Review: Square Mile Coffee Roasters Ecuador Vitaliano Merino (London, England)

Square Mile Coffee Roasters really blew me away when I tried their Ethiopia Mormora and Red Brick Espresso last year, so I was very much looking forward to having another chance to pick up some of their beans. Due to my tight schedule on my last visit, I opted to order online and have the beans shipped (taking advantage of the free shipping within the UK) rather than visiting a cafe, and this coffee from Ecuador was the featured coffee at the time.

Whole bean: This smelled like cranberries and red fruit, with a hint of floral character.

French press: There was a lot going on flavor-wise in this cup but the main flavor was of sour cherries. Thick texture with citrus pith on the finish. I don’t think this brew method was the best for these beans. The overall impression I got was that the flavors were unbalanced. It was as if we were at a play, and there was one huge spotlight illuminating the entire stage. Everything was emphasized, and it was hard to discern what was meant to be seen. If this coffee was a piece of writing, I felt like this cup was written in ALL CAPS.

Chemex: Much better than the French press cup, in my opinion. The thinner texture (thanks to the thick filter) suits these bright, fruity flavors. The coffee smelled and tasted like red fruit (cranberry, raspberry) and rose with a refreshing tangy finish. I imagine some people would interpret the tanginess as being sour, but I found it very pleasantly lively.

AeroPress: Similar to the French press cup – so much going on, very loud! It was overwhelming.

V60: This cup was a little less tangy and a little sweeter than the Chemex cup. Simpler in character, and more approachable for someone not so used to lighter roast coffee.

Summary: This coffee is too loud and hard to handle when made in immersion methods, but I enjoyed it in pourover methods. The raspberry/rose character I got from the Chemex was delicious!

From the roaster: redcurrant jelly, rosehip, lavender

By the time I got around to writing this review, this particular coffee was out of stock on Square Mile’s site, but here’s a link to their online store to browse their current offerings: Square Mile Coffee Roasters Shop

Review conducted 13 days post-roast.

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