Handsome Coffee

Handsome normally isn’t an adjective used to describe a dark brown bean that most of us rely on to get us through the morning, day, or evening. When we get to chance to try something a little different, the result can leave us searching for words to describe what we just experienced. Coffee is drank by a large number of the population around the world. Sometimes we have better coffees than others and when that happens, it can be a blissful experience.

This morning I got the privilege to brew some El Salvadoran coffee roasted by the people at Handsome Roasters in downtown Los Angeles. I’ve been there before and am very satisfied with the roasts they put out. I’ve recently tried some of there more fluorescent, and as they describe it as, “adventure” roasts which have a lot of complexities and resemble that of a lighter roast. Having tried that I wanted to go for the other end of the spectrum and try a more rich, sweet, and a more (using more handsome lingo) “Comfort” of a roast. This Salvadoran was just that.

Here is what I'm working with
Here is what I’m working with

Once I opened the package, the beans had a rich scent that I was particularly excited for. I know it’s summer, and summer fruits are in bloom, but I was having a craving for a sweeter roast. This did not disappoint.

When I am brewing a new roast, I like to start with a pour over through my v60. It keeps the oils and sediments in the filter without sacrificing a significant amount of taste.

V60 with biased Handsome mug
V60 with biased Handsome mug

Another thing I enjoy more than most is how visually pleasing it is to observe coffee that is brewed via pour over. Watching a coffee bloom after the first pour makes you appreciate just how alive this substance really is. If the coffee is fresh, (in that it has been roasted two to three days ago) there is a lot of activity that goes on in the bloom. For example, today’s coffee is now on day three and this is the reaction I got.

Lots of bubbles and a rise, or "bloom" after the pour
Lots of bubbles and a rise, or “bloom” after the pour

Something about watching this all take place is hypnotizing. It starts to build anticipation for what is to come momentarily. Once the bloom is complete, the key is to make sure all the grounds get submersed in a slow and thorough fashion, avoiding most contact with the filter (since this will cause the water to slide from the filter into the cup, avoiding the grounds.) You repeat this pouring process two to four times, and when all is said and done, you have a great tasting cup of coffee.IMG_20130829_075609

I am very satisfied with how this turned out. This is a medium to dark roast that has a sweet aroma to it, and back notes of cocoa and dark fruit. I’ve had a craving for something just like this for a while now, and it feels pretty good to finally find something that fit. The filter from the V60 kept the acidity at a low, making the cup have a smoother taste than that of a french press which can be overwhelming at times. Even once the coffee is brewed the scent continues to linger in the cup, making it all the more pleasing to multiple senses.

I am probably talking this coffee up more than it needs to be. The truth is, I’ve been hankering for a coffee just like this one, and now that I finally got it (at the peak time) I am very happy. This would be best for the upcoming fall / winter seasons, but when you gotta have it it’s good anytime of the year. I wish I lived a little closer to good roasters like this. All in all, I would gladly come here in my spare time or if I am running errands in the area. I tell a lot of people that once they’ve had good coffee (such as this one) they tend to get spoiled and expect that of the same caliber time and time again. Thus begins the ongoing struggle or challenge most coffee drinkers are faced. This roast requires no cream or sugar, keep it black, and keep on drinking.

-DFJ

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One thought on “Handsome Coffee

  1. I have seen Salvadoran coffee beans IRL (see photo below) they are green not sure if they are from the same region as the ones you got…all I recall is they grow pretty much everywhere but it is a tiny country.

    http://bit.ly/1dZ0rS1

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