My apologies for missing a coffee review last month (and pretty much everything else). We had a pretty major family event and things got sidelined for a bit. However, this month I’m reviewing a really good coffee.
If you listened to the limited episode podcast “Containers” you will have heard of Ritual Coffee. I mentioned this to my good friend and coffee supplier while I was listening and, surprise, a bag of it arrived in my mailbox. (Also as a side note, my first thought about a podcast about shipping containers was, “That has got to be the most boring thing to listen to.” Try it, it wasn’t boring at all. Surprisingly fascinating.)
First the name, I’m not really sure what they mean by their name, but the way I interpret it makes me really happy. Coffee brewing for me is a ritual. It’s the thing I do when I’m mentally done with the day and need something to get me through a few more hours. It’s the thing I do on a lazy weekend and want to slowly enjoy a hot cup of coffee. It’s the thing I do when there are guests I want to make feel welcome.
Put the water on to boil. Weigh the coffee. Grind the coffee. Pour the water and watch it turn from something every day into a refreshing dark brew within a few inches of grounds. It is a process. A ritual.
Opening the coffee was a ritual in itself. There was a custom printed box with custom printed tissue paper. The coffee bag was then wrapped in a paper sleeve. Normally I’d write this off as extra expense, but with their name, I’m giving them a pass.
The variety I had was La Folie Caturra (it doesn’t seem to be available as of the writing of this post). The beans were small, a mixture of dark and light in color. They were not oily and varied from small to medium sized. The beans also had a fruity smell, but not anything specific I could point out. The tasting notes said:
La Folie Caturra combines the sweetness of a Mandarin orange, the sweetness of a nectarine, the sweetness of lemon-lime candy, and the juiciness of a watermelon.
A trick I’ve read, and maybe mentioned before, is to taste the coffee with the foods mentioned in the tasting notes. I happened to have nectarines at the time, and together they complemented each other well.
My first brew is always with the Chemex. It had a great bloom that fell by the time the initial 30 seconds were up. There was oil on the finished coffee. I’ve googled why this happens occasionally, but I cannot find an answer. My first pot of this in the Chemex was sour. I set my grinder to one level finer than what it was on and in the second pot the bitterness was gone completely. (This is a good thing to remember-sometimes if you don’t get a good coffee, it isn’t the coffee at fault.) This was a very smooth coffee that I didn’t mind drinking black. My preference is with cream and it was great that way as well.
In the French Press it started out foamy and had a strong smell (one of the best parts of brewing coffee). The finished coffee was cloudy. I was using my normal grind size, so I don’t think coffee getting through the filter was the issue. The finished coffee had a hint of almonds in the taste. There was zero bitterness and no sourness.
While the Chemex is my favorite way to brew, I enjoyed the results of the French Press more with this coffee.
The cost is high. This bag was $17.75 plus $6.50 shipping for a 12 oz. bag bringing it to $2.02 an ounce.
At the price I wouldn’t make this an every day coffee–as for quality I would. As a gift or a purchase for a special occasion I think it’s great.