Carrying on the blend trend from yesterday, let’s keep it going with Beachcomber Coffee’s V2.0 blend. I first reviewed this Vancouver, British Columbia roaster’s coffee back in June 2016 and the blend has gone through a total reformation since then. Let’s check it out!
BEACHCOMBER COFFEE V2.0
Founded in 2015 by Martin DesRosier, Beachcomber Coffee is part coffee company and part lifestyle brand, selling apparel, cups, sunglasses and other Canadian West Coast items on their site. But, of course, coffee is the heart of the company. Beachcomber Coffee is definitely geared toward the coffee drinker who likes to find their perfect blend and stick with it. At this time, and during the couple years they’ve been in business, Beachcomber has not offered single origins, different blends, etc. It’s what it is, take it or leave it. In establishing a brand that is intended to make a mark on grocery and specialty retail shelves, I think this is a good move. Not every coffee drinker wants the adventure of a brand new coffee every few weeks (or every couple days, in my case!) and so having a good quality offering for the typical coffee consumer is something worthy of pursuing.
I first reviewed Beachcomber’s coffee in June 2016 and I really enjoyed it. Since then, they’ve made the blend certified organic, Fairtrade, Kosher and Halal. This has necessitated a reformulation of the coffee to meet those certifications. Along with V2.0 is a new bag, still using that awesome bright yellow color scheme, and the flat bottom zipper pouches that are, thankfully, so popular in coffee today. The new blend was just released recently and it’s a big move for a coffee company that makes one coffee. If those loyal every morning drinkers don’t like it, it’s an easy way to lose customers, so this was not a decision that I imagine Martin took lightly in the least.
I wasn’t able to find details about what the new Beachcomber blend’s components are on Beachcomber’s site, but I did find Alfred Drinking Coffee’s review, which mentions the blend contains coffees from Peru, Sumatra and Guatemala. For my pourover cups I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with Kalita 185 filter. Handground grinder is set to 3 and I use Third Wave Water in my brewing.
Opening this new bag, I was immediately reminded of what a good looking coffee Beachcomber is. This is a dark roast, visually, at least, by my standards. The coffee beans are dark, uniform and all have a beautiful sheen from the oils creeping up to the surface (no pooling or wet-oil look like from a French roast, though). This blend grinds like a dream in a hand grinder and brews very consistently as a pourover. The aroma in the cup has a lot of roasty notes, as expected. Taking a sip I get some nice caramel sweetness, dry process cocoa and smoky, roasty notes. Darker blends are more about great sugar caramelization. The perceived acidity tends to be low as the roasting is extended and these flavor notes come with toasted, roasty notes and even light smokiness sometimes, so none of this is unexpected from Beachcomber. The finish of this coffee is neutral although my tongue felt a little dry between sips. I got a lot of bread crust flavors in the aftertaste, like from a good French baguette or another type of crusty bread. And for my palate, this new Beachcomber blend has some slight hints of acidity, too, enough to keep the palate from getting bored or too weighed down with all the sweetness. In a darker roast, acidity is like a spritz of lemon on a steak. That dimension of brightness really adds to the depth and overall quality of the flavors. I guess that’s a useful analogy because the bit of acidity I am getting from this coffee is lemon-lime. I get that mostly in the second half of the sip and the lime component, for me, is always associated with a bit of bitterness, which is there as well.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable darker roast blend as a drip/pourover. The flavors are all familiar and inviting and they marry well. The roast is dark enough to work well in common kitchen equipment and provide the expected flavors to less adventurous coffee drinkers (normal people, let’s call them! LOL) without being so dark that the blend has no individual character or presence. The coffee has a nice mouthfeel and enough complexity to keep the cup interesting, but still be a “coffee coffee” for the targeted consumer. I really like this and I can see how this would be an inviting blend for someone looking for a consistent coffee experience morning after morning. Will it satisfy the single origin terroir hunting in us specialty coffee geeks/nerds? No, but that’s not really the purpose of any blend in the first place. If I randomly grabbed the coolest looking bag of coffee on the grocery store shelf and ended up with Beachcomber V2.0 I’d be really pleased.