April 2019 Coffee Guide
Take a close look at the link on the website, we have dedicated filter and espresso roasts coming in this month, more details below:
For the coffee this month we’re bringing in 1 new roaster, 3 returning favourites, and a selection of 6 coffees from 5 different origins (plus 2 new origins for our decaf options) phew, its complicated, read on!
First up is our new roaster for the month – a lot of people have been asking for this one and we’re pleased to finally oblige. So, everyone please give a warm welcome to Colonna Coffee from Bath. I’m sure that Colonna don’t need a massive introduction as they are one of the ‘big-guns’ of the British coffee scene – so instead we’ll head straight onto the coffee. Colonna are supplying a beautifully sweet Rwanda washed coffee this month that comes with tasting notes of boiled sweets. Beth, the head roaster at Colonna, has created both a filter and an espresso roast for this coffee (the tasting notes are the same, but she has levelled out some of the acidity in the espresso roast for us). All our Assorted & Espresso members will receive the Espresso roast of this coffee this month, and our Filter members will get the Filter roast.
Then we have Bailies Coffee coming back in from Belfast and bringing with them two wonderful coffees. First up is a natural-processed Brazil filter-roast coffee for our Assorted & Filter members - a great coffee with a coconut and grape sweetness. They are also providing a Guatemala espresso-roast coffee for our Espresso 3x bag members full of almond and chocolate tasting notes. An interesting fact about Bailies is that Stephen Houston (the Bailies head roaster) is heading to Boston next month to compete in the SCA World Brewers Cup as the reigning Irish Brewers Cup champion.
Another returning roaster and firm members favourite is Tom at Craft House Coffee. It’s been a while since we had CHC in the subs, and Tom has been busily re-branding, so we now get to enjoy his coffee in some wonderful new boxes. The first coffee CHC are supplying is the Brazil Sitio Café Forte for all our Espresso members – it’s a more traditional profile than we’ve had in for the last couple of months and it makes a cracking espresso. Then for our Assorted & Filter 3x bag members Tom has sourced an amazing Tanzania washed coffee with huge Blackcurrant notes – in fact, when it arrived on the cupping table, we got in touch with Tom to make sure he hadn’t accidentally sent us a Kenyan… as this coffee tastes more Kenyan than any Kenyan we’ve had in the past year.
Completing the line-up for our 4x bag subscribers are our good friends from Glasgow, ‘The Steamie’, who are providing a lovely washed Burundi coffee from the Mpanga farm. This is the same farm (but a different harvest and micro-lot) as the grapefruity Dear Green coffee that we included last year in our #BrewBurundi competition. The Steamie have also been busy over the past couple of months with their rebrand, and we can’t wait to get their new boxes out to you.
Finally, our decaffeinated options this month come from Craft House Coffee and The Steamie… and we have two new decaf origins for us. CHC are sending us a beautiful Ethiopia washed CO2 decaf with tasting notes of Mandarin, Hazelnuts and Chocolate. The Steamie are providing a Mexican ‘Mountain Water’ decaf with tasting notes of spice, chocolate and lemon.
Dog & Hat Coffee Settings
This month we’ve decided to start sharing the settings that we used to test the month’s coffee.
As no two setups (or tastes) are the same, our goal is not to give you definitive settings to use but rather a way of helping find a starting point for dialling in the coffee.
So, as the months go by, if you see we used a grinder setting of 1.7 and ratio of 1:2 for a coffee this month you could hopefully match it to the settings you used for a previous coffee that also used a grind setting of 1.7 and a 1:2 ratio.
Remember, these are just guidelines that we found made a nice tasting (subjective), well extracted coffee using our setup – please don’t stop experimenting and finding the best cup for your taste.
Our testing setup consists of an EK43 and a Sage DTP for espresso and our filter parameters are for the Aeropress (inverted with paper filter).
Colonna Rwanda Twongerekawa Coko
This coffee produced lovely sweet notes (think boiled sweets and stewed fruits) when brewed at our grind setting of 4.0 and ratio of 13.5g to 200ml water in 2:30 mins.
To find the balanced sweetness as espresso we settled on a grind setting of 1.7 with a ratio of 17g in to 35g out.
Red Bank Colombia
We found our favourite results with this coffee showed off the caramel sweetness alongside the orange notes with a grind setting of 4, brew ratio of 13.5g to 200ml and a brew time of 2:15 mins.
We found this coffee had zesty orange notes with a grind size of 1.6 with a ratio of 18g in to 38g out.
Craft House Coffee Brazil Sitio Forte
We found this to be a great, easy extracting espresso with big notes of chocolate and honey sweetness using a grind setting of 2.0 with a ratio of 18g in to 39g out.
Craft House Coffee Tanzania Iyenga
This coffee produced great Kenya-like blackcurrant notes when we brewed it with a grind setting of 4.0, ratio of 13.5g to 200ml water but with a slightly shorter brew time of 2:15 mins.
The Steamie Burundi Mpanga
We got floral notes & lemon tea from this coffee when we used a slightly finer grind setting of 3.7, a ratio of 13.5g to 200ml, and brew time of 2:15 mins.
This coffee needed a bit more attention on espresso - we found using a grind size of 1.7 and a ratio of 18g in to 54g out led to a slight over-extraction which helped to tame the citrus lemon tea notes. We also found this coffee worked best with slightly harder water.