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Sweet Bloom Arnaud Causse Pichincha Ecuador is mindblowingly good. The coffee is crazy intense on the palate. In wine terms, this is like a tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. It also has an absolutely stunning citrus acidity that is obvious when one drinks this black. And a pleasing sweetness that balances the coffee out. The roast on this is more or less identical to the roast in my other favorites like Verve and Ritual. My second homerun from Sweet Bloom Coffee in a row and also my second Ecuadorian coffee that I have liked in a row. I see a pattern emerging…
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Sweet Bloom Colon Merino in the cup this morning. While Verve and Ritual continue to generally be my two favorite roasters, I wanted to revisit a different roaster just for fun. And Sweet Bloom Coffee doesn’t disappoint. This is a very nice coffee that is ultra soft and round with tea-like body. It is floral and sparkling with zero bitterness or rough edges. This is a coffee everyone can find something to like in….coffee snobs and noobs alike. One added benefit is that Sweet Bloom’s prices are very fair, so a great roaster to sample to get into ultra high quality coffee.
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Counter Culture Finca El Puente Gesha is my first foray into the vaunted Gesha variety. This was a present from a very generous person since I would be too cheap to spring for even a mere 4oz of this myself. That said, it is a marvelous #coffee that has tiny beans and in every way drinks like Ethiopian coffees (little surprise since the variety is from Ethiopia originally). I actually found this to be surprisingly powerful and sparkling citrus notes were ever present. What I did not really experience is the tea-likeness of this variety, but that doesn’t really bother me as I want to drink coffee when I brew coffee. @counterculturecoffee nailed the roast on this, too. Overall, while this was a real treat, I would buy a high grade Ethiopian coffee rather than this for a similar tasting experience at a 3rd or 4th of the price. That said…YMMV.
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Verve Kenya Gakuyu-Ini. I know you are getting sick of my fanboying over Verve 😁, but this is another stunner of a coffee. The note on the label is spot on with the guava describing the soft, round texture and the tangerine describing the sparkling acidity. What is missing in their note is the milk chocolate/toffee note that runs through this coffee that gives it some earthiness. 👊
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Ruby Coffee Guatemala Rincon is a bit of a conundrum for me. While I personally find it roasted too dark for my taste, my wife LOVED it. She even commented on the coffee before I got to ask her what she thought. And that never happens. We have been working on this bag for two weeks and just finished it, so my impressions are not the result of a “hit and run” tasting of this coffee. Overall, I find it difficult to taste much other than caramel and bitter chocolate. The sweetness of the beans is lost with this roast profile and if it were for me only, I probably would not buy from Ruby again. But since my wife was a fan, I am going to order from them again for sure. If you want to order any of their coffees, you ought to make sure you like darker roasts based on my very limited experience. Or call/email them to figure out if there are coffes they have that get roasted more lightly.
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Been working on this Madcap Finca de Dios for the last few days and it is pretty good. Super powerful and intense, but lacking a little bit of elegance and slightly wild and rough around the edges. Looking at the beans and smelling the grinds, it feels like Madcap got the roast just right, but in the cup, I detect just a touch more bitterness than I like. I will retry this with slightly less beans/grinds to see if that addresses the bite on this one. Overall, I am still really pleased and can see Madcap becoming part of my rotation of roasters.
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Verve Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Yukro. I have been working on this for about a week and I really like it. I find this to be a particularly powerful coffee that is really dominated by dark chocolate and nutty flavors. Think chocolate covered walnuts. Very earthy and less overtly floral than I would have assumed, but no less enjoyable for it. Another home run from Verve Coffee.
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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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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 Coffee La Bolsa Pacamara is one of the most memorable coffees for me this year. For one thing, the Pacamara variety beans are ginormous. The coffee is super floral, herbaceous and spicy. Almost like what I would expect from a Yirgacheffe. The finish has a touch of salinity to it. Stunning coffee if you like it on the floral and savory side of things.
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Ritual El Pajal is terrific. It succeeds a bag of Hacienda Carmona and I like this even better than the HC. Very clean, sparkling citrus and dark chocolate. 100% Bourbon variety farmed at 1730m above sea level. One worth buying again when it is back. @ritualcoffee is always a real treat in the morning.
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Verve Amado Fernandez is a fine if slightly one dimensional coffee. I tasted mostly caramel, nuts and chocolate. Slightly lower on acidity than I typically like, but still very good. All in all, this still beats the pants off most coffees sold in the US (even among great roasters), but I have had better and I think I am beginning to understand that Honduras may not be my thing in coffee.
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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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