The Brewed Palate’s Newest Venture: Specialty Coffee

coffee header

Over this past Summer I began moving away from major chain coffee shop coffees (cough..cough Starbucks aka “Charbucks” to some coffee geeks) and started visiting local specialty coffee roasters; the first of which is located right in my neighborhood. Buunni Coffee is a relatively small roaster of Ethiopian and other African coffees, each of which is sold at various roast levels. Their Washington Heights café is always busy and the staff are just as passionate about brewing high quality coffee as their customers are about drinking it. After trying the majority of their coffees I was inspired to venture out of Washington Heights and try coffees from as many different roasters as possible and boy have I had a great start to my coffee adventure…So just as my one of my primary goals for this blog is to share my homebrewing and craft beer experiences with you so that you can learn from them; I’ve decided to do the same with my specialty coffee experiences.

I should note that I’ve always loved the flavor of coffee and never been one to add more than a touch of skim milk and 1 tsp of sugar or packet of Splenda to my cup. But it took until 2015 for me to take hold of the opportunity to utilize my palate, which I’ve spent years developing, to begin to fully experience the wide range of flavors that specialty coffees have to offer.

All posts will be archived in the coffee journal page that’s linked in the above website header.

10/24/15 – Changing of the Roasters

Before I discuss specific coffees I’d like to discuss my current routine for trying out new coffees (blend and single origin) at home… A) Currently I am the sole caffeinated coffee drinker at home, and therefore despite  my 20oz travel mug which I use 5-6 days a week for my coffee, it’s been taking me a bit longer than in the past to finish off a pound of beans.  B) Due to my tendency to go all out when exploring a hobby that relates to my creative nature I’ve recently started buying two coffees at a time so I can alternate as I so desire. While this may prove to be at times a losing battle in terms of coffee freshness, I plan on continuing doing so as long as time and finances allow. C) Lastly I should note that I store my beans in Vacu Vin Coffee Saver tinted air tight containers that I store in a kitchen cabinet in order to maintain freshness as best as I can.

Elixr KenyaOn to the title of this journal entry… After 10 days (minus 2 where I didn’t drink them) of alternating between Three Africans and Bella Donovan, two of  Blue Bottle’s year round blends I brewed my first pour over cup of Elixr’s Kenya Kiambu this morning. While sipping from my travel mug during my morning commute via subway (NYC), I was surprised to not pick up on any particular fruit flavors beyond the general moderate to high acidity and balanced sweetness that African coffees are known for. However, once I got to work and was sitting in my office eating breakfast, I removed the lid of my travel mug and was surprised to pick up a prominent mandarin orange flavor. Next, while Elixr’s cupping notes describe this coffee’s underlying sweetness as cocoa nib and clove, I perceived it as bakers chocolate with a touch of added sweetness and some earthy undertones. In terms of body, despite the coffee’s acidity creaping up towards the high end of medium and my brewing it via my Hario V60 pourover cone, this coffee’s body was definitely medium and smooth…I’ll have to drink more of it and brew it via French press to form my final opinion on it, but from this first cup/mug I can definitely give Elixr’s Kenya Kiambu a thumbs up.

For those who are interested click here to check a discussion about people’s go to coffee regions on the ‘coffee’ subreddit.


About Barry W

Israel (formerly NJ) based sourdough baker and fermentation enthusiasts sharing his baking, fermenting, cooking, and brewing adventures on
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