Thursday, April 9, 2015

Epic Bean Coffee Roasters - Peru Aprocassi / Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chichu

I am a huge fan of African coffees, but ordered the Peruvian anyway.  Sometimes coffee from the Americas is too bright for my taste, but I was having a moment, so I just clicked it.

I'm so glad I did.  I loved the Peru Aprocassi from Epic Bean.

I'll get to that in a moment.
First - The shipping was fast AND they sent a tracking number.  I'm obsessive about tracking packages, so that's a huge plus with me.  

Then I got This

My first thought was - Hey, Unicorns! Not girly, Lisa Frank Unicorns, but the kind you might find on a coat of arms.  Tough unicorns.  

Inside each box was a bag, with more unicorns.

And finally inside each bag - coffee

and TOYS!!!  
I'm 48, but if you give me toys I will play with them.  That's how the Epic Guys got their own section of the website.

I also got a couple of stickers.  I am getting quite a few coffee roaster stickers.  Still trying to decide what to put them on.  It has to be something that I will use, but not something fragile.  I want to show them off, so it has to be something I take with me.  I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.

Now the coffee.  I have brewed this with my beehouse, kalita wave and Bunn.  I prefer the beehouse, and that's how I drink most of my coffee.  I did the Bunn because the husband wanted a lot of coffee one night.

It was sweeter, with a hint of vanilla aroma.  Think vanilla extract, not plain bean.  Vanilla beans smell like playdough to me and this did not smell like playdough.  It had a bright acidity, kind of like dancing on the tongue.  The cocoa taste gave it a creamy body.  I've seen Peruvian coffees described as having a floral aroma, but I don't know that I picked up on that.  It did smell like really good coffee, some vanilla, a hint of nut, but not really flowers to me.  

It is a fantastic breakfast coffee.  Goes well with my fruit that I have most days, also was great paired with a nutty oatmeal with fruit.  Ok with eggs and sausage, but not the best pairing.  Went well with my lunchtime salad that had spinach, goat cheese and peppers.  I'm big with what coffee goes with what foods.  Some just don't work for me.  This one didn't overpower the lighter foods I eat during the day.  

Nate wrote me to let me know when their mugs came in.  Of course I ordered one.  A mug a day for a year requires a lot of mugs, plus I like to have them from roasters I've sampled.  It's a cool enamel mug

The Peru was not the only coffee I ordered, you may have noticed that from the photos.  I did get some from Africa too. I do love Ethiopian coffees.  

This was was a bit heavier, not as bright up front, but it did have a brighter finish.  Warmer is a good description. Slightly darker - in tone, not bean.  The beans were not a dark roast, light medium to medium.  I didn't pick up a blueberry taste like I have with other Yirg beans, but it was fruity.  Sweet and winey with a hint of spice and richness, maybe a hint of citrus.  Imagine richer fruit covered in milk chocolate that has been given a zest of lemon and you have a good idea of my impression of this. It went very well with my cheesecake. A decadent pairing.  I know cheesecake isn't on my diet, but it was a nice treat and the Yirgacheffe really brought out the creamy taste.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

My year in Coffee - Maps Coffee Cadence Blend

Maps Coffee is located inside a custom bike store in Lenexa KS.  That's important because the owner/roaster - Vincent - is someone who lives his passion and it shows in his coffee  He can tell you about the coffee and the roasting process and the roaster he uses.  It's really fascinating and I plan to sign up for his guest roast with my son as soon as we can coordinate schedules.

I've been picking up a bag of blend at the same time as a single origin.  Blends are usually coffees the the roasters have combined to achieve their own idea of perfection.  When someone really knows coffee he or she will know what works together and be able to give you a combination that is better than the individual parts.

I had looked over some of the blends on the website and was leaning towards the cadence blend.  I asked the young man who helped us what his favorite blend was and he said Cadence, so that cemented my choice.  I also chose a bag of Ethiopian Sidamo which gets it's own review.

Cadence is a blend of medium roasted Latin American coffees.  Perfect for drinking anytime, anywhere.  That's what the bag says.  :-)  It's also a 16oz bag, not a 12oz  which I'm seeing less and less often these days.

Cadence is a very smooth and relaxed coffee.  A great coffee for the morning.  Right now it's one of my favorites to have with breakfast.  It has a nice body with a brightness, but not too bitey or sharp.  It's very balanced.    There is a sweetness to it, but not overly sweet like a dessert coffee.  Hints of spice and cocoa with a little bit of a nutty taste.

Vincent means it when he says come talk coffee.  He worked at Starbucks for 18 (I think that's what he said) years and now roasts his own.  He knows his coffee and can explain the science behind the art.  He also said "bikes are freedom" and his love for them is evident in the beautiful creations around the shop.  Anyone who lives his passions like Vincent does is fascinating and their love always shows through into the product.  I really enjoyed talking to him & learning about his roaster.  It's a Loring Falcon 15k and is really a beautiful machine.    My older son & I will eventually get a chance to do a Guest Roast  - if you're in the area give it a try.  I'm thinking of it as my mid year birthday celebration.  My birthday is Dec. 21 and it's hard to get people to do anything that close to Christmas, so I celebrate some other point during the year.    A guest roast would be a wonderful way to do my birthday!