Bought: From Sweet Maria's when I bought the sampler pack about a year ago. They bought some competition Cerrados. Cerrado is a high plains area of Brazil, arid and dry on the most part, and they're fairly well known for their naturally processed coffees. Dry-processing means that the cherries are left to dry and ferment, whole, and then the pulp, skin, and fruit are removed all at once. There are and were several different farms that they buy coffees from, so this year's offering is different than last year's.
Roasted: A little further into second crack than I probably should have. The beans had that oily sheen that's about 30 seconds into second crack. They smelled heavenly and were dark, dark brown, not burnt, yet, but pretty dark. Even the Cerrado's are still low altitude coffees, so the bean isn't as dense as the mountain coffees, so when they burn they get ashy.
Brewed: Day one: espresso style, Day Two: French Press, Day Three: Swiss gold filter, Day Four: Espresso For the drip coffee it was 2 Tbs per 8 oz boiling (203 at altitude) water, for the espresso it was a bit more than 2Tbs of bean per double shot.
It was a little strange as espresso on day 1, the 'fizziness' of the CO2 outlet was definitely there and it tasted a little strange. The French press and Swiss Gold tastings got me chocolate and sweetness and just a bit of that ashyness I was afraid I was going to get. But there was the sweet base flavors that I wanted as well. On the fourth day, the espresso pour was fantastic, nearly all crema, and when I decided to just sip from the shot glass, it was sweet and chocolate and a creamy mouth feel that I hadn't had in an espresso before. This actually made me believe I can really brew a good espresso with practice and time. The espresso drink I had with it was gorgeous, just a plain latte, with about 6 ounces of milk to the two shots, and it highlighted the coffee nicely. There was that ashiness and a bit of fruit to it. The finish was... muddy on the two drips. I'm not too sure I liked that, but the next sip was enough to clear that out. So I'll dock it a point for that, and add a point for the fact that I screwed up the roast a bit, I think.
I had roasted a batch a couple of months ago that brewed up like a Chuncky bar, fruit, nuts, and chocolate and that underlying sweetness with a complex finish to it. But I wasn't reviewing then, and I wanted to recreate that, but didn't, quite.
So I enjoyed it a lot and like that I can use it for both richly crema'ed espresso and for drip.
Rating: 8 of 10