Review: Devoción Coffee Honey House Blend (Brooklyn, New York)

Early on in my specialty coffee journey, I learned about the “rule of 15s”: for best flavor, use ground coffee within 15 minutes, roasted whole bean coffee within 15 days, and green coffee within 15 months. If this rule of thumb holds true across the industry, that means many coffee roasters could be working with green coffee beans that are a year or more old before they are roasted and packaged/served. Is a year too long for green (unroasted) coffee beans to sit around? Devoción sure seems to think so, and their company practice is to expedite the process from harvest to cup, to make the turnaround time as little as 10-45 days.

Devoción was founded in 2006, and they specialize solely in Colombian coffee. Their website states, “roasting provides only half of coffee’s flavor, while mere freshness of the beans does the rest of the work. And yet, most coffee beans sit around for months, losing flavor every day. That’s why the Devoción team does everything short of picking the cherry, and do it faster than anyone else — we hand-select our 1,000+ farm partners, dry-mill at our Bogotá facility, control the export process, and roast in Brooklyn.” I’ve never heard the claim before that roasting only provides half of coffee’s flavor, but their dedication to the freshness of their product intrigued me enough to give their beans a try. Was all their fussiness about 10-45 days worth the trouble?

Whole bean: Evenly roasted. Unlike most roasters, Devoción provides two dates: green bean date and roast date. For this bag, the green bean date was October 24, and the roast date was December 5. That means that my beans were roasted 42 days after harvest, and I did my tasting on December 10, 47 days after harvest.

French press: Sweet like clementines and honey, with a “fresh” finish, almost like a touch of wintergreen/mint. The tasting notes mentioned eucalyptus so I will attribute it to that! This was the only brewing method in which I noticed that herbaceous note.

Chemex: Predominately tasted of honey, with a tangy character and a caramel sweetness to the finish.

Clever Dripper: This was surprisingly sweet and smooth relative to the bright, citrusy character of the other cups – less like honey and more like caramel.

Hario V60: Very similar to the Chemex cup, delicious and tangy result.

Summary: The Honey House Blend lived up to its namesake, and I enjoyed the notes of honey and caramel that came through in all the brew methods. The pourover methods were tangier while the immersion methods were sweeter overall, but all were delicious. Did I notice a marked difference in flavor since the coffee was processed so much faster than average? Honestly, I couldn’t really tell. Perhaps if I had a coffee that was 365 days old served next to one that was 47 days old, I could tell a difference? But as it was, I just tasted a lovely coffee and enjoyed it. I do appreciate the transparency Devoción provides regarding their timeline, though.

From the roaster: Honey, orange blossom, caramel, and a hint of eucalyptus

Devoción Coffee Honey House Blend

Review conducted 5 days post-roast.

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