Little Waves Coffee Roaster

I am straight up backlogged with multiple bags of coffee. I’m finally finished with the sudden influx of beans from January and February. Going back to my subscriptions, February’s Angels Cup delivers a bag of beans from El Salvador roasted by Little Waves Coffee Roaster.

Opening the bag, I’m greeted with a sweet fruity aroma. Making my latte, I taste a sweet raisin, sweet berry, maple syrup flavor. There’s a subtle molasses after taste as well. Subsequent sips also reveal a chocolate flavor that kind of just lingers along with that molasses. I’m a little disappointed I wasn’t able to taste this when I first got it. I think this would have been much more aromatic and a deeper chocolate aftertaste.

Pappy & Company

The algorithms that power my news feed apparently thought that I might be interested in this particular product: Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee. Based on the website, this collaboration between a coffee roaster Good Folks Coffee Company and Pappy Bourbon results in dark roast of single origin beans from Guatemala. Interestingly enough, apparently you can’t purchase any bourbon from the website.

Opening the bag, I’m greeted with aromas of spicy oak. This reminds me of aromas from alcohol aging (like wine). But since it’s bourbon (aka whiskey that’s been distilled with more than 51% corn mash), the distinctive grain smell also lingers as well. In addition to the oak and grain smells, I also get a “yougurty” aged smell that is very similar to the geisha beans. Grinding the beans, I’m struck at how a subdued the aromas are. Making my latte, the whiskey flavor is the most outstanding flavor that I taste first. After this initial whiskey flavor, I taste this grain-like/grass-like flavors as well. I think this related to the whiskey aging too. After overcoming these two flavors, I also start to get hints of the “agey-ness” and fermented flavors. The latte is different from what I’m normally used to. What surprises me is the lack of nutty, floral or fruity flavors. Overall, these beans taste nothing like the normal beans from the coffee subscriptions. They’re not bad but clearly different from the norm.

3rd Julian Coffee Kickstarter

Following up on his previous two coffee Kickstarter, Julian Coffee is back for a third time. This time it’s from Nicaragua. As a small US business, I appreciate how simple the packaging in. To be honest, it has been two months since I received these beans. I haven’t had the time to be able to try these beans amongst all the other beans I’ve received.

Opening the bag, I’m greeted with a subdued roasted nutty, chocolate aromas. There’s a visible difference between the strength of the aroma now compared to two months ago. Also, I am reminded at the similarity of the smell compared to the previous Julian Coffee beans Columbia and Puerto Rico. The beans do look visibly roasted more as well relative to the Trade Coffee or Angels Cup Coffee roasters. Making my latte, I’m actually surprised at how dark espresso slurry is inside the Aeropress. With the first sip, I am reminded of the ashy profile similar to the Columbian and Puerto Rican beans. The taste is not very strong and probably a result of using 2 month old beans. I think these beans would have been much more delicious if I had opened them earlier. Nonetheless, I’m glad I was able to kickstart these coffee product.

Joe Coffee Company

February’s Trade Coffee brings beans from Burundi. If you’re like me, I had to look that up. It’s a land locked country in the middle of Africa bordered by Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Joe Coffee Company is such great branding name. Most Americans should be familiar with term “cup of joe” which is a nickname for a cup of coffee. Apparently, the origins of this term is shrouded in mystery! Snopes, Readers Digest and the Roasterie offer some potential theories. I digress…. getting back to what matters, these beans are from Burundi’s Kayanza Province.

Opening the bag, I’m smell roasted nuts, fruits and floral aromas. Making my latte, the initial sip contains an explosion of citrus (pomelo?) flavors. After each sip, I also taste this subtle roasted grain/barley flavor that rounds the sip. This “roastedness” remains with each sip. It doesn’t quite become milk chocolate like either. It’s a little hard to describe as these beans are subtly different from Ethiopian beans. It has that familiarity of Ethiopian beans yet at the same time has it’s own unique taste differences.

Black Stallion Coffee Company

Today, the coffee beans I’m writing about are not from Angels Cup nor Trade Coffee — surprise surprise~! These beans are Black Stallion Cofee Company which also happen to be a local black and veteran owned business. #SupportLocalBusiness. To be honest, someone told me about this local coffee roaster. And like all coffee chasers, I went to visit the roaster expecting to get a latte. Unfortunately, they are still just roasting coffee beans on site with plans of opening up a future cafe. (Thanks Coronavirus!) On impulse since I was already at the cafe, I bought a bag of the Majestic. I look forward to a day I can sip a latte.

These coffee beans are actually a blend from 3 regions: Ethiopia, Brazil and one other South American country (Colombia?). I am greeted with floral, citrus and toffee aromas upon opening the bag. Making my latte, I initially taste berries and this wonderful rich dark chocolate flavor. I also get a familiar dark roasted barley/roasted grain taste reminiscent of the lattes made from Kona coffee beans. For randomly buying and trying the beans, these are very delicious.

Little Amps Coffee Roasters

January’s Angels Cup comes from Little Amps Coffee Roasters. The Ethiopian coffee beans come from coffee collective Daanisa in the Guji zone. Ethiopian beans have been consistently delicious with floral and fruity flavors.

Opening the bag, I’m greeted with a wonderful floral and fruity aroma. This aroma fades into the nutty familiar smell of coffee beans. Making my latte, I mainly taste berries that morphs into a nutty chocolaty aftertaste. Interestingly, if I extract with more water, I get a more citrus flavor. This latte has a great mouthfeel that coats the tongue hours after finishing the drink. It’s amazing how consistently fruity Ethiopian beans have been regardless of the roaster.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company

Trade Coffee sent me this wonderful bag of beans from Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company for January. The single origin beans are from Guatamala’s Sacatepequez region. Through google maps, it appears to be right outside the capital city of Guatemala City.

Immediately an amazing floral aroma greets me when I open the bag. Every time I go in to scoop out beans, the floral aromas linger long enough that the beans start smelling like honey. As I make my latte, I’m very surprised at how thick the crema layer is. Normally, I get about a quarter inch of crema with other roasters. However, with these beans, it’s at least half an inch. With such a think layer, it makes scooping the crema out relatively easy. What is crema? Crema is the result of released CO2 from hot water mixing with ground espresso. Generally the oils and fats from the beans are extracted out as well in the crema so it adds to the flavor profile. My experience is that you really need a lot of crema to significantly change the taste. I usually try to scoop out some crema out of the inverted aeropress before I press down to extract the espresso syrup.

Making my latte, the first sip contained an explosion of flavors. It was sweet, fruity and nutty at the same time. With each sip, the sweet nutty flavor tends to dominate the flavor. Usually by the end of the cup, I get a rich chocolatey flavor that ends up with me making a 2nd cup sometime later in the day because how delicious the latte was.

Brio Coffee Works

January’s Angels Cup comes from Brio Coffee Works. The beans are from Ethiopia’s Sidama region. From the previous experience of these Sidama based beans, the latte should be solidly delicious.

Opening the bag, I’m greeted this earthy, jasmine tea aroma. I think the smell of roasted coffee is the most addictive smell in the world that immediately calms the mind. Making my latte, the first sip was amazing. I taste berries and peach flavors first. As that sip lingers on the tongue, it morphs into this pleasant chocolate flavor. There’s something else I’m tasting that I can’t quite put my taste buds on. Perhaps the black tea that’s listed on the bag? Hmm…

Angels Cup Geisha Black Box

In late 2020, I was fortunate to able to pre-order the Angels Cup 2020 Holiday Black Box. The black box normally is a blind tasting box. However, the holiday version contains the geisha (gesha) beans roasted by different roasters. The box comes in four small bags with just enough for me to make 3 cups of latte per bag.

Bag A – This bag was had subtle florals mingling with strong earthy and berry aromas. Making the latte, I taste subtle citrus flavor with the first stip. A floral aftertaste lingers after each sip.

Bag B – Similar to Bag A but the floral and fruity aromas were much stronger. Making the latte, I get a strong nutty and chocolate taste. There’s also a slight yogurt like, fermentation flavor and aroma immediately with each sip. This flavor quickly dissipates though.

Bag C – This bag had more of a floral aroma. With the first sip of my latte, I taste sweet floral flavor. The sweetness lingers on my tongue with each sip. There is also a slight nutty after taste.

Bag D – Bag D had much more fruity aromas. My latte was an explosion of fruit flavors. The fruitiness gave way to this nice floral after taste. I wish I had more opportunities to drink from bag D.

Blueprint Coffee

December’s Trade coffee comes from Blueprint Coffee. The beans are from El Salvador and looks like a blend of different farms. From the website description, it looks like it’s predominantly beans from a farm in El Salvador mixed with a single lot from Brazil. I am a little disappointed that that the beans weren’t all single origin from El Salvador.

Opening the bag, a fruity sweet aroma greets me immediately. It’s a wonderfully light aroma that makes me excited to try these beans. Making my latte, the intense smell of the espresso syrup was addictive. With the first sip of the latte, I tasted an amazing burst of sugar, chocolate and berries. The chocolate flavor stood out the most and lingered at the back of the tongue after each sip. The latte was absolutely smooth and a delight to drink.