I had last tried beans from Kuma Coffee back in 2015, not long after I had started this blog. I remember liking their coffee for its fruity, bright notes, but I also remember struggling a bit in my first tasting because I was picking up on a papery taste from the unbleached filter I was using in my Chemex. I’ve learned a lot in the six years since I had started delving deeply into coffee, so when the folks at Kuma reached out to me about possibly doing a couple of reviews of their current selections, I jumped at the chance to try their coffee again, now being a bit older and wiser about how to get the most out of my beans.
Whole beans: Wow, this was a surprise – when I opened the bag, I was immediately hit with the spicy, savory aroma of black peppercorns! Not what I expected at all. Once ground, the coffee smelled a bit more like cloves. Still spicy but with more sweetness.
French press: This was the first cup I brewed from this bag. Given how strong the black pepper aroma was from the whole beans, I was curious if that would make its way to the resulting coffee, but it did not. What I did get in the cup was a coffee that tasted of Boston brown bread, vanilla, and a hint of molasses, all somehow without being sweet.
V60: This brewed coffee was toasty and mildly sweet, reminding me of a high-quality hot cocoa made with gourmet bittersweet chocolate. In addition, there was a delicate stone fruit flavor on the back end (peach/apricot), and the coffee itself smelled like rich cream but had a light mouthfeel. A interesting paradox!
Chemex: What a difference – this was the juiciest cup of the lot, with strong tangy flavors of apricot and black tea. While it didn’t taste like citrus, it was sweet in the way that citrus fruits are sweet – toeing the line between that tart/sweet divide. A truly mouth-watering coffee.
AeroPress: Brewed as a concentrate, this resulted in a surprisingly smooth coffee that had a strong jab of lemon on the finish. Another interesting dichotomy! Adding some additional water to dilute the brew balanced everything out well.
Summary: This was among one of the more complex and interesting coffees I’ve had in a long time. All four brewing methods I used resulted in wildly different flavors in the cup. I think the Chemex made my personal favorite from this experiment, but all four cups were tasty, and if any of the tasting notes I brought up sound good to you, I’d say go for it!
From the roaster: apricot jam, Ovaltine, vanilla
Review conducted 5-8 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.