Friday, August 1, 2008

Square Mile Coffee Review

What did we try :
1) Square Mile Espresso Blend
2) San Francisco Tecuam burro, Guatemala, washed and sun dried, by Sergio Barillas Escamilla
3) La Rosa, Costa Rica, Caturra and Catuai, semi washed and sun dried, by Fernando Vindas
4) Kenya Muchoki Peaberry, auction lot - no info available
5) Myamagabe, Rwanda, 100% Bourbon, washed and sun dried.

First the Espresso Blend.
Very good blend indeed. If I have to compare it with Kontra or Coffee Collective or Tim Wendelboe or Stumptown or Caffenation then you notice some similarity's and differences. For me it was most comparable to Tim's from end 2007, but a bit stronger.
The roast is medium. I'm not sure, but I suppose it's just roasted on the second crack, although i have no further idea about times and temperatures. It's surely light enough to show fruits and acidity and strong enough for bitters and strenght. I only tried it on Anfim Caimano linked with a big Faema and Portaflon PF, 91°C and 1 ounce. The roast was 9 days old.
The shots were easy to prepare and taste wise I have no complaints. Powerful. Lots of body. Clean and Round. No specific fruits jumping out. Medium Acidity while drinking, but my personal feeling is that the finish is a little too sharp. With our House Blend we look for a mellow round after taste. The Square Mile Championship Blend had this, but it's lacking a bit on these first Espresso Blend shots. Of course it's always difficult to compare circumstances and machinery.
Then we pulled 5 ounce cafe cremes. Double Portafilter. Plus minus 14 grams in a double baskets and light tamping. The ground was the same as for espresso's (therefor we used almost 19 grams) but it was laying way deeper in the filter basket and so we had our 25 seconds extraction for a lungo cup.
This way we had more detail, some caramel and liquor and a fantastic after taste. Way better than our House Blend. Only one negative thing : cooling down it became quickly too bitter. Sure thing a Yirgacheffe/Columbia Huila (to just name two) add on would do wonders for this.

Than cupping the lighter roasted Single Origin/Estates.

The Guatemala : I had a similar bean as Espresso Roast from Hasbean which I liked a lot, and also this one came out really well. At the cupping table we noticed a medium body with a very sweet entrance, some beech nuts, a low acidity and a clean after taste.
On French Press I was so impressed with my morning pot, I was the whole afternoon angerly waiting to make one more in the evening. And I did ; at 10 pm! Delicious. Once again. Super duper clean. Not too heavy. Nice half ripe fruits (tasted some prunes and apple). A bit of sweet and sour and a very nice cooling down.
On Chemex (with the same ground - not too coarse, but of course coarser than filter) : Sweeter, heavier, a bit aged even. Much more body and a clean but no so nice after taste. And I missed the fruits of the Press.

The Costa Rica La Rosa : Cupping : Light body, some citrus, a bit thin and an after taste that stuck a bit too much to the sides of the tongue. The cooling down was fantastic, very sweet and nutty.
On the press I came out a bit too light for me. Maybe I need to dose higher next time.

The Kenya Muchoki (what a name) : Medium body, zest-fruity, a young - not yet developed - taste with a very clean after taste. Wasn't this too lightly roasted? I don't know. Of course there are so many very good Kenyans on the market and we had a couple bags of the Mamuto the last 6 months, which is no comparison, with nothing actually. But also on the press it couldn't do it for me.

Then last but not least the Rwanda Myamagabe : The same week as our Rwanda came out and once again a fantastic experience. Earthy, some green vegetables notes, dried fruits and good after taste. But to be honest : ours had much more body, pleasant earthy notes and a truffle undertone that made it the most spectacular Rwanda I ever had.
The Eva Solo brew of the Myamagabe tonight at Caffenation was very welcomed by the 7 or 8 people I offered a cup. Most people thought it was very pleasant although it lacked some strenght, but that has to do with their habit of drinking espresso's and strong lungo's I guess.

All together very well done Stephen, James and Anette. Keep up the good work and see you guys soon.

No comments: