Filter Face-off 3: Pilot & De Mello
Finally we return to the world of active blogging, after a short break to try and settle into the big grand world of Toronto. After a few hit and misses, having to set up some of my programmes again we are ready to role with big plans for this year for Coffeejnkie.
For now, lets return to our most popular format and do a little face off, between two of the Roasting Giants in the Toronto Coffee Scene. While the first few Face offs used coffees from similar origins, this time I simply wanted to try the coffees and see what was here for people to try. How does it compare to the European roasts, and what can fans of specialty coffee expect from North American Roasts in Canada's largest city.
Today to keep it simple, we went with a simple cupping, 12 grams to 200 grams of water, and as I am low on all my equipment from home, I picked up what I could, glasses from the local dollar giant, Dollarama, some spoons, a Britta water filter and grabbed my camera, and started to roll.
And from here we introduce the coffees:
I seemed to have gotten in on this coffee at the very end of its season, a lovely and elegant washed Ethiopian coffee from the Limu region and washed at the Yidnakachew Dabesa station. I heard whispers that this coffee was partnered with a Natural from the same region, but sadly it was already gone by the time I arrived in Toronto.
Windrush is a farmed on a medium sized estate on the hills of mount Kenya, where they grow mostly tea and SL28, a volcanic region and a high altitude producing a clean, juicy cup of coffee. It is double fermented, a tradition in this region in Kenya.
But how did they taste?
The Dabesa from Pilot was a very bright and sweet cup, it had a light body, with almost a tea like quality. The tasting notes describe Earl Grey tea, but in my brew I taste more Jasmine tea, with a hint of Bergamot and Lemon Citrus notes in the acidity. The body was smooth and light. For tasting notes I definitely had notes of Apricot Jam, and a hum of Black and the affirmentioned Jasmine tea. This coffee was on the light side of medium, with clean and clear tasting notes and a light to medium body, with a sweet and smooth finish.
De Mello's Windrush was sort of a different animal. This of course as a Kenyan was a different type of coffee but also roasting profile. The roast was a little bit lighter, elevating the acidity in the cup. This acidity sang of redcurrant and a touch of grapefruit, and a little floral note. The body was quite light, with a sweet jammy mouthfeel. For tasting notes, on this table I got a little blackcurrant jam, the redcurrant and a bit of cranberry, and as it cooled I certainly had a hint of toffee chocolate.
I found these coffees to be very pleasant and a nice introduction to single origin roasts here in Toronto. I have noticed a lot of blends and even dark roasts for drip coffee here in Toronto, and to find lighter roasts on the single origins is really nice. I would say De Mello would be to the palate of some of my friends in Berlin and Germany, who enjoy a lighter and more acidic cup. While the Dabesa would also keep them happy I feel it would suit the palates of many people here. It would serve as a good introduction to fruity coffee for a lot of people, and even though it is much lighter than perhaps some of the darker and more developed Brazilian roasts, it would provide enough sweetness for anyone to enjoy.
Where the roasts here differ from Berlin and Europe I would say is in the use of blending in drip and filter coffee, and perhaps in developing the coffee a little bit more than you might find in Europe. And this is neither a good nor positive thing. In any roast the perfect roast is about finding the perfect level of development that the customer who buys it will like, all the while maintaining the flavour of the coffee, and working as a representation of the roaster who works tirelessly to provide the customer with their cup of the brown stuff.
I look forward to exploring the coffee scene here in more detail here on this blog space. And of course any questions regarding Toronto and the Canadian coffee scene, feel free to write me a mail.