Today we had a chance to test someone else’s fancy coffee. It’s always nice to have that reference experience to compare what you are doing to that of a respected expert.

Nossa Familia‘s coffees are roasted by Rob Hoos, who wrote an influential book, “Modulating The Flavor Profile Of Coffee” which I found fascinating and I am sure will use as a reference for a long time to come. I asked Rob which coffee he thought was really good right now and he said, “If you like light/bright coffees you should check our Kenya“.

So I did!

Their tasting notes say, “Crisp, light-bodied and acidic with notes of sweet tomato, grapefruit, orange rind, and caramelized pineapple” – hmm, interesting. I brewed it up at work on our 10-cup Moccamaster. I used 70g of ground coffee and we agreed that I over extracted it a bit (possibly ground too fine – mental note, adjust grinder) which gave it a bit of added intensity.

Nonetheless, the coffee is as interesting as the tasting notes would suggest. The acidic nature allows the flavors to express itself in a way that is almost un-coffee like altogether. It’s a bit of a taste illusion. If you are thinking “coffee” and looking for coffee tastes, you can get that. If you just taste without expectation it can take you through a whole different range of tastes. It is a fun coffee and I look forwarding trying it over the next few days.

Update: 4/31: Second cup brewed a home on the 1-cup Moccamaster. 18g of coffee. Still an intense coffee but dialed back a bit with better extraction. This is a “wow” coffee and Christine and I enjoyed waking up to it. With the suggestion of the tasting notes I believe I can taste most of them, which for me is rare. That means they are highly articulated since I have a hard time picking out individual flavors usually compared to Christine.

Two more things make this a great coffee experience.

First is, and this might sound weird, but at this stage I would never make a coffee like this. What I am currently on a journey to make for you my friends, is a more classic cup with full coffee flavors, sugars, chocolates and maybe a bit of fruit. This Kenya is a whole different dimension and that is so cool that coffee can be so many different things and in this case done so well.

Second, the packaging. Beautiful design. Somehow simple but conveys a lot of information. How many coffees have you see that tell you the specific varietal? None, right? Altitude? Farm? Maybe they are out there but I don’t see it.

Anyway, I’ll update this post if I discover something new, but safe to say – great coffee. Check out Nossa Familia if you are in Portalnd.