I had already made up my mind that I was going to pick up a bag of Ritual Coffee this week, but it was this seasonal “Wildwood” espresso that caught my eye at the last minute. Since I've been on an espresso binge for the last few months (mostly attributed to my new grinder), I knew I had to try it ASAP.
About the coffee
The Wildwood espresso blend is made up of 4 different coffees at just about an equal ratio. The bag I got consists of:
- 30% Heleanna Georgalis – Ethiopia
- 30% Monte Rey – El Salvador
- 20% Hunapu Bourbon – Guatemala
- 20% Monte Verde – Brazil
As for the flavor notes (from the roaster): Creme Violette, Lemon Candy, Black Currant, and Buttercream.
I have no idea what creme violette or black currant are supposed to taste like, so it isn't likely I would be picking up these flavor notes in my own tastings.
Even though the Wildwood is a blend that is meant to be consumed as espresso, it didn't stop me from trying it through alternative coffee brewing equipment.
I often find that the Aeropress really accentuates the floral and fruity notes of the coffee that it brews, even with some of the darker roasts I've used with it.
In this case, it really brought out the lemon taste that had a slight creaminess to it. I also wouldn't describe the lemon flavor as sour, although it wouldn't surprise me if others found it to be.
In contrast, the aftertaste was quite toasty and the lemon flavor didn't linger so much.
I used 16 grams of coffee, 255g of water, and brewed at 200˚F. In layman terms, I poured the water to the #4 mark on the Aeropress.
I'd say that the V60 resulted in the best coffee for this particular blend.
It really brought out some floral notes with a nice buttery flavor. When I say floral notes, it's kind of hard to explain what “flower” I was sensing…but it was definitely evident. Also, I realize that flowers don't necessarily have a pleasant taste, which is why I wrote “sense”.
As an espresso, the lemon really stood out in just about every shot I pulled. The aftertaste was slightly creamy, but at times also slightly bitter.
Overall, the body and aftertaste were the standouts. The flavor itself wasn't really my favorite, as I found it to be a little too tart for me, regardless of how long the pull was.
I brewed at around 199˚F for most of my shots (I couldn't get any higher than this on my handheld espresso maker).
This was another one of my favorite ways to brew with the Wildwood blend. It brought out all of the roasters' notes, as well as a slight fudge flavor.
I used a coarser grind, 33 grams of coffee, and filled the reservoir to the fill line on my 3 cup Bialetti. I then diluted the cup with 146 grams of hot water. It was definitely one of the best cups of coffee I made with this blend.
Overall the Wildwood Seasonal Espresso Blend is a bright and creamy offering from Ritual Coffee Roasters. I was especially pleased with the complex aftertaste across brew methods.
While the flavor itself was pretty consistent, to me, it was a little too tart despite the contrasting blackcurrant flavor that would neutralize the lemon bite every so often.
As an espresso, I probably wouldn't buy this blend again. However, as a pour-over coffee option I think it works nicely. Similarly, the Moka Pot really brings out the full flavor profile and gives the resulting coffee a nice body for those who like their coffee on the oilier side.
Click here to buy the Wildwood blend (while it's in season) from Go Coffee Go. This price is better than Ritual's when accounting for shipping, and they ship the day after it's roasted!