Coffee

What more can we say about our favorite beverage? It turns out, plenty! This category contains a world of writing about the coffee we love.
  • Roast of the Month: Methodical's Ethiopia Nano Challa

    After a holiday break, it's time once again for Seattle Coffee Gear's Roast of the Month!

    This month we're featuring the delicious Ethiopia Nano Challa from Methodical roasting. This roast starts with fantastic coffee from an ever consistent producer.

    Exploring Nano Challa

    The Nano Challa cooperative was founded in 2004. After over 15 years this group has grown to a whopping 350 farmers. The farmers here grow world renowned coffee in the shade of the local forest. When it comes time for processing, the coffee is similarly dried in the shade. Drying coffee in this way does take longer than sun-drying, but also leads to more developed flavors. By the time it makes it to roasters around the world, this coffee has been lovingly grown, sorted, dried, and washed to perfection.

    Methodical's take on this coffee is absolutely exquisite. The roaster only lists two simple tasting notes, but there really is so much going on in the cup. The tangerine and sweet lemon notes on the bag get to the citrusy, bright acidity of this coffee. This flavor profile mixes with more common Ethiopian notes like berry and chocolate that we expect from coffees like this.

    What's even more impressive is that this coffee features a really smooth, balanced body too. This isn't a super light, flavor chasing type roast that requires a super refined palate. This is simply a good, drinkable coffee perfect for a wide range of tastes.

    Brew Methods

    Of course, as you might expect, we recommend a pour over for this coffee. This is a brew method that will really give you the richest flavor profile without being too strong. It's the best way to understand this coffee. With that said, this one will work well as a press and drip brew if you generally prefer those methods.

    Check out Methodical's Ethiopia Nano Challa today right here.

  • Keep Your Coffee Hot This Winter

    Winter is well and truly here, and we thought it'd be a good time to talk about heat. Hot, clean water is possible the most important part of the brewing process after getting good, fresh ground coffee. It's no wonder then that heat is often the sticking point for a lot of coffee drinkers! We often hear about how coffee out of superautos isn't hot enough, or how warming plates won't stay on long enough. We figured now would be a great time to talk about some ways to keep your coffee hot, and help set expectations.

    Drip Brewing

    One of the biggest questions with brewing drip coffee is whether glass or stainless carafes are better for heat. The truth is, they just work differently. Stainless steel carafes insulate your coffee to keep it warm vs. being heated by a plate underneath for a glass carafe. Either way, your coffee won't stay hot for more than an hour or two. You can help this by running hot water into the carafe to heat it prior to brewing. This will heat the carafe so that the coffee doesn't bleed as much temperature into it during brewing. Either way, you should expect to need to brew more coffee after an hour or two. If you find it hard to drink a whole pot in that time, just consider brewing less coffee!

    If you're trying to serve coffee for a group at an office or event, consider a batch brewer. Nothing keeps drip coffee hot for hours and hours like an airpot!

    Pour Over

    For pour over, there's a trick that will really help you with heat retention, and that's leaving your dripper and filter over your server. By only removing these for pouring the coffee, your server will retain more heat. This means you can brew a couple of cups worth and it'll stay warm. Other tips include pre-heating the server by pouring hot water into it, pre-heating your cup the same way, and transferring the coffee to an insulated thermos right after brewing.

    Espresso

    A big one for espresso is keeping your portafilter hot. Special brew groups like E-61s will do this automatically. In any case though, you should keep your portafilter in the machine at all times to aid with this heat. If you have a machine that doesn't heat the portafilter, run a shot's worth of water through it before pulling your espresso. This will heat the portafilter and help with even extraction and heat during brewing. Keeping your cup warm helps here too.

    For superautos, heat is just an issue that comes with the territory. These are machines with lots of moving parts packed into tight spaces. Unfortunately, their need to flash heat water quickly to maintain convenience means they just don't always produce drinks as hot as you'd like. Our best recommendation for superautos is to try steaming your milk prior to brewing, as this heats the water more and generally increases the temperature to the machine. We also recommend consuming your drink shortly after brewing to enjoy it at its hottest! If you still find that your superauto isn't as hot as you'd like, it might be time to consider switching it up to a semi-auto.

    That's all for now, we hope you enjoy some (hot) coffee you love this Winter!

  • 2019 Holiday Roasts Guide - Part 4

    It's time for our final holiday roasts guide for 2019!

    Check out parts one, two, and three if you haven't! Let's finish this list up.

    Kickapoo Coffee Roasters - Revelry

    Revelry is not a new name, but this year's version does bring some fresh notes. Fig, fruitcake, and honeysuckle should tell you that this is a sweet, fruity roast. Its bright notes a assisted by a generally lighter body that's still medium when viewed on the roasting spectrum. We think this is, like many other holiday roasts, a good beginner's coffee that adds just a little bit extra for those looking for it. Great for groups and easy to brew - you really can enjoy it however you like! Pick some up here.

     

     

    Ruby Colorful Coffees - Cheers Seasonal Blend

    Rich and warm are two words that perfectly describe Ruby's Cheers holiday blend. Cheers is an appropriate name too, because this is definitely one to cheer about! The notes of mulled wine, dried fruit, spice and sweet citrus go great together. All of those flavors work with its medium body to give just enough juiciness and plenty of flavor. Perfect for the season, we recommend this on as a drip/filter brew. Don't miss it! Grab a bag here.

     

     

    49th Parallel Holiday Blends

    49th has really spoiled us as usual with not one, but TWO holiday blends. Their Holiday Filter features notes of cherry strudel, redberry jam, and almonds. It's a flavorful cup perfect for drip and filter brew methods. On the other hand, their Holiday Espresso offers plum, pomegranate, and vanilla flavors. Both of these roasts are wonderful in their specific brew methods and give you a lot of flexibility this season. Great for those with a dedicated grinder for each brew method, and a delicious treat for entertaining friends and family! Get em' before they're gone.

     

     

    Anchorhead - Winter Warmer

    Winter Warmer is a proven classic for a reason. Despite some morbid bag art (who are we kidding, we love it), this is a tasty brew with some silly notes. While Anchorhead's listed flavors are a little coy, we can at least share that this coffee is rich, sweet, and loveable. Great as a filter brew, pour over, espresso, press, or really whatever type of brew method you like best. Share some holiday cheer and a whole lot of deliciousness this season with Winter Warmer! You can buy a bag of this annual favorite right here.

     

     

    Huckleberry Roasters - Sister Winter

    Last but certainly far from least, we've got Huckleberry's seasonal: Sister Winter! We're ending our list this year on one of the most classic tasting roasts we've got this season. Full of chocolate, berries, baked goods, and warmth, this is a coffee lover's coffee. A blend of natural and washed process beans, you'll get just the right medium body to enjoy with all that sweetness. Sister Winter won't overwhelm your palate though, tempering those sweet flavors with a tiny hint of bitterness and a warm undertone that keeps it an easy drinker. Buy a bag here!

     

    That's all for now! We hope you've enjoyed this look at our 2019 holiday roast lineup, and we'll see you in 2020 (or a little bit sooner)!

     

     

  • 2019 Holiday Roasts Guide - Part 3

    Welcome to part three of our Holiday Roasts Guide! If you haven't check out parts one and two, be sure to give them a read!

    Toady we're looking at another batch of seasonal roasts perfect for enjoying with your friends and family for the holidays!

    Boast Coffee - The Gift

    Boast's 2019 holiday roast is called the Gift. It's a lovely blend that features notes of mixed berry pie, caramel, and graham cracker crust. The roaster has really leaned into the "holiday pie" set of flavors with this one, and we think it's pretty delicious! The result is a flavor profile that lands right in the middle between new and traditional holiday tastes. It also features a perfect medium body that is just the thing for entertaining guests. Some folks love a darker roast, and some experienced friends and families will appreciate something light, but everyone loves a good medium roast. Also of note is the processes on this blend. All of the beans feature a single origin, but different processes. So you get some of the flavors of washed, honey, and natural processing styles without any flavor overwhelming. This one is best as a pour over, but can be enjoyed in a variety of brew methods. Pick up a bag here!

     

    Partners Coffee Roasters - Miracle on North 6th St.

    Partners offers up a gorgeous package with delicious tasting notes this holiday season. Miracle on North 6th St. has noes of orange, cinnamon, and malbec. These all combine for a deliciously traditional set of flavors we're sure you'll love. We love the notes of natural beans in here that don't overwhelm, tempered by the milder tones of a washed process. Mixing Latin American and African beans, this is a warm blend that tastes great on a chilly morning or an evening with guests. Enjoyable in a wide variety of brew methods so that you can test it out however you'd like. Grab a bag before its gone here!

     

     

    Kickapoo Coffee Roasters - Winter Solstice

    Perfect for enjoying with it's namesake, Winter Solstice is a great seasonal blend from Kickapoo. This roaster from Wisconsin knows a think or two about frozen winter nights, so who better to offer a seasonal roast to keep you warm? This one lands squarely on the "traditional" side of the fence, with prominent notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and apple. Super rich and very warm and cozy, this is a wonderful roast for the season to keep you warm into the wee hours of the morning. We're sure you'll love it as a drip brew, making it an easy one to bust out for groups as well. You can purchase a bag of Winter Solstice here.

     

     

    Velton's Coffee - Holiday Blend

    Local favorite Velton's Coffee really delivered this Holiday with their seasonal Holiday Blend. This one is a little bit fruitier, with the natural beans in the blend bringing on prominent, but not overwhelming notes of raspberry and pineapple. This roast also features washed beans, so never fear if you find that natural flavor overwhelming. Velton also lists candied lemon as a note, which captures the sweet but citrusy taste we get on the end of the sip. This is a great roast to try as a filter brew. This brewing method normalizes the flavor notes so that no single not overwhelms the others. Perfect for a medium roast like this one! Pick up a bag here.

     

     

    Bluebeard Coffee Roasters - Snowbeard Holiday Blend

    Bluebeard is really on a roll this year, and their Holiday Blend is no exception whatsoever. Perfectly balancing sweet and rich elements, this blend has exactly what you want in a holiday roast. Deep chocolate and plum notes meet baking spice and toffee for a taste that has to be tried to be believed. This is the sort of coffee that the most stalwart cream and sugar user will drink straight up, because it offers such a creamy profile with its sweetness. We really can wait for you to try it. Snowbeard is great as whatever brew method you like best. Espresso will bring out its sweeter elements while a drip brew will provide a more balanced cup. Get it before its gone here.

     

     

    That's all for now! Join us next week for our final look at our 2019 holiday blends!

     

  • 2019 Holiday Roasts Guide - Part 2

    It's time for part 2 of our holiday roasts series! If you haven't yet, check out part 1 here!

    Dogwood Coffee - Snow Emergency

    Dogwood's Snow Emergency is a certified classic holiday roast. Returning with some equally classic notes, we love this one for so many reasons! Fruity, chocolatey, vanilla-y, this is a must drink coffee for your holiday rotation. Sometimes with these roasts we get the most excited by wild new elements, but this one does a wonderful job of sticking to the script. Delicious in a wide range of brews too, try it as a drip brew to get a baseline. You can buy a bag here.

     

    Verve Coffee Roasters - Holiday Blend

    Verve's Holiday Blend is described with the note "comforting." We think that makes a lot of sense! Also featuring notes of candied orange and spiced rum, this is a satisfying sipper. As usual, we always have to point out that no, there is no alcohol in this roast despite the spiced rum note! Perfect for chilly nights by the fire, this one has just enough sweetness to put a smile on your face. Brew it however you like, but pick it up here.

     

    Espresso Republic - Cabin Fever

    Milk Chocolate, Molasses, and Nutmeg in one of the prettiest boxes we've ever seen... Sign us up! Espresso Republic's Cabin Fever is a wonderful holiday roast full of warm and cozy flavors. Enjoy this one snuggled under a blanket by a frosted over window with a good book while you recover from a busy evening with friends and family. Also great for sharing, but we won't tell! We're sure you'll love this one as a drip brew or espresso! Purchase it here.

     

    Camber Coffee - Cambrrrr

    It's a real treat to see Camber throw some humor into the title of this seasonal roast, especially given their gorgeous, classy packaging. This roast is more than a funny name though, offering a little something extra. Like we said above, some holiday roasts are all about bringing something new to the season, which Cambrrrr definitely does! The fruity sweetness on display here is soft and mild, without offering too much "candied" taste like you can get sometimes with particularly fruity blends. Try it as a pourover and buy it here!

     

    Brandywine Coffee Roasters - Seattle Coffee Gear Holiday Blend

    It's back for 2019! We loved our 2018 holiday blend with Brandywine so much that we brought it back for this season. This year the roast features notes of mulled cider, marionberry jam, orange, and chocolate for a perfect mix of old and new notes. Sweet, juicy, and not too complex, we think this roast will be a great choice for just about very coffee fan. It's mellow, easy to drink, and easy to brew. Kind of the point! We wanted to bring you something you would love to try with your family and friends, and we hope we did so. Try it in a variety of brew methods. Be sure to get it before it's gone here!

     

    We'll be back next week with part 3!

  • 2019 Holiday Roasts Guide - Part 1

    It's that time of year for Winter cheer! We're celebrating the season with a look at all of our Holiday blends from a great collection of roasters. Here's part 1!

    Brandywine Coffee Roasters - Small Wonder

    Small Wonder is a Fall treat from one of our favorite roasting partners, Brandywine Coffee Roasters! We love this little bag of cozy Fall flavors like caramel, honeycrisp apples, pecan, and cider. Featuring natural processed coffee, this is a sweet roast that doesn't overwhelm like some naturals. We think this roast is an excellent example of the "true medium," and we think your friends and family will love it. What's more, this roast is great in a variety of brew methods, so try it in your superauto, drip brewer, semi-auto machine, press, or however you like to brew! You can grab a bag of Small Wonder here.

    Counter Culture Coffee - Iridescent

    Counter Culture's Iridescent leans into the "gift" aspect of the holidays. Its cheery packaging and bright colors look great with a bow, and it has great taste to boot! This coffee hits you with that classic chocolate note that you know and love. This is a key component of a lot of holiday roasts. Leaning into that classic coffee taste is a good start to a roast that's perfect for serving a crowd! The berry notes that add into this coffee are a perfect addition to the chocolate flavors, providing a deep, rich cup of coffee that will satisfy the most discerning coffee drinkers in a variety of brew methods. Perfect for a gift, pick up some Iridescent here today!

     

    Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters - Holiday Blend

    Warm and full, Batdorf's 2019 Holiday Blend is another great offer from this long time SCG favorite. Featuring charming artwork that always brings a smile to our faces, this one offers just a hint of bitterness with its dark chocolate notes. Add in softer sweet flavors of dried fruit, and a dash of nutmeg and you've got an excellent holiday roast that will bring out holiday cheer in anyone who takes a sip! We love this roast as an espresso, but it can make for a great drip brew or pour over as well. Perfect for fans of coffee that's just bitter enough, you can purchase a bag of this blend right here!

     

    Victrola Coffee Roasters - Holiday Blend

    Featuring a beautiful bag depicting a cozy, snow cabin nestled in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, Victrola's Holiday Blend is a great mix of classic holiday notes and a little something extra. Cocoa, baking spice, and orange provide an interesting blend of flavors with a custard note that is subtle but quite interesting. A delicious blend of washed and natural beans, this is a roast that's great to try out in a few different brew methods if you have the equipment. We ultimately enjoyed it the most as a pour over, but suspect that others will love it as an espresso or press brew too. Pick one of these bags up over here!

     

    Olympia Coffee Roasting - Holiday Blend

    It should come as no surprise that one of the most traditionally delicious holiday blends we've received comes from such a traditionally brilliant roaster like Olympia. This is a classic set of Wintery notes: Chocolate, clove, and blueberry. The mix of washed and natural processed beans allows plenty of sweetness to shine through that ultra classic coffee flavor. We love this roast for its traditional vibes and also enjoy the way Olympia consistently nails those subtle notes of blueberry. Brew this one up as a pour over to get every bit of flavor from it, then try it as an espresso! Buy a bag here!

     

    That's all for now, join us next week for more holiday blends from 2019!

  • Roast of the Month: Camber Guatemala Santa Isabel

    This month's Roast of the Month comes to us from Camber Coffee. Camber is a local roaster just north of Seattle in Bellingham Washington. We've been fans of Camber for a while, and we're really excited to be able to feature them!

    Origin

    Guatemala Santa Isabel was grown near the town of San Cristóbal Verapaz. This central Guatemalan town was at one time not renowned for its coffee. The producer of this particular coffee, Don Luis, worked with his son to develop the farm. By improving their cultivation techniques, they're fully developed their crop into a prize winning coffee. We loved Camber's take on this roast, especially given that it's from a region we don't see as many coffees from.

    The Coffee

    The coffee itself is a delicious washed roast that evolves as it cools and depending on the brew method. We've had this coffee as everything from a pourover to a vacuum siphon brew, and it's always interesting. Depending on brew method, you'll get sweeter cherry notes with more prevalence. On the other hand, our siphon brew highlighted the marzipan note that Camber lists. A classic drip brew should give you a nice balance that still offers some interesting taste.

    This adaptability and general great flavor was what really grabbed us about this camber. This is just a great coffee that you and other coffee drinkers you brew for will love too! Check out Camber's Guatemala Santa Isabel here today!

  • Roast of the Month: Anchorhead's Leviathan

    It's time again for Roast of the month!

    This month, our very own Coffee Collaborating expert, Clementine, wanted to feature one of her favorite coffees: Leviathan from Anchorhead coffee!

    Here's what Clem had to say about this classic standby:

    Much berry, very fruit, such sweetness. Wow.
    This is the coffee that got me excited about specialty coffee! Despite how many delicious coffee’s there are on my home countertop now, in past years it stood shamelessly bare. It was Anchorhead’s Leviathan blend that literally opened my eyes (like, woah - *pop* - forever changed) to how layered, complex, and delicious coffee could be. Their recipe has changed since the first day I tasted it, and their successful technique has allowed them to open a new cafe in Bellevue–but with all these changes, Anchorhead’s flagship Leviathan blend still upholds its unique character for mouth wateringly rich depth imbued with a bounty of fruitful flavors. - Clementine

    I couldn't agree more! Leviathan is a great blend to use to introduce your friends and family to espresso, and specialty coffee in general. Sweet, syrupy, and delicious, this is the perfect espresso to test your new machine out as well. For all these reasons and more, we're excited to feature it as our Roast of the Month. Grab a bag here.

     

     

  • Roast of the Month: TOCA Pink Moon

    This month's roast of the month comes to us from the lovely TOCA coffee roasters!

    Pink Moon is a lovely blend of flavors that combines floral and fruit notes with a twist of citrus at the end. A spring roast, TOCA suggests that the floral and fruity notes inspire renewal and invigoration, and we can't help but agree! Pink Moon features Ethiopian and Guatemalan beans, two origins known for unique and recognizable flavor profiles. While the washed processing of these two coffees keeps stronger berry notes in check, there's loads here to savor. For starters, there's the more floral notes, which TOCA lists as black tea. We taste this as a nice overtone that runs through the whole sip, never quite fading. Instead, tropical fruit and citrus notes layer in on top of the tea flavors. The result is a great balance of sweet, floral, and bitter.

    Often when we say balance, we mean that the flavors of a roast sort of mix together to balance each other out. While this doesn't mean the flavors are lost in the mix, Pink Moon is an especially great example of balance actually making each flavor easier to pick out. This means that Pink Moon provides a set of noticeable, tasty notes without washing out any of the complexity. This is a great roast to try as a pourover first to get an understanding of everything at play flavor wise. From there we recommend sticking to drip and press brewing, though with just the right finesse this could also be a great espresso.

    Grab a bag today!

  • Introducing: Methodical Roasting

    It's time again to welcome another wonderful roaster to our lineup of roasters!

     

    Methodical Process, Methodical Coffee

    Methodical Coffee comes to us all the way from Greenville, SC. This is a roaster built on all of the pillars of the greats. That means ethically sourced green coffee, meticulous roasting, and an eye for supporting their customer. We love what Methodical has to offer both in terms of single origins and blends. Of special note is this roaster's beautiful bag art. While the bag means nothing compared to what's inside, like perfume, pretty packaging always catches our eye. Adorned with flower sketches and gorgeous labeling and typefacing, this is the kind of bag you keep on the countertop as decor as you drink through its contents. But enough about the bags, what about the coffee? Let's take a look at each of Methodical's three blends.

    Blue Boy

    Blue Boy is a blend of 70% Guatemalan and 30% Colombian beans roasted to perfection as a classic medium-light roast. The pronounced chocolate and sugar notes blend deliciously with milk for a tasty latte. We also love Blue Boy as a drip or pourover, as it offers mild, but satisfying flavors all around.

    Belly Warmer

    Belly Warmer is a fun one because it's the rare dark roast for us. While not as dark as what some would prefer, this is a tasty diner style coffee that offers the right kind of bitterness and strength. Along with heavier notes of dark chocolate, we get some earthier tones that suggest this would be a wonderful coffee after a late night or for an early morning hiking or camping. Belly Warmer features a 50-50 mix of Costa Rican and Guatemalan beans.

    Play Nice

    Play Nice was roasted with its name in mind. The idea here was to create a coffee that would work great for a wide range of drinkers. Great as a drip brew, espresso shot, or in a latte, this blend reflects the very best of what makes coffee coffee. We enjoyed this roast a variety of ways as advertised, and we think you will too. This one offers 70% Colombian and 30% natural process Ethiopian beans for a unique, but familiar set of delicious tasting notes.

    So there you have it! Methodical is a great roaster with a range of coffees for a range of drinkers. Check them out today at Seattle Coffee Gear!

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