Saturday, August 10, 2013

Vader's Dark Side Roast

Photo from Think Geek
As part of the bundle with the Aeropress, I got this. It reviewed pretty well on Think Geek's website, and as a Star Wars fan since I was a wee one, I couldn't resist.

However, as snooty as I have become when it comes to my coffee, I really was not sure what to expect with this one. I knew it was going to be a dark roast, and possibly ideal for an espresso taste test.

Since it was established, and not really experimental like my own roasts, it was a good testing coffee for the Aeropress, the Chemex, and the French Press.

The Dark Side Roast is comprised of three roasts. Naturally, the packaging does not really say where, aside from Africa and Indonesia, but it promises to be reasonably well sourced. Similar to Nespresso, it is not Fair Traded, but they seem to cut out the middlemen and source the coffees directly from the farms. I suspect it is also to keep the same flavor profile.

In retrospect, they also claim that Droids do the farming.

I ground some up to use the Aeropress for the first time. I spread out the instructions, made sure I understood the plunger aspect to it, and heated the water to about 170 Degrees F. Both the Aeropress and the Chemex require specific temperatures. So do French Presses, but this is just getting through my thick head, honestly. I stirred it around, and took the plunge. Even though you need a fair amount of coffee, you can make an espresso shot very quickly. Unfortunately, because of the paper filter, and the fact I need a hell of a lot more pressure than my arms can provide, there is no crema. The filter removes those oils, and consequently, the flavors in those oils. In a pump based espresso machine, it floats to the top in a foamy layer, similar to frothed milk.

I was not too impressed with this coffee with the Aeropress. There was something that was missing from it. There was a lot of flavor, and it did not taste burnt in anyway. I did taste a hint of something metallic, like iron.

A little later, after finishing the last of my own El Salvadoran/Burundian blend, I put it the Dark Side into the Chemex. I heated the water to 200 Degrees F. The Chemex filter pulled out quite a bit. It made my own roast from a week ago taste almost entirely like almonds. The Dark Side roast was still very metallic. It probably was even more so. It was still very clean on the tongue. Probably cleaner than any drip coffee I have ever had.

Both methods for extraction created super smooth coffee. The Aeropress was still a bit of a thick coffee like espresso, but there was no sediment.

This afternoon, I tried the Dark Side Roast in the French Press. The metallic taste was gone. It was a nice, fine coffee with a bold taste. I think I missed the sediment.

Overall, I would certainly recommend checking this coffee out if you like dark roasts.

In a day or so, I will have some comments on my most recent blend. I just need to let it degas and full develop. In both the Aeropress and the Chemex is kicks ass. However, I think I will most like it in the French Press,

Even with these two upgrades, I think I prefer the French Press.

Now, just because... Enjoy.