So very PNW of us….

A few months ago, a friend and I were discussing the possibility of my doing some editing work for her.  But, she admitted, she couldn’t afford my rates.

“Well,” I said, lifting my drink, “I do work for coffee…”

My friend roasts her own beans.  And a few days ago, she delivered a canister of freshly-roasted goodness, chosen with my specific palate in mind.

Seriously, bartering for coffee beans.  How very Seattle of us.

This morning, I finished the last of my old supply, and opened the canister.  As warned, the aroma of the beans was surprisingly sharp, almost acrid, and slightly winey. Once ground, the aroma softened, and once brewed, they’d mellowed into cocoa dust and spices.  Mmmm.

It usually takes me 3-4 tries with the French press to figure out how much water and how long new beans need to sit, but the first taste of this cup, black, was “huh, a little thin.”  But it was also very hot, so I waited.  Then I added about half of my usual sugar, and tasted again.  This time, the flavors came through nicely: more of that cocoa dust, maybe a little cinnamon and allspice?  And a nice tang of bitterness brought forward by the sweetener, with a pleasingly smooth finish.  It’s still not quite the mouthfeel I look for, but that may just need another minute of brewing.  But it did the magic trick of waking up both brain cells and taste buds, while making me hum contentedly, so I’m calling that a fair trade well made.


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