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What I'm Drinking: Joe Bean Fruta del Fuego Coffee

March 23, 2012

Morning coffee Joe Bean Fruta del Fuego
So pretty I had to share!



I had a 4-day coffee drought when my ordered coffee from two weeks ago didn't arrive on schedule, so I was especially pleased when my ROASTe order from Joe Bean showed up yesterday.This one is a first for me -- the first time I've liked a coffee so much that I've reordered it instead of going for a new flavor experience. A question about that later, but first: in my cup: Joe Bean's Fruto del Fuego.

Here's the short review I wrote for Fruto del Fuego when I finished up the first bag (I was too busy enjoying it to write about it before I finished it!): 



Joe Bean shipped my coffee out within two days of my order and it was in my hands 5 days post roast -- always one of the best parts of buying from independent small roasters. I brewed this in a moka pot, an auto drip pot and as a pour over, and it was delicious via each method even in the ADC. The blend of Ethiopian and Guatemalan beans is a happy one, and it's obvious that Joe Bean takes care to roast each variety to its own best level before combining them. The flavor is exactly as promised on the label -- smoky, spicy and fruity, with a rich, buttery mouth feel. It also ages beautifully. It took me just about a week to finish off the bag of beans and the subtle flavor changes over the course of time were a delightful surprise.


Writing the review reminded me just how much I liked it, so I ordered it again. And I was not disappointed. It really is as good as I remember. First, let me show you one of the things I love about Joe Bean:

joebeanbag

I'd love to see more coffee roasters do this for a couple of reasons. First, for those who have a really good grounding in coffee flavors, having the flavor profile right there makes it easy to choose a coffee you know you'll like. And for those of us who are still feeling our way, having the flavor profile right there helps us identify what it is in a coffee that we like or dislike. Likewise, the regions are a signal to people who know their coffee -- oh, Ethiopian. I know what to expect from an Ethiopian. 

The flavor profile Joe Bean gives its Fruto del Fuego reads "clove, chocolate, butter, stone-fruit. Those flavor notes are definitely there -- and the fruity-spicy notes become more evident as the coffee "ages". The cup I had 11 days post roast was definitely richer, spicier and sweeter than the one I brewed when I first opened the bag. Was it enough to convince me to wait a week before brewing the new bag? Uh... see the cup at the top of the post? 

Details:  Brewed in a moka pot, my favorite method bar none. Grind: medium-fine -- about halfway between drip grind and espresso grind. I ddin't measure -- I kinda trust my moka pot -- fill the basket just to the rim, no packing or tamping allowed. Likewise, I fill the pot to the fill line. Sorry I can't be more precise for those of you who like those details.

The resulting brew is smooth, rich and powerful. The first thing that hits the nose is spice -- I probably wouldn't have identified it as clove, but Fruto del Fuego definitely has spicy top notes. The first thing you taste, though, is a mix of earthiness and chocolate. That earthiness is one of my favorite flavors in Ethiopian coffees, so I was really happy that it wasn't obscured. The fruitiness is more evident as the coffee cools slightly -- think spiced peaches rather than citrus. And it feels silky smooth on the tongue -- buttery and rich. And this is all before I add my cream.

Like barkingburro, I really prefer my coffee with cream, so I like coffees with strong flavors that can stand up to the cream. This one does that very nicely. It's every bit as rich, dark and bold with cream added as it is served pure.

I've already re-ordered this once and will probably  do so again. In fact, if I had to pick just one coffee to drink for the rest of my life, Fruta del Fuego from Joe Bean would probably be high on the list of contenders. And I say that as someone who generally prefers single origin coffees. 

Which leads me to my earlier question. We had an interesting conversation with the ROASTe team about coffee ordering habits, and it got me wondering how many people are adventurous and how many like their tried-and-true favorites. So.. poll time!








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