Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters is a roaster and coffee bar from Sacramento, California. As soon as I heard the name, I immediately knew this company was either founded by a Kiwi or by people that have a love affair with the country of New Zealand. Chocolate fish are a type of confection found in New Zealand – it’s a chocolate-covered marshmallow in the shape of a fish. They’re typically given to children as a reward for a job well done.
A Google image search for “chocolate fish” will net MANY more photos of chocolate fish with their poor heads bitten off.
The beans I got were approximately 11 days post roast, picked up at a coffee shop in Denton. I try and buy coffee that was roasted within the past week, and consume it within three weeks of the roast date, but I made an exception for these beans since I was so curious to try them.
Upon opening the bag, the blueberry aroma was pretty strong, along with a sweetened cocoa powder scent. It was pretty much what I expected for a natural-processed Ethiopian bean. They smelled the same after grinding, but with a bit more of a breakfast cereal note – think Crunch Berries?
In all of these preparations, the bloom was fairly inactive, which showed that the beans were nearing the end of their freshness window. There was still degassing, but I know I’ll need to drink up my supply quickly. There was a rich reddish-brown color to this coffee (mostly in the Chemex, V60, and Aeropress; less so in the french press). I have found that regardless of prep method, natural-processed Ethiopian coffees have a slight plasticky taste when freshly brewed, but that flavor dissipates as the coffee cools a bit to reveal more flavors.
V60: Nice flavors of bittersweet cocoa and tart blueberry. Made my mouth pucker, but not unpleasantly. Nice balance of depth and brightness. Musically, I would liken this to a woodwind quintet.
Aeropress: Oily, heavier cup. A little lemony and fruity. Complex and strong; assertive all the way around. Tastes like the Stravinsky Octet.
Chemex: A very clean and light-bodied cup with less chocolate and much more berry flavor. This is a flute choir.
French press: Heaviest in texture of the four. Nice depth of flavor! More dark chocolate and less fruit in this cup. A little muddy tasting (to clarify: it doesn’t literally taste like mud, it is the least filtered of the four methods so I was tasting a bit of grit and coffee sludge), but enjoyable. This tastes like a brass quintet.
Summary: I like this coffee. I went through a period of about 6 months where I was almost exclusively drinking natural-processed Ethiopians, so I personally am more interested in other flavor profiles now, but this coffee is delicious for anyone that enjoys blueberry/cocoa notes. Today I think I actually enjoyed the french press the most, but they were all eminently drinkable.
From the roaster: Thick body, chocolaty, dried banana and blueberry, sweet rich chocolate aftertaste, very clean and consistent