It’s no secret that Seattle is the place for coffee enthusiasts. So when I learned about Lighthouse coffee, a seattle-based roastery that has been in action for about thirty years, I had to give them a try! Lighthouse Roasters prides itself on its dialed-in approach to roasting coffee and they use a vintage cast iron to do it all! This classic coffee seemed like the perfect pairing with our on-the-go brewing methods. In this case, the Nanopresso and Cuppamoka!
James, my trusty coffee-tasting assistant, joined me for this special event. We decided to start with the espresso blend and the Nanopresso.
House Espresso Blend
We started by smelling the beans. I guessed at notes of chocolate, something sweet, and an overall “round” smell. There seemed to be an intensity to the beans but also a bright undertone. James said he noted a dark and sweet smell, as well as a definite smell of dark chocolate.
We ground the beans and carefully placed them in the Nanopresso. We were delighted to see the fresh crema grace the top of the espresso.
James straight away commented that the espresso had a strong body, a cocoa or chocolate flavor, and perhaps some spices. I agreed with him but there was something I couldn’t quite place! There was a certain sweetness and chocolate, it was bold but also bright. As we continued to take guesses, it was hard to stop drinking each sip of the espresso. Suddenly it was gone!
We were so curious to find out how Lighthouse would describe this unique roast. Lighthouse describes that this espresso blend is heavy bodied and has notes of port wine and molasses, with lots of dark chocolate in the finish. They also say that while this is of course an exceptional roast for espresso, it is also versatile and can be used for any other coffee making method.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Idido Ajere
Now that we were all hopped up on espresso it was time for coffee! We passed the bag between the two of us, taking guesses as we smelled the beans.
“Oh this is interesting!” I said, taking my time inhaling the coffee.
“Let me see what’s going on here,” James said, taking his own turn.
I guessed that there were notes of toasted nuts, milk chocolate, and spices. James alerted me to a brighter smell, though he couldn’t quite place what it was. I was so curious to see what the taste test would reveal.
We used the Cuppamoka to brew our lighthouse coffee. This pour over method can often reveal the complex notes of the coffee and it’s wildly easy to make a personal cup, which we would share in this case for the tasting. We got a new electric kettle over the summer and it’s been great to use the pour over setting to get the temperature just right! We ground the beans and slid the grounds into the Cuppamoka filter while the water was heating up. Once the water was ready, I poured it over the filter and watched the coffee bloom - my favorite part of the coffee making experience. I let James taste the brew first.
“Ah,” he said, “This reminds me of the drink that my family had on Christmas. We would make espresso and put lemon in it.”
I took a sip and could certainly taste bright citrus notes, although the coffee still held a strong body. We agreed this is a perfect holiday coffee to share with friends and family!
I love the way that Lighthouse describes this coffee. They say, “The cup is complex and elegant, offering lively citrus tones, complex tropical fruit and notes of Jasmine and honeysuckle in the finish.” They also say it has notes of lavender and orange zest. Definitely a must try!