Review by: Sheila Murray
Evan's Brothers Coffee was another recommendation from a friend and fellow coffee connoisseur. Evan's Brothers was started by (you guessed it!) two brothers back in 2009 and their commitment to community connection as well as showcasing invaluable coffee producers has stayed at the forefront of the mission. I was impressed to see how easy they've made it for their wholesale partners to recycle 5lb coffee bags, in an effort to be more sustainable and help partners be more sustainable too. Other than buying coffee for yourself online, Evan's Brothers has two cafes you can visit in Idaho (in Sandpoint and in CDA)!
In this article, I’ll be sharing three reviews of Evan's Brothers coffees, two coffee roasts and one espresso. What makes this company and their coffees extra special is that they pay attention to harvesting cycles worldwide, and align their coffee offerings respectively. They are constantly rotating coffees in and out! Therefore, by the time we went to publish this article, the two coffees had already been rotated out. You may still buy the espresso and I trust you’ll enjoy any of their currently available coffee offerings!
Costa Rica - Jonathan Camacho
I decided to take this coffee with me while visiting a few friends, as I thought it would be a fun way for us all to connect. My three taste testers were Emily, Hannah, and George.
I passed the bag of beans around to get their initial impressions simply from smell. Hannah took the bag first and said it seemed to have a “nutty” and “sweet” smell. Emily said that for her it was less sweet and more floral. George immediately said it reminded him of chocolate! I took my turn last and said there was something complex and light about it, perhaps flowers or almonds. None of them had smelled beans and guessed at coffee notes before so this was a fun experience for us to all try together and I highly recommend you try it with your friends!
I used the Cuppamoka to brew a couple of cups. Using any of the Wacaco products is always a fun party trick as people are often surprised by how compact the coffee makers are and the quality of the resulting brew.
Again, Hannah shared her experience first and noted that the coffee had a very sweet smell and sweet flavor. Emily took a sip and laughed, saying that this coffee tasted more boujie than her typical brew. She also said she noted some cacao and something citrusy or sour. George stuck to his guns on the chocolate guess. I said that the coffee had a very round mouthfeel and agreed with them on the coffee and light sour flavor.
Something else worth noting is that George had just returned from an overnight shift at the firehouse and brought us old fashioned donuts, which was a pleasant pairing with the coffee!
Not only will I share with you the tasting notes, but also the story because it’s so fascinating! This coffee comes from a producer who is a descendant of one of the first coffee growers in the West Valley of Costa Rica. He is a doctor and is usually very busy with the medical practice he runs but he continues to nurture the coffee business by partnering with a local mill. This coffee is made using a yellow honey-process, which means that the coffee cherries are depulped and then laid out on raised beds where they are rotated frequently and dried in the sun. The tasting notes of this coffee are chocolate, fig, amaretto, and perfume flowers! Hannah mentioned that she could see herself drinking this outside in the afternoon, while watching her dog play.
For the espresso and second coffee roast, I asked my husband James and friend Grant to be my tasting assistants. They excitedly obliged.
James opened the bag and smelled the beans.
“Interesting,” he said after a moment, “there’s some sort of toffee undercurrent and perhaps stonefruit!” He also remarked at how good it smelled and that there had to be some sort of caramel or toffee type flavor.
Grant laughed and said, “you got all that from just smelling?” Then Grant casually mentioned that he actually hasn’t been able to smell that well since getting COVID back in 2020. We were all curious how the tasting would go! Smelling the beans he said they seemed sweet and chocolatey but it was really hard to get much from smell. He spilled a few beans out onto the counter to see if that would change things.
In the meantime, I smelled the beans and agreed with James on toffee but also guessed there might be a hint of strawberry. Okay, tasting time! We took out the Picopresso and whipped up three espressos.
“Wow,” Grant reflected, “I’ve never seen anything like this Picopresso! It’s wild that you can manually make espresso and it makes me wonder about the history of espresso makers.”
James admired the beautiful crema atop his espresso and said he could smell something sweet and fruity. He took a sip and remarked on the balanced, soft flavor of the espresso. He noted that the caffeine was probably pretty sneaky and even though he felt like he could drink this espresso anytime during the day he would try to reserve it for morning and early afternoon.
Grant smelled his espresso and said he was leaning toward savory and sweet notes versus floral. He took a sip and said it tasted like a medium roast where it was dark but not like a “punch in the face” of caffeine. I commented on the fruity flavor that was still coming through but the boldness evened it out, so it wasn’t overly bright. James added that there could be a citrus zest.
“Whatever it is, it’s insanely good,” said James.
The Headwall espresso blend is a standard at the Evans Brothers coffee bar, due to its ability to please every palate. They say it has notes of brown sugar, hazelnut, and red berry. I asked Grant where he could imagine having this espresso again and he said he’d like to try it in the afternoon after a sweet dessert. Then he popped one of the whole beans in his mouth and convinced James and I to do the same. I was skeptical but we all agreed this would also be a fantastic bean to use for chocolate covered espresso beans!
Kenya Mutheka A
Grant smelled the beans first and commented that these beans were much more fragrant for him! He was amazed at how good the beans smelled on their own and noted hints of toffee, sugar, and chocolate cake. James agreed that this bag smelled sweeter than the last.
I smelled the beans and noted something bright and fruity balanced with deeper notes. There was certainly a brighter and more sugary smell to these beans.
We decided to pull out the Pipamoka for this brew and showed Grant how the vacuuming pressure process worked.
Since we had already enjoyed espresso, we decided to ration one cup of coffee between the three of us so we wouldn’t be overly caffeinated and unable to review!
James tasted it first and noted more of the “good kind” of acid in this coffee. Grant agreed but they both had trouble pinpointing exactly what the tasting notes were because it was so different from the last.
I tried my coffee and agreed there were complex flavors and a sweet fruit. James commented that it reminded him of rosehip or hibiscus tea, to which we all agreed. There seemed to be more buildup to the reveal of tasting notes, as we were so curious about how Evan's Brothers defined this one!
You guys will love this James said, after reading the bag on his own. He turned it around to reveal the notes of pomegranate, caramelized sugar and grapefruit. In their words, “This coffee has the classic intense flavor profile that Kenya's are known for with clean flavors and delightful aromas, berry undertones and a punch of acidity.” Honestly I was pretty impressed with our guesses on this one!