It's KC Coffeegeek's 1 year Blogiversary! If you love coffee & you're not following his caffinated adventures - why not? Check it out at www.kccoffeegeek.com and look for guests posts from yours truly while you're at it! I reviewed Equator Coffee Honduras and will soon be doing a guest post about a beautiful Madcap Kenyan coffee.
KC Coffeegeek gave me an opportunity to write a guest post and that's where this was first published.
It was one of those mornings when waking up wasn't the easiest thing in the world. Coffee was required. Good coffee. Good coffee, on the bright side. So, today I decided to try the other Equator coffee KC Coffeegeek gave me. This one is from Honduras. It's a light/medium roast according to the website.
In the past I've enjoyed coffees from Honduras, they had a lively acidity and that's what I was looking for this morning. turns out I made a good choice.
The aroma was very sweet. I got sugar and vanilla and it really reminded me of how things smell when I make rice krispies treats. Or when something sweet has been mixed, but not baked yet. It was a fresh sweet, not a spicy, baked sweet.
The same can't be said for the taste. There was spice there. I still got hints of vanilla, but some stronger spice too. Ginger like maybe? It was bright and bouncy. What I was looking for this morning. A real "Good morning! How are you today?" kind of acid. The body was light/medium - kind of a refined elegance but not etheral and wispy. Lots of sweetness. Darker sugars, brown sugar, maybe some dried fruits. It reminded me of the sweet, spicy brightness of root beer. Didn't taste like root beer, just that the feeling of it was similar. The dark sugar and spicy taste contrasted very nicely with the sparkly acidity.
I found the aftertaste to be lingering and pleasant. As the cup cooled I noticed that the sweetness became more pronounced in both the aroma and the taste. Maybe a hint of nuttiness in the aftertaste. Maybe nuttiness is not the right word - but there was something there.
I may have finally learned my lesson about pairing bright coffees with sweet fruits or treats. It just does not often go well. Today I did NOT grab a banana while drinking this, had a real breakfast instead. This coffee was wonderful with homemade corn tortillas, eggs and a bit of beef cooked with onions & peppers and topped with cheese. Kind of an open faced breakfast burrito.
As of this writing the coffee is still available on their website
This is one of the coffees given to me by KC Coffeegeek. It's from Equator Coffee & Teas and I was more than a little surprised when he told me how much it goes for per bag. 8oz bag is about $50. I looked at the beans - just looked brown to me. Not sure if I was expecting flakes of gold or what. Then I smelled them. Smelled like coffee. Good coffee, but $100/lb coffee? He gave me a lot of coffee so I hadn't tried this one yet. Then yesterday I read his post about the "Best Guatemalan coffee" he's ever had. So in my best Brain voice I told the dog "I know what we're going to do tomorrow" he just looked at me and went back to sleep. I need a new Pinky.
I didn't read KC Coffeegeek's review before I brewed it. Just saw the twitter post. I like to try them and see how I compare with what I get. Same reason I like Angel's Cup.
Made some in my Kalita. I use a 15:1 ratio much of the time. I've heard that 17:1 is perfect or 18:1 or 16:1 or 20:1 What can I say- I like a strong cup of Joe and I use 15:1 although at least a couple of times I've dropped it down to 14:1 for coffees that just didn't develop at my normal brew. Also gone up to 16 for ones that just seem to strong. I don't go much higher than that most of the time.
I wasn't sure what to expect. How fancy is expensive coffee anyway? Well sometimes a lot I guess. Right away the smell was sweet with vanilla and kind of marshmallowy. Like that moment when you first start toasting them and the sugar starts to caramelize but BEFORE the thing catches fire. Those 15 seconds of wonderful smell. Or when you make marshmallows at home. It was a good smell, but not a super strong one. I could smell it by the Kalita, but it didn't fill the kitchen with that tasty aroma.
On my first sip I was hit by the brightness of it. Not in a bad way, but was a sunshiney, sweet Florida fruits kind of brightness. Not lemon lime like sprite, but like oranges and lemons. That was followed by some heavier fruits. Like it faded from orange colored fruits into purple/black fruits like plum and blackberries and maybe mulberries - fruits you would spice when cooking. It was still sweet, but there was a hint of spiciness to it. The finish was kind of rosey with some cocoa tastes. The body was like heavy tea. More of an Earl Gray or breakfast tea than the lighter iced tea we drank down south. The kind of tea people actually add milk to.
Something that I thought was great - this worked cold. You know how when you go to some chain coffee places and iced coffee is just left over brew that got cold so they put ice in that? Yeah, ick. It almost always tastes terrible. I had some of this left over after drinking my first cup and it was cold. I tasted it just because and it was really really tasty. Not flat or bitter or just ewww. It was good with a lot more of a floral taste coming out, still having a lot of the brightness.
I don't see myself buying very many $50 bags of coffee. I'm a balloon artist - not a millionaire. However I am very grateful to KC Coffeegeek for giving me the opportunity to try this one. It is a really good coffee and I can see why it's high priced. It's easy to write it off as just overpriced brown water, but that's like saying good wine is overpriced grape juice or excellent champagne is overpriced fizzy drink. Something just cost more because they are rare and excellent.
And while I won't be buying a bag of this one Equator Coffee has several I plan to try. In particular the Kenya Kuguyu and the French Laundry Blend - both of which had taste notes that appealed to me. From this sample I gather that they can roast a fine bag of beans, so I'm excited to see try some of their others!
Equater Coffees & Teas
Lanna Coffee Co
Epic Bean Coffee
Sweet Bloom Coffee
PT's Coffee Roasting
River City Roasters
Compelling & Rich
These were all compliments of KC Coffeegeek. Check out his page for full reviews, especially since I didn't list all the beans, just the roasters. (more than one kind for some of them) Also, he has just put together a guide for people in KC. Where to find the coffee. If you live here, check it out. If you know someone who lives here check it out and then tell them to check it out. If you plan on visiting - check it out. You get the idea. :-)
I have been bad about posting the past couple of months - so I missed a couple of important photos.
The KC Coffee Geek has been good to me. VERY good. I have in turn shared the bounty with coffee snobs and people new to good coffee who are fast becoming addicted.
I will have comments on the ones I tried. Some I gave away, so I can't comment on those. I might drink a lot of coffee, but even I have my limits. Luckily I have a LOT of coffee drinkers in my life, so I have no problem giving away coffee.
I don't do reviews on what he gives me because some of it is "out of date". I *know* coffee is best within a certain time and I understand that it changes from day to day as the beans age. I enjoy super fresh coffee, but I also know that many of them are enjoyable way past the two week time. We're not talking day old bread here. Sometimes I can taste the difference, sometimes I can't. Most coffees hold up better than you might have been led to believe.
Not that they last forever. My daughter has little appreciation for fresh coffee. She does however notice when it gets VERY old. As she said "even I could tell that one had to be thrown out. I need more coffee, drop some off."
Anyway, this is my bounty. It's a beautiful sight, isn't it. Check out KC CoffeeGeek and if you are looking to sample good coffees, try his subscription service. He has excellent taste and you will NOT be disappointed by the beans you get.
I am a lucky lucky woman. KC Coffee Geek (www.kccoffeegeek.com) shared some of his stash with me last week. No sense in it going stale before he can drink it all and there is no shortage of coffee lovers in my life. I was super happy to see the Onyx, especially since one of them is my favorite coffee from them. I also got more of the Perc that I loved. It was a pretty good haul. Almost too tasty to share, but it's hard to make balloons when you're shaky from drinking 4 pots of coffee - so I'm letting the other coffee people in on it. :-)