Review #78: Small Planes Coffee

April 1, 2019

 

Name of Roaster: Small Planes Coffee

 

Location of Roaster (City, State, Country): Washington, DC

 

Name of Roast: Mormora Estate

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

Origin of Beans: Guji, Ethiopia

Price: $17 (in-store at Peregrine Espresso) / $18 (online) (12 oz.)

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

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

Aroma: Tearing open the bag, we noted rich chocolate cake, ganache, and chocolate brownie batter; dense, but lively. The grind caused baking spices to show underneath the aforementioned scents, along with a touch of berry, although the chocolate cake scent began to fade. The pour offered raw cane sugar, wet stone, and a touch of dark brown sugar.

 

Flavor Profile: This coffee had a light, delicate entry mid-to-high on the palate. Ethereal, it floated on the front half of the tongue, simultaneously coating the roof and tongue before moving to the back of the mouth on the finish. Rich and creamy without being viscous. Flavor is dominated by dark chocolate, followed to a lesser extent by a cream sensation and subdued notes of mixed berry compote - we found more strawberry and blackberry than blueberry - along with black peppercorn. The sides of the tongue pick up orange, while the tip of the tongue catches lime. The flavors meld quickly, with dark chocolate and blueberry aromatics on the slightly dry finish.


Overall Impression (What did you think of it? Anything else we should know?): This was a soft, clean, pleasurable cup, albeit slightly more muted than we expected. Of note, the coffee develops a heavier body as it cools, with the chocolate note rounding out and becoming even more pronounced, although the finish remains clean. After our initial tasting, we paired this coffee with raspberry jam on toast, dark chocolate, and granola (in that order), and it showed well with each. The dark chocolate, however, bolstered the chocolate flavor found in the coffee. As noted in our price listing, we picked this up in Peregrine Espresso, a coffee shop in Washington, DC, that is the sister company of Small Planes. The $17 price tag is a tad misleading, as they throw in a single origin drip coffee ($3) with your bag purchase, rendering the coffees on offer at Peregrine quite a steal. 

Final Score (1-10, with 10 being the best cup of coffee in your life): 7.8.

Where to Buy: Small Planes Coffee

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