What I’m Drinking:
October Coffee Highlights

“If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen.”

This pearl of wisdom was spoken by Joe Marrocco during the first cupping class my wife and I attended at Coffee Fest in New York, now almost three years ago. Back then I was just getting into specialty coffee, learning everything I possibly could, and although we weren’t taking notes during our introductory class, those words stuck with me.

Yet, here I am… no notes, no journals, nothing… just vague memories of a month filled with excellent coffee, which I can in no way hope to describe. That photo up top, the Kenya Mugaya from Kuma Coffee? That was over a month ago and I couldn’t tell you anything about it. I remember enjoying it, and that was around the time I started to move away from French Press and back to my favored pour-overs, but what did the coffee actually taste like? I don’t remember.

oct2016-3

The same goes for this Ethiopia Guji from Square One, my most recent delivery from Mistobox. One of many Ethiopian coffees we tried last month, it was used up after a handful of batch brews in the Bonavita, and anything truly special was lost on my continually declining palate. Nice design on the bag, though, and one of my favorite things about Mistobox: trying new roasters for the first time.

oct2016-2

My other full-bag monthly subscription, Crema.co, delivered this excellent selection from Onyx Coffee Lab. Probably the one coffee that stood out the most, this Ethiopia Hambela Buku was bright and fruity, brought memories of previous Onyx roasts that blew me away and left me wanting more.

But even a coffee that stuck in my head is now left to the most generic descriptors, and I know there was more going on in the cup. Remember when I used to taste coffee? Remember when I got out the cupping gear and slurped my way to more specific flavor notes? Family life grew too busy for such an extensive coffee hobby, but I need to find a better way to enjoy the beautiful beans that allows time for focus.

oct2016-5

I know, we really did drink almost nothing but Ethiopia last month… But this Yirgacheffe Banko Dhadhato from Vashon Coffee Company really shined in my October Bean Box, so I brought in a full bag to get a second (and third, etc.) taste. It was beautiful, what you might expect from any good Yirg, and it may have been my wife’s favorite among our morning batch brews.

oct2016-6

Last time I shared the very first Box Set from The Department of Brewology, and this was the second edition, featuring The Barn Coffee Roasters from Berlin. It may be the first time I’ve had coffee roasted outside the US, and I loved the information cards included with the bag, English on one side, German on the other.

The coffee was a special microlot from Guatemala, a washed Caturra produced by Misael Rodriguez. It was interesting, very clean and crisp, but complex such that I could not pick out any specific flavor notes. I found it highly enjoyable, but it was a perfect example of how badly I need to practice tasting coffee. After all, I’m competing once again in the Flight of Fancy contest from Populace Coffee, and that starts this week! (more on that later…)

So it’s time to start writing stuff down.

I need to get back to my daily coffee journal, and I need to taste more coffee with other people and calibrate. There is hardly any point in sharing these bags of coffee with you, dear reader, when I have almost nothing to say about them due to my own lack of care in preparation and taste. If I’m going to continue writing about coffee, which I do enjoy, I need to record my thoughts and impressions daily.

Perhaps by next year I will have a new system in place for taking notes, but for now I’m going to make it as simple as possible and just start. Readers: do any of you take notes about your coffee experiences? If so, I’d love to hear what details you choose to include and what you focus on the most.

Sudden Coffee:
Instant Specialty Coffee

Instant coffee… did you ever think you’d see those words on this blog? I didn’t, at least not until I listened to a recent episode of the I Brew My Own Coffee podcast where they interviewed two-time Finnish Barista Champion Kalle Freese about his breakthrough product: Sudden Coffee.

Suddenly (ha!) instant coffee became quite interesting. I had to try it out, so within a week I was greeted with a simple satchel holding eight tubes of instant specialty coffee.

sudden-1

I won’t go into the full story behind Kalle’s coffee journey (listen to the podcast for more details) but I love his breakdown of instant coffee and why it is traditionally horrible. You take the absolute worst beans, the ones nobody else wants, roast them, then brew it for maximum extraction. It’s all about the numbers, creating a product with the lowest possible cost, and there’s no room for quality in the recipe.

Specialty coffee can’t compete at that price level (nor can farmers, pickers, anyone at origin make enough to improve their lives) and it’s easy to write it off as a market not suited to quality. Nobody buying a can of instant crystals from the store is going to accept or even understand the price of a great cup of coffee, but that’s not what Sudden is about.

sudden-2

Sudden Coffee is about making specialty coffee accessible even in situations where it would otherwise be impossible to brew a quality beverage. For Kalle, it’s his grandmother’s house in the middle of the forest. For others it may be at the office, at a hotel, or even at home when the baby is finally sleeping and I don’t want to crank up the grinder, just in case.

Sometimes it’s a coffee emergency, as happened with one of our tubes last week. Our cold brew tap had just run out, and my mom needed her morning iced coffee. I poured a tube of Sudden Coffee into her cup, added 8oz. of cold water, some ice, and she was good to go. There were no grounds to clean up, and my mom was able to rush out the door without waiting several minutes for me to brew a quick iced pour-over. Best of all, the coffee was excellent!

sudden-4

Our first shipment of Sudden Coffee featured my favorite coffee origin, Ethiopia, roasted by 49th Parallel in Vancouver. This Biftu Gudina was bright and floral, balanced, with a certain roundness that I can’t quite describe. I tried multiple hot brews at home, finally settling on the lowest temperature of 140º on our Bonavita Electric Kettle once I realized that I’m not extracting anything, just diluting and reheating the already brewed coffee.

The experience in the cup is somewhere between a full-immersion and a pour-over. It has the heavier body of a French Press, but without the lingering sediment, and I was consistently met with an unexpectedly clean finish. I had high expectations after listening to the podcast, and I’m happy those expectations were met.

Sudden Coffee definitely has a place in our lives, especially with the unpredictability of raising two kids, so I jumped on their subscription service so that we’ll always have some on hand when needed. This will be my go-to when traveling, and I look forward to having a quick solution anytime I get an unexpected coffee craving.

You know, when I want some coffee… all of a sudden! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

If you’re curious and want to see how instant specialty coffee can taste, any of the Sudden Coffee links in this post are referrals which offer you $10 off your first order! Check it out.

What I’m Drinking:
September Coffee Highlights

We drink a lot of coffee in our house, and I’ve always done a poor job of representing each bag that lands on our doorstep. My mind is more focused on everyday life at the moment, still adjusting to the new addition to our family, and trying to pare down my excessive collection of stuff. It’s not fair for me to attempt an honest coffee journal about any one brew.

So today I’m introducing a new monthly feature I like to call “What I’m Drinking”. It will take the place of my previous coffee journals, for the most part, and I won’t have a lot of details for some coffees but I want to share them anyway. Good coffee should always be shared, so let’s get started…

sep2016-1

Guatemala, Antigua, San Josué
Greenway Coffee Company, via MistoBox

The timing of this delivery was funny, as I had just sent my mother-in-law home to Houston with a couple bags of Patriot Coffee roasted here in Florida. A day after she left, MistoBox delivered this bag of beans from Greenway in Houston, as if we were in some sort of coffee exchange program.

This fully washed coffee had a rich aroma and plenty of subtlety in the cup. I didn’t make any brew notes (a common problem recently) but I remember enjoying it best in our Bonavita brewer. Since most of these coffees landed during my French Press challenge, a full batch in the Bonavita was often the only cup I tried with a paper filter. Thus, I didn’t necessarily find the level of clarity that might have been available, but that’s a discussion for another day.

sep2016-5

Guatemala, Luz de la Noche
Theodore’s Coffee Roasters, via Crema.co

Another Guatemala, this coffee was dramatically different from the San Josué from Greenway. This was my first coffee from Theodore’s and it really got my attention with a bouquet of fruit and florals the moment I opened the bag. I was surprised to learn this was a washed coffee as well, as the fragrance and aroma were so fruity I would have assumed it to be a natural.

I couldn’t resist trying this coffee outside of the French Press, so I put it through our Yama tower to see if that fruitiness would shine in a slow-drip cold brew. It had a bright acidity, and probably would show a more delicate side if brewed as a pour-over. One of my favorites from Crema.co, I hope it is still in season when my Brew List cycles back around.

sep2016-6

Ethiopia Kochere
Herkimer Coffee

and

Costa Rica Hacienda Sonora
Conduit Coffee Company

These were my two favorites from last month’s Bean Box and I had to order a full bag of each. The Ethiopia from Herkimer was everything I want in an Ethiopian coffee, beautifully fruity and delicate, the kind of cup I could just sit and smell for hours. It made me extra happy to enjoy coffee from one of the few shops I visited during our Seattle trip earlier this year.

Our other selection was the Costa Rica from Conduit. Aside from Ethiopia, I approach most origins with neutral expectations (even though I’ve had excellent and greatly varied coffees from all over the world), so I brewed up our original sample with no special experience in mind. This Costa Rica really hit me as one of the sweetest coffees I’ve tasted this year, juicy and delicious even in the French Press.

sep2016-4

Ethiopia Kilenso & Kochere blend
Slate Coffee Roasters

Saving the most unique experience for last, this may be the first blend I’ve had in a long time. When I saw the Slate Box Set partnership with The Department of Brewology, I had to jump on it. Not only did it come with all kinds of cool treats, the coffee promised to be outstanding, as beans from Slate usually are.

But unlike their single origins I’ve enjoyed in the past, this is a special blend of two different Ethiopian coffees, a washed Yirgacheffe and a natural Sidama. The pairing of two very unique coffees from one country brings an experience with the balance blends are designed to achieve, but without losing the bright character of each region. This was beautiful coffee, and I hope to see more experiments like this in the future. They succeeded in highlighting the best of both blends and single origins in one 12 oz bag.

sep2016-2

Those were the highlights on our coffee bar last month. I hope you enjoyed this abbreviated look at our monthly coffee addiction. Remember, if you’re thinking about a subscription and want to try one of the services mentioned here, the links to MistoBoxCrema.co, and Bean Box are referrals that offer some savings for first time customers!

Coffee Age & Freshness

I love a big bloom.

At least, I did for a long time, before I knew any better. Thanks to the guys at Cat and Cloud for opening my eyes to the signs of coffee that is, believe it or not, too fresh to drink! Just look at that photo up top… huge bloom, looks like a chocolate muffin ready to pop, and as an enthusiastic home brewer obsessed with pour-overs a big bloom was a sign that I was doing something right. It was exciting, fun to photograph, and made me say “check it out: super fresh coffee, it’s going to taste amazing!”

Oh 2014-era Matt… so much to learn…

The photo you see above was pulled from the archives, back in the early days of this blog when I was still focused on home roasting and had more time to devote to this hobby. I was brewing up a Chemex of a Brazil Santos that I roasted the night before, and I remember being impressed with the bloom. Now I realize that it’s a sign of coffee that needs more time to degas, but back then I assumed it was a good thing. A big bloom was something to strive for, and coffee should be as fresh as possible for maximum flavor.

DSC_6095

Yeah… not so much. I’ve spent a few years now brewing coffees from all different origins and roasters, and I’ve seen the bloom mellow out as beans age. And as that bloom mellows, the coffee settles into a beautiful place where it can just be itself, without so much CO2 fighting to get out.

Here’s the basic premise that I got hooked on: freshly roasted coffee is good, so the closer a coffee is to its roast date, the better it’s going to taste.

As the Cat and Cloud guys mentioned in their podcast about age, this is a problem the specialty coffee industry created for itself. In order to differentiate locally roasted craft coffee from the bags you find in your favorite grocery store, freshness is the easiest data to compare. You can buy a bag of name brand coffee in the store with a “best by” date, or you can support your local roaster and get something roasted yesterday. Which one is better?

Of course, the fresh coffee is better (often for reasons other than age), but you should wait a few days before breaking into that bag.

Chris Baca gives his ideal window of coffee flavor at 5-14 days, and based on my experience I have to agree. Whenever I manage to bring home a bag within 1-2 days of roast and brew it up right away, I always found myself disappointed in everything but the bloom. As life got a little crazier, I stopped rushing to try each new coffee the moment it arrived. Suddenly I was brewing the first cup 5-7 days off roast and it was more enjoyable, more balanced, more consistent even.

And while I remember looking at coffee that was 2 weeks old and thinking “man, I should have enjoyed this sooner”, I stopped putting so much importance on freshness and just tried it. When we’ve been slammed with multiple bags in a short period of time, something always sits in the cupboard for a couple weeks before it gets used up. Maybe there is some loss of brightness, but it’s still really good coffee, and unless you taste bad coffee every now and then it’s easy to become a coffee snob.

Bottom line: brew your coffee at least 5 days off roast and you’ll be good.

This makes coffee subscriptions even better, since shipping time takes a few days depending on where you live. Most of my deliveries from Mistobox and Crema.co arrive 2-3 days after roast, and even Beanbox gets coffee from Seattle to Florida in about 3 days. I used to think that was time lost, that I was a couple days behind, but now I’m just that much closer to enjoying each coffee near its peak.

Elixir Specialty Coffee

When I first heard about Elixir on the Cat & Cloud Coffee Podcast, I was immediately curious. It’s like cold brew, but not really, and since I’m big into cold coffee in all its various forms, I had to find out what these brightly colored bottles were all about.

So what is Elixir anyway?

“Looks like whiskey, feels like tea, made from coffee. . . and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before!”

The story of Elixir is fascinating (check out the 4-part series on Cat & Cloud from Oct-Nov 2015 for a full discussion), and it’s one of those wonderful accidental discoveries that nobody expected. From Elixir creator, Lee Safar:

I was the head barista at a high end bakery in Sydney. We wanted to expand the coffee program beyond just espresso but didn’t have room on the bench so I asked the bakers/owners if we could come up with a dessert to feature a single origin. They said yes…but it had to wow them. I didn’t’ want to just create a brownie and shove espresso in it. I wanted something sophisticated. My idea was to create a Ginger and Cardamon Cake with Vanilla Bean Butter cream in the centre and on top…with a coffee poached pear to top it all off.

The challenge was trying to get the nuances of the coffee (stonefruits and spice) rather than the “coffee flavour” into the pear without all those flavours competing with each other. Elixir was supposed to be the poaching fluid for the pear. I took one taste….and never poached a pear!

Because the original recipe was never intended as a stand-alone beverage, the results in the cup were nothing like traditional hot or cold brew methods. Lee had the courage to leave her ambitious cake plans in the dust in favor of something unknown, and the Elixir process became a carefully guarded secret. (It’s something to do with cymatics, unicorns and pixie dust, that’s all I know…)

At the time of the podcast, one could only taste Elixir in a handful of specialty shops in Sydney or at a couple places in California. It’s a unique beverage, brewed for up to 24 hours and marked with a number to represent the hour of each particular extraction. The most striking feature of Elixir is the golden hue, which runs from light to dark as brew time is extended (the “Elixir Rainbow”), and every hour brings a different flavor experience.

14018051_10154450889136214_1123264253_n

Living far from California, I could never attend an Elixir Rainbow Tasting, a special experience which involves sipping all 24 individual hours of one coffee to fully grasp the evolution of flavor, nor could I grab a single hour by the jar just to see what the fuss is all about. Then last month Elixir announced their first subscription service, and I jumped at the chance to try it.

Now I get to enjoy beautiful Elixir at home! With a new baby in the house, having another ready-to-drink coffee beverage on hand and is a big plus, and over the past week Elixir has become part of my morning routine. In fact, it was a driving force in my desire to create a routine, along with the podcast you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about… (Check out recent Cat & Cloud episode about time management, serious knowledge and inspiration!)

elixir-3

So far I’ve enjoyed 2 shipments of Elixir: 2 bottles each time, 4 different hours of Colombia, Isaac Bardos, Narino roasted by Cat and Cloud Coffee (more than just a podcast). My first week featured hours 9 and 15, and I found 15 to be my favorite. The mouthfeel was interesting, very silky and satisfying, heavier than you would expect from the bright color. Flavors are very nuanced, and my palate is too underdeveloped to attempt a proper description. But I can say that the hours are markedly different, and not just in a “one is stronger than the other” way.

I mentioned cymatics earlier, and that is indeed a part of the Elixir process. Subscribers get to recommend music selections for use as a cymatic reference during the brew process, and my second shipment included hours 7 and 14 using Radiohead’s Amnesiac, which happened to be my suggestion!

elixir-4

Elixir is really something special. It can be a luxury beverage, sipped from fine glassware. It can be a blast of refreshment on a hot day, with more clarity than cold brew. It can be an energy boost, used to jump start a workout. I’ve only just begun to experience everything it has to offer, and as I get more tasting experience I look forward to sharing more specific notes in the future.

If you’re curious to try Elixir, follow any of the links in this post to sign up for their subscription box.

Coffee Journal:
Guatemala La Folie

Have I mentioned recently that I’m getting more excited about washed coffee? Last year most of my favorite and most memorable coffees were naturals, a lot of them from Ethiopia, but this year I’m really warming up to a more delicate cup with fully washed process coffee. A great example of this kind of processing and the resulting awesomeness is a recent arrival from Mistobox, one so good I ordered a second bag.

caseguat-1

Not many coffees get the “second bag” treatment in this house, but it’s not because I don’t like them. There are so many amazing coffees to experience, so many unique farms, different roasters to try, I could blow through multiple bags each week and never run out of new brews! So a coffee really has to get my attention to demand a reorder.

What grabbed me with this coffee wasn’t a perfectly extracted pour-over or a face-melting espresso shot. The beauty in these beans shown through in the most unexpected and boring routine: a weekday batch brew in our Bonavita.

CaseGuatemala-3

Guatemala La Folie
Case Coffee Roasters, roasted July 27 (bag #2)

It takes an excellent coffee to shine in a pot of auto-drip, even with an SCAA certified brewer like the Bonavita. We went through most of our first bag brewing up a pot each morning. The results were more consistent and delicious than anything else in recent memory, to the point where I think we finally found the sweet spot on our grinder for this particular brew method.

The cup was sweet and perfectly balanced, not overly fruity but a bright character that followed through from fragrance to aroma to aftertaste. More than anything else, it was a cup that made me say “wow, I could drink this every day and not get tired of it.” But as much as I loved the batch brew, I barely managed a single pour-over before running out of beans, so a second bag was a must.

CaseGuatemala-4

The character of this coffee just shines in a pour-over. My go-to is still the Hario V60, 20g of coffee to 300g of water, aiming for a 2 minute brew, and the results were excellent. During the bloom I picked up a solid stone fruit aroma, and it had a berry-like acidity that stood out a bit more than in auto-drip. The tasting notes said blackberry cobbler, and I dig it; a buttery mouthfeel and aftertaste just rounded out the experience.

I’m glad this coffee showed up in my recent Mistobox delivery, yet another example of the great work they do matching up their customers’ coffee preferences to unique brews from awesome roasters.

(Remember, you can save $10 on a MistoBox subscription with any of the links in this post!)

Coffee Journal:
Ethiopia Misty Valley

OK people, it’s late, and I’m having a heck of a time organizing my thoughts around a coffee that passed through our house a few weeks ago. In case that wasn’t bad enough, there is a major drum corps show currently in progress and my brain wants nothing more than to keep refreshing the scores page at dci.org until they release the results. (Bluecoats and Blue Devils, both undefeated until tonight!)

In other words, I can’t possibly do justice to the excellent coffee featured in today’s Coffee Journal, but here goes…

Perc-Misty-Valley-5972

Ethiopia Misty Valley
PERC Coffee, roasted June 21, 2016

When I saw this bag pop up on social media, I jumped on PERC‘s website to order some for the house. I have never been so curious to try a specific coffee, and it’s all thanks to the Cat & Cloud Coffee Podcast. Misty Valley is a naturally processed Ethiopian coffee that’s been around (off and on, I think) for years, to the point where it’s well known in the specialty coffee industry.

How many times have Chris and Jared mentioned it on their podcast? I’m not sure, but I could not brew a cup without hearing their voice in my head saying “Misty Valley…”

Perc-Misty-Valley-5988

This was a fun coffee to brew, especially as I enjoyed it alongside the washed Ethiopian Limu I mentioned in last week’s post about Crema.co. I’ve always been big on naturally processed coffees, largely because my palate is underdeveloped and still gravitates toward strong, fruity notes, and I was keen to compare two different coffees from the same region.

While I’m starting to dig washed coffee more and more, this Misty Valley still made me smile. It was a fruit bomb, even up to the last cup. To maintain such a fruity profile, nearly 2 weeks off roast, speaks to the inherent quality of the coffee. I wish I had tried some other brew methods, but I’m still in love with a good pour-over.

Perc-Misty-Valley-5984

I can see why I’ve heard so much about Misty Valley, and I’m glad a bag finally found its way into our rotation. I still have a lot to practice in my brewing technique, and I need to get back to cupping for a closer look at each coffee I bring in, but for now I’m thankful that I can enjoy such awesome and varied coffees in my day-to-day routine.

Cold Brew on Tap:
Ethiopia Sidamo

Earlier this year, like most everything in my pursuit of coffee excellence, I let our cold brew tap run dry for awhile. Due to family travels and other events, cold brew consumption dropped. Suddenly we were sitting on a keg that was 3 weeks old before pouring the first glass, and I didn’t like the taste of it. I couldn’t tell if it was a failure to sufficiently clean and sanitize the keg (something I’m constantly worried about) or if the coffee lost too much in the weeks that it took us to finish keg #1, but there was a funk that I didn’t trust. So I left it for awhile, struggling to find enough time to prepare for our next batch, until that moment of inspiration…

DSCF2639

During my private cupping at Zeal Coffee Roasters I fell in love with their Ethiopia Sidamo, beautiful and fruity with a buttery smoothness. It was like drinking a blueberry muffin, and while I enjoyed brewing it at home in the Bonavita and Chemex, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this was going to be my next batch of cold brew. So when I was ready, I gave the kegs and tap a serious cleaning, phoned in an order for fresh beans, and loaded up the hopper.

Coldbrew from Zeal

Ethiopia Sidamo Guji Grade 3
Zeal Coffee Roasters, roasted June 13, 2016

There’s something about working on a big batch of cold brew that makes me smile. After bringing home 5lbs of beans from Tampa, I gave it a few days before brewing overnight. Using the coarsest setting on the EK, I setup my brew Friday evening and started filtering the coffee 12.5 hours later. The yield was a little under 2.5 gallons, so my ratio in the keg is closer to 3.5:1 instead of the 3:1 I usually shoot for, but the flavor is still solid.

Coldbrew from Zeal

While some character gets lost in the cold brew process, this coffee is still bright and fruity in the cup. The clarity of blueberries when brewed hot gives way instead to a floral acidity, but it still has that buttery finish. It’s a great example of why I love single-origin cold brew, and it’s perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day.

I’ve enjoyed getting this blog cranked up again over the past month, and I think Cold Brew on Tap will be a regular feature from this point forward. Keep the good stuff flowing!

Coffee Journal:
Colombia Agua Blanca

It’s been way too long since I paid attention to what I was drinking. When I let the blog take a break at the start of this year, I also got lazy about recording my brews. Aside from a few cold brew batches, this is the first entry in my coffee journal in over 6 months! Well, at least we have some awesome coffee to get this cranked up again…

Spyhouse from Misto Box

Colombia Agua Blanca
Spyhouse Coffee Roasters, roasted June 6, 2016

The first thing that hit me with my recent MistoBox delivery was the beautiful packaging. One of the most elegant and simple presentations I’ve come across, the bag and label design from Spyhouse Coffee Roasters got me excited to write about coffee again. And that was before I even tasted the coffee!

MistoBox has yet to disappoint, thanks to their innovative method of matching specialty coffees to individual tastes, and this Colombia was on point. It arrived just four days after roast, and will be long gone by the time you’re reading this. I brewed a few batches in our Bonavita Coffee Brewer as well as a couple pour-overs in the Chemex and V60. While still struggling to get a good extraction in the Chemex, the V60 was just right.

Spyhouse from Misto Box

I’ve sadly neglected my palate for most of this year, no cupping practice, more batch brew than anything else, all due to limitations of time, so I shouldn’t even attempt to describe flavor. I can say that the best extraction on the V60 was balanced with a good body, mild sweetness with a pleasantly tart finish. I wish I could say more, but this just makes me want to get back to cupping and fully experience each coffee that passes through our coffee bar.

My overall impression: This was a well balanced roast, unique enough to pique my interest, but still solid as an everyday coffee in the Bonavita Coffee Brewer. I could easily drink it again, but I’m just as excited to see what MistoBox hits me with next!

(Remember, you can save $10 on a MistoBox subscription with any of the links in this post!)

Coffee Journal:
Ethiopia Ardi

I never get tired of Ethiopian coffee. No matter how many cups I brew, there is always something exciting, interesting and delicately delicious in every sip. I could drink Ethiopian coffee exclusively for the rest of my life and never get bored, that’s just how amazing and diverse this origin can be!

So of course I was excited to open a recent delivery from Mistobox and find this beautiful coffee from Huckleberry Roasters in Denver, Colorado. When I visited Denver a few years ago, I brought home a bag of Huckleberry’s coffee, also an Ethiopian. In fact, that bag can be seen in my Coffee Travels photo show, in the background behind a lovely latte! I can’t say I remember that first experience, as it was pretty early in my coffee history and long before I started keeping a journal, but it’s cool to know this isn’t the first Ethiopia I’ve tried from the same roaster.

DSC_4288

Ethiopia Ardi
Huckleberry Roasters, roasted November 10, 2015

Strawberry strawberry strawberry! I can’t say it enough, this coffee hits me with the tartness of fresh strawberries and I love it. I’ve struggled with my technique recently, but I’m starting to get the hang of our new grinder and this is the first coffee I really dialed in from the start. Most brews were 20 or 30 grams in the Hario V60, and this method brings out all the brightness and fruity character that I enjoy in natural process Ethiopian coffees.

One cool thing I failed to take a photo of, the Huckleberry Roasters bag has a clear bottom. It was neat to see the beans even before opening the bag, and when shopping I would definitely enjoy this ability to examine roast level prior to purchase.

Due to a crazy schedule in November, I didn’t set aside any time to cup this coffee, which is a shame. It’s one of my favorite coffees of 2015, definitely one of the best selections Mistobox has matched to my taste profile. I could see this coffee in a light and fruity cold brew, perfectly refreshing over ice, and I may have to order more just to give it a try.

DSC_4298