Brian Beyke

AJ Coffee Co. - Brazil Fazenda Lagoa - Mistobox - May 2014

Brian Beyke

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The story of Jason Haeger, the man behind AJ Coffee Company, strikes a lot of familiarity.  He is a coffee blogger and former home roaster who started his own coffee company (hey, I’m working on it) who has a passion to bring quality coffee and coffee practices to those who will enjoy it.  Granted, my love of coffee has only been within the past few years, his love of coffee started when he was 8 years old.  His motive is to get this passion of coffee oozing from more baristas, in more retailers, so that more people can understand and appreciate how ridiculously good coffee can not only improve the quality of their own experience, but how it can also change the world.  Specialty coffee achieves this by increasing the quality of life for those who grow it and by increasing the awareness of social and environmental issues that tie us all together.  There is more to be read about the history of Jason and AJ Coffee Co., but for now let’s dive into their Brazil Fazenda Lagoa.

Each year, the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association develops a unique coffee offering from its member farmers.  Although they typically blend coffees from different farms together, this year the coffee is a blend of full natural and pulped naturally processed coffees harvested from the same farm, Fazenda Lagoa.

Details:

Roaster: AJ Coffee Co. 

Origin: Brazil, Sul de Minas, Minas Gerais

Farm: Fazena Lagoa

Process: Full natural & pulped natural

Varieties: Acaia / Catuai / Mundo Novo / Yellow Bourbon / Yellow Icatu

Elevation: 950 - 1,200m

 

Brew Method:

Woodneck | 29g © to 480g (w) | 4:30 total time | 198 degrees | 1.26 TDS | 19.35% Ext. 

Medium to full bodied, low acidity.  Cherry-like sweetness meets semisweet chocolate pieces, but mostly swimming in a nutty and slightly syrupy body.  Pretty balanced, maybe a little heavy on the nuttiness.  Sweet yet smokey taste, but not roasty.

The more it cools the more integrated the flavors get.  The chocolate notes seem to be highlighted a lot more, and also showing more of a milk chocolate sweetness to what was previously detected.  The nutty notes tone down slightly and it becomes and even more balanced and easy cup to drink, especially with the introduction of caramel sweetness that arrives in the finish. 

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Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 2:10 total time | 197 degrees | 1.25 TDS | 18.76% Ext.

Perfectly balanced. Sweet, soft, chocolate notes.  Slightly smokey and caramel.

Paired with Mast Brothers Brooklyn Blend it tastes straight up like grape juice. 

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Brew Method:

Gino Dripper | 34g © to 552g (w) | 3:45 total time | 198 degrees | 1.30 TDS | 19.53% Ext.

Medium to full bodied.  Definitely carries some smokey qualities too it but at the same time carries chocolate notes and some sweetness underlying.

Then I ate a bit of this Mast Brothers chocolate.  Winey, plum, really nice.

The coffee transforms immediately.  Think dessert wine, the wine and plum notes aiding in providing the cup with lively raspberries and grape juice flavors, ending with a dry hung tobacco finish.  Quite a drastic change, and one for the better, for my palate at least.

Once the traces of chocolate dissipate you are back to slightly smokey with raisin, cocoa, and peanuts and a caramel sweetness ending to the cup.

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This is a perfect compliment for an evening coffee with chocolate cake or anything chocolate and fruit related.  I don’t often get to work with pairings, but when I get in a Papua New Guinea or Brazil I usually find they work really well.  They have lower acidity than a lot of coffees, and a heavy cocoa/nutty presence that when met with a lot of dessert options (preferably including chocolate) allow some of those more mid and high notes to penetrate more than they would normally.  This was another one of those instances.  On its own the cup was a little too two-dimensional for me, but should be noted that the cup is approachable for a lot of coffee drinkers.  Once I added the chocolate it became a lot more three-dimensional, and not just for its fruit and winey characteristics but for it’s more champagney and lively top end that was a really attractive quality added.  

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.