Catherine Franks, the founder of Steampunk Coffee, recently wrote a blog post about complex and mellow espressos and coffees. The premise was at Steampunk they offer two espresso options and Cath took some time to explain what you could expect by choosing each option and why Steampunk offers two options. Essentially, one coffee on offer is more complex than the other. The coffee that is less complex—mellow—is one that pairs well with milk.
I was about to write a blog post on the coffees I have been drinking recently and I noticed that two of the coffees I have had in the last few weeks were produced in Brazil. I was conscious of this when I bought each coffee because I have been seeking some less complex coffees. By "less complex" I do not mean to imply that the coffees are basic, rather that I do not need to think as much to identify the flavour notes in the coffee.
I really enjoy the flavour notes such as "chocolate" which are commonly associated with Brazilian coffees. I have not had a Brazilian coffee that has blown my socks off like, say, an Ethiopian, but I have had a few good Brazilian coffees that felt just right in the moment. The coffee I am drinking at the moment, a Brazilian from Obadiah Coffee, makes me feel comfortable. I can taste the chocolate and hints of fruit and, at the moment, that's all I am seeking.
I enjoy trying new flavour notes because I am actively trying to expand my palate. If I do not try new coffees, it will take me longer to learn more about the sort of flavours I can expect in coffee. Floral tasting notes changed what I thought about coffee, back when I had never tasted a floral coffee before. Still to this day I struggle to describe florality in any detail but I can now identify that tasting note. As a result, I know another sort of coffee I can go to and enjoy.
I initially chose some Brazilian coffees to brew on espresso at home (from which I have taken a break for reasons outlined in my last post on espresso) and I found that they are definitely worth buying for filter brewing at home. I was surprised by the recent coffee I had in that, as far as I remember from my last few cups, there have been few nutty notes, which is interesting because a lot of Brazilian coffees I have had are nutty. I got a hint of raspberry. Indeed, generalisations about Brazilian coffee and coffees less renowned for diverse flavours are not the rule for every coffee. There is a lot of delicious coffee out there to discover.
I have a coffee sourced from Myanmar on the way, which is my first coffee from the region. I do still like to explore coffee but I have enjoyed my time just drinking more simple Brazilians (and having an Ethiopian decaf for iced coffee). Let me leave with a question: when was the last time you sought out a simple coffee? I'd recommend trying something like a chocolatey Brazilian if you have not in a while, if only to remind yourself that a coffee does not need to have lots of fruity or floral tasting notes to be delicious.