I walked into the local Haggen Grocer off Sunset to find a coffee to try this week expecting a plethora of roasters, origins, packaging, and roast types. Strolling in I figured I would find a great locally roasted single origin coffee. But as I stared at the wall of coffee, 60 feet long, I could find only one single origin coffee. The Haggen brand!!! I scoured the shelves for 15 minutes without finding one light roast coffee that highlighted the flavor of the bean. Instead I was baffled with the amount of blends and dark roasts going on. I have to say that after roasting light and seeing how flavors can be nuanced out of the bean I am a bit disappointed in how Bellingham residents have come to expect their coffee. Dark with a side of burnt.
Finally I decided to just pick one, ending up with the Haggen Sumatra Single Origin. What farmer in Sumatra I do not know. It said medium roast but looked like a full city + to me. As I was paying I asked the cashier who roast their brand of coffee. Turns out Tony’s, the Bellingham roaster, roasts it.
I brewed the Sumatra using an aeropress, 24 grams to 220 grams of water (a little under 8 ounces). As the bloom began a nice honey aroma formed wafting out. The coffee itself smelt dark of deep cocoa and tasted like dark chocolate with sweet pomegranate. It left the mouth a little dry hinting that there was not much acidity but that is expected in Sumatra’s. The cup was thin and light.
Overall my impression of this coffee were good, it was not the best coffee I have ever had nor was it the worst. I was a little disappointed in the lack of distinguishable flavors for this single origin and the absence of a description of source was disappointing. Packaging did lack as you can see by the picture at the top.
Fragrance/Aroma – 17 points
The fragrance of the dry ground lacked in zing, I am usually entranced by each coffee after it is ground, but for some reason this coffee didn’t do it; a dark cocoa smell exuberated. The aroma as I stated before had beautiful honey characteristic making up for the fragrance. I would also note that the aroma on other cuppings had hints of vanilla and almond.
Flavor/Aftertaste/Acidity/Body/Balance – 21 points
The flavors of chocolate and pomegranate worked well together to create a balanced cup but were not very complex. Aftertaste dissipated half way into a minute lightening up the dark notes with sugar. The body did not hold up to the test of time and began to break down as the coffee cooled. As I said before the acidity was not completely there mellowing out the cup which is favored in Sumatra’s.
Sweetness/Uniformity/Cleanliness – 18 points
A tide of sweetness would hit me a second after taking a sip which I thought played well with the overall body of the cup. As I tried other cups there was a great deal of uniformity. There were no non-coffee flavors, producing a clean cup from start to finish.
Packaging – 15 points
The packaging did lack in many areas, and although I would have done it differently, I can’t hold it against them too much as it was a grocery brand.
(Each out of 25 points)