Roast Review: Tinker Coffee
Oct 12, 2023Daniel Kennedy

Roast Review: Tinker Coffee

They say don’t judge a book by its cover but I admit that the imaginative Tinker Coffee homepage is what motivated me to reach out to them for this roast review.

“Each coffee has a story,” states the homepage, and Tinker is motivated to share that story. I learned that, in addition to providing deliciously fresh roasted coffee, Tinker also makes an effort to provide educational experiences accessible to all. In their words, “Amazing coffee should be available and accessible, not pretentious and intimidating.” I appreciate the way that they organize their online shop for customers into 4 categories: Adventurous, Accessible, Blends, Single Origins. For the new coffee drinker, this offers decision making assistance where there can often be overwhelm. 

For those living in, visiting, or passing through Indianapolis, be sure to stop by one of Tinker’s physical locations. They have various cafes around the city, including at the airport and a downtown cafe that opened earlier this year!

Without further ado, let’s jump into the coffee tasting…

Modor Lot 1

First impressions

I admired the colorful coffee bag and then opened it up to get my first impression of the coffee beans. I inhaled a sweet smell and was pleasantly surprised.  

“Wow,” I said to my coffee tasting assistant James, “It’s so bright!” I imagined that there might be notes of berries, lemon, and peach.

James smelled the beans next and agreed with the fruity impression I sensed and added there was something floral about it. He said that the smell reminded him of the Paradise Valley roast from Treeline Coffee we tried last year

“I could smell that all day,” said James with a laugh.

Though we had resisted looking at the tasting notes before this review (as we always do), we knew that it made a beautiful pourover. So we set up the Cuppamoka, heated the water, ground the beans, and made a fresh brew. 

Tasting notes

I took the first sip and was struck by how smooth it was straight away. It held up this smoothness the whole way through while presenting a distinctive and unique flavor profile. It was lighter than I had expected. Instead of a “punch” of berry, it offered something that was airy, light, and sweet.

“Mmm, it tastes a bit like tea,” announced James, “and it’s not bitter at all! 

We agreed there was no bitterness whatsoever and that it offered bright fruit in the beginning, which faded on the backend into a floral tea-like experience. It paired wonderfully with our warm and rainy day.

The reveal

Tinker says that this single origin has notes of jasmine, guava, and grape. Delicious!

Santa Lucia

First impressions

Being careful to not look at the next coffee’s tasting notes, I unsealed the bag cautiously and smelled the freshly roasted beans. I was taken aback by the sweetness that was distinctly different from the Modor. It was sweet like honey and chocolate. There was an alluring nutty smell as well, which rounded out the aroma.

James was equally surprised about how different the initial impression was compared to the Modor. He said it was dark, earthy, rich, and had notes of toasted nuts.

We decided to use the Nanopresso for this roast. I brewed each of us a shot and we admired the beautiful color and crema before eagerly taking a sip.

Tasting notes

“Ah,” said James, “That’s really good!” He sensed notes of toasted nuts, creaminess, and chocolate.

I enjoyed the melody of flavors that were both sweet and grounding. There seemed to be a fruit (perhaps a stone fruit?), honey, and chocolate. I also agreed with James on the creamy nature of the espresso.

The reveal

Tinker says this coffee has notes of milk chocolate, caramel, and red apple. They also share the backstory to the Santa Lucia farm and producer Raul Rodriguez. Read on here! 

Oct 12, 2023 Daniel Kennedy