Review: Anthology Coffee El Salvador El Gobiado-Carmen Orange Bourbon (Detroit, Michigan)

This is the second bag I ordered from Anthology Coffee recently. Both were Bourbons, but this second bag, from El Salvador (a region known for its Bourbon varietals), could hardly be more different from the first bag I got from Burundi.

Whole bean: fresh, light scent with a hint of thai basil. Ground, it smelled nutty, sweet, rich, and a little complex (no herbs, though).

V60: Right out of the brewer, there was a plasticky scent and the flavor was a bit metallic, but that dissipated after the coffee sat for a few minutes. This particular cup, at a 3:00 extraction, was not very complex but it was pleasant to drink. Medium-bodied coffee with a hint of acidity on the finish.

AeroPress: This had the most intense flavor of the four brewing methods I tried. I had to add just a touch of water after brewing, as it was a little too strong for me to drink without dilution. Good robust flavor of nuts and chocolate, though.

Chemex: Almond.

French press: This was a milk chocolate bomb, with a hint of almond milk flavor as well. Smooth as silk.

Summary: This is definitely an example of a coffee bean smelling differently than it tastes (seriously, where did the thai basil go?). Fans of chocolate and nut flavors in their coffee will enjoy this. I thought it was perfectly drinkable in all methods, but it was best in a french press because of the additional body the brewing method provided.

From the roaster: No tasting notes provided

Anthology Coffee only offers two coffee varietals at a time on its website, and as of the date I’m publishing this, this El Salvadorian coffee is no longer available, but here’s a link to their online store:

Anthology Coffee Home Page

Review conducted 14 days post-roast.

Review: Batdorf and Bronson Dancing Goats Blend (Atlanta, Georgia)

Before I started this blog, I had asked my Facebook friends to recommend some coffees to try out, and one of those coffees mentioned was this one – Batdorf and Bronson’s Dancing Goats Blend (thanks, Sara!). It took me close to two years to get around to trying it, but better late than never!

Batdorf and Bronson roasts beans in Atlanta, Georgia and in Olympia, Washington. They are a longtime part of the specialty coffee scene, having begun their business back in 1986 (30 years ago!). I had the pleasure of visiting their cafe in Atlanta (which is where I picked up their beans), and it truly is a gorgeous place – spacious and airy, with lots of comfortable chairs and sofas strewn about the sunroom-like outdoor area. I chose to pull up a stool to the only space left at the coffee bar, and happily sipped my way through a deliciously delicate Ethiopian pourover coffee. It happened to be my first cup of coffee in weeks, and it didn’t disappoint. I was very much looking forward to trying their beans at home, particularly since this roaster is famous for their Dancing Goats blend.

Whole bean: toasty aroma that smelled nutty and rich. Lots of nice depth to this coffee!

Espresso: The best shot I made of this roast tasted like chocolate-covered almonds, with amaretto on the finish. Decadent, with a pleasant bitterness on the finish. I found that these beans required a pretty high temperature – anything less than 205 degrees F made the espresso a bit sour!

Favorite parameters: 205 degrees F, 17 grams in, 21.6 grams out, 26 second extraction

AeroPress: This coffee made in an AeroPress tastes much like it does as espresso, just less intense. Still rather dark and toasty in flavor with a nutty bite to the finish. I don’t take cream or sugar in my coffee, but they would compliment this coffee very well if you choose to add them.

French press: Just for fun, I brewed these beans a couple of times as press-pot coffee, and while I didn’t think it was quite as special as the espresso, it was a satisfying cup of coffee if you’re looking for classic, comforting flavors.

Summary: I can see why this espresso blend has its fans, as it’s a crowd-pleasing mingling of flavors. This espresso is great on its own, and stands up well in milk drinks. It also does well brewed in methods like the AeroPress and a french press.

From the roaster: Our signature blend! Dark, smooth and sweet with a beautiful floral aroma, exceptionally clean acidity and a heavy, nutty body. Flavor nuances include fresh citrus fruits and fine chocolate. Caramelly and spicy, its complexity makes for both a flavorful espresso with rich, rusty reddish-brown crema as well an excellent drip coffee. This fabled blend is featured in espresso bars, cafes and restaurants across the United States that strive to create the “perfect cup”.

Batdorf and Bronson Dancing Goats Blend

Review: Roseline Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Gera (Portland, Oregon)

I know I bring them up a lot on this blog, but I have to give props to Houndstooth Coffee in Dallas for continuing to offer an intriguing rotating selection of roasters in addition to their house roaster (Tweed). On a recent visit, I was delighted to see bags of Roseline Coffee! I have reviewed Roseline’s Catapult Blend before and enjoyed it very much (once I figured out that it was an espresso blend), so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to grab this bag of their Ethiopia Gera.

This funny exchange happened at the shop:

Me: “Awesome! You guys have Roseline!”
Barista: “Whoa, you know Roseline?! And you pronounced it correctly!”
Me: …… “How else would you pronounce it?”
Barista: “We’ve had people saying Ross-lynn, Rose-lynn…”
Me:
tn_aTumP2D

The barista I chatted with said that she was particularly excited about this Ethiopia Gera, which made me look forward to trying it even more!

Whole bean: Light, nutty aroma.

French press: This was a plush, radiant coffee that had a really delicate and smooth flavor. A little nutty, a little sweet, a little juicy. It whispers and caresses the palate. Absolutely lovely. I was dumbfounded.

Chemex: Tea-like body but juicy. So refined! Not hugely different from the french press version, but perhaps a bit brighter in flavor. I enjoyed this a lot.

AeroPress: This rendition was the most bright/acidic of the four when consumed straight, but it wasn’t unpleasant – just a little louder than the other brews. Adding just a touch of water to the concentrate smoothed and sweetened it out.

V60: Peachy, silky and sweet. Damn good.

Summary: This is the first coffee I’ve had in 2016 that really blew me away. I love the delicate balance of flavors and how it just shimmers in the mouth, like you’re holding a gossamer ball of light on your tongue. It doesn’t have a strong flavor, so if you’re used to coffee slapping you awake in the morning, this will seem really mild-mannered and polite in comparison. But, for those times when you want to sit and contemplate the beauty inherent in things that are fleeting (which for me is a lot of the time!), this coffee fits the bill.

From the roaster: peach, chestnut, oolong tea

I am heartbroken to say that this coffee is not currently available on Roseline’s website. I feel like such a tease.

(Edited 4/14/16: It’s up! Roseline Coffee Ethiopia Gera)

Roseline Coffee Online Store

Review: La Colombe Torrefaction Nizza Espresso Blend (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

This is the second bag of La Colombe coffee that I’ve had in recent months, and this was the reason I wanted to order from them in the first place: I had heard that this company is known for their espresso. If you read my other La Colombe review, you know that I was a little taken aback that the coffee I received wasn’t roasted to order. The same was true for this bag. Mind you, the coffee wasn’t OLD… just not as fresh as it could have been.

When I buy coffee, I follow two general rules as best as I can:

  1. Don’t buy coffee that is more than a week old.
  2. Don’t buy coffee that doesn’t have a roast date on the packaging.

I ordered my coffee on February 7, and received both bags on February 11. This bag of Nizza was labeled, “Best by April 3, 2016.” Uh oh. No roast date??? A “best by” date can mean just about anything!! However, I did a little digging on Google and determined that La Colombe uses a two-month window to determine “best by” dates, which means that this bag of coffee was roasted on February 3. Still not roasted to order, but I probably would have waited a week to crack open a bag of espresso anyway, so it worked out. I slightly resent feeling like I HAVE to open a bag immediately though.

Whole bean: Medium roast, no oil sheen on the beans. Good sign so far.

It took me 4 passes before I had dialed in the grind and dosage enough to get what I considered to be a decent double espresso shot, and I kept experimenting for another 6 (not all in the same day!). I am not an expert on Italian-style espresso, as I’ve only had it a handful of times at cafes, but this blend tastes much like what I would expect from an Italian-style espresso: dark, rich, with notes of caramel and dark chocolate and a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. It made for some beautiful-looking shots, with loads of crema and very attractive mottling. At its best, it reminded me of a Milky Way candy bar.

Favorite parameters for this blend: 17 g in, 34 g out, 200 degrees F, 24 second extraction.

With milk: I think this is where this espresso blend really shines. The nutty, caramelly notes in the coffee stand up extremely well in a cappuccino, latte, etc., and made for a pretty decadent drink.

Summary: If you’re looking for a classic-tasting espresso roast, I think this would be right up your alley. Personally, I drink more straight shots vs. milk drinks, and I prefer American-style espresso that has a bit more flavor complexity, but this is a crowd-pleasing espresso blend that would be an ideal cafe workhorse and a good template for adding additional flavors if you’re into that sort of thing. I can’t speak for if it’s actually good for two months like the “best by” date claims (I try and drink all my coffee within 2-3 weeks of roasting!), but in the week or so that I experimented with it at home, I got good results.

From the roaster: Nutty, caramel, renowned

La Colombe Torrefaction Nizza Espresso Blend

Review: Spella Caffe India Chikmagalur Peaberry (Portland, Oregon)

On my previous trip to Portland in September, Spella Caffe was on my shortlist of roasters/cafes to visit, but I ran out of time (and I had to cut myself off after acquiring six other bags of coffee!). Thankfully, I had another chance over the Thanksgiving holiday. Spella is a bit of an anomaly in the crowded PDX-coffee scene, in that it definitely leans more toward a traditional Italian-style espresso vs. the brighter, fruitier shots served in many third-wave coffee shops. Spella even pulls their shots on a lever-style manual espresso machine, rather than the semi-automatics common to most upscale cafes. The proprietor, Andrea Spella, roasts in small batches (eleven pounds at a time) for optimum quality control. Basically, all of these factors combined to make me very interested in trying their espresso beans.

Fate, however, had other plans for me, as when I visited the shop, they were out of espresso beans. My sister was outside the shop, and apparently she could tell exactly what was wrong when she saw the interaction between me and the woman behind the register as she watched through their plate-glass window.

“SPELLA!!!!!”

However, all was not lost, as they had a fresh batch of this India Peaberry on hand. The barista told me that this particular bean lent itself well to pourover methods, so I was intrigued enough to purchase it. I suppose I should have had an espresso shot in the shop, but I was in a bit of a rush, so I didn’t. Perhaps another time!

Whole bean: Earthy, buttery, and rich aroma. This isn’t a dark roast (the beans are medium at most, with no oily sheen), but it has a depth to it that I haven’t experienced in a while.

V60: If I was given a cup of this while blindfolded, I would have sworn it was a Sumatran coffee. It actually reminded me quite a lot of the “Eeyore coffee” I reviewed earlier in the year: a bit spicy like cloves, with a medium body.

AeroPress: The concentrate was full in body and tasted a bit like toasted marshmallow. However, the finish was brighter, like cranberry and star anise.

Chemex: This was a pleasant cup to drink; it was delicate and nutty, with a little bit of a buttery and spicy finish.

French press: Thick, satisfying, full-bodied and buttery cup. Smooth.

Summary: I haven’t explored a lot of coffees from this area of the world, but with winter coming, it almost seems like the right time to expand my horizons again. I used to drink a lot of Sumatran coffee before I got bored of it and decided to explore other regions, but this coffee (while not a Sumatran) reminded me of how good coffee from this general part of the world could be – it had very clean flavors and was meticulously roasted. I would recommend this either in a Chemex or a French press, depending on how you like your coffee (light/medium-bodied or full-bodied).

From the roaster: No tasting notes

Spella does not currently sell coffees online, but they are available in multiple retail outlets in Oregon.

Guide to Spella from Portland Food and Drink

Spella Caffe Home

Review: Eiland Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi (Richardson, Texas)

This past Sunday was the first annual Dallas Coffee Day, and by all accounts it was a smashing success. What a great event! Eight fantastic Dallas-area coffee roasters gathered to celebrate their shared collective passion for craft coffee and the steady elevation of coffee culture in Dallas/Fort Worth. There was such a friendly and welcoming vibe to the whole event. I suppose it’s not surprising that a large room of caffeinated people would be in a good mood, but there really was a terrific convivial feel to the whole day.

The featured roasters were (in alphabetical order):
Ascension Coffee Roasters
Avoca Coffee Roasters
Cultivar Coffee
Eiland Coffee Roasters
Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters
Novel Coffee Roasters
Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters
Tweed Coffee Roasters

I’ve been lucky enough to sample coffee from all of these roasters in some capacity (and I’ve even reviewed a number of them on the blog), EXCEPT for Eiland (same pronounciation as “island”), which is ironic since of all the roasters on this list, they are the closest to my house. Eiland (like all of the other roasters present) had small bags (8 oz) available for sale, so I bought this one after asking the helpful associate which he would recommend if I was just buying ONE bag.

Whole bean: Notes of berry and cocoa. There was a nice depth to this aroma. Ground, I smelled buttery richness. I’m already liking this.

French press: Mostly cocoa flavors with some toasty characteristics. Smooths a bit as it cools. Bold, strong flavor. As it sat, I got a rich, buttery mouthfeel in the cup.

Chemex: Yum. Smooth as silk!! This brew had less cocoa and more berry character but it was not overly fruity or tart. I was surprised at the rich mouthfeel in the cup considering the rather thick Chemex filter. Again, as the coffee cooled, I tasted and felt butter on the palate. Decadently delicious.

AeroPress: I drank this as a concentrate and felt it was pretty strong but pleasant. There was a slight tannic presence but it had a nice cocoa note and brightness of strawberry. More butter on the finish! I’m sensing a theme here.

V60: Bright, sharp scent to this cup, with a toasty, nutty flavor. Very little fruit in this cup but once again, in time I tasted a beautifully buttery finish.

Summary: Of the natural-processed Ethiopians I’ve tried thus far, this particular crop has some of the most emphasis on cocoa/chocolate flavors that I’ve encountered. Since I like berry brightness, I enjoyed the Chemex version of this most, but even that batch wouldn’t be a coffee I would classify as fruity or heavy in berry flavor. This coffee is good for people that like deep chocolaty flavors and buttery richness in their brew. Approachable, comforting, and delicious, with just a little hint of interesting character that keeps you thinking about drinking more!

From the roaster: Jam, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, buttery, medium body, strawberry-like acidity, natural (dry) process

Eiland Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi Natural Process

Review: Sterling Coffee Roasters Blendo Stupendo Espresso Blend (Portland, Oregon)

If you read my Sterling Coffee Roasters Kenya Gachatha AA review, you’ll recall that I was a babbling neurotic mess at the coffee shop and the roaster himself took pity on me and gave me a bag for free, with the suggestion that if I liked what I tasted, I could order from the website in the future as a thank-you. Well, since the Gachatha AA definitely lived up to my expectations, I fulfilled my promise and purchased bags of their Guatemala Los Carillos (which will be my next review) and this bag of their house espresso blend, named Blendo Stupendo.

Blendo Stupendo?!

I admit, I think this name is rather silly, but I rather enjoy silly things.

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous review is that Sterling ships their coffee in 10-ounce bags, which is a bit smaller than the usual 12- or 16-ounce bags from most roasters. I’m not generally picky about my bag sizing, but when it comes to espresso, bags smaller than 12 ounces make me a little nervous because it can take me a while to dial in the proper parameters for an espresso shot, especially if I’ve never worked with that particular bean before. What do I mean by “dialing in a shot”? When I am making espresso, I make note of the following factors:

Input (how many grams of coffee I grind into the portafilter)
Grind setting
Water temperature at the start of extraction
Output (weight of the espresso yield)
Extraction time

As I experiment, I note results in the cup and change one item at a time so I can pinpoint what parameters I think will lead to the ideal shot. This all can change as the beans age, and if the weather/humidity changes substantially! It’s quite a dance. I don’t typically do an espresso tasting on a morning where I have to be someplace because fine-tuning these shots can take quite a while. Luckily, once I find the “right” parameters, I don’t have to change them too much for the remainder of the bag. I started with the 10-ounce bag, and it took me about 4 ounces of beans before I felt I had figured out the right parameters, so I luckily had 6 ounces of beans left to enjoy.

Whole beans: Lots of sweet and nutty chocolate notes in the aroma!

I found that pulling shots timed between 23-27 seconds from first drip yielded the best-tasting shots. According to their website, Sterling pulls their shots at 19g in, 30g out, 24-28 seconds (no note on temperature). I tried this at 201 F, and it was pretty good – extremely smooth and sweet, creamy, very easy to drink. However, I must be a ristretto kind of person because 19g in, 15g out, 201 F at 27 seconds yielded a shot that was like sweet chocolate syrup with just a hint of plum. So delicious. The normale shot tasted bland in comparison.

Adding milk: To replicate as closely as possible what Sterling does in their cafes, I pulled a normale shot and added 10 oz steamed milk to make a latte. Creamy, sweet, mild, and delicious. It smelled like milk chocolate and tasted like love. Friendly, uncomplicated, gentle, and comforting. What a nice way to wake up!

I also pulled a ristretto shot and added around 4 oz of steamed milk. This was even better than the previous drink to me; I liked how the ristretto shot + less milk = a more assertive (but still super smooth and creamy) coffee flavor.

AeroPress: Even though these beans are a medium roast, when brewed in the AeroPress they came out tasting like a dark roast to my palate. There were no chocolate flavors – just a very strong and slightly harsh taste. When I added water to the concentrate, it was better but still one-dimensional.

Summary: Delicious blend for espresso, both straight and in milk. Underwhelming to me in an AeroPress, but if you like the taste of dark-roasted coffee, this might float your boat. I would love if Sterling would sell Blendo Stupendo in slightly larger bags so that I didn’t feel like I was wasting such a large proportion of my coffee dialing in the shot (the next size up is in 3 lb bags, which is just too much for me!).

From the roaster:

(website) Blendo Stupendo is carefully crafted to balance smooth taste and premium drinkability.  We use it in our shops as our primary espresso for all milk drinks and those customers who want a consistent, Italian-style coffee without a lot of brightness. Currently the Stupendo is 75% Cauca Colombia and 25% Sao Silvestre Brazil.  The Colombia is rich and smooth, and the Brazil adds a peanut brittle sweetness.  Medium roasted for every preparation.

(printed on bag) Blendo Stupendo is the George Washington of coffee. Composed of top quality Central and South American beans, the Stupendo is sourced and roasted to taste like the coffee our country grew up drinking. With classic flavors like rich chocolate, caramel, and a hint of toasted nuts, Stupendo will get you across the Delaware (or at least it’ll get you to work).

Sterling Coffee Roasters Blendo Stupendo

Review: Ascension Brazil Rainha Farms (Dallas, Texas)

Sometimes, when I talk to people about the flavors in coffee, they get confused and think that I drink flavored coffees… you know, stuff like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Peppermint Mochas, Red Velvet Frappuccinos. I admit that I enjoyed some vanilla lattes in my youth, but I haven’t had a “flavored” coffee in quite some time. You won’t find any flavored syrups in my house! What I’m referring to are the different flavor characteristics inherent in the different bean varietals, grown in various parts of the world. This post on single-origin coffees gets into this topic in more detail.

I’ve been drinking a lot of African and Central American coffee lately, and I’ve been awash in flavors of berry, citrus, flowers, honey… lots of bright, interesting tastes. But you know how sometimes all you want is something simple and comforting? I love being challenged musically as much as the next musician, and I find complexity to be irresistible… but sometimes you just want uncomplicated pop or stadium rock. Sometimes, after months of listening to Joy Division, John Adams, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sufjan Stevens, Shostakovich, of Montreal, Steve Reich, and Radiohead, nothing else will do except for some Journey, preferably while driving with the windows down and singing along at the top of your lungs.

(I can’t believe I just admitted this.)

(And for anyone out there making fun of me right now, would you be comfortable with me opening up your iTunes collection and letting me see EVERYTHING you have in it? I am guessing I’m not the only one with musical guilty pleasures out there!)

Brazilian drip coffee is not something I seek out on a regular basis, because to me it’s like a coffee version of stadium-rock; big, crowd-pleasing flavor that has mass appeal. I generally prefer more complex, layered coffees. But, for those days where you don’t want to be pushed or stretched, it’s comfort food in a cup. I stopped at Ascension Coffee’s Dallas location the other day for lunch, and this bag was among the freshest coffee (at 3 days old), so I opted to give it a try.

Whole bean: Creamy, malty, milk chocolate aromas.

V60: At a 2:50 extraction, this cup was a bit bitter and it “smelled like coffee.” In my book, because I typically look for layers of flavor, it struck me as a bit boring. However, drinking it was like a throwback to a different, less complicated time. Adding a splash of cream took away the bitterness and made this cup taste like Nestle Quik. Hello, childhood!

AeroPress: Rich, nutty flavor that had a fair bit of acidic bite to keep things awake. Just for fun, I added a glug of heavy cream and a bit of sugar. This cup became a chocolate milkshake. Holy cannoli, it was rich.

Chemex: Light-bodied but smoother in flavor overall than the V60 and AeroPress cups. This was pretty easy to drink black. 

French press:  As I expected, this cup was smooth, full-bodied, and the richest in nut/chocolate flavor. Comforting. It enveloped me like a fleece blanket. Uncomplicated and soothing.

Espresso: Out of curiosity, I chose to pull this as a single-origin espresso. I actually think I liked it the best in this preparation! Though I didn’t experiment much, the shots that my Silvano produced were complex, a little brash in their acidity, but sweet. Very drinkable!

Summary: Get this if you like chocolate milkshakes, or if you want a coffee that will hold you and tell you everything will be all right. It’s not a coffee that will make you question things, or that will push you out of your comfort zone. Rather, it is mac and cheese. It is Journey’s “Faithfully.” It is a hug from an old friend.

From the roaster: Brazil nuts, toffee

Ascension Coffee Roastery Online Store

Review: Sightglass Owl’s Howl Espresso (San Francisco, California)

Sightglass Coffee is a family-owned roaster based in San Francisco. I have known this roaster by reputation for a while, but this is the first time I’ve ever gotten a chance to try their product. I picked up this bag from B2 Coffee at the same time that I picked up the Verve Guatemala Los Santos.

Whole beans: Honestly, I couldn’t smell anything. All I could smell was the paper bag the beans came in! However, once I ground the beans, they smelled like bing cherries.

I pulled these beans with a variety of parameters, but throughout, the beans displayed a bright, nutty flavor like lemon curd and cashews. Not my personal preference, but I was surprised by how well-balanced I found the shot, even though I don’t care for this flavor profile in espresso.

I tried this espresso in a 6 oz flat white, and the espresso flavor was overwhelmed and muted, even with just 4 oz or so of milk. I was surprised that the Owl’s Howl didn’t stand up better in a milk drink, considering its tart, bright flavor. However, maybe I am glad for that — the idea of lemony milk is not very appealing to me! If I had ordered this flat white while out and about, I would have considered it a little weak but plenty drinkable.

Brewed in the AeroPress, the Owl’s Howl was much smoother and darker tasting. I didn’t get any lemon flavor in this method; instead, I got brown sugar and a little almond, with a plasticky aftertaste.

Summary: My personal preference in espresso leans toward more chocolate/caramel flavors, but if you like fruity, nutty espresso, this is a nice blend. It lost its personality in a small amount of milk, so I don’t think it’s the best choice for people that like strong coffee flavor in their milk drinks.

From the roaster: Composed of seasonally rotating coffees, this blend displays a deep, honey-like body, with notes of ripe berry, chocolate-covered cherry, and sweet candied lemon.

Sightglass Owl’s Howl

Review: Summer Moon Organic Sweet Hearth (Austin, Texas)

My dear friend Julee brought me this bag from a recent trip to Austin, knowing I would be intrigued by the workings of this roaster. Summer Moon Wood-Fired Coffee Roasters is a company that does everything old-school. They built their brick hearth by hand, one brick at a time. They use no electricity or modern technology in the roasting process; just a wood fire (oak) and a hand-turned roasting drum. They know the coffee’s done when the coffee tells them it’s done, via sight, smell, and sound.

This coffee was labeled as a medium roast on the bag. When I opened it up, I raised an eyebrow because I felt that the contents of the bag had bypassed “medium” and were beginning to venture into what I would consider a medium-dark stage, due to the sheen of oil on the beans. There are no official standards for “light” or “medium,” so every roaster is free to define it as they wish, but it was a bit past what I would consider to be a medium roast. I would be afraid to see what a dark roast from this roaster looks like.

From left to right: a light roast from Joe’s Coffee, a medium roast from Stumptown, and a “medium” roast from Summer Moon. Note the deeper color and oily sheen to Summer Moon’s medium vs. Stumptown’s.

IMG_1124

Whole beans: Smoky. Nutty. No trace of any origin characteristics to my nose. The bag says the beans come from Honduras but I would never have known that from the smell – to me, it just smells like dark-roasted coffee.

V60: Notes of toffee with a medium-bodied finish.

AeroPress: Consumed via the traditional brewing method as a coffee concentrate, it was smooth and had a nice fullness to the body. This would be a good canvas for adding milk/sugar and flavorings.

Chemex: Strong note of roasted peanuts. Light body (the filter likely caught most of the natural oils). Reminds me of a PayDay bar but not as sweet.

French press: Fullest in body, with a smooth finish and a smoky taste.

Espresso: I tried pulling this coffee as an espresso shot at a couple of different temperatures to see what would happen. Luckily, I got the right grind size right off the bat but the flavors ranged from bitter (at 201 degrees) to just okay (at 199). I didn’t see too much potential in this as a straight espresso, as it was rather one-dimensional for my taste, but I’m pretty sure with a bit more experimentation I could get a smooth, “comfort food” espresso shot out of it that would work fine in a milk drink.

Summary: This coffee was definitely roasted on the dark side of medium. It “tastes like coffee,” and would be pleasing to anyone looking for a smooth, uncomplicated brew that is not acidic.

From the roaster: Traces of almond and sweet brown sugar finish.

Summer Moon Sweet Hearth