When you think of coffee, you think perhaps of Italy or France? With the rise of single origin beans, you probably even think of Ethiopia or Columbia, even.
With small UK roasters taking off in a big way, you might even think of London or somewhere like that.
Do you ever think “Cornwall”?
Being honest, it never occurred to me (quite naively!) that coffee roasting would take place in Cornwall.
Thanks to a gift of “The Original” from some good friends, I’ve been able to see what a roast from Cornish Tea & Cornish Coffee Co. is like.
Before I get into anything else, it’s important to make clear how I go about making a coffee to give it a review.
It’s also worth noting that I’m very much a novice when tasting coffees and working at getting better all the time. My opinion is likely not of much value, however, I know when I like something, and like to write about these things.
All coffees go through as many brewing processes as I have available to me.
“The Original” was brewed with an Aeropress, Hario V60 Drip, Bialetti Moka Express and a classic cafetiere.
I used each method at least twice, and have been through the whole 250g bag.
I don’t mess about when trying a coffee!
On top of that, I want to start to shape my reviews a little more professionally, working with the core elements of a coffee, and not just the brew method.
Now, the focus is on Fragrance, Body, Acidity and Sweetness. The brewing method impacts all of these to a certain degree. Where it’s had a drastic impact, it’ll be noted.
One of my favourite things in the world, is the smell of coffee. The smell of “The Original” is a great example of this.
Straight out of the gates, you’re met with this very woody/nutty fragrance. Quite light, and working towards sweet. Very pleasant.
Once brewed, there’s a heavier, almost darker fragrance. But it remains sweet and nutty. There’s a lot going on here, and it definitely has a few layers to it.
It seemed to me that “The Original” was at it’s best when brewed in a cafetiere. The sweetness was a little more pronounced, and it was a little more mellow.
My brewing techniques require some fine-tuning, but I got a pleasant and fragrant cup no matter what.
Arguably the easiest measure of a cup of coffee for me. I was met with quite a smooth, and rounded/balanced mouthful at every turn.
Apart from when brewed in the Moka Pot. I think that’s more due to my technique than the coffee. Or perhaps “The Original” doesn’t lend itself to the thicker, syrupy shots I was getting from it.
Using the V60, Aeropress and the cafetiere, I was always met with a pleasant, and relatively light drink that didn’t leave any strong coatings or feel overpowering in any way.
Honestly, this is the hardest part of a tasting, for me at this stage. All I can really say is that each cup of “The Original” was quite mellow with quite a bright taste.
Again, the Moka Pot added a bit of a sharper element to the cup, but not enough to detract from the enjoyment of it. I think this is because it was pre-ground and not quite fine enough for the Moka. No drama, just not as consistent as the other methods.
Mellow, light and bright. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was fruity, but the sweetness cut through any bitterness.
A very nice and well-rounded drink indeed.
Flavour is a complex thing, isn’t it? I find that sometimes the flavours of a coffee won’t come through in my first few cups. Sometimes there’s a fleeting taste of something new, and trying to narrow that down is quite tough!
Still, there were a couple of very persistent/blatant flavours here that I really enjoyed.
Having already described “The Original” as having a nutty fragrance, it’s likely no surprise that there’s a really nutty taste. I couldn’t quite place it for a start, but after a few cups, it really comes across as almost a peanut flavour.
Beyond that, the last thing you taste is the sweetness. I was immediately comparing it to the “Tennessee Honey” Jack Daniels. This earthy, sweet tinge at the back of your throat. Really quite lovely to be honest. It isn’t quite a honey taste, to me. But I think that’s the closest thing to it that I could reference. :
If you were to ask me six months ago, I’d tell you that I only really like darker roasts. But between the tweaking of my brewing processes, experimenting with grinds, and focusing much more on flavour. I’ve found myself much more open to the world of a medium roast.
Great news, then that “The Original” came about when it did. A medium, but still slightly darker roast, full of flavour and a well-rounded body.
This is a kind of “daily driver”, something you wouldn’t necessarily consider a one-off. A consistent, flavourful cup of coffee to have with your breakfast, or a cake for your elevenses. Nothing over-powering, just good coffee ready to go, no matter which way you make it.
It’s been an absolute pleasure to put myself and “The Original” through the wringer and see how it goes.
It goes without saying that if you find yourself able to pick up a bag of “The Original” by the Cornish Tea & Cornish Coffee co. Then you absolutely should. You won’t be disappointed at all.
I’m quite looking forward to picking up some of their other roasts as soon as I can!
In the meantime, I’ve got a new espresso machine to set up, ready for the new 5th test for each coffee. I think 2019 might be a good year for Ninja Refinery and coffee!