January’s Trade Coffee comes from ReAnimator Coffee Roasters. The coffee bags have these pretty cool designs giving these beans a sense of individuality. These beans are actually from Chiapas, Mexico which from a Google Map search is apparently right next door to Guatemala. To be honest, I didn’t know Mexico grew coffee beans but seing how the southern tip of Mexico lines up along the top edges of the “Coffe Belt“, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Now the beans themselves have a very subdued aroma. However, there’s this pleaseant subtle aroma of chocolate and berries every time I open the bag to start making my latte. Grinding the beans and making my latte, the first sip has this wonderful honey, sweet, fruity flavor. There is also this pleaseant chocolate after taste that lingers in the mouth making me want to drink more. The latte is smooth and extremely drinkable (gulpable) that I had to make a 2nd cup.
November’s Angels Cup comes from Black Oak Coffee Roasters. It’s a blend of dark roasted beans. I’m a little disappointed that the past four Angels Cup deliveries have been blends. I was hoping that some intrepid roaster would create a dark roast single origin. I suppose it might be a waste to dark roast single origin beans.
Upon opening the bag, I first smell the strong ashy/smoky aroma followed by hints of chocolate and nuts. Subsequent sniffs brings a nice balanced aroma of smoky and chocolate. Making my latte, I taste this sweet chocolate flavor on the first sip. It tastes very much like a dark chocolate milk. What’s surprising is that there’s no bitterness that normally comes with dark roasts. With the lack of bitterness and the sweet chocolate flavor, I ended up making a second cup.
To be honest, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these beans. The previous blends have been average flavor-wise. They are good but didn’t “wow” me like some of the single origins. I know it’s not a fair comparison (single origin vs blends) but after drinking so many single origin, it’s inevitable to make certain comparisons. I think this dark roast blend stands out because of the lack of bitterness while maintaining some of the sweetness tasted in light/medium roast beans.
From the aroma and past experiences with Ethiopian beans to make my latte, the flavor profile so far has been very similar across multiple roasters. These beans continue with the fruity, berry flavor profile in the latte. The flavors have a more berry/fruit forward taste and also tasted sweeter than the previous beans (an espresso blend). The after taste after each sip was a nice refreshing milk chocolate flavor that lingered at the back of the tongue. Ethiopian beans do not disappoint.
Octobers Angels Cup comes from “Whats Brewing” Coffee Roaster. The Vienna Roast is a blend that they roast for use to make espresso. I’m surprised that they claim it is versatile as a drip. I regret not trying this out on pourovers.
Upon first opening this, I’m greeted with a strong ashy aroma. Making my latte, I’m greeted by subtle fruit and nutty flavors. I also taste a slight roasted flavor as part of the after taste. To be honest, this doesn’t stand out as amazing but I can see why the roasters claim this as a “good work horse” for regular espressos.
The October Trade Coffee comes from Equator Coffee. It’s a single origin from Ethiopia’s Guji Zone. The consistency of the beans from this region is always top notch and these beans are the same. Roasted in the hands of one of my favorite roasters (Equator Coffee), it was bound to be really delicious latte.
Opening the bag, I smell a wonderful nutty floral aroma typical of Ethiopian beans. Making my latte, I initially tasted this fruity sweet berry flavor that shifts into a subtle nutty chocolate after taste. Every sip was like this and it was really enjoyable. I really like Equator coffee roasted beans. They consistently put out good quality roasted beans.
Angels Cup sent this blend from Portola Coffee Roaster. Whenever I’m in the neighborhood, I will try to drop by to enjoy a latte. What amazes me all the time is that every latte taste just like the previous latte whether it was one, two or six months ago. That level of consistency is amazing. The bag of beans is a dark roast blend. The beans don’t have that typical slightly ashen roasted aroma even though it’s easy to spot the “oily-ness” of the beans.
Making my latte, I immediately get slight hints of what a Portola made latte would taste like. It’s followed by a pleasant chocolate taste that makes it very smooth and drinkable. The latte isn’t anywhere like the professionally made lattes but it was delicious that I immediately made a 2nd cup.
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.
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.
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.