This offering from Kona Roasted is named for Gary and Valerie, the farmers of this varietal. Gary and Valerie moved from California to Hawaii in 2005 and, with the knowledge they’ve built over the past fifteen years of coffee farming, have cultivated a crop that earned a 92 from Coffee Review in 2020!
Whole bean: Rather large beans, evenly roasted with no oil on the surface (always a great sign). These beans had a rich aroma that was a bit floral like roses.
French press: Clean, very pleasant coffee to drink. I think the aroma was more complex than the flavor; the coffee had a scent of roses and chocolate but it didn’t taste quite as strong as it smelled. Well-balanced and easy to enjoy, even for people that might be new to the idea of coffee with floral notes!
Chemex: This was quite different from the French press cup. When brewed this way, the coffee was a bit creamy and smooth at the front, with a clean finish that reminded me of skim milk. There was a subtle nuttiness in the cup I wasn’t expecting. Not as much floral character; this method brought out more milk/cashew notes.
AeroPress: The concentrate had a lovely tangy quality with more of the rose character I noticed before when using the French press. When I added additional water, it resulted in a nutty/milky cup much like the Chemex version, but closer in mouthfeel to 2% milk instead of skim.
V60: Given how much I liked this coffee in the other three methods, I wasn’t expecting to have problems with it here, but it did not turn out well in my test. My brewing time was on the longer side (3:20) and I think that’s probably just too long for this particular coffee because it tasted over-extracted. There were floral notes, but I also got a strong scent of rubber from it… not pleasant. I meant to try again with a coarser grind because I’m sure it was user error, but I had so much coffee to go through that I had to move on. This just goes to show though how important the correct grind size is in pourover methods! If you try these beans in this method, I’d aim for a shorter extraction time for sure.
Summary: This coffee has a lovely subtle character that shines in multiple brewing methods. The french press brought out sweet notes of milk chocolate and rose, and the resulting coffee was smooth and well-balanced. The Chemex and AeroPress brought out more nutty/milky flavors and made for a black coffee with an unusual creaminess to it. Very pleasant and easy to consume; rather than shouting at you, it whispers its secrets to you as you drink it.
From the roaster: rose water, orange zest, milk chocolate
Review conducted 19-20 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.