Coffee is one of my few vices I truly never hesitate when it comes to indulgence. I’m not talking spending big money for the smoked-blended-iced-caramel-thing. No, I’m talking true, real coffee – the stuff that gives you a nice wake up when needed without the harsh bitterness of the mass-produced. It was in college that I found my love for this deeply roasted nectar when I worked for a small coffee roaster, learning everything from how to roast, temperature variations, blending, and pulling the perfect shot. Those were simpler times, but my love of coffee has not changed.
In those days, I was the biggest fan of single origin coffee, especially Ethiopian and Costa Rican. Just like wine, you can tell so much about a coffee plant when you taste a single origin. Now, let’s get something straight – coffee should not taste like the black tar that our parents would drink or that you find at the local gas station. You should not need sugar or flavors to make it taste palatable. Good coffee, when treated right, will unravel its flavors in a very dynamic manner, and roasters like Alumbre Coffees have caught my interest when it comes to my morning cup (or three) of Joe. Not only does Alumbre have some incredible single origin coffees, but their blended variety is nothing to miss as well.
I’ve been tasting a whole slew of the coffees from Alumbre over the past few weeks, so let me point you in the direction of the ones I just love.
Ethiopian – Yirgacheffe – Roasted Medium
When I say I love Ethiopian single origin coffee, I mean I will buy it no questions asked when I see it light or medium roasted on a shelf. The Alumbre is no different. This Ethiopian single origin coffee takes me right back to why I fell in love with coffee, delivering some incredibly bright notes of lemon and lightly roasted berries. Taking a sip, the lemon hits the tip of my tongue before transitioning into the smokiness coming off the roasting process. This is a slower roast for sure, and even at a medium temperature and color, still maintains a brightness and almost lightness to the whole sip.
French Roast, Dark
I cold brewed this batch of coffee and do not regret it one bit. Deep, dark tobacco notes on top of the heavy smoke from the long roasting time made this an incredible coffee to have in the morning. I loved looking into the coffee grinds while in the water and seeing the oils from the roasted beans floating on top, waiting to be mixed in with a quick stir for my next cup. The notes on the French Roast are very sudden, hitting hard with the dark caramel and smoke, transitioning smoothly to a heavy tobacco sweetness before mellowing out. The little oils collected in the cold brew process left a great sweet aftertaste that made me come back for more.
Colombia, Alma Del Cafe De Jardin®, Medium Roast
Honestly, I have never been a big Colombia coffee fan – it’s delicious, but never blew my socks off. But, that said, Alumbre delivers one of the best Colombian coffees I have ever had. There was a hint of roasted cedar in the bag, and as it sat brewing in my French press I watched as the mid-dark color enveloped the water while this semi-sweet aroma floated off. But the taste is where I was amazed; it starts with a semi-sweet chocolate and smoked cedarwood, but then the cedar drops away leaving the chocolate to linger. Yes, yes, in every way, yes. I was sold on my first cup of Colombia coffee, but clearly not my last.
I might have a bit of a fascination with coffee, and will admit I am a bit obsessed with different varieties and roasts, and Alumbre Coffee has kept my interest for sure. It could be their countless investments into the community, the focus on the environment and maintaining the craft roastery feel, or the fact that because Alumbre is an exclusive brand, they take their time to really make the coffees perfect. It probably all of those combined and more to be honest, and that’s something I can stand behind. And all it takes is a simple Sign up to get started, to start enjoying coffee as it should be enjoyed.
So think about that next time you’re picking up a bag of coffee or sipping a gas station brew; don’t you deserve coffee with flavor? Discover Alumbre as I did. Let your taste buds be free.