Today I’m brewing something special, but it’s not just one thing - it’s four. Four unique coffees from one growing Canadian roaster. Nestled in the Elk Valley of beautiful British Columbia, Rooftop Coffee Roasters is carving a path for themselves in the Canadian coffee industry. Excited and inspired by the spectrum of flavours that coffee has to offer, the folks at Rooftop are roasting carefully curated single origin coffees in a way that accentuates all that each coffee has to offer.
Rooftop reached out to me and asked if they could send some coffees out to try. I was on the road when they got delivered, but I came home to box full of four unique coffees and a nice handwritten note. “These are some of our favourites right now!” the note said, and I would quickly learn why.
Here’s what was in the box!
A washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from the Kochere washing station was the first coffee I opened it it’s everything that I love about washed Ethiopians. The body and bitterness of this cup was so similar to the jasmine green tea you love to have at your favourite Thai restaurant, but it was balanced perfectly by the sweetness of something like a candied lemon.
The next was another washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from a similar region but with a much different flavour profile. This coffee had a bigger body and a bolder mouthfeel, but all the sweetness you still love and expect from Ethiopia. A cherry flavour was really prominent here for me, and I kind of have a love/hate relationship with that. I love fresh cherries, but I hate artificial cherry flavour (think Cherry Coke or sour cherry candy) so this coffee wasn’t my favourite. That’s my personal preference though, and my wife really enjoyed this one!
The next two coffees come from across the lake from their Ethiopian big brother, grown and harvested in the central African nation of Burundi. A lot of really great coffees have come out of Burundi in the last few months, and they’ve even been some of my favourite of the year! These two are no exception.
Standing these two coffees up next to each other was a lot of fun, because although they come from the same Kayanza province they don’t share that much in common. The first is a washed coffee that was almost reminiscent of an Ethiopian origin. The body was tea-like, but not the familiar jasmine tea that I’ve come to expect from certain washed Africans. This tea was a black tea, similar to what your grandma would drink with her dessert after a good family meal. A hint of stonefruit sweetness gets balanced out by a bitterness equal to dark chocolate to round out a really easy drinking coffee.
Its naturally processed counterpart was an experience all unto itself. Sometimes the fermentation that occurs in the natural process can overpower the nuance of the bean itself, but that wasn’t the case with this coffee. Although this bag was evidently a natural, each cup burst with distinct flavours of multiple fruit that make you feel like summertime. Imagine the sugary mouthfeel of fresh strawberry jam and the lingering sweetness of a Blue Raspberry Jolly Rancher - are you imagining it? It might be hard to believe that coffee could taste like that, so you’re going to have to trust me on this one (or buy a bag for yourself!). Whether I brewed it hot or iced, I couldn’t help but look forward to the next time I got to open this bag!
The recipe I used to dial in all four of these coffees was the same, and it favoured each coffee in a similar way. For lighter bodied coffees I’d stick with the 205º water, but you could dial that back a few degrees for the bigger bodied ones ie. a natural Burundi.
‣ 60g bloom, agitate with gentle swirl
‣ At 0:40, 130g pour
‣ At 1:30, 130g pour
‣ Gently lift and tap brewer on server to settle the bed
‣ Swirl and serve
What are you brewing today? Let me know in the comments!