Review #38: Birch Coffee

June 11, 2018


Name of Roaster: Birch Coffee

Location of Roaster (City, State, Country): New York, NY

Name of Roast: Birch Blend

Type of Roast (Light, Medium, Dark): Medium

Origin of Beans: Central America, South America, Indonesia, East Africa 

Price: $14.00 (12 oz)

Brewing Method (Drip, Chemex, AeroPress, etc.): Chemex

Time Between Purchase and Brewing (Ballpark is fine): Twenty Days

Aroma: Cutting open the bag, the scents of rich chocolate brownie with crisply baked edges, a slight raspberry jam, and a touch of black peppercorn were there to greet us. The grind revealed a light Mexican chocolate floating above thick molasses. The pour, meanwhile, showed caramelizing cane sugar alongside white processed sugar.  

Flavor Profile: The coffee had a mid-palate entry that shot across the tongue quickly from front to back. Dark chocolate-forward with a bittersweet finish that continues with dark chocolate aromatics. Acidity is found on the sides, lightening the dark chocolate flavors somewhat, but the consistent note of sharp dark chocolate pervades throughout. A faint hint of orange peel is detected on the back end, but the flavor quickly dissipates into the flat dark chocolate note.

Overall Impression (What did you think of it? Anything else we should know?): This is a no-frills cup meant for the masses, to be mixed with milk, had with a doughnut on your way to work, or given to a relative that loves their Starbucks but wanted to try a local label. The coffee does what it sets out to do, which is provide an inoffensive cup that is eminently relatable for anyone who requires a "bold" coffee to start their day. However, it is also a coffee that, if not paired with a bakery item, will likely be mixed with sugar or milk to liven it up. Notably, this is Birch's entry offering, and not one of their single origins. We were referred to this coffee by a barista at Birch's Murray Hill location in Manhattan, who stated that the coffee was Birch's "most popular." As noted above, we can see why it's a big seller, but our rating reflects our evaluation of the quality of the cup. If you're looking for more dynamic flavors, although we have not tried them, we assume Birch's single origin coffees are what you should seek.

Final Score (1-10, with 10 being the best cup of coffee in your life): 6.6

Where to Buy: Birch Coffee

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