The Brews

Bones White Russian
Drip brew, 1tbsp / 6oz water, Served black

While I’m still in the early stages of my journey into the wide and delicious world of small batch coffee, I would imagine that Bones are among the best in terms of bag art. Every one of their flavors have unique and eye catching designs that usually get at least a chuckle out of me. After I brew, I almost want to hang up the bag. Here’s an unsolicited request: sell sticker packs. I’d buy those by the roll.

Now, as for flavor. In honor of the Dude’s favorite drink, the call it “White Russian” which of course contains Kahlua. I might point out that Kahlua is a coffee flavored liquor… so essentially, we have a coffee that is flavored like a coffee flavored liquor. Please pardon my glibness… sarcasm doesn’t type well.

They seem to accomplish this by doing a blend of hazelnut – giving the brewed concoction that hot flavor characteristic of ethanol – and a light roast. Normally I don’t particularly go for flavored coffees – I like my beans black, earthy, and roasty – but this is quite tasty.

Bones offers a sample pack consisting of 5x 4oz. bags. I think of it as a “coffee flight.” That’s an option I would like to see more companies offer in the future and would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to dip a toe into the world of small batch roasts.

Dunkin’ Original Blend
Ratio: 1tbsp / 1oz water

As far as “fast food coffee” goes, I think Dunkin’ (formerly known as Donuts) has to lead the pack. High brightness and mild acidity give the original blend a distinctive flavor even when brewed at home. Almost a nippy sweetness, especially at the end.

I am a habitual black coffee drinker, but I realize its not for everyone. However, if you are considering making the jump or even just experimenting, this brew is a good place to start. Mild enough to go without cream or sugar and moderately caffeinated so I can have an extra half cup without my hands starting to shake.

The price is somewhat higher than most supermarket brands, but still far lower than what you’d pay for a specialty roaster.

Copper Moon Coffee

Blast Off – Strong Roast

I’m usually partial to darker roasts and this one did not let me down. Surprisingly mild for this style. Probably more of a full city than a French roast. I ordered this pre-ground and prepared it using a drip machine. Might have almost been fine enough to put through my Moka pot (which I might do later this week).

While it doesn’t affect the taste, I have to point out Copper Moon’s artwork. It’s a funny astronaut reaching for a cup of coffee in space (so the cup would not be steaming, but we’ll ignore that for now), and instead of using color it’s displayed using a difference in texture. It’s a subtle detail and I appreciate little things like that.

Would recommend. 5/5

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Medium Light Roast

Well, this is recognizable as coffee. It’s brown for starters. Definitely has some of the malty/grainy flavors that were characteristic of the previous batch. Roast is neither bitter or overpowering. Very bright and smooth. Mild acidity. There are definitely a few green beans that survived the 1st crack, and I think that’s where the grassy flavor is coming from. My grinder needed a few tries to get through it.

This resulted in a somewhat coarser grind than would be ideal for drip. Would recommend using a French press with near boiling water for superior results.

5/5

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Blonde/Extra Light Roast
Batch: ETH20210902

More like a thick tea than coffee. Nothing resembling roasty bitterness, which – granted – is what you would expect for something so light. When I ground the beans, many of them were still bordering on green. So much so that it broke my conical grinder. I ended up putting the whole batch in the blade grinder.

Not altogether unpleasant. The smell actually reminds me of the mash for beer making; grainy and malty. Earthy. Mildly tangy. Not sour. Almost salty. Yeah… like a smooth, creamy, green tea but with more body.

This was an experiment. One which I do not plan to repeat.

3/5

Mexico Narruno
Nayarita Washed
Med-Light Roast

That’s delicious. This is the light half of a batch I split last week. It had a solid 72 hours to rest post roast which I am finding makes a difference. This is the first time I’ve experienced something that I would describe as fruity in a coffee. Honey-like and maybe a little on the bready side. It’s smooth and mild with a hint of nutty flavor. I will try the dark roast next and see how it compares.

5/5

*Shrugs* It was on sale.

Okay, hear me out… of the options for cheap grocery store coffee, this is decent medium roast. Moderate bitterness, and very little of that metallic flavor often associated with cheaper coffee. Staleness might be a factor here, as it often is for pre-ground and prepackaged coffee. However, the metallized fiber tube packaging will actually keep better than plastic.

Not to say it’s great by any means, but for cheap coffee it’s not bad. The dollars to flavor ratio will keep this on the go-to shelf.

3/5

Mexican Chiapas
Batch: 202106MCH

At first, I thought that I had over-roasted and was ready to toss the batch. Thankfully, the kids pulled me into something before I could do so and I ended up forgetting about it for a couple days. Through additional research, I learned that freshly roasted coffee goes through an out-gassing phase and the flavor profile was vastly improved by this rest.

Roasty and smoky, like chocolate on a s’more that got crispy over the fire. French Roast style that borders on carbonized. A campfire in a mug, but in a pleasant way. My current grinder cuts very coarse, so I had use more than normal in order to get a halfway decent body. Would do again, but would probably go for a slightly less dark roast – maybe full city or Vienna.

4/5

Bali Blue Moon
Batch: 202106BBM

The results of my first home roasting experiment turned out… OK. Very low acidity but also very thin body. Moderate upfront brightness which is pleasant, but generally, I prefer a more robust flavor.

This was intended as a Full City roast, and I think a couple of beans might have ended up fully carbonized while I was attempting to fan the smoke out of my kitchen.

Room for improvement, but still a worthy first-attempt and a fine way to start my day.

3/5

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