Atomic Coffee Roasters

Trade Coffee for September comes from Ethiopia. Based on the bag, it’s specifically from “Oromia” which is a regional state like “Sidama” and “Gedeo”. I also find it odd that the bag is labeled “Ethiopia Sidama.” Looking into where/what “Oromia” is, Oromia Region (wiki) is a fairly large regional state with multiple smaller zones making up the state. Want to be confused even more? Apparently there’s an Oromia Zone (wiki) that’s in a different regional state. Egas, how’s your geography?

Back to the coffee, the single origin beans are a light roast from Atomic Coffee Roasters. I absolutely love the aroma. It’s subtle fruity sweet aromas isn’t too strong but lingers long after I’ve dispensed the beans into the grinder.

Making my latte, the first sip is amazingly balanced. I taste berries, caramel, and hints of roasted nuts or barley or wheat. It’s such a smoothe flavor. I find that Ethiopian beans are so consistent in their flavors.

COFFEE ASPECTSYES / NO
Intense AromaNo
Balanced AromaYes
Other AromaNo
Intense 1st sipNo
Balanced FlavorYes
Chocolate FlavorYes
2nd cup?No

Cafe Kreyol

A dark roast from Tanzania coming out of Virginia’s Cafe Kreyol lands in my coffee cup for the next week or so. When I opened the bag, the sight and aroma of the beans remind me very much of the Starbucks espresso blend. An oily shine coated each bean accompanied by a deep ashen/burnt aroma. This type of aroma also reminded me similarly of the dark Kona roasts.

Making my latte, I taste a strong chocolate flavor on the first sip. With each sip, I also taste a something herby, ashen and earthy. I’m not sure if its the ashen flavor that sort of turns me off to the bean but I’m not enjoying these beans as I normally would for other roasts.

COFFEE ASPECTSYES / NO
Intense AromaYes
Balanced AromaNo
Other AromaNo
Intense 1st sipYes
Balanced FlavorNo
Chocolate FlavorYes
2nd cup?Np


Jot Coffee

If you use social media (like I do) and depending on what your click history have been, you may have come across advertisements of a coffee product called Jot Coffee. I started seeing their advertisements sometime last year along with Cometeer Coffee. From what I can tell, Jot Coffee is a direct to consumer company that sells concentrated coffee/espresso in small jars. Drinkers can dilute the concentrate into many different coffee based drinks (iced coffee, americano, latte, machiatto, cortado, etc). Like most direct to consumer based companies, Jot Coffee is also a subscription based service that will charge you for regular dilvery of their concentrated coffee product.

I think their maybe a few key benefit that Jot Coffee wants to sell to you.
1) If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of buying beans or knowing what type of roast or knowing the lcation of the beans or even using a subscription service like Drink Trade Coffee (yes shameless referral plug), Jot Coffee wants to make it easy for you by just having two simple choices: Original blend or Dark blend. The drinker can decide which blend they prefer and stick to that blend for future deliveries.
2) If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to pull your own espresso shot with a machine or even using manual methods to make your drink (pourovers, aeropress, cold brew, etc), Jot Coffee also wants to make it easy for you. All you need to do is mix their concentrated extract to make your own drink. The concentrate pretty much is a stronger pulled espresso shot.
3) And finally, Jot Coffee just wants to be your coffee of choice by making it easy to make all your favorite drinks. Their instructions say to just mix 8oz of their concentrate with whatever and however much you desire. Jot also provided a measuring spoon to make things super easy to measure 8oz.

So Jot Coffee clearly intrigued me enough that I put it on one of my things to buy list. However, at the time when I saw these advertisements, I head many bags of Kona and Hawaii beans to drink. I had even paused both my coffee subscriptions in order to “catch up.” By now, readers of this blog should know that I’ve restarted both subscriptions and I’m starting to post about coffee again. Fortunately for me, Jot Coffee apparently sells both the original and dark blend on Amazon. This was actually really good because I didn’t have to bother with any subscription sign up and cancellation follow up. So I ended buying an original and dark blend.

I opened the dark blend first. The concentrate looks super thick. It actually covered the 8oz measuring spoon with this luscious brown liquid. Adding the recommended amount of milk to make a latte, the first thing I taste is the bold espresso flavor. I can’t taste any distinct floral, nutty or fruity flavors. If I over dilute with milk, I end up with a nice chocolate milk drink. However, if I don’t add enough milk, the espresso flavor remains and minimizes any sort of “milk” after taste.

After finishing the dark blend, the original blend also has similar concentrate consistency. Measuring out the original blend into a latte, the color of latte is surprisingly similar to the dark blend. The taste of the latte however is a much milder flavor compared to the dark. If I gave dark a score of 10 on how bold the espresso flavor is, then the original blend is roughly a score of 5 in espresso flavor. I’m able to taste a pleasant nutty flavor that balances the espresso and milk flavor. Between dark and original, I actually prefer the dark blend.

Overall, I think Jot Coffee is an interesting alternative to buying and grinding beans to make espresso. I wouldn’t buy this product for normal daily use. However, I would buy this for trips where grinding coffee might not be very feasible so long as there’s refrigeration to store the Jot Coffee espresso concentrate. The one thing I do miss when making my latte with Jot Coffee is the smell of freshly ground beans. Starting the day with the smell of freshly ground beans adds to the simple pleasures of life.

Good Citizen Coffee Company

Trade Coffee sent me these single origin beans from Good Citizen Coffee Company. The beans are from the Narino which is in southern Columbia. I haven’t had too many beans from Columbia so these beans should be a treat.

Opening the bag, I’m greeted with a pleasant floral aroma. Aside from the typical coffee aromas, there’s nothing else outstanding about the aromas. Making my latte, I taste a subtle citrus and nutty flavors. After each sip though, I start getting a pleasant sweet chocolate flavor aftertaste that I enjoy. The subtleness of this sweet chocolate aftertaste really makes these beans enjoyable.

I hope I’m able to get more beans from Central and South America to taste.

Coffee AspectsYes / No
Intense AromaNo
Balanced AromaYes
Other AromaNo
Intense 1st sipNo
Balanced FlavorNo
Chocolate FlavorYes
2nd cup?No

Queen City Coffee Roasters

After four months, I restarted the coffee subscriptions services for Angels Cup and Trade Coffee. I managed to stagger them roughly 2 weeks apart so I can finish one and have the other pretty much ready to be drunk.

The first coffee to come is from Angels Cup. They sent a bag from Queen City Coffee Roasters which apparently is from India! I am pleaseantly surprised with these beans because it’s not from the usual African, Central/South America or Southeast Asia sources.

The beans have a such a subdued aroma of nuts and dried fruit. Making my latte, I was surprised at the first sip with this bold chocolate taste followed that is mellowed by peach and berries. With each subsequent sip, the chocolate flavor disappears leaving with nothing but this pleasant nutty flavor after finishing the cup.

Here’s what I think of the beans…4/7

Coffee AspectsYes / No
Intense AromaNo
Balanced AromaYes
Other AromaNo
Intense 1st sipYes
Balanced FlavorYes
Chocolate FlavorYes
2nd cup?No

Fika Fika Coffee

Fika Fika Coffee (Yelp) is a local coffee shop. I can’t seem to find a website for this coffee shop. I’m not sure where they roast their beans. They only have two shop locations (Pasadena, Arcadia) but these shops don’t appear to have much space for a roasting machine. Else perhaps the square footage is larger than it appears.

Since I’m finally finished with the Hawaiian beans and my coffee subscription shipments from Angels Cup and Drink Trade don’t start back up immediately, I needed some beans to hold me over until the coffee subscriptions packages start to come in. I opted to try these medium roasted Columbian beans. I’ve had beans from this region in Columbia before.

Here’s what I think of the beans.

Coffee AspectsYes / No
Intense AromaNo
Balanced AromaYes
Other AromaYes
Intense 1st sipNo
Balanced FlavorYes
Chocolate FlavorYes
2nd cup?Yes

A Simple Qualitative Coffee Ranking System

To be honest, I’ve been unsatisfied at just describing what I’m tasting. As a result, I’ve decided to expand “my coffee reviews.” I recognize I’m not an coffee connesiur nor I do I have formal coffee training as a barista or other coffee related mastery or associations. I also recognize that different people will describe different flavors when tasting the same beans.

What makes me the most qualified unqualified person? I have had over 2 years of different roasters sending me light/medium/dark roast beans and I’ve come to appreciate the complexity of the roasted beans’ aromas and flavors. In some ways, I want to establish some qualitative ranking system to discover what makes a good coffee bean roaster… perhaps a way for future recomendations.

There will be seven simple/submjective aspects that I measure “yes/no”.
1) Is there an intense aroma?
2) Is there a balance between floral, fruity, and nutty aromas?
3) Is there any other aroma that’s not floral, fruity or nutty?
4) On first sip, is there an intesne taste?
5) Is there a balance of floral, fruity and nutty/earthy tastes?
6) Is there a chocolate-like flavor with each sip or after taste?
7) Do I want to drink another cup immediately after finishing this cup

Mountain Thunder Coffee

With a name like Mountain Thunder Coffee, I exect big bold flavors from these Private Reserve Kona beans. Unfortunately, the friend accidentally picked up a lighter roast. Per the website, the American roast is a light roast. If readers recall, most of the previous Kona beans have been medium and dark roasts.

Making my latte, I definitely do not get the ashy flavors typical of dark roast Kona’s. The bold flavors from Kona coffee are absent. Instead, I’m left with delicate hints of floral and fruit flavors.

Big Island Coffee Roasters

As I mentioned in a previous coffee post, I will be getting a few bags of Kona coffee from Hawaii. This bag of Kona Peaberry comes from Big Island Coffee Roasters. Again this smells amazing but it lacks the ashy, earthen aroma that previous Kona beans usually smell like.

Making my latte, I taste honey and chocolate predominantly. However, the latter half of each sip is where I get bits of the ashen after taste that I recognize more as originating from Kona. There’s also a slight hint of fruitiness with each sip.