It’s all about the Beans

I had the great pleasure of meeting with Haden and Tony at Red Rooster Roasters in Floyd, VA this morning.  We did a few pour over tastings of some of their favorite beans in search of finding the perfect blend for the restaurant.  Note all typing errors and run-on sentences are subject to the massive caffeine high I have currently…

Red Rooster Coffee is located in the downtown of Floyd, VA where they strive to serve the highest organic and fair trade coffee available.  By using biodegradable bulk bags, compostable paper products and water based ink for printing among other sustainable practices they make a difference in the business community of Floyd as well.

Here is a quick rundown of what we tasted and my notes on the coffees.  All of these beans are currently available at Red Rooster and any finer coffee house around the country.

  1. Guatemalan Huey Huey Tananga – Medium-Light Roast – Almond, Orange Peel, Bright Balanced Acidity on the mid palate.  My favorite of the day.
  2. Papa New Guinea – Medium –Light Roast – Slight Earthiness, Smooth mid palate, Citrus Finish
  3. Honduran from the Comsa Coop – Medium-Light Roast – Great Floral Notes, Earth and Citrus on the finish.  They noted this coffee as being a great base to blend on.  Try blending at home!
  4. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe – Darker Roast – Awesome Cocoa Aromas, Dark Chocolate, Berry Notes, Slight Bitterness.  This was the first introduction of slight bitterness because of the darker roasting.  This and the next coffee are the most popular as they stand up to cream and sugar more than the lighter roasts with more acidity and delicate flavors.  The perception of more flavor from darker roasts, such as French, is actually false as more bitterness and roasted flavor takes over.
  5. Sumatra Blend – Darker Roast – More Cocoa and Spice aromas, Slight berry/fruitiness followed by lots of roasted flavor.  Almost flat on the mid palate.  I want to take a second and address the idea of the darker the roast the less caffeine.  It is true, but only because the size of the bean changes during the roasting process.  Beans lose up to 16% of their moisture and can expand 16-20% in size.  The actual caffeine content doesn’t change, however the because of the size change you actually use a smaller amount of beans for your cup or pot of French roast.  Hence less caffeine.

I have always been a fan of using press pots for my coffee.  I use a burr grinder instead of a more traditional grinder for even grinding of the beans and I drink it black.  I found out that there is no “better” way of brewing coffee as each method yields different results.  Some coffees are better served by the pour over method with a filter and some coffees stand out more with a press pot.  Try different methods and determine what you enjoy the most.