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An Awesome Review

Michael Amouri of Café Amouri in Vienna, VA, was kind enough to sell me two pounds of his Ethiopia Harrar green coffee for testing purposes. I couldn’t wait to roast them to dark roast and try them out. The following day, my friend and colleague Mike Petrucci tasted the coffee from a Clever pour, and penned an absolutely awesome review that I’m glad to share with you. Here’s Mike, in his own words.

“I’m not usually a fan of dark roasts. I feel the beans’ natural flavors get masked which will in turn rob me of joy. Not cool.

But this Harar is different, or at least the way that Arka over at Kustom Coffee has roasted it. What I’m about to share are my notes on the coffee. Just a collection of feelings. Almost like a memory of a past event.

Recovering from a Bean Fire

I was riding high. Visions of gloriously aromatic coffee beans danced before my eyes as I worked my brand new Behmor 1600 roaster night after night. Flush with initial success, I had just set up, and was getting ready to spread my joy to the world. That would be a good time to learn humility, right? And humility arrived, right on cue.

San Francisco Blend — from Atlanta

Our good friend Lee Patrick Sullivan brought back some excellent dark roast beans from San Francisco Coffee Roasters, Atlanta the other day. He spoke of a dedicated roaster that exercises maniacal control over his roast. That was evident when we put it through the little espresso machine in the office. The sip began with an assertive profile, but then as the flavor progressed to the back of tongue, it receded to a very smooth — almost creamy — finish, with hints of dark chocolate and apricot. This is a very fine and complex coffee. Try some of the San Francisco Blend here.


Gedeo Coffee from Ritual Roasters

Gedeo (Image credit Scott Beale | Laughing Squid)

I first experienced the Gedeo blend from Ritual Roasters at the Coffee Van at the Oakton farmer’s market. This coffee originates from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. Ron, the owner/barista, brewed me a shot to taste. At first sip I was taken aback by the intense, assertive lemon flavor, followed by a fruity finish. It was a lovely change from the usual.

Fast forward a few months. During my Saturday morning visit to the market, I finally bought some of the beans from Ron. At work, Mike Petrucci and I decided to take it through several brewing methods to see what works best. We tried French-pressing and the Aeropress. The lemon flavor was much more subdued, moving to the back of the mouth with the French press version. The Aeropress yielded a more vivid flavor palette, with the berry flavors showing up much more prominently. It has a much smoother finish when brewed this way.

As we experimented and drank this bean, we experienced how preparation methods changed the flavor profile drastically. Not all beans open themselves up to this much variety. You might want to pair the espresso version with something rich like cheesecake. Try it – you won’t be disappointed. Ron might still have some beans in stock – talk to him.

Good Coffee Alaska Style: Drive-thrus

Mark Hanner is back with a clutch of coffee shacks in and around Anchorage. Before you scoff, remember that these folks are really serious about the quality of their coffee.

“They have a lot of those “photomat” drivethrough coffee places here like in Seattle and everyone of them is better than a Starbucks,” Mark says. “They all have great names too like the Mocha Moose. I hit 3 yesterday driving around as it was cold and kept me awake from jet lag!”

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