Today's coffee review is going to be a bit different from those I've done in the past in that I'm actually sitting down and writing this as I sip the coffee I'm reviewing.
Last year, the best coffee I reviewed was the Kenya Gachatha AA from Case Coffee Roasters. It was totally unexpected because a) the bag of coffee beans was almost a month old by the time I finally got around to reviewing it and b) my mom was the one who picked up the bag for me.
Now, not knocking on my mom's selections here, but she sometimes doesn't know exactly what my preferences are for coffee. If she has been to a cafe or specialty roaster though, she will thoughtfully grab a bag for me.
Today's review is Flying Goat Coffee's Honduras Ana Letis Reyes, and it's brought to you/me by (you guessed it) my mom!
About Flying Goat Coffee
Flying Goat Coffee got its start more than 20 years ago in Healdsburg, CA and have since opened two additional cafés in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa, CA respectively.
And beyond that, I really wish I could tell you more, but unfortunately I haven't visited any of their cafés nor was their much information I could draw from online.
Keeping things on the down low. I like it.
About Ana Letis Reyes
What Flying Goat lacks in description on their website, they make up for in their write-up on the producer of the coffee I'm reviewing today, Ana Letis Reyes.
Ana Letis Reyes owns a small farm at 1700 masl on the Santa Barbara mountain, located in the San Jose Los Andes region of Honduras.
Ana Letis grows a cultivar known as Pacas, which is a dwarf mutation of the Bourbon variety, a very popular coffee variety in Central America.
Pacas was discovered in El Salvador in 1949 and aptly named after the Pacas family (source: The World Atlas of Coffee).
The coffee is fully washed after harvest, which typically occurs as late as July. Additionally, it is the first coffee that is exportable from Ana Letis. Blue Bottle Coffee also roasts these Pacas beans from Ana Letis' farm.
General Notes and Observations
If I could use one word to describe this coffee it would be “complex.”
The flavor profile was all over the map for me from cup-to-cup. Definitely not a boring coffee, that's for sure.
I didn't delve into too many brew methods here, but the complexity was still present. Fun stuff.
Roast: Cinnamon/Light Roast
Aroma: Cinnamon, chalky, licorice
Roaster tasting notes: Creamy, apple, caramel
A lot of Chemex. A lot of auto drip.
I wish I took better notes and was a little bit more thorough with the brew methods I tested, but I really was more focused on dialing in with one coffee maker at a time.
This coffee did very well in the Chemex.
I was definitely picking up the green apple tartness noted by Flying Goat. The mouthfeel was also consistently heavy for a Chemex brew.
Flavor notes: Caramel, tobacco, green apple, earth, raisin.
Funny how I seem to always get my best cup of coffee right when I'm finishing off a bag. I brewed my final cup with the Kalita Wave and it came out brilliantly.
Flavor notes: Green apple, smoke, caramel, blueberry (faint), strawberry (very faint).
OK. Let's break down the ratings.
If you're new here, you can check out how I rate whole bean coffee here.
There was plenty of green apple and raisin acidity in this coffee, no matter how it was brewed. I wouldn't call it sweet 100% of the time, but the acidity was definitely present.
Big time caramel in the aftertaste. Nice smokiness to it that makes it a really balanced cup when brewed right.
The aroma was a tricky one for me. Hard to rate given the fact that I got these beans pretty far off roast. Think I'll leave the score out of this one.
The complexity in flavor from first sip to aftertaste is the other major highlight of this coffee. Tart and smokey, a little more sweetness and this would be a perfectly balanced cup of coffee every time.
Even when brewed through a Kalita Wave or Chemex, this coffee had a syrupy mouthfeel to it with an ever-so-slight dryness in the aftertaste. For a lighter roast like this, it packs a lot in terms of mouthfeel.
Green apple, raisin, caramel, smokiness were the highlight complexities in this coffee. I also had traces of tomato and blueberry here and there, although they were very ephemeral.
Look, I thought the flavor was good for the most part, but I thought it was just a little bit tart for my taste preferences.
I didn't find this to be a difficult coffee to dial in. Flavors were pretty consistent across brews.
More tart and smokey than sweet. Rarely bitter.
I didn't get to pull any shots with this. I also didn't experiment with enough brew methods to really rate this category.
So there you have it: Flying Goat Coffee's Honduras Ana Letis Reyes, a well-balanced, complex, and carefully roasted coffee.
I'd recommend this coffee to the coffee drinker that is looking to get a lot of variety in flavor profile, particularly when it comes to something that's balanced in terms of acidity and body.
My sense is that this coffee is more suitable for drip coffee lovers.
Those who are using immersion methods like French Press or the AeroPress might want to boot on this one. My cup of AeroPress wasn't very impressive with this coffee, but hey, who knows until you try it.