It’s my favourite time of year and the Christmas coffees are back on the menu. I’m a bit late as they have been back on the menu since the start of November, but I have been saving my tastings for towards December in the spirit of Christmas.
Costa have brought out a few new drinks this year and I decided to try the Praline Cappuccino at this month’s work bookclub.
To be honest this is just syrup added to a cappuccino concoction. It was quite sweet and I think maybe I am going off my taste for sweet coffees as I didn’t really enjoy it as I thought I would.
What I did love though was the coffee sprinkles that turned gold on top of the form! It made it feel quite Christmassy – although it hasn’t really come out in the photo very well.
This month’s coffee was my last from my Hasbean subscription (hopefully not forever though) and it was a coffee from one of my favourite coffee producing countries – Guatemala!
I have made the effort this months to try this coffee every way I can – espresso, latte, french press, pour over – and my favourite was actually the latte, followed by the pour over. It just went really nicely with milk. The espresso on it’s own was more acidic than the pour over and french press, so that is probably why the addition of milk worked well as it kept the acidity in the coffee, but smoothed it over with milk.
I love my matching Bodum cups – I also the same in an even larger size I tend to use for tea!
Here is the last In My Mug link for a while. It is still on my wish list to do a full In My Mug subscription where you get a different coffee each week and can follow the videos along.
I love finding out more about the coffee’s I am drinking. I have a soft spot for Guatemala coffees – I think I have just had some excellent coffee that happened to be from this country, which started in Seattle.
I’ve been doing some research on coffee tasting (and tea, but I’ll keep that for a separate post) as I don’t feel my reviews are up to the standard I want. I also want to be able to remember what I like about each coffee so if I want to I can order it again. I’ve found with the subscription I forget which ones I like and to be honest which ones have been sent to me.
Details about the coffee – where it was grown and who by, as well as the processing and roasting method
Smell – smell the coffee before tasting as you pick up more
Slurp – slurp the coffee around the mouth to get the palate covers and should enable the more subtle flavours to come out
Aroma – the way the coffee smells, such as earthy, spicy, nutty
Acidity – refers to the tangy sensation that you feel on the tongue and sides of the mouth. Coffees with high acidity tend to be described as bright and crisp, while low acidity coffees are described as smooth.
Body – this is the weight or thickness of the coffee on your tongue.
Flavour – this is how the coffee tastes and is detected in different parts of the mouth
Based on my research I am going to start incorporating these aspects into my coffee tasting adventures. I have taken this from the Moleskine coffee notebook and have downloaded the templates from their website to stick into my notebook.
Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Pulped Natural Red Pacamara
I like this coffee. It is an interesting one. I find it quite light, but smooth at the same time. Usually lighter coffees for me have more acidity. More acidity tends to come through in the espresso, but that could just be because it is a more intense brew. This is lovely as French press making it perfect for waking up with and for a later afternoon drink.
I don’t think I have has a Pacamara varietal coffee before and am intrigued by the description on the website(http://www.hasbean.co.uk/blogs/articles/9853842-pacamaras):
“It’s a varietal that’s confused and bemused me for quite a while, and one I’ve spent a bit of time researching and tasting”
“So pacamara is a hybrid of two quite different varietals”
“it was in a laboratory,Inside the Genetic Department of the Salvadoran Institute for Coffee Research (ISIC) back in 1958. There was a coffee breeding program using lots of varietals, these two of many. One of these experiments was crossing the above Pacas and maragogype varietals.”
“But in conclusion, the two of these varietals coming together create something far bigger and more interesting than the sum of its parts, that makes this one of the most interesting varietals.”
As I said I found this coffee and the description intriguing. I noticed the beans were bigger than normal, but did not really think anything of it until I started to read up about it. This was definitely a coffee I would probably not have picked up if I had had to choose myself, but that is what I love about the subscription!
No In My Mug on this one unfortunately.
Guatemala Fina San Sebastian Washed Bourbon
I loved this coffee and was super sad when I finished the packet from August. This is what I love in a coffee – bold, smooth, dark – I do tend to love a Guatemala coffee. I think it must be where and how it is grown. You always get some of the soil taste in what you grow and I think this is what I love so much.
The coffee details tell me this is grown in volcanic soil at about 1500 metres above sea level. The farm this came from is long established and is in its 4th generation of the same family. I love knowing this about the coffee I’m drinking. I love that Hasbean go to visit the farm from where they get their coffee and in this video there is a fantastic interview with the farmer.
The flavours that were expected were raisins and dark chocolate. It was a clean taste with a deep aroma. I enjoyed this as a French press, being a big more gritty and oily, then as a cone pour over, for a cleaner taste, and also in espresso form for an intense hit of deep, dark flavour.