Sterling Coffee Roasters is yet another Portland, OR based coffeehouse/roaster that was new to me on my latest trip to the Rose City. My work hours have never jived in the past with Sterling’s, so I was happy to both visit one of their locations as well as get a few bags of their coffee to share with my dear readers! Today’s review is of their single origin Inza-Cauca coffee from Colombia. Buy it directly from Sterling for an über-reasonable $12.95!
I hit up about 6-7 coffee places on this Portland trip (read about the first day here) and I can easily say I liked the vibe at the “new” Sterling (417 NW 21st Avenue) best. The place is really tiny and tucked into a vibrant area in the Northwest. It has a small coffee bar with a handful of seats. They had a perfect Italian soundtrack going on the day I was there and what I loved is that the baristas knew everyone and all the people who were sitting and reading the paper or talking (I didn’t see a single laptop out…) all knew one another, too. And people talked to me right away, too, so it wasn’t like one of those locals-only joints where the record skips the second you walk through the door!
I had an espresso (their single origin Kochowa from Ethiopia, to be reviewed shortly) and it was served in their signature snifter glass with a side of sparkling water. The presentation is cool and the glass certainly works like an aroma gun, which I imagine is the point!
Anyway, today’s review is about Sterling’s Inza-Cauca. According to their website this appears to be the base of Sterling’s Blendo Stupendo (which I will also be reviewing shortly) and is roasted “medium.” They also suggest flavors of cantaloupe and cacao.
I tried this coffee as espresso (both in the shop as well as at home, but didn’t take notes on either for some reason. It was good as SO espresso, I just don’t remember the flavors, sorry!), AeroPress and in my Gino pourover. I got mostly the same flavors out of the AeroPress and Gino.
This is another fruity Colombian coffee. I have had a ton of Colombian coffees this year and they’ve been really nailing it. I found cocoa and molasses with a nice, sweet foundation carrying the lighter notes. As the cup cooled I did find the cantaloupe, or at least a distinct melon flavor of one type of another.
I also found that the sweetness of this coffee seemed to pick up as it cooled. The cooler cup was less dense in mouthfeel and also brightened up with some citrus acidity and floral notes.
I really enjoyed this coffee every way I had it and I will be curious to see if I can tell where it is when I start sampling the Blendo Stupendo. This was a nice SO Colombia coffee and it does well as dual-use, so give it a shot, for sure!