Archive | February, 2012

Phil & Sebastian – Preview of the Zelaya Espresso

27 Feb

I’ve been working with the Zelaya espresso for about a month now at the coffee shop, and have been meaning to get my thoughts online. Over the weekend I shot some video outlining my initial thoughts on the Zelaya Espresso from Phil & Sebastian:



The espresso was pulling really nice, here is a shot from the naked portafilter:

Zelaya Espresso from P&S Roasters, Naked Portafilter

Zelaya Espresso from P&S Roasters, Naked Portafilter

Keep an eye out for the full detailed post!

– Matt

Fratello Coffee – Colombia “Alvaro Losada”

13 Feb
 Colombian “Alvaro Losada”

Colombian “Alvaro Losada”

This is the second half of my thoughts on two coffees Fratello sent. Both of these were new crops of coffee, and perhaps a hint at what the guys at Fratello will be up to in 2012. I’ve already posted a preview of the two coffees they sent us with some video, as well as my thoughts on the first coffee I opened: Costa Rican “Miguel Rojas” (available on their site).

This review is for their Colombian “Alvaro Losada”.


Cupping Breakdown

Brewed with 5.5grams of coffee, medium-fine grind, ~2.5 minute steep and 100 grams of water.

In the aroma I was getting all kinds of components: slight berry, brown sugar, vanilla, stone fruit, chocolate and lemon. They acidity was nice and crisp (9+/10), sweetness was high (also 9+/10). It was a balanced coffee, rich mouthfeel and clean finish. I found the clean finish and sweetness made the coffee feel a little ‘plain’. Not necessarily a bad thing… I’ll explain.


Section 1: Filter/ Drip Results

Pour Over

Brewed with 20grams of coffee via a Clever Dripper device, with 350 grams of water.
This was a deliciously sweet coffee. I found it to be sugary (cane sugar), with cinnamon, maple syrup with chocolate malt as the predominate flavour. The finish was nice, but faded quickly – this is one of my only complaints about this coffee.

Aero Press

Brewed with 16 grams of coffee via upside-down method and 220grams of water. I find the aero press to be more of a gadget than a reputable brewing tool (perhaps another post), however in this case it helped unlock some of the fruit components. I also found vanilla and spice. The acidity structure was not as nice as the Clever however.

Colombian “Alvaro Losada”

Colombian “Alvaro Losada”

Final Notes

The overall cup was very sweet, clean and a great expression of a nice Colombian with some stone fruit and berry. Finish was a little quicker than I’d like personally.
 Aroma  9 /10 
 Body  9 /10
 Sweetness    9.5 /10
 Acidity  9 /10
 Finish  8.5 /10
I’m including +2 cupping points (for its clean and crisp profile) pushing it to whopping 92 points!


Section 2: Espresso Results

This review was not intended for espresso critique. However, I had some coffee left over and explored its possibilities.

My notes were relatively small. The results were interesting:

“Alvaro Losada” as an Espresso

“Alvaro Losada” as an Espresso


The result was a pretty intense espresso (by this I mean flavour concentration not brew ratio!)

I found a good profile going from ~19.5 grams of coffee to ~29-30 grams of espresso in 26-27 seconds. It was intensely bright, had a molasses sweetness, malty, and faint blackberry/ blueberry.

In Milk

Milk simplified the espresso in some aspects, with mostly a sweet toasty and malty flavour. There was also notes of faint berry in the body of the drink.


I’m going to include my espresso results in this score. This was an interesting coffee, one of the better Colombian’s I have had. It performed pretty well in all aspects, be that cupping/brew/ or espresso. My cupping score for this coffee was 92pts, and my espresso scoring was around 90pts. A good average here, resulting in 91pts for the total.

Total 100 point score of 91/100.