Dark Roast December: H+S Coffee Roasters Sweetwater Blend

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I kicked off “Dark Roast December” (next year will be ALL dark roasts for the whole month, trust me) last week with H+S Coffee Roasters’ Double Diamond, a super dark (looked like ground up Oreo cookies!), oily craft answer to *$ and it was really tasty and really well done. That’s a very unusual coffee for H+S, who usually roast to bring out the best origin characteristics and are awesome at that. But, they recognize some (a lot?) of their customers like dark roasts, too, so they keep their options open. Double Diamond was super roasted, but not metallic, fishy, overly bitter or gross in any way, making it a masterpiece for people who like really, really, darkly roasted coffee.

H+S Coffee Roasters’ Sweetwater Blend, featured today, is their more commonly bought “dark roast” although it’s nowhere near the level of roast of Double Diamond. Sweetwater is their recommendation for people who tell them they like dark roasts and who are looking for that classic, “smooth, low-acid” profile that a darker profile is famous for.

Sweetwater is beloved by everyone who tries it. It has become one of our best sellers and we’ve gotten quite a few dedicated regulars ordering it from us weekly. Makes a nice light espresso too. – Coulter Sunderman, co-owner H+S Coffee Roasters

According to H+S’s website, the flavor profile promise, “honey, brown sugar, cherry, balanced, sweet, clean, mild acidity, medium body.” It’s a blend of 50% Costa Rican, 30% East Timor and 20% of a high-scoring Colombia Huila microlot (maybe their Oporapa, being offered currently, too?). You can buy Sweetwater directly from H+S for $14.50/12oz bag.

This is another really well-done roast, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from H+S, who’ve proven to be a “buy anything they offer with confidence” roaster for me! The first time I made it I was tasting elements of a washed Yirgacheffe in it, but I think I was getting a little grinder carryover because the previous three coffee’s I’d had were two washed and one natural Ethiopian. LOL

Once I got that sorted out I found Sweetwater to be everything the tasting notes promised it would be. It has a honey-like sweetness wrapping the entire flavor profile up like a warm blanket. There is a little orange juice acidity, probably from the Colombia, that brightens the cup up, but I would consider this to be low-acid or at least coming in low on the perceived acidity. There is cocoa, a hint of roast bitterness and a bit of salted caramel in there, too. I got flavors reminiscent of roasted nuts, as well.

All in all, a really solid cup of coffee. It’s super easy to drink as you’d expect from my description, it grinds really nicely and I found it also holds up super well. I had a couple cups of this coffee when it was a month off-roast and it was every bit as enjoyable as it was when it came in fresh and I did my initial evaluation of it. Sweetwater would be too easy of a choice for a workplace coffee that everyone would like or for a mellow, tasty, everyday start to the morning. I see why Coulter said that everyone who tastes it loves it!