Nordskogen Coffee is a relative newcomer, coming onto the Minneapolis coffee scene about a year and a half ago. With roots in Norway and Sweden, Nordskogen Coffee specializes in light, Nordic-style coffee roasts and today we’re looking at a coffee that benefits greatly from this approach: Colombia Los Santos! Check out the links below and then let’s see what this coffee from “up north” has to offer!
NORDSKOGEN COFFEE COLOMBIA LOS SANTOS
This coffee is a small microlot grown near La Plata in Huila, Colombia, consisting of Caturra and other Colombian varietals growing in the 1800-2000masl range. Dissatisfied with the cooperatives and associations they were members of, 25 families banded together so they’d have a more direct role in coffee selection, processing and other activities that have a direct impact on coffee quality. The farms are small, on average about 2 hectares each, so working together is a big part of success for these farmers. At only $10 for an 8oz bag, this coffee is a steal for a high quality Colombian microlot!
I tried my samples both as pourover in the notNeutral Gino and using Brian Beyke’s “Stubby” AeroPress recipe. This is a lightly roasted coffee and i was a little worried about grassy notes, which often taint very light roasts for my palate, but Matt did a great job roasting this and avoiding any grassy, sour notes. That being said, this roast is all about the high notes, so this won’t tick the “bold and rich” marks for you if that’s what you’re going after! Matt gives us flavor notes of, “Potent sweetness, citrus and blackberry.”
As always, I used my trusty 1:16 method in the notNeutral pourover device using white Kalita 185 filters. I use 28g of coffee and 450g of water and the total extraction takes about 3:30. The lightness of this roast really came out in my handgrinding (tough!) and the color of the coffee was clear and very red rather than the dark brown/black we associate with darker roasts. Again, I worried about grassiness and sourness but the first sip of this Los Santos erased my fears. This was bright, sweet and clean as promised. The highlight of this coffee as a pourover is definitely the acidity, which I found to be very lemony with a bit of lime (to me, lime is a little sharper and has some bitter tones along with it). I picked up notes of fresh plums, too, as well as an interesting nuttiness. The nutty note was not roasted nuts, but rather more of a fresh, blanched flavor. It was subtle, but definitely there for me. The mouthfeel was light with a light aftertaste, too. There was sweetness to balance the acidity out, but this was a light and bright coffee, no doubt. I really like Colombians that come out that way, so I was a fan!
I thought the Aeropress would bring out even more brightness and would probably be a bit too much to handle, but to my surprise it actually had a bit of the opposite effect. I am usually not big on Aeropress “recipes” because they seem gimmicky and fiddly to me, but since I started messing with Brian Beyke’s Stubby recipe, it’s my go-to method for Aeropress these days. The first couple times you do it it’ll probably seem a bit complicated, but it’s not bad. You just need to be organized because it goes fast. I didn’t get any of those nutty notes in the Aeropress. The lemon was still present and in the forefront but I got more sweetness and body out of this cup, too. Overall the flavors were similar, but again, just a bit more balanced, the lemon acidity was toned down a touch and the body was better because of the immersion of the inverted press.
This is a really nice cup of coffee and definitely one that will appeal to fans of bright, light, clean coffees. Brewed wrong it could definitely be mistaken as “sour,” so you need to be careful to extract well and use water that is plenty hot! If you have a Mr. Coffee to run this through, I wouldn’t think the results would be too positive! If Nordskogen can make a Colombian sing this way I’m excited to see what the two African coffees Matt sent me are going to taste like. #fueltheyeti, indeed!