To me, the Wind & Sea blend is the perfect coffee for a Sunday brunch, accompanied by a nice pile of pancakes and a side of bacon.
It's not really a sweet blend, but it does have a nice fruitiness to it as soon as it hits your taste buds.
Where this coffee really stands out the most though is in the aftertaste. It's buttery, a little bit smoky, and neither bitter nor astringent. This is truly a blend that can be enjoyed from start to finish.
Since this is a coffee that comes in a small bag (8 ounces), I didn't get to try as many brew methods as I had hoped to try. Still, of those that I did try, I was pretty much impressed across the board.
I breakdown each of the brew methods I used below.
The first few cups of the Wind & Sea were actually brewed by my girlfriend via the Brazen Plus just a day after roast.
She does not take a technical approach like I do when preparing coffee, so I wasn't really sure what to expect when I took my first sip.
I was very impressed. I couldn't stop telling her how good the coffee was. I guesstimate that she brewed at 200˚F (this is what the Brazen was set to), and around an 18:1 brew ratio. Now, she didn't weigh or measure the coffee or water, but she did select the 2-cup setting on our Breville Smart Grinder Pro which consistently grinds about 15 grams per “cup”.
She also filled to the calibration line in the Brazen Plus' reservoir which we've found to be around 540 grams of water. So that's how I arrived at the 18:1 ratio…TMI?
Next up was the AeroPress. I sound like a broken record/fanboy, but yet again the AeroPress outperformed the other brew methods in my opinion.
It produced the most complex cup of coffee, where the flavor started as a somewhat ripe strawberry and quickly shifted to a stack of pancakes drenched in butter with a little maple syrup.
I used 18 grams of coffee and 231 grams of water at 205˚F. I let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds and then gave it a little shake after filling up the chamber with the rest of the water.
This cup came 3 days post-roast.
Pour-Over (Hario V60)
The Hario V60 resulted in the second best cup of coffee in my opinion.
It actually wasn't too different from the AeroPress, except that it had maybe a little bit more brightness (acidity) on that initial sip.
Sorry, I didn't take any notes on the brew parameters.
The Chemex came out ok, but I wouldn't say there was anything too remarkable about it.
Interestingly, from what I recollect…it was on the smokier side, unlike the Hario.
I pulled more shots than I had planned to with the Wind & Sea blend.
None of the shots I pulled were really noteworthy, although I did pick up a little bit of tootsie roll and blueberry in a few of the shots. Still, I'd rate every shot I pulled under 3 stars. In other words, on the verge of not being worth drinking.
Great aroma though!
Andytown Wind & Sea Ratings
OK, now that I've talked about the brew methods, let's take a look at the ratings I came up with for each of the 5 rating categories I've been using for reviewing coffee.
The acidity was good. There were a few times where it came close to being too much, but this was likely more of a result of user error (I couldn't get the MyPressi heated beyond 194˚F) than of the blend itself.
Score: 4 stars
I really liked the aftertaste of the Wind & Sea blend. Buttery, a little bit smokey, and a nice linger.
Score: 4.5 stars
Strawberry aroma immediately post-grind. Smelled great post-brew as well. The beans themselves weren't as fragrant, but I was still pretty impressed.
Score: 4 stars
This was more of a clean blend than one with lots of body. The mouthfeel was pleasant though.
Score: 3 stars
The initial flavor of the coffee itself was nice under the right parameters. Still, I would have hoped for more of the subtle flavors that I picked up here and there (blueberry for example) to be more prevalent.
Score: 4 stars
Fantastic blend for drip coffee and AeroPress. Wouldn't recommend for espresso though. But hey, neither does Andytown according to the label on the bag.