This month I’m reviewing Colombia – La Virgen by Chromatic Coffee.
The packaging was custom printed, but simple. They included a piece of candy with the invoice which was a nice, personal touch. The bag read “Clove, Velvety, Persimmon”. I have no idea what a persimmon tastes like or where I’d even get one. Their website lists a lot more tasting notes which cover the gamut of sweet, spicy, floral, smooth, full of body, etc. To me that reads “whatever you want it to be” and that’s not what I want to hear. The beans were tiny and oily–that’s not good or bad, I actually enjoyed looking at them every time I opened the bag. The beans had a sweet smell similar to carrots. I’ve smelled that before in brewing coffee, but not in the beans themselves.
It had a great bloom, about a quarter inch or so in the Chemex. Once brewed the coffee had an oily sheen. This is not normal behavior for brewing in the Chemex. The paper filter should strip out the majority and you rarely see oil on the finished coffee.
The taste of this coffee stood out on my soft palate. (I had to google that because this is not something I normally associate with coffee.) It was slightly bitter, but not distasteful. It did not smell of cloves, but I could pick up a hint of the taste while drinking it.
Brewing it in the French Press was a bit tricky. When pouring in the hot water the coffee “foamed” so that I had to wait for it to go down before pouring the full amount of water. The coffee wasn’t bitter at all from the French Press and was extremely smooth.
This coffee sells for $1.56 an ounce in 12 oz. bags for a total of $18.75. That’s on the higher end of the nicer coffee spectrum.
I’m going to be honest here, this coffee had all the aspects that make a good coffee for me, but the taste just wasn’t there. I could go to the grocery store and buy something like a bag of Peet’s or bulk from Whole Foods and have a better tasting cup for much less of a price.
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