Before my visit to Bean Box earlier this year, I don’t think I had noticed that they offer more than one style of monthly subscription. I was always on the standard assortment, the “Bean Box Choice”, which usually featured two single origins and two blends, with a range of roast levels across the board. It’s a great option for trying everything the Seattle coffee scene has to offer, but inevitably I would wind up with a sample or two that were too dark for my taste.
I made the best of it, usually throwing it in the Hario Mizudashi for a small cold brew, but once I learned of their other box options, I had to try something more my style:
Bean Box Light Roast Sampler – August, 2016
This is my first box since updating my subscription preferences, and they really went all out on high-end delicate roasts. Bluebeard and Ladro are among my all time favorite Seattle area roasters, so right away I was excited to get brewing!
I started with the Ethiopia Aricha Misty Valley from Bluebeard, using it for the Saturday morning Chemex I usually brew for the family. Despite getting distracted and pushing the extraction too long, it maintained that fruity aroma that I expected from Misty Valley.
My next Chemex brew was the Nicaragua from Zoka. It started with a beautiful, delicate fragrance, and I maintained a more aggressive pour trying to avoid over extraction, but I felt the water was actually too hot at 205ºF, and this might perform really well in a slow-drip cold brew.
The coffee I was most excited about was the Limoncello from Ladro, as I’ve had this particular coffee once before. It was one of the samples in my 2nd or 3rd Bean Box delivery, almost 2 years ago, and it just blew me away. Hands down one of the most unique coffee experiences I’ve had (especially at home) and I was bummed to find them sold out before I could order a full size bag.
Could this year’s crop stand up to my rose-colored memories? Only a perfectly extracted cup will tell, and for that I turned to my comfort zone with a V60. Not that I executed a perfect extraction, of course, as my pour ran a little longer than expected, but it was still a unique cup. It had a pleasant acidity, really bright and awakening, but it mellowed into a nice brown sugar and cocoa finish. (I pulled out an old coffee journal to see if I recorded my previous experience, found it in December of 2014, but no notes, just specs. I need to get better at taking notes.)
Our final sample was a bright and fruity Guatemala Antigua Covadonga from Broadcast Coffee Roasters. I ran it through the Chemex in a hurry one morning and was surprised by the raspberry-like finish and acidity. I think it may be my favorite from this box, mostly because it is different than a lot of the coffee we’ve been drinking lately.
I thoroughly enjoyed the selections in this month’s box, and I expect equally tasty samples in the other subscriptions Bean Box offers. In addition to this Light Roast box, and the Bean Box Choice I was previously enjoying, they offer Medium Roast, Dark Roast, Espresso and Decaf. Add to that all the one-time boxes such as Iced Coffee Sampler and larger World Coffee Tour and Seattle Coffee Tour and there really is a Bean Box for everyone.