It’s been a challenging month as I finally faced the reality of our downtown Cleveland shop permanently closing - another of many downtown Cleveland pandemic casualties. As I packed and moved stuff out I was flooded with memories of the initial tour of the space, demoing a former airline ticket office and building a sleek, modern gathering place for residents and visitors. But, onward and upward with different ways to bringing the world's best coffees into your homes, because that is what brings me joy at the end of the day. This month I chose four coffees from two roasters in the UK, Colonna (Bristol) and Workshop Coffee (London) with comfort in mind.
Colonna [Bristol, England]
Reminiscing on the shop’s early days with Counter Culture (Durham, NC), one of my favorite coffees was Baroida Estate (Papua New Guinea - PNG). It was always such a comforting coffee so I was thrilled to see Colonna had it as one of their Discovery offerings. This coffee is earthier than most of our selections but I find it to be a nice change of pace. I recommend brewing this coffee at a 1:16 ratio (as opposed to our standard 1:16.667 coffee:water ratio) and a slightly coarser grind. The aromatics and flavor remind me of sweet potato pie topped with whipped cream. The body is also very hearty and coating. While this coffee is not the most complex it is a coffee I can sip all morning (I am as I write this). It also takes me back nine years ago, learning to cup and properly taste coffee. I remember spending hours learning how to make a pour over and nail the extraction, pulling hundreds of espresso shots on the Strada, solidifying my love and fascination with coffee.
FOUR BAG SUBSCRIBERS: The second coffee we selected from Colonna is a black honey process from La Provedencia (El Salvador). The black honey process allows most of the coffee cherry to dry on the beans to enhance their sweetness and fruitiness in the cup. This coffee is more developed as well so again I recommend a lower dose (1:16 ratio) and coarser grind. This coffee is more straight forward with notes of brown sugar, orange and apple with too of dark chocolate dominating the cup.
Workshop Coffee Roasters [London, England]
The second roaster I chose for this tour of England was Workshop Coffee. Workshop shares the philosophies that I do with coffee: clean, sweet and fresh. Their approach to roasting is to pick high quality beans from the current harvest and roast them to fully express but not mask the coffee’s flavor. To me, they did an excellent job with these beans. The Colombian, Amparo Maya Guerrero, named after the farm’s proprietor, is a reflection of her 35 years experience growing coffee. This washed coffee from Nariño is very clean with notes of caramel and an interesting floral/pink lemonade acidity which adds some nice depth to each sip.
FOUR BAG SUBSCRIBERS: Perhaps my favorite coffee of all this month is the Peru from Workshop Coffee. Yolanda Cabrera’s coffee is abundantly sweet. It reminds me of eating Pixy Stix as a kid, flowing dark red fruits and plums with a chocolatey undercoat.
I hope you found these coffees to be a nice change of pace. As we come out of winter and soon COVID, I hope we all find brighter days ahead. Thank you for continuing this journey through coffee around the world with me. If you have any questions or need help brewing, please do not hesitate to reach out by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on socials @pourcleveland (Instagram/Twitter).
Thank you for taking this journey with us. If you are enjoying this subscription as a the holidays and this is your last installment, we have some really cool roasters lined up in the coming months and we hope you’ll consider signing back up here.
Charlie Eisenstat, Owner & Curator
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