Review: Rare Bird Coffee Roasters Colombia La Hermosa (Falls Church, Virginia)

I visited the Rare Bird Coffee Roasters cafe in early January 2023. Normally, I prefer to drink black coffee, but if I see an unusual item on a cafe’s menu, I’ll try it out of curiosity. That morning, I tried their cardamom vanilla latte (very sweet, creamy, and dessert-like), and picked up a bag of this Colombia La Hermosa to take home. It was only a day or two post-roast, but I caught a cold just after this trip, so I waited to try these beans until I was feeling better.

Whole bean: Evenly roasted, no oil on the surface of the beans.

French press: tart, juicy, with flavors of black tea and lemon. Rich texture to the brew, thanks to the lack of paper filter.

Clever Dripper: Compared to the French press cup, the tart lemony notes were dialed way down – this had a much smoother, “darker” flavor that was like a cup of black tea without the tannins.

Hario V60: Very floral, light, perfume-like cup that tasted a little grassy. Total brew time was only 2:30 on my normal grind setting for this method, but I don’t think it suffered for it.

Chemex: I had a really hard time dialing in the grind size for this, for some reason. My usual grind setting range was not working out and despite going WAY finer than usual, I still only managed a 3:00 minute total brew time over two attempts. I wasn’t willing to go for a third. The resulting coffee was a bit pithy, tea-like, similar to the French press cup but with less tartness.

Summary: Depending on your brewing method, you can unlock tart, floral, citrusy flavors, or you can unlock rich, smooth, deep flavors. I happen to like the Hario V60 method best for these beans, but none of the coffee was bad – it just depends on your preferences. If you make this in a pour over method, do note that you may need to grind your beans much finer than usual to get a target 4:00 extraction time on a Chemex.

From the roaster: persimmon, butterscotch, peach

This coffee is no longer available at the time of writing, but I’ve put a link to the online store below.

Rare Bird Coffee Roasters Online Store

Review conducted 14 days post-roast.

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