Isn’t it the best when you find people that love coffee just as much as you do? I met a couple at a friend’s wedding and somehow we got on the topic of our love for coffee, how we prepare coffee in our respective homes, where we source our beans, and the best coffee roasters we’ve discovered while traveling or exploring our own neighborhoods. It was so fun to learn about these new friends in this way and it was a bonus that introduced me to a new coffee roaster - Coffee Cycle.
Coffee Cycle was founded by Chris O’Brien, who saw a connection between the coffee community and biking community. What started out as a coffee bar built on a bike cart is now a coffee shop that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and provides monthly subscriptions as well as nationwide shipping. I was amazed to see that all coffees are made fresh to order, even the cold brew! I look forward to a future trip to Pacific Beach to experience the cafe myself, and for now I’m trying the beans at home!
I had two amazing assistants for this coffee tasting - James and Mariah. We admired the unique tin that housed the beans and passed it around to get our first impressions.
James smelled the beans first and remarked on the bright floral notes, as well as some citrus and maybe some allspice. I smelled a certain lightness but there were darker notes as well balancing it out.
“I get tobacco actually!” said Mariah, and also noted a fruit smell.
We heated up water and took out our trusty Pipamoka to vacuum brew our coffee.
We did a coffee cheers and then each took sips.
“Oh lovely,” James immediately said, “I’m getting some fruit at the beginning but marshmallow or vanilla at the end.” He continued to sip, considering. And remarked that it held richer flavors than he had guessed.
I could taste a hint of marshmallow, or was that just because he said it? It’s hard to tell sometimes! For me the body was rich and syrupy sweet. Mariah said that for her is was smooth and bitter… but the good kind of bitter, like actual bitters. I thought this was a fantastic way to describe it, as I am a fan of bitters.
In their words, “Brown sugar sweetness balances out a distinctly savory flavor profile, with hints of black pepper and herbs. A rich and satisfying cup that will appease drinkers of both medium and darker roasts, despite its more gentle medium roast profile.” I was impressed with Mariah’s description of tobacco, and it seems right in line with “black pepper and herbs,” we’ll have to invite her back for another tasting!
We decided to use the Puebla-Parlanalan as espresso and thought it was the perfect opportunity to try the Picopresso for the first time! We measured the beans with the Exagram and ground the beans with the Wacaco Exagrind, which filled our kitchen with the sweet and fresh smell of coffee. This process allowed us to be more precise and I was so curious how the final product would turn out. The first time you use the Picopresso it really feels like you are doing a science experiment, going step-by-step, and I knew it would make the final result all the better.
We agreed on the smells of chocolate, richness, and something dark and fruity. I was so curious how the expresso would turn out!
Wow. The quality of the espresso from the Picopresso was unbelievable. I felt like I was drinking at an espresso bar in Italy with how intense and flavorful it was!
I tasted chocolate, nuts, and some kind of dark fruit. For me it was full bodied but not bitter. I likened it to eating a warm chocolate bar.
James said it was nice and smooth with a little sweetness. He agreed that there was some sort of fruit as well, perhaps blueberry, but it was balanced by a bold chocolate flavor.
Coffee Cycle describes this coffee as having notes of dark chocolate, toffee, and raisin! We imagined how good it would be to sip this espresso before a dip in the ocean on a weekend!