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Roast of the Month: Brandywine's Colombia El Progreso

Jun 12, 2020
Roast of the Month: Brandywine's Colombia El Progreso

It’s time for another Roast of the Month here at Seattle Coffee Gear! This month we’re featuring one of our favorite roasters, Brandywine, and their Colombia El Progreso roast. This roast features notes of brown sugar, apple, blackberry tart, and a hint of ginger.


One of the reasons we found this roast so interesting is that it doesn’t taste like most washed Colombians. Typically coffees from this region have a chocolatey, rich profile with a bit of an earthy note. In the case of El Progreso, we get a much more balanced roast with some tart, some sweet, and a bit of sparkling acidity that Brandywine identifies as ginger. And that ginger comparison is a great way to message the flavor. While it’s not a pervasive note, what you get is a bit of a sparkling taste over your tongue. Another good comparison is having an iced coffee with a splash of tonic water. Either way, it’s not that this is a particularly acidic coffee, but the way that acid manifests is quite a treat. The rest of this roast’s profile offers a bed of gentle sweetness from that brown sugar and apple note, and a satisfying balance of tartness. All of the above combine with a medium body for an inviting, unique sipping experience that offers more acute flavor than what we usually expect from a washed coffee!


To get the most out of that ginger note, as well as the tart blackberry note, you’ll want to brew this one as a pour over. In this brew method you’ll really taste the separation of flavors across the spectrum. You’ll also get the full effect of the sparkliness in the ginger not beyond just the flavor. This is still a very drinkable roast as a pour over, so don’t worry about too much overwhelming your palate. In a drip brew, you’ll get a more balanced grouping of these flavors. You may not notice the sparkly ginger as much, but you won’t lose it entirely. The tart and sweet notes will be less pronounced, but present enough to enjoy. This roast can work as a good press or espresso as well, but you’ll want to grind very carefully for espresso. Without taking the time to dial it in (as well as considering longer shot times and other unconventional strategies) it won’t be as enjoyable in an espresso. With the right grind and shot settings, this one could make for a great cortado or Americano. Try a bag of Colombia El Progreso today!

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