All posts filed under: Coffee

Verve Nicaragua Jaime Blandon Maragogype

Verve Nicaragua Jaime Blandon Maragogype is the perfect antidote for the disappointing Chromatic coffees of late…and to spice up otherwise uneventful mornings. First impression is that these beans are HUGE. No small wonder that this variety is also referred to as “Elephant Beans”. The roast Verve Coffee put on this is absolutely perfect. Flavors of juicy fruit, walnut and savory pecan praline. Stunning stuff that I have been reveling over for days now.

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Chromatic Quality Problems

This is the kind of post one hopes never to have to write. These are two of a total number of three bags of coffee I recently ordered from Chromatic Coffee. The one missing was a Burundi Kayanza. That was the one I drank first and while I didn’t love it, it was serviceable. These two though are just terrible. Both are overroasted hopelessly, hollow on the midpalate and simultaneously ashy tasting and insipid. It is so hard for me to wrap my head around how a roaster could go from what I have been used to from Chromatic, to this. In reaching out to my fellow coffee afficionado Paul Willenberg, he opined that stuff like this happens occasionally when big changes occur. So I did my research here on IG and noticed that this was my first batch since Chromatic moved to their new facility…and that the roasters are no longer the old school Probats but newer more industrial looking machines. I suspect that is what the issue is, but in the end, it doesn’t matter…a quality drop like this should not happen to a roaster with this kind of track record. This is thus likely my last post about Chromatic and I can no longer recommend their coffees if this is what is now being shipped.

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Verve Chelchele

Verve Chelchele is a fantastic coffee. Incredibly floral, earthy, nutty and wild…borderline animale. Makes a very pretty and interesting cup and is also great for making ice coffee on hot summer days like these. This is made from heirloom varieties and the beans are tiny as is typical for heirloom coffes of Yirgacheffe like this one. What is impressive is how Verve Coffee managed to roast this so that one can really taste nothing but the purity of these beans.

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Verve Guatemala La Candelaria

Verve Guatemala La Candelaria. I have been drinking this for a few days now and it is, as people say proverbially, “the good stuff”. I had been thinking of trying Verve Coffee for some time, but every time when I was close to placing an order, I ended up going with Chromatic or Ritual instead. I am slightly bummed I did not give Verve a try sooner. This is a super bright coffee and the Verve tasting note of lemon shortbread is right on. This blend of Bourbon and Villa Sarchi varieties has a nice creaminess to it and nutty flavors on the finish. Lovely and based on this, I would say Verve just catapulted into a tie with Ritual and Chromatic for my favorite roasters in the US. They all manage to roast the coffees to perfection to show off the beans’ character.

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Hario V60

I have been experimenting with brewers lately. When I started making pour over coffee years ago, my favorite roasters (Counter Culture, Stumptown, Blue Bottle) seemed to all use the beehouse/bonmac and given that I was a novice, I decided to use that brewer accordingly. The beehouse does make a beautiful cup for sure. More recently, I have been enamored with coffees from other roasters (Ritual) who prefer the Hario V60. So I tested the two brewers side by side and I have come down on the side of Hario. The coffee takes a bit more care to get right, but I get citrus notes and more nuance more easily and it also brews a touch faster. There is no right or wrong, but for now, the Hario is my tool of choice.

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Chromatic Ethiopia Guji Sidama

Chromatic Ethiopia Guji Sidama is exactly as good as one could hope for it to be. Chromatic Coffee just absolutely nailed the roast on this batch. I am not sure I get exactly the same tasting note as described on the packaging, but it is close. To me, there is chocolate, lavender and spice. Quite an earthy coffee, too. Amid all that complexity the coffee projects a smoothness and effortless power. My son had a sip and said unsolicitedly “I like this better than your last one. It is smoother and has more flavor.” One of the better African coffees in a while.

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