Whenever I go somewhere new, I like to explore the local produce as much as possible. Just about anywhere you go in the world – and especially in the UK – there is guaranteed to be at least a smattering of local beers to be explored.
This is increasingly the case for coffee, too. While we don’t have the climate for growing coffee commercially in the UK, there has been real explosion in coffee roasters, reflecting the growing interest in drinking ‘proper’ coffee.
So when we found ourselves on a short break in Dorset earlier this year as guests of holidaycottages.co.uk, I was delighted to find some locally roasted coffee to try waiting for us in the kitchen.
Reads Coffee is a Dorset-based roaster, with an interesting range of predominantly single-origin coffees on offer. While they do sell their beans online, you are curiously asked to phone if you want to order it ground. Now any proper coffee person will tell you that you should always buy beans anyway, but for those of us too lazy to dig out the grinder every time we need a mug of coffee, it’s a lot more convenient to let someone else do the work.
Sumatra Bourbon Espresso is described as a ‘blend’ but with no other real information provided. The name suggests that it is – primarily at least – a bourbon bean from Sumatra, but by labelling it a blend I can only assume there are a few other varieties in the mix too. I’m not overly fussy about my coffee, but I do wish producers could be a bit more specific – especially when the tasting notes are limited to “bold espresso that will produce deliciously smooth cappuccinos and latte“.
The grounds are dark, with a wonderfully rich, toasted aroma. There are toffee notes, with black cherries and just a hint of bitter dark chocolate.
Brewed, the toffee notes disappear and a more acidic, almost lemony tone starts to come through.
In the mouth, the acidity is joined by dark fruit and just the right kick of bitterness to balance everything nicely. The finish is lingeringly bitter, but remains refreshing – it’s a gentle drying tannic bitterness rather than the harsh, over-roasted kind you can sometimes find.
I don’t think this coffee is really punchy enough to call itself an espresso blend, but it’s a perfectly balanced long coffee – 4 stars.
Pete Drinks received a free sample of this coffee to enjoy!