This bag of Intelligentsia was a gift for my friend Julee, but she generously offered to let me have some of the beans in order to do a review. I purposely just took a little bit (after all, I wanted her to enjoy the coffee!), so I was not able to do a full review with all four brewing methods. However, I did snag enough beans to brew the coffee three ways.
V60: Toasty aroma and flavor, with brown sugar on the finish. There was just a hint of acidity at the end – I was thinking lime since I saw it in the flavor notes. I’m not sure I would have thought lime had it not been for the suggestion, though. Very subtle.
AeroPress: Super smooth brew that tasted like toasted almonds.
French press: Bland and hollow tasting compared to the previous cups. I added a bit of salt and it helped, but I didn’t care for it in this method.
Summary: If I wanted a comfortable cup of coffee but didn’t want caffeine, this would be a decent option. I am curious about what it would taste like in a Chemex since I find that method tends to bring out brighter flavors, but generally speaking the coffee was rich and smooth, with a nutty/toasty aroma. Not bad. I didn’t find this brew to be challenging in any way – on the contrary, it was very cozy. Comfort food. Grab a shawl on a rainy day and curl up with this decaf right before bed – it won’t hurt you.
From the roaster (snagged from the Intelligentsia Coffee menu page on Yelp):