Craft Coffee - December 2014

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There was a slight problem with my shipment from Craft Coffee this month. I’m pretty certain that I was the cause of the problem. I ended up receiving three 4-oz sampler packs this month. This made pulling shots for lattes more complicated this month, but also much more interesting!

Coava Coffee Roasters, Portland, OR
Producer The Pacas Family
Origin Lomas de San Marcelino, El Salvador
Variety Bourbon, Pacas
Elevation 1,400-1,600 Meters
Process Washed
Pleasant red grape acidity reveals notes of buckwheat and toasted oats before ending with tannic blood orange stweetness.

I had a lot of trouble with the beans for Coava Coffee. I could pick up hints of all sorts of nice flavors, but nearly every shot I pulled had a bitter aftertaste. Nearly every shot, but not the last one.

I’m usually happiest when I pull a ristretto. My favorite shots almost always end up being about 1.5 ounce double shots pulled in about 22 seconds. I was still aiming for this with the Coava Coffee beans, and this was a mistake. The best shot I pulled was a full 2-oz shot.

If I had more than 4 ounces of this coffee, I am certain that I would have made quite a few more delicious lattes.

Onyx Coffee Lab, Fayettevill, AR
Producer New Kiriti Farmers Coop
Origin Murang’a, Kenya
Variety SL-28
Elevation 2,000 Meters
Process Washed
A soft maraschino cherry acidity complements flavors of dried mango and smooth brazil nut before culminating in a fragrant finish of lemon oil and peppercorn.

This was the second coffee I tried this month, and I did a much better job with this one. I choked up my Rancilio Silvia pretty good on my first attempt, but my second try was pretty much spot on. I don’t believe I pulled a bad shot after that first one.

There’s definitely a fruity component to the taste. I don’t know that I would have identified it as dried mango. I won’t dispute it, but it may just be the power of suggestion making me believe it

This is a very nutty coffee. I don’t think I could compare the flavor to brazil nuts, but that might only be because I don’t care for brazil nuts, so I haven’t had any in years.

I am quite pleased with the coffee from Onyx Coffee Lab, and I would be happy to drink it again, and I would love to see what it could be with a little more tuning.

Magpie Coffee Roasters, Reno, NV
Producer Gondo Cooperative
Origin Murang’a, Kenya
Variety SL-28, SL-34
Elevation 1,650 Meters
Process Washed
A juicy tangerine acidity pairs perfectly with rich kumquat and sour cherry notes balanced by hints of lilac.

I had a bit more luck with the beans from Magpie Coffee. The grinder setting that I was using for the Onyx Coffee Lab beans was a great starting point, so my first latte was delicious.

This Kenyan coffee from Magpie Coffee seems much smoother than Kenyan coffee from Onyx Coffee Lab, but the fruity flavors are much less pronounced. It is a delicious coffee, and I could certainly drink it every day. It just isn’t very exciting.

I don’t think I can choose a clear “winner” between these two Kenyan coffees.

Use my referral code “pat1245” and you’ll get 15% off

If you use my referral code (pat1245) when checking out at Craft Coffee, you will get a 15% discount. Not only will you save money, but they tell me I’ll get a free month of coffee with every order. That sounds like a good deal for both of us!