4 July 2016
Red Bourbon Honey Coffee (Zona Cafetera @ZonaCafeteraUK) [By Uxorious]
I have drunk coffee from an early age, perhaps as young as five my parents gave me coffee with my breakfast. To me coffee is more than just a hot drink, a dose of caffeine to fuel the day; instead it’s a source of pleasure, something to be appreciated and take your time with. As with wine, coffee has complex flavours and aromas that depend on the origin of the beans, the roast and brewing method. I enjoy the whole process, opening the bag of beans, with the sudden release of fragrances, the gentle flow of dark water into your cup, crema forming, aroma developing, the sip, the warmth, the taste. (TLDR: I like coffee.)
Because of my obsession with coffee I was asked on behalf of FoodstuffFinds to review beans from the coffee roasters Zona Cafetera. Zona Cafetera refers to the area between the Columbian departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío that is prized for coffee growing. Two brothers and their friend set up this London based company and their aim is simple, merely bring you the very best coffee from Columbia! They hand-roast each batch and through this precisely control the quality and strength of their product. But do they make good on their aim?
The bean I am going to sample today is “Red Bourbon” which costs £11.50 for 250g, so somewhat on the expensive side. I’m first going to have an espresso, the building block for many other coffees and a lovely intense way of sampling the flavours contained within these beans. As the coffee pours forth it forms an attractive deep golden crema. The aroma is that of sherry, a fruity alcoholic tingle. The taste is wonderful, warm and deep; the first sensation is from the sides of my tongue which pick up berry and chocolate. It coats the tongue with a smooth long lasting full bodied coffee hit, without unwanted bitterness, just as an espresso should be in my opinion.
Next I am going to make a latte; I’m interested to know how the coffee will cut through the milk. The effect of the milk is naturally to soften the coffee flavours, but which flavours will emerge on top? The key thing I notice is how the milk really pulls out the sweet tones from the bean. The coffee is advertised as having honey notes and now here they become highlighted by the milk induced change in contrast; though I would describe the flavour more caramelesque than honey. The sweetness is surprisingly strong; I don’t take sugar with my coffee, but if you know someone who does then they might not even notice the absence of sugar if you served them this latte neat. Anyway, enough of all this coffee talk, you might otherwise think I was obsessed, so time to put my feet up with another latte and watch Wimbledon; I’m hoping Djokovic can pull back from two sets down.