Hilo is located on the northeastern end of the big island of Hawaii, and this area experiences one of the highest levels of rainfall of anywhere in the world (around 300 days a year), which makes growing coffee a challenge. The resulting crop is small and rare; this will never be a coffee that will be available in mass quantities!
Whole bean: These beans have a very sweet, fragrant, almost spicy aroma. I was vaguely reminded of pumpkin bread. It didn’t quite smell like cinnamon, but it did have a spicy warmth to it that was really alluring.
V60: I noted in previous reviews of this roaster that the flavor of the brewed coffee tasted less strong than the aroma was, and that held true here too. The coffee was subtle and delicate with a dry finish. It wasn’t bad at all, but compared to later cups, this iteration wasn’t my favorite as I felt it wasn’t the most balanced cup flavor-wise.
AeroPress: This was my favorite brewing method for these beans. Sweet, buttery, with a lovely touch of spice. I suspect these beans would make an amazing single-origin espresso for anyone inclined to try them that way!
Chemex: Similar to the Hario V60 cup but smoother and a little blander overall.
French press: This was a great cup of coffee for those that like their brew assertive. Straight out of the press, I thought it was a little bit bitter, but after letting the coffee cool for a few minutes, it revealed some spicy notes of cinnamon and clove.
Summary: I feel that the immersion methods brought out the best in these beans. The AeroPress was my favorite brewing method for these beans for its rich, sweet, decadent flavors. The French press resulted in a cup that was less sweet, but still satisfying with its depth and spice.
From the roaster: warm spice, baking bread, wildflower honey
Review conducted 20 days post-roast.
Disclaimer: I received this product gratis in exchange for a fair and honest review. Even though I received this for free, I treat and test it the same way as if I had paid for it out of my own pocket.