Coffee Adventures – The Odd Couple

25 Feb

Over the past 2 weeks, Jamie @ The Coffee Adventures down in Florida sent me two bags of her best-selling blend “The Odd Couple”. Thankfully, both were roast dated – something you don’t see often enough in the coffee world (but that’s a whole other post).

The Odd Couple with Roast Date

The Odd Couple with Roast Date

Right, so this review was a bit of a Coffee Adventure in itself [pun untended]. Originally designed as a two bean blend for press-pot and pour-over, we decided to do some testing on the espresso machine. This of course was very exciting!

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Before I go any further I do want to post a disclaimer stating I did try this as both a press-pot and an aeropress (with the new Coava Disc). I will be comparing my notes from these techniques to what I get in the cup as espresso.

WARNING: this is very bright as an espresso. Love it or hate it, but I’m always open to working the coffee to find the best notes.

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To be honest, this coffee actually benefited from an unusually long rest period of a week or more. Over the course of the week I found more jam-like notes coming off the coffee, and this was especially true as an espresso. It really mellows out and rounds off, and I was able to get a really desirable result.

The best results I got as an espresso were all around 96 degrees Celsius (relatively high for espresso). Dose could vary from 19-20 grams, and total shot length of ~30 seconds was ideal.

Brewed as a Presspot / Aeropress with Coava Disc

This is a whole other beast, so I’ll do my best to be brief here and set-up for the espresso details (this is valuable information to use as a comparison).

This blend really was certainly odd, and the best way I could describe it was both coffees (in the two bean blend) ‘fight’ back and forth offering different notes across my palate. My notes were: berry, honey and pecan on the finish, which was strangely dry. I also found a little spice in there too. I’m calling it a medium acidity with a spring-off-my-tongue brightness. On the aeropress I was even able to find this excellent strawberry note (with the Coava disc). There was a little bit of a musty, gritty note occasionally from the Indian coffee which added a strange contrast (not necessarily balancing the coffee).

Straight Shot

First Drips of the Odd Couple as Espresso

First Drips of the Odd Couple as Espresso

I battled for a long time to try and find exactly how to describe one particular flavour, which I kept thinking was orange juice, but it was more of the acidity. Unfortunately it fell a little flat as espresso, but nevertheless it was interesting because of the brightness and berry + stone fruit notes. I REALLY need to point of that my favourite shots were a whopping 10 days off roast.
My notes were: brightness like crazy, acidtiy goes up from the non-espresso methods, with honey and some brown sugar elements. Again finding a nutty dry finish. Unfortunately the body does suffer as an espresso, but nevertheless still fun. As the espresso aged, I was able to find some jam-like notes around day 10 and 11.

In Milk
As a 6oz cappuccino, I could still find some of that brightness, which was excellent in contrast to the whole milk I used. It was relatively sweet and the acidity cut through the milk really well. I also noticed the musty, gritty element from the Indian smoothed out a little into a chocolate play.

Americano
As an americano I found it was okay. Honestly, I’d take it as a press-pot or pour-over any day rather than the americano.

Straight: Bizarre, interesting, but falling down on complexity and depth 8/10
In Milk: Less than 6oz of milk yields an 8/10
Americano: Okay, but grasping at notes similar to the aeropress 7/ 10

This was very difficult to rate, especially given the fact this whole thing was an experiment, really. After some thought, I’d give this a respectable 84 points.

Total 100 point score of 84/100.

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4 Responses to “Coffee Adventures – The Odd Couple”

  1. Jamie February 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Matt,

    Thanks for such a detailed post! Glad to hear the oddness didn’t scare you away and that you liked it… hehe

    • MattCReynolds February 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks Jamie, for the Coffee and the Follow up.
      Cheers

  2. Jack February 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Great post Matt, I especially like the small wrap up at the bottom with the ratings for americano, in milk, straight. Coffee lovers all enjoy their beans differently. I prefer espresso or pour over, while others French Press or aeropress.

    The point about the flavors changing as the coffee “ages” is a valid one. When I buy fresh roasted coffee, sometimes it doesnt initially blow me away, but as it sits or breaths, it develops quite nicely.

    A review how it should be done!

    • MattCReynolds February 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Thanks Jack.

      I strongly believe that it’s important to explore aspects like in milk, as an americano, etc on top of spending multiple days with a coffee. It’s useful to the customer (or buyer of the coffee), as well as to the roaster to see how their coffee breaks down outside the lab.

      Best, and have a good weekend.
      – Matt

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