January’s Angels Cup comes from Free Space Coffee. The bag is a blend of beans from Ethiopia. I didn’t get to it untl February since I had the OKLAO Taiwan beans that I brought back. To be honest, this is smells and tastes like classic Ethiopian grown coffee beans. I’m constantly amazed that the Ethiopian beans have consistently provided the same kind of taste and irrespective of the roasters. The flowery earthy aroma mixed with a fruity, chocolatey taste in my latte.
Coffee from Taiwan? Taiwan is located at the border of the Coffee Belt. These beans were grown in the famous mountainous regions of Taiwan’s “Ali Shan” which also grows quite a number of teas too. They are roasted by a Taiwanese roaster close to where I stayed called OKLAO Specialty Coffee.
Upon opening the bag, I’m greeted with this chocolate, nutty aroma with a faint fermentation smell as well. Grinding and making my latte, the full aroma of that faint fermentation comes back with a vengeance. Though I don’t taste anything “fermented,” the aroma itself gives the fruity and chocolate flavors a different taste making it feel a little more tangy (for lack of a better word). It’s kind of like the after taste from drinking those Yakult priobiotic drink.
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.