Welcome back to The Magic Roast’s BEAN OF THE MONTH. This is a short segment where I tell you about an amazing coffee you need to try.
Listen to the podcast and check out below for more great insights on this coffee!
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August’s Bean of the Month is Firsthand Coffee Roasters: Colombia Piendamo
This month’s BEAN OF THE MONTH is from Firsthand Coffee in Hawkes Bay. It’s the Colombia Piendamo.
The unique thing about this coffee is that the green beans were aged in a Pinot Noir wine barrel, that had also been used to age Gin. The folk at Firsthand did this before it was roasted.
You may be asking, why go to all this effort?
Coffee farmers and roasters are constantly looking for new ways to innovate, developing new experiences along the way. Competition and the explosion of really excellent coffee, means that people are trying to get that competitive edge.
Farmers can do this through planting different varieties or experimenting with the way the coffee is processed once it is harvested. Roasters can do this through trying new ways of roasting, creating different blends or aging the green coffee before it is roasted. And this is what Firsthand Coffee roasters did so well.
Just like aging wine or whiskey in a barrel, aging coffee in a barrel has a profound impact on the smell and flavour of the final product.
And the result is amazing.
“We decided to experiment with this process ourselves using a French oak barrel from Reid and Reid Gin. The barrel had first been used for Pinot Noir at Ata Rangi in Martinborough, then by Reid and Reid for their Pinot Noir barrel aged gin. The freshly emptied barrel was then sent up to the roastery for us to age coffee in.”
As soon as I opened the bag, I was punched in the face by a huge boozy, alcohol smell. It gets all the way into the back of the nose, not unlike a COVID test. But unlike a PCR test, I welcomed the aroma, and the memories that it brought back – in particular sitting on my deck in the summer with my wife and close friends, drinking a GnT.
While the smell was intense, the taste was much more approachable. You could taste subtle Gin botanicals, and a smoothness that was introduced by the Pinor Noir, but you could also taste a distinctly Colombian coffee.
A warning though – if you don’t like gin, you probably won’t like this! But if you’re up for a cool new corner of coffee to try, I fully recommend the Colombia Piendamo Pinot Noir – Gin Barrel Aged coffee from Firsthand Coffee Roasters.
Bonkers - my pick of the recipes
I got a lot out of this coffee, but this was, hands down, my favourite brew - the AeroPress.
This recipe is called a ‘bypass’ brew. The idea is to make a strong cup that you then dilute to taste. It really allows you to bring out a lot of sweetness.