On my recent trip to Michigan (where I picked up bags from Astro Coffee of Andytown and George Howell beans), I had hoped to find beans from a local Michigan roaster. Sadly, I arrived in Detroit just slightly too late to pick up any coffee from Anthology Coffee’s location… on Saturdays, their shop closes at 4 pm, and I arrived at the store at 4:03 pm. This pretty much sums up my reaction:
Happily though, the magic of the US Postal Service allowed me to get my hands on beans from this Michigan roaster anyway. This was the first of two bags that I ordered.
First off: what are bourbon beans? Don’t get excited, there’s no bourbon in these beans, nor are they aged in bourbon barrels. Rather, Bourbon refers to a particular family of coffee bean. Most people know that there are two main kinds of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Within the Arabica category, there are categories such as (but not limited to) Geisha, Typica, and Bourbon. The name Bourbon has to do with this varietal’s cultivation on the island of Bourbon (now known as Réunion) in the Indian Ocean, rather than from any use of the spirit. Sorry, Maker’s Mark fans!
Whole bean: Very bright aroma, that smelled like a vaguely floral perfume. This does not smell like a typical coffee, that’s for sure!
French press: Smooth mouthfeel gave way to a bright flavor full of green grape, white wine, and vanilla. There was also a hint of paper towel/pulp aroma in this cup, which was perplexing to me as a french press uses no paper filters. Weird!
Chemex: Even though I know Bourbon coffees have nothing to do with bourbon the alcoholic spirit, this particular brewing method did produce a coffee that tasted downright boozy to me. It was rather astringent in character. Not my favorite.
AeroPress: Smooth and easy to drink without any additional water added, with an aroma and flavor of spearmint.
V60: This cup had the darkest depth of flavor of the four methods. Toast and vanilla. Very easy to drink, if a bit simpler in character than the others.
Summary: I enjoyed the complexity of flavors best from the coffee brewed in the french press, though the papery taste was distracting. The V60 cup was less complex but pleasant to drink.
From the roaster: No tasting notes provided
Review conducted 4 days post-roast.