I’m not exactly qualified or even particularly experienced at writing, or reviewing coffee, so it’s always hard to not fall into traps, using cliche’s and over-used descriptors. However, sometimes, these are the most apt and useful words to use.
The Albion Street blend from the Baytown Coffee Company is absolutely deserving of me taking the embarrassment of not being able to describe it using the words it truly deserves.
I’ll be honest now, this is less of a review and more of a love letter to my favourite coffee blend in the world.
Having fallen for the Baytown Coffee Company and their blends a couple of years ago, I honestly thought that nothing could compare to the excellent Boggle Hole. Sure I enjoyed the Christmas Blend and had a great time with it, but Boggle Hole always stood out as the best I had tried, a dark, bitter and sweet cup of excellence.
Then Albion Street came along…..
A mix of medium and dark roasts? I don’t think that I’ve ever really seen that before, certainly not knowingly. I had concerns. I love a dark roast, I love that bitterness, that’s where my coffee nirvana is. Taking half the dark roast out of a bag seemed like a strange concept to me.
How wrong could I be?
As always, I brewed this coffee using all the means at my disposal. The Hario V60, my Aeropress, my home cafetiere and the heavily used, all-important work cafetiere.
I tried the grind at a medium and fine grind. Certainly this blend deserves a good grind, and I found that to be the place between fine and medium, where you’re not getting large chunks, but it isn’t so fine that it falls through the filters.
I tried to bloom for a short period before fully brewing, and found even 30 seconds helped get a sweeter taste. It was negligible to be honest, and I’m not 100% sure on the blooming process or how genuine the need to perform this, really is.
All in all, I’d suggest I’ve had 12 cups of this coffee at the minimum.
So how is it?
Albion Street is sublime, arguably one of the best blends I’ve ever tasted. Simple really.
The mixed roasts in here work wonders. I’m still getting that dark and bitter hit that I look for, but combined with the more mellow and sweeter medium roast, you get this wonderful well-rounded mouthful. The combination here provides a (I hate to use this word….) rich taste, a smooth flavour, with a hint of fruity sweetness, followed by that little bitter sting in the tail.
Each cup is actually an experience, of what I can only imagine to be years of combined knowledge and experience over at Baytown Coffee.
In truth I’ve never really detected the specific fruit flavours, but the more general, light and sweet fruitiness. This is perhaps because of my inexperience, or my pallet, but I’ve never felt like I’m missing out or enjoying the coffee any less.
The full-on fragrance, that strong, confident blast of the roast that hits you when you open the bag, and moreso when you grin the beans. It hits you with this alluring darkness and almost nuttiness. Each breath is the start of the journey with this coffee, a trek into a deep and dark world that I want to visit as often as possible.
All in all
It’s no surprise then, that Ninja Refinery rates this coffee with our highest accolade, the “Exceptional” badge.
I had high expectations here, but not to the point of finding my favourite ever coffee. These types of thing don’t happen very often!
Albion Street is my idea of coffee perfection, and whilst I can tinker with the brewing methods, it’s robust enough to be a delight, regardless of how badly I make it.
Great work Baytown, how else can you surprise me? Next up: Bay Bank