Monday mornings are perfect for easy drinking coffees and that’s exactly what we have here from Overwinter Coffee in Buffalo, NY. Let’s dig into The Easy Drinker!
OVERWINTER COFFEE THE EASY DRINKER
Overwinter Coffee got its start around Fall 2017, roasting coffee and doing pop ups all around Buffalo, NY. In that short time, they’ve also just announced that they will be opening a brick and mortar location in Buffalo’s Roosevelt Square area, formerly occupied by Just Fries (I like the sound of that place, too!). The short Buffalo Rising blurb makes it sound like this is a great location, so of course I wish nothing but the best for Overwinter in this venture. It’s always exciting to see people working toward their dreams in business! Now, let’s talk about some coffee…
I really enjoyed Overwinter’s The Lemon Drop, a washed Ethiopian from a microregion of Yirgacheffe. It certainly lived up to its name in spades, so I have high hopes for The Easy Drinker, too! This is a Yellow Bourbon from the Mogiana region of Brazil and it’s a pulped natural (aka honey process) coffee. This style of processing involves breaking the cherry skins and extracting the seeds (coffee beans) inside, but leaving some of the goopy mucilage (aka honey) intact. These sticky beans are then laid out on raised mesh beds to dry and they pull some sweetness, body and even fruitiness out of the mucilage as it ferments and breaks down. For my palate, pulped naturals/honey coffees pretty much resemble washed coffee. Overwinter gives us tasting notes of, “toffee and cocoa” and says this coffee works for coffee machines, pourovers and even espresso and that it plays well with milk or drunk black.
I’m using my standard pourover setup (with one exception) of a 1:16 ratio of 28g of Third Wave Water to 450g of coffee in a notNeutral Gino with Kalita Wave filter. I finally received my Knock Aergrind from the Kickstarter campaign and this is my first official use of that grinder for a review. I have mine set such that this brew took about 3:40 including a 30-second bloom. That’s pretty consistent with what I was doing with the Handground, but this Aergrind uses precision metal burrs and nicely machined bearings and has an edge up on the Handground when it comes to the consistency of the grind. And it’s FAST, too!
Anyway, I’m greeted with a medium to medium-heavy bodied cup of silky smooth coffee with obvious balance right out of the gate. In the front end of the sip I get a lot of nuttiness (no particular nut, but that dry, roasted nut character that Brazilian coffees are often known for) along with caramel sweetness that almost reminds me of a caramel-nut candy bar. In the middle of the sip I get a nice lemony acidity that brightens the cup up quite a bit but also adds great balance to the nutty, caramel tones. In the second half of the sip I get some chocolate/cocoa notes, too, but that caramel and nuts note really rules supreme here, too.
This is a nice, easy drinking cup of coffee, hence the name! Overwinter could’ve gone a lot darker with this roast and pulled out more of a classic “dark roast,” as is often the temptation with Brazilian beans, which tend to be less complex and, therefore, a more open canvas for the roaster’s abilities, but this coffee turned out great with this light roast. It’s “smooth” and easy to drink with a lot of balance, and I really enjoy the nutty profile and caramel sweetness in the cup. I don’t have a lot to write about The Easy Drinker but, like The Lemon Drop, it certainly lives up to its name and is a solid, delicious and familiar cup. I can’t ask for much more than that!