficially decided not to create more work for myself by accepting new beans for review. So when Simple Beans reached out to me about collaborating, I initially was going to tell them I couldn’t do it, but then I saw what coffee they were featuring. I literally laughed out loud and in that instant, I knew I had to write this review!

Even apart from the catchy blend name, Simple Beans is a company whose values I respect and support. They do all their coffee roasting on a Bellwether roaster (a zero emission commercial roaster powered by electricity), and they primarily work with female-owned and operated farms at fair trade or better prices.

As for their FUCK COVID-19 blend, all net proceeds from this blend (as well as Simple Beans’ Shelter in Place blend) go toward benefiting front-line workers and families. This coffee also comes with a free face mask.

Whole bean: Nice and even roast, on the lighter side of medium. No oil on the beans, which is great.

French press: Oh I liked this quite a lot. The first hit to my nose was that of a delicate floral perfume. I feel like this coffee took a little while to open up – my first impression was that it was a little muted in flavor but I kept sipping it and it slowly revealed notes of brown sugar and citrus on the finish. Can coffee be introverted? If so, this coffee in this format is.

Chemex: Mouthwatering. This method didn’t make the coffee taste introverted at all. If anything, it was much more forward and assertive, tasting strongly of lemon. I wrote down “Arnold Palmer” in my notes because with my eyes closed, I think I could have mistaken this for a blend of black tea and lemonade! Tart and lively with a good balance to keep it easy to drink.

AeroPress: Bit strong for my taste – the citrus notes in the other methods tasted more like citrus pith in this one. But when I added a bit of water to the AeroPress concentrate, it tasted watered down and lacked the personality of the French press and Chemex cups. I’d give this method a pass for these beans.

Hario V60: Of the four methods, I think this one was the winner for taste. This had just the right balance between the brown sugar sweetness of the French press and the sparkly lemon/citrus notes of the Chemex. I brewed this a little on the long side (4-minute extraction) and it was delicious.

We have such a long way to go here in the United States toward controlling the spread and threat of COVID-19. This fight, unfortunately, won’t be going away anytime soon, so doing everything we can do to mitigate it and keep ourselves and each other safe is absolutely crucial toward rebuilding a better, kinder world. As Simple Beans says on their bag, “Stay Safe. Stay Home. Stay Engaged.” Buying coffee might not be enough to save the world, but every little bit makes a difference, and especially if this coffee fuels and energizes us enough to do the work to make the changes we want to see in the world, I’d say it’s more than worth the purchase price. 🙂

Summary: Great coffee for a great cause. French press = brown sugar sweetness, Chemex = citrus tartness, V60 = perfect balance of the two flavors.

From the roaster: sweet, fruity, brown sugar, peach, lemon
70% Ethiopia Bedhatu Jibicho
30% Ethiopia Acacia

Simple Beans FUCK COVID-19 Social Distancing Blend

Review conducted 19 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.

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