Archive | December, 2012

“The Best of Coffee” – November

10 Dec
November Month

November Month

November was a busy month filled with plenty of things to work on. Nevertheless, I made it out and about on the town a half a dozen times or more. Although there were the first signs of the winter weather setting in, the weather was  great overall. I even managed to sneak in a few last bicycle rides.

The bulk of my time was spent thinking and working on school term papers, as reflected in this months photograph. I also had wine class ever single week this month. It was a busy one! As December hit, and I started to write this post, it’s becoming very obvious the year is near the end. I’m excited to write about this year in coffee!

This post features an awesome coffee roasted in late October from Fratello and a fantastic 49th Parallel coffee from Honduras. It also holds some very memorable cafe visits!



Fratello Coffee Roasters
“Los Pirineos”, EL SALVADOR

This was one of two coffees in another surprise shipment from Russ at Fratello Coffee (twitter machine @FratelloCoffee2). Thanks again Russ. As they get in new coffees, Russ usually sends some over in a dialogue… really awesome!

I was pleasantly surprised with this coffee. I’ve had nothing but mediocre coffees from El Salvador the past few years. However, it looks like this year there are some really new and exciting things happening there with lots of experimentation. This includes “experimentation with 45 different varietals of coffee trees on [the Los Pirineos] farm… to find which varietal of coffee tree results in the best cup profile when grown at his elevation, with his soil conditions, in his ecological conditions.  This is NOT normal protocol” (via Fratello Blog). Fratello has a great post on their blog about the farm and more here.

El Salvador as an espresso!

El Salvador as an espresso!

This had some great fruit, structure and winey characteristics. I played with this as an espresso, but for the sake of continuity the grading is based on the coffee brewed via clever (where it seemed to do the best).

Aroma 9 /10  

Body 9 /10 

Sweetness   9 /10

Acidity 9+ / 10 

Finish 9 /10

Reading over my notes, this looks like a wine tasting! I see cherry, sour cherry, blackberry and red fruit… like a Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon blend?  The nose was a medium intensity with blackberry and cherry. On the palate it had a nice body (winey mouthfeel), sour cherry, berry, blackberry, and a crisp green apple acidity. Overall, an interesting coffee with a nice complexity. I’m adding on an extra cupping point here for the interesting complexity of this coffee.

92 /100 pts


49th Parallel 
“La Benedicion”, HONDURAS

Another delicious Honduras coffee from 49th Parallel. They are on fire this year! This was purchased at Fixed Coffee and Baking after hype from the guys.

La Benedicion

La Benedicion

On the nose, there was a medium+ intensity, I found dried sticky fruit like pineapple, honey, and red fruit like raspberries and red currant.

Aroma 9+ /10  

Body 9 /10 

Sweetness   9+ /10

Acidity 9 / 10 

Finish 9 /10

On the palate, I found red currant, lime acidity, honey, and bright dried fruit (pineapple and peach). The finish was long with a pleasant sweetness and working into dark chocoalte.

This also would make a great everyday coffee with a nice complexity to keep it interesting to drink. Great coffee, lovely sweetness, pleasant acidity and great sweetness. Plus one cupping point because of its excellent balance.

93 /100 pts


Out on the Town / Other Thoughts


Novemeber 7th

Popped in for a quick visit at Fixed Coffee & Baking because I was tired and craving some delicious coffee. Here I had a pourover of the Honduras I described above and loved it. I noted the great acidity, sweet honey and dried fruit (pineapple).

Novemeber 9th

David mentioned there would be yet another guest roaster… the legendary Tim Wendelboe!

Wendelboe Kenya!
Wendelboe Kenya!

This is not their typical everyday fair, and to stay in the loop you can follow David on twitter @postespresso (if you don’t already).

This was a legendary and memorable visit for me at Post espresso. Incredible coffee, no question about it… really special!

It was a Kenyan coffee and I had it via a pourover method, which at Post is a Hario V60. I spend a few minutes nosing the coffee as it cooled: wild berries and spice. The first sip was intense. It was incredibly juicy (acidity). Tons of red fruit, winey, baked goods spices, fennel seeds… but most of all the mouthfeel was wild! Very special indeed. The body was nice, and compared to the acidity it was great. As the cup cooled I found raspberries, red currant and a snappy red apple acidity.


November 17th and 22nd

Both were early morning visits at Fixed Coffee & Baking. Here they serve 49th Parallel Epic Espresso, which is a seasonal blend that constantly changes throughout the year. During the November it was on fire: a blend of two coffees, the Guatemala “Providencia” and El Salvador “La Jolla”. These were also monumental visits (Nov 17th cappuccino and Nov 22nd macchiato).

Fixed Capuccino

Fixed Cappuccino

In November I had one of the best cappuccinos of the year. It was early one morning before I headed off to the farmers market (ironic and hip, yes I know). The light was pouring across the floor from the huge front windows of the Fixed Cafe, and Jon served me up a cappuccino. It was delicious. Great sweetness, perfect temperature and silky milk. The Epic popped through the milk wonderfully bringing a great brightness of orange, spice and red currants. As I stood at the bar and chatted with Jon, I made mental note this was probably one of the best spro drinks of the year.

Later in the month I stopped back again to get a macchiato from Jon. It was also delicious. Similar red currant notes popping through the milk with some lemon. Bright and sweet.


Hold tight for Christmas, a Holiday edition of the “Best Of”, and the long awaited Year in Coffee!

– Matt