Bean: Yirgacheffe Beloya G1, Costa Rica Sonora Villa Sarchi, Colombia ‘Best of Cauca Caldono’ Lot 020.
Shop: Cafe Est, Taipei, Taiwan.
Cafe Est – House blend: Background information.
In today’s review I will tell you about the Cafe Est house blend. Cafe Est is a cafe located in Taipei that I visited for my ‘best coffee shops of Taipei‘ article. When I wanted to buy some coffee from this place, the owner Ricky told me to try his very own house blend.
Cafe Est has made its own house blend by combining three beans: A Yirgacheffe Beloya G1, A Costa Rica Sonora Villa Sarchi and a Colombia ‘Best of Cauca Caldono’ Lot 020. While there is not much to say about the Yirgacheffe Beloya grade 1 beans, I found a lot on the Villa Sarchi beans that are in the blend.
Hacienda Sonora is located at the foot of the Poas Volcano in Costa Rica. The farm’s area is approximately 100 hectares, which is composed of 65 hectares of shaded coffee, 25 hectares of wild forest reserve, and 10 hectares of sugar cane. The average altitude is at 1200 meters and makes for an excellent height for growing coffee. In this blend we will find the red honey washed Villa Sarchi coffee.
The ‘Best of Cauca Caldono lot 020’ comes from Cauca; one of Colombia’s best coffee producing areas. There are 29 districts with coffee plantations ranging from 1758 meters to 2100 meters altitude. The climate, rainy season, volcanic soil and other factors of Cauca make for an ideal are to grow coffee. A nice-to-know fact is that the rapid change in temperature between day and night, results in a slow ripening coffee that has a super sweet flavor to it.
Cafe Est – House Blend: Opening the package.
What a stylish package did Cafe Est make. The silver color and the black hand holding a portafilter is really beautiful. When I sniffed the beans inside I could immediately notice the sweetness coming forth. A soft scent of caramel crept up as well and I must say that it smells delicious. When opening the package I saw that certain beans were a little darker than the others. The overall roast was medium and I wondered if this would be okay for a drip coffee or if I should try it as an espresso instead. I grind the coffee and the same sweetness emanates from the ground coffee as the beans did. Time to taste this coffee.
Cafe Est – House blend: The tasting
I will be short on the tasting of this blend as an espresso since the drip coffee appeared to be the better choice after all. As an espresso this coffee does well; the body is medium and the acidity was medium as well. The flavors that came forth were sweet and caramel-like with hints of candy and lavender. The balance was a bit off and that was because of the slightly overwhelming Colombian coffee in the blend. It gave off a spike in flavor halfway through the mouth, drowning out the candy and floral notes of the other coffees. It was not bad, by all means it wasn’t…but you can clearly taste that the roaster had other plans in mind.
Cafe Est – House blend: The tasting 2
It was time to try a pour over with this blend and I used my Hario V60 again. I tried several brew recipes but ended up with a 17gr/250ml brew to get the most out of this coffee. As I brewed the coffee as mix of Caramel, hard candy and lavender came forth. The lavender a little stronger than the rest but all were noticeable.
When I poured the coffee and let it cool off a little the coffee bloomed in flavors and aromas even more. The lavender switched places with a caramel scent; nice!
I took a sip of coffee and swirled it through my mouth. Slurping in oxygen before gently swallowing the coffee. In the front and middle of my mouth I can distinguish the hard candy and caramel but that changes when the coffee hits the back of my mouth.
Lavender and berries come forth but are not overwhelming. It just sits there and contributes to the sweetness of the coffee. With its light/medium body and smooth mouth feel it is a pleasure to drink this coffee. The acidity is a medium and gives a soft sparkly feeling to the tongue. The aftertaste changes from fruity and floral to a soft caramel over time. This is a great coffee, although it could have been even better if the overall roast was more equal and a tad lighter in my opinion.
Cafe Est – House Blend: The verdict
Cafe Est owner Ricky Liu did a great job creating a stylish package and a beautiful house blend. The combination of Yirgacheffe, Colombian ‘Best of Caucan’ and the Costa Rican Villa Sarchi is a good one, making for a fiercely flavored brew. As an espresso the blend is a tad off with the Colombian coffee overwhelming the rest, but the package clearly said ‘drip coffee’. That brings me to my final note about this coffee. I think that this coffee would be even greater if it was roasted a little lighter. But that is my own opinion and could be the opposite of what the roaster has in mind for this blend.