When it comes to “the finer things in life” all I ask for is the best food and beverage available. I don’t usually buy nice things, but when I go out to a restaurant or cafe’ I seek out the most authentic and highest quality product. Like a beautifully aged wine, when you sip fine coffee as it should be, is like a puzzle in your mouth, deciphering the flavors while inhaling the aromas. And a flash of culture warms you.
Coffee is one of the more affordable luxury’s and for good reason. For me, I believe if you drink coffee each day, especially more than once, why not drink the good stuff? I see it as one of those “stop and smell the flowers” type moments. In the long run, you save money too, because you don’t have to buy creamer, sugar, or any other crap to “fix” bad coffee. On my list of “finer coffees,”
I appreciate the passion and skill that goes into pan roasting. So, when I received Johnny’s, better known as BaristaOnDutY, set of Ethiopian Harrar, Yirgacheffe, Limu, and one other coffee (but that’s a surprise till later), I couldn’t start tasting them fast enough. But I made sure the coffee lasted and every sips moment captured in time. They arrived in small canning jars so the gasses from the beans kept the beans fresher longer.
A couple months ago I received the set of Ethiopian coffees. I wrote a mini review about the Harrar and discovered a whole new level of quality. This time the coffee came, I used a 3-cup Bodum French Press (comes out to be 1.5 U.S. cups) as my main brewing technique. This “single serve” version is perfect for a more personalized brew and for taking time to sip the coffee.
I had to try the Harrar first since this is the unanimous favorite among us coffee reviewers. The first thing I smelled was how much more pronounced the citrus and dark chocolate was. The pleasing blueberry made for a really nice acidity. A full body made a nice relaxing touch with the chocolate finish. I would recommend the Harrar as an evening coffee to curl up with a good book, as a close to a stressful day.
Next up was the Yirgacheffe. Johnny recommended I try this in a Moka pot. I used this reasoning as an excuse to buy a new 6-cup Bialetti Moka pot (which is the equivalent to about 4-5 shots of espresso) to brew it in. I used this method because it’s supposed to bring out the lemon flavors most.
And that it did. The lemon aroma and flavor was over whelming, in a great way. Just as if you are walking through a lemon orchard and a ray of sunshine is shooting out of your mouth. The Yirgacheffe is the perfect morning wake-up coffee.
If you need a good “throughout the day” coffee, Limu is it. Again, I brewed this in the French press. This is an all-around great coffee for a medium body. The first thing I smelled was earthy with a hint of caramel. The flavor was very complex. The more it cooled, the more different flavors came through. At first it was like a spice with an underlying nutty tone and a caramel sweetness. And a very nice light acidity with a chocolate-covered cherry finish.
And last, but certainly not least, is Kenya AA. I wanted to save this one for last because I humbly and exclusively get to review it. The aroma was a warm citrus nibble and full bodied. The black-currant and hint of chocolate made a nice combination. With a fine dry wine aftertaste, I’d say this is the perfect after dinner coffee.
For more information about Johnny G Milton Jr (Barista On DutY) and where to buy, check out his website. You can follow him on twitter @baristaonduty . Be sure to drop by and join his Ning Coffee Network to ” Come Learn All About Coffee .”
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- What is a Mocha?