May’s MyCoffeePub.com subscription features Omaha, Nebraska’s excellent Hardy Coffee Co. This roaster was discovered by the MCP gang way back in November 2015 and that was how I learned about them, too. I reviewed a bunch of their coffee at the beginning of 2016 but it has been a while, and a Costa Rican honey like today’s coffee should be sweet and approachable and so I’m excited to dive in!
MYCOFFEEPUB MAY 2017: HARDY COFFEE CO. COSTA RICA – EL GRECO
It’s mid-month and that means a surprise package landed on the doorstep of every MyCoffeePub.com subscriber! It seems like such a small thing to get excited over an unknown bag of coffee once per month but it really is fun for me. After close to two years of being a MCP subscriber I know I can trust them to pick excellent coffees every month and they never disappoint! This morning’s cup comes from Hardy Coffee Co., a roaster and cafe (the brick and mortar sides of the company are Aromas and Bliss… Aromas is the coffee house and Bliss is a bakery that looks incredible) based in Omaha, NE. MyCoffeePub featured them way back in November 2015 and I was impressed enough with that coffee that I reached out to Hardy for more. I reviewed a bunch of their coffees in early 2016 and it was all excellent. I found they source good coffees and roast them very well, and that’s the recipe! LOL
This month’s featured coffee from Hardy is their El Greco, a honey process Costa Rican. This comes from Rodrigo Oviedo’s Finca El Greco and it contains both Villa Sarchi and Catuai varieties. Hardy gives us flavor notes of, “Wine, bright stone fruit, dark chocolate.” The only time I’ve ever had a 100% Villa Sarchi coffee it had insane notes of strawberry balsamic vinegar, so I’m really excited to try this one out, even though it’s not 100% Villa Sarchi. As I said, this is a honey process coffee, which means some of the fruity, goopy mucilage (also called “honey”) is left on the coffee beans when they are laid out to dry. This tends to create sort of a hybrid between natural and washed processing… honey process coffees tend to be relatively cleaner than a dry/natural process but also have more body and fruitiness than their washed cousins. Costa Rica does some of the best honey processed coffees, in my opinion.
I used my standard pourover setup for this coffee with a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino. Handground grinder was set to 3 (probably would’ve done fine being opened up to 3.5) and I used Third Wave Water in my preparation. My first couple sips were complex and clean and sweet and bright and a bit tart and and and and… OK, let’s break this down! First of all, when coffee tasters say “winey” when tasting coffee that’s often a nice say of saying “it’s a bit astringent.” I don’t find that to be the case at all in this coffee. I think there is a wine-like complexity and vibe to it, but I didn’t get any astringency of off-flavors from this cup.
The front end of the sip has a light, sweet fruitiness to it not unlike a perfectly ripe white peach with maybe hints of apricot. There is a medium body to the cup and that stone fruit character on the front end develops a hint of tartness and acidity in the middle of the sip. You know how apricots have that little kick of acidity to them? I get that from this coffee, as well as a bit of tartness that does remind me of a fruit-infused balsamic to a very small degree. No, this is not a vinegary coffee, but there’s a vinegar and olive oil store here in Overland Park where I live and I’ve had a peach balsamic from them before and there is a note of that in this cup. I can only assume that comes from the Villa Sarchi part of the blend, but I’ve not had enough VS to know if that balsamic note is a characteristic or if my previous experience was a one-off oddity!
A nice bass note of sweetness carries through the middle of the sip to provide counterpoint to the brightness and slight tartness of the acidity. The finish has a cocoa, chocolatey and very slight roastiness to it with more peachiness (man, I love love peach notes in coffee… I’m a total fanboy! LOL). The finish is sweet and opens up into a lingering aftertaste of peach juice, white wine and cocoa.
Man, this coffee is killer! Hardy really impressed me way back when and they nailed it again with this El Greco. A great choice from the MyCoffeePub gang. I will definitely be taking this to work this week to run on my Bonavita for co-workers and I expect it to be a crowd favorite! This is complex, but still approachable. It’s sweet and slightly tart, peachy, apricoty, fruity, hints of balsamic tartness and it’s just insanely good!