One of the cool things, for me, about coffee is the story, whether it’s about where the coffee was grown or who’s roasting it, there are always interesting stories there, if you know where to look. It took me a while, but I found it for today’s coffee roaster, Rosalind Coffee Company out of New York City and Dallas (right? There has to be a story there and I aimed to find it!). I’m also looking at Rosalind’s Jade Espresso blend, so let’s find out more about Rosalind and drink some coffee!
ROSALIND COFFEE COMPANY JADE ESPRESSO
Rosalind sent me a couple of their coffees earlier in the year, but before they were open for business and they had nothing on their website or Facebook, so I didn’t know who I was working with, readers couldn’t buy their coffee yet, and I was confused, to say the least! LOL I already review enough coffees that have just sold out by the time the review posts, so I couldn’t do that to you poor folks again! Now that we can put a face to Rosalind and tell their story (and buy their coffee), it’s time to feature this company that has been all over social media for the last few months.
Rosalind’s story centers around Dee Traylor, aka Walt Deezy (a play on Walt Disney and a former nickname, Easy Deezy, not to mention that Dee sometimes refers to himself as the Kanye of coffee!). Dee’s story begins in Oak Cliff, Texas, part of the Dallas metro area. After losing his mother and grandmother, the namesake of Rosalind Coffee Company, in the same year, Dee was adopted. Dee eventually got a job at Starbucks, where he fell in love with guest relationships and the service side of coffee. He later attended Texas Coffee School and knew owning his own shop was his longer term goal. With this in mind, he helped other brands establish cafes and got deep into the business side of coffee, as well. This eventually led Dee to New York City, where he established the Rosalind Coffee Roasters brand. While there, Dee scored some high-profile wholesale accounts, notably Major League Baseball, but he turned his sights back on Dallas.
Dee acquired Garland’s (another part of the Dallas metro area) Generator Coffee House and Bakery, which had been open since 2010, in late 2016 or early 2017. 1 Generator was known in the community for good coffee and serving food options from bacon and egg breakfasts to sashimi. Dee hopes to open up two locations in New York by the end of the year as well as another cafe in the Dallas area, a training lab and a roasting incubator where Dallas-area coffee roasters can rent time on shared equipment. Portland, OR has two such spaces that I know of and it has worked out pretty well for them!
I’m not sure if Walt Deezy is roasting his own coffee at this time or if he is having another roaster roast for Rosalind on contract, which is pretty commonly done, too. Either way, one of the coffees Rosalind Coffee Roasters sent me is their Jade Espresso, so I dove in and got dialed in this morning. Walt Deezy has this to say about his Jade blend: “Jade the stone is rare, smooth, and mystic. Jade the human is beautiful, sweet, and bold. Jade the espresso is all of the above.” And he gives us some tasting notes of, “Brown sugar, candied orange, vanilla bean.” But, that’s about it, other than the fact that it is a blend of washed and natural coffees. I can sometimes pick out components of espresso blends but this one was tough for me. I wonder if the natural component may be American and not African (usually it’s an Ethiopian to give that berry jam note everyone loves) because I didn’t get the berry-ness I usually catch when it’s an Ethiopian component. In any case…
After a few dial-in shots I pulled a 41g shot in about 27 seconds using 40g of coffee in the portafilter. This is a little fast but it made a nice cup that I was very happy with, so why mess with a good thing? In my initial sips I got some perfumed notes (not quite floral, more perfume… concentrated and a little more synthetic than “floral” but not weird or gross or anything like that!). The coffee had good body and a decent crema. This is a bright, “third wave” style shot and coffee, for me, featuring lots of lime acidity, lots of nuttiness and some cherry juice notes, too. This espresso has a lingering aftertaste and the finish and aftertaste is where I got a lot of vanilla and a bit of dark chocolate character.
Just because I always like to do it, I’m calling this one Colombian for the washed base and, even though I said I didn’t taste Ethiopian in the fruit component, a dry process Ethiopian coffee. It could be a small addition and that’s just such a common “trick” of blenders, that’s what I’m predicting. I sent a message to Rosalind to see if they’ll let me in on the blend and if they’re OK with me sharing, I will, but if not, it will be my secret whether I was right or not! LOL
This is pretty good espresso. It’s bright and snappy but also sweet and clean. I have no milk around (very little dairy these days), so I can’t try it as a milk-based espresso drink, but I’ll bet it plays really nice, especially in smaller drinks like cortado and macchiato. Now I wish I had some milk because I could use one of each right now!