Just because I’m addicted to caffeine doesn’t mean I’m willing to settle for any old cup. I have standards.
Here is what I’ve been brewing recently:
Molten Standard Espresso from The North Star Coffee Company
This is a wet-processed bean from Illubabor, Ethiopia. It has notes of stone fruit, plum, floral citrus, hints of peach, and a touch of lemon complimented by baking spice, dark toffee, and chocolate roast tones. This has been the go-to bean for my mid-afternoon shot. I use 16g in the basket of my ROK, but I imagine that it will shine well in any espresso machine once you figure out the correct dosage.
Full disclosure: I know the owners of The North Star Coffee Company. They are great people, but that isn’t why I’m featuring their coffee here. It is delicious, stands on its own, and is a really good price. You won’t regret picking some up.
North Tanzania from The North Star Coffee Company
This is a wet processed bourbon varietal bean from Tarime, Tanzania. It features molasses, dried fruits and berry notes, and honey and caramel sweetness with hints of light brown sugar and cocoa. I’ve been enjoying it in my Aeropress (25g) and V60 (35g for ~500ml).
Guatemala Antigua Santos from Sagebrush Coffee
This is a wet-washed bean from the Antigua Valley in Guatemala with chocolate and hazelnut notes. It makes a delicious, nutty cup. I’ve been using this recently for iced coffee.
Ethiopia Drima Zede from Sagebrush Coffee
This is a dry processed bean from the Kochere region of Ethiopia. It is medium roasted and delightfully fruity with distinct berry notes. It shines most in the Aeropress (25g) and V60 (35g for ~500ml).
Decaf Costa Rica Bella Vista F.W. Tres Rios from Starbucks Reserve
I know what you are thinking. How in the world can I call myself a coffee connesour and recommend Starbucks? Well, if you are thinking that clearly haven’t tried these beans.
I visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle back in March. It was so much cooler than the original Pike Place store. Workers were roasting a ton of different kinds of coffee and every employee I talked to was very knowledgeable about different beans and brewing methods. I decided to try three different types of espresso, then after getting my thoughts, the barista pulled another shot and wouldn’t tell me what it was until I sampled it. The baking spices and chocolate notes with a citrus finish was better than any of the other espressos I tried.
I was completely floored when I learned it was decaf. I’d never had a decaf coffee that tasted this good.
While this doesn’t specifically feed my caffeine addiction, I also drink coffee because I really like the taste of it. This is what I turn to in the evenings when I want to sip an espresso but need to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
Note: I was looking around for photos of coffee beans that didn’t look totally flat or stocky. I couldn’t find anything, so I pulled out my gear, dumped out the bag of Guatemala Antigua Santos, and shot some myself with help from Amanda. If you want to use them, you can find the full-sized images on my Flickr account. Amanda took this photo of me while we were at it: