I haven't been posting as much as I would have liked recently, but I couldn't let this NewFangled coffee go undocumented.
The Coffee: México - Oaxaca, Zaragoza
The Roaster: Buddy Brew Coffee
The process of aging things in barrels to offer a new flavor profile is not a new concept in the world of alcohol, but for coffee it is exceptionally rare, at this point anyway. As a coffee enthusiast, I certainly gravitate towards a nice coffee stout and enjoy trying new ones in the winter. So I could see the logic in wanting to bring that same process of aging to coffee.
This was my first introduction to a coffee "rested" in a bourbon barrel, and I did have my reservations about it. However, Buddy Brew played their cards nicely by making it a limited batch of 150 bags, which sold out in 2 hours. I was lucky enough to be there when the clock struck 6:00pm (5:58 actually) and place my order.
They delivered the bag in some extra nice packaging, with a nice little card, a pretend wax stamp on the front, and sticker (yay!). This was a nice touch, but I admit I was kind of hoping that the bags would be numbered, since they hyped the limited amount so much.
Now for the important part: how did it taste!?
The Mexico - Oaxaca, Zaragoza is already a coffee that has a bit of a darker profile than I tend to enjoy. The non-rested coffee brings along notes of vanilla, orange, and caramel sweetness.
My daily driver for coffee brewing has been the Chemex, because it delivers nice bright flavors and makes sharing a bit easier, so that is what I brewed this with. Since this coffee was a bit darker, the chemex helped lighten it up a bit as well. Right away in the bag, the coffee has an unexpected wine smell with some obvious darker notes from the barrel and just the normal notes for the origin multiplied due to the resting.
Post brew, I actually found that I enjoyed the coffee more than expected. The most surprising note was the orange, which stays consistent in the cup. It is like a strong orange wine. There are some very bold flavors of dark chocolate and slight earthiness, which is to be expected. As the coffee cooled I got more of the sweetness coming out. All of the flavors of a medium-dark roast are much more defined and for me, a bit more enjoyable this way.
This coffee certainly doesn't have me wanting to jump from my standard light roast coffee profiles, but it ended up being quite enjoyable. My next plan is to cold brew it to try and make the best of those smooth, sweet notes that the resting brought out. After that, if I am feeling adventurous, I intend to make some coffee liqueur with it, because that just seems too perfect of a pairing.
I brewed up some more of this interesting coffee today, and found some noteworthy flavors. This second brew brought out the barrel flavors, in a much more pleasant way. The overly "dark roast" flavors that I experienced on the first brew are replaced with a true barrel flavor that you would get out of hard alcohol. The entire cup is generally more enjoyable, while all the previously mentioned flavors are there, the addition of the barrel/liquor flavor adds a pleasant touch.