This is the first coffee review I’ve ever written, and although that’s one of the chief aims of this blog it seems fitting to ease in with a bit of a mini review of a coffee I hadn’t expected to try anytime soon.
I only have a small sample of it, given to me by a friend who found it too dark a roast for her tastes. She received it after visiting a coffee house in London and striking up a conversation with the owner. With Ethiopian coffees being one of my favourites, I was excited to try it and it hasn’t disappointed.
Grown in a part of Limu in Western Ethiopia that consists primarily of native forest reserve, the farmer a gentleman by the name of Haider Abamecha has sought to make as little impact on the environment as he can. His farm, which sits 1800-2000 metres above sea level, spreads across just under 1000 hectares with just over 50% of it in full production.
Roasted by Moonroast in Hampshire, they have strong pedigree in the world of coffee with the family trade dating back over 100 years. They prefer to roast in small batches which gives them a lot of control over the beans to ensure a consistency of flavour and unique roasting profile for each bean. The tasting notes of this particular Ethiopian bean speak of sweet stone fruit, jasmine, and marzipan.
I chose to brew this with my trusty AeroPress, you might have noticed it’s my preferred method of brewing, I always use the inverted method with it and this time was no different.
When it comes to drinking coffee, everything starts with the aroma. The smell of freshly ground coffee early in the morning has some sort of magical effect on me. It’s intense tones bring me out of my gradual start to the day, a post perhaps for another blog, and kick start my creative juices ahead of my mornings design work. The Moonroast was no different, it’s gentle flowery coffee smell lingering around the grinder as I poured the grounds into my AeroPress. I didn’t catch the Jasmine of the tasting notes, but for a darker roast than I would normally drink it gave off a surprisingly delicate scent.
Upon starting the brew, and just after the bloom, I noticed a sweet tone rising out of the AeroPress, and as I let the grounds soak fully for the minute or so before I popped the filter on the top, the marzipan started to make itself known. For someone who’s not a big fan of marzipan, if you ask me it spoils Christmas cake, I was a little bit daunted.
I always let the coffee sit for a bit after I’ve finished pressing it through the AeroPress’ filter, but inevitably I always try a first sip while it’s a little too hot. While the coffee was on the hotter side of drinking, I noticed a lighter slightly sweeter taste to it and as it cooled it became a little denser and the deeper marzipan showed it’s face. Not too strongly, thankfully, and in fact it was quite a balanced taste. Not particularly acidic, as I find some single origins can be from the AeroPress, but a nice rounded flavour that was smooth to taste.
I enjoyed the two cups I had enough beans to brew with, and I will admit to being slightly disappointed thats all there was. I’ll certainly look to buy another bag of Moonroast beans in the future, and hope that the Ethiopian is available when that time comes. I would certainly recommend it, and if I find myself in a Coffee House that brews Moonroast beans, my expectations will be high.
Also published on Medium.