Brian Beyke

Madcap - Lake Effect Blend

Brian Beyke


Being the first coffee review I post, let me just go on record and say this:

I am by no means experienced in reviewing coffee (See a few of my favorites here and here).  Actually, I am still pretty new to the whole “coffee” realm.  However, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how to “taste” coffee, and pull flavors out of it.  I also tried almost 100 different coffees last year, a lot of them while trying to articulate what I was experiencing in the cup.  

This blog and the reviews are mainly for me - for me to write what I experience with the cup, and to have a history for me to revisit whenever I need.  Also, something I can refer friends to who may be interested in my take on a particular coffee.

With that, let’s dive into Madcap’s Lake Effect. 

From Madcap’s Site:

Lake Effect is the winter offering in the MADCAP series of seasonal blends. We use our exceptional single-origin coffees to create a mix of flavors that embody each season. Whether you’ve been hitting the slopes, scraping ice from your windshield, or trudging through the city slush, our Lake Effect blend is designed to warm you up during these chilly months. For this years blend, we pieced together 3 of our most wild and complex coffees avaialbale (all from Africa) to deliver an unforgetable flavor experience. Put on a sweater and cozy up with this coffee’s vibrance, complexity, and spice.


Tasting Notes: Vibrant, Deep, Complex, Juicy, Spice

Current Blend: 1/3 Yukro, Ethiopia; 1/3 Borana, Ethiopia, 1/3 Gatomboya, Kenya

Produced by: Yukro Cooperative, OCFCU and Barichu Cooperative

Variety: Heirloom, SL 28 and SL 34

Altitude: 1,750-2,300

Processing: Washed Coffee

I’ll go on record and say that I’ve had great experiences with Madcap coffees.  I have rarely received one that didn’t leave me impressed.  Lake Effect was no different.  This was one of those coffees that I had to force myself to make notes on this morning, because if I didn’t I would have downed the whole bag without having words to remember it by.  Don’t get me wrong, there is no problem with just sitting down and enjoying a great coffee - but I wanted to remember this one in words.

Brew Method:

Clever | 34g © to 493g (w) | 3:35 then drop | 200 degrees

Off the front I found citrus/tropical fruits in the aroma, and in the first few sips of the mug I was bouncing around a little grapefruit or orange.  There was a slight ting of acidity in the front of the mouth.  As I dig further I also get chocolate, berries (thinking blueberry), some melon (thinking cantaloupe) - maybe grape.  At time I feel like I’m having a glass of Merlot.

As the cup cools, the spice dissipates more and I even find some strawberry sweetness entering the cup, with chocolate remaining in the finish, but a lingering sweetness that survives past it.  

Having Yukro late last year, I feel like I can pull out a little of its progression in this blend, only wishing I had tried the other two as well.  

We are about 10 days from roast today, and this cup is the best the coffee has tasted.  Typically when I had brewed it was more spice forward, but today the spice sat in the middle of the cup, with a prominent sweetness taking over.

Overly juicy, very complex, and just an all around brilliant cup.

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.