Ethiopian Coffee Review – Recess Coffee – Syracuse, New York

8.8 Weighted Score Out of 10
The Buzz
  • Very complex flavors, different notes with each sip
  • No bitterness
  • Great aroma
  • The Dregs
  • Slightly expensive - but worth it!
  • My Thoughts...
    This Ethiopian coffee is very balanced, it has no sharp acidic or bitter taste and doesn't leave a heavy feeling in your mouth. As the coffee cools the flavor notes change from fruity to chocolate. The aftertaste leaves you wanting more without a bitter flavor from the first sip to last. Love the fact that Recess Coffee sells in full one-pound bags!
    Ease of Use

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    My first sip of this Ethiopian coffee came during a cupping class that Recess Coffee put on one evening.

    I started to like this Ethiopian coffee when I first smelled the aroma and took that first sip. I fell in love after the third or fourth spoon full! The complexity of this coffee is very diverse and as the coffee cools the changes in flavor is amazing.

    Never have I tasted any bitterness, and the aftertaste leaves you wanting more.

    Below is a photo from the cupping class.

    Ethiopian Coffee Review

    The coffee is roasted to a cinnamon color. Recess Coffee (Recess) labels the roasting level as two out of five on their roasting scale.

    The beans are dense and very hard when grinding.

    The roasted beans have a pleasantly sweet and fruity aroma and when ground the fruity brightness becomes even more apparent. The smell is so good that you have to take one more deep whiff before placing the ground coffee into the filter.

    My first brewed cup was from a Hario V60 at a 16:1 ratio and the beans ground with a Porlex JP-30 grinder at the 5th setting.

    The cup was clean, balanced, and the mouthfeel wasn’t too thick. I noticed citrus notes during the first few sips, and the acidity didn’t leave my mouth feeling dry. In fact, the aftertaste left me wanting another sip. There was no bitterness at all in the cup, and I could tell even after the first sip that this was going to be a complex coffee, even with my under extraction.

    As I mentioned, each sip seemed to have different flavor notes. By the time the coffee cooled, the notes tasted slightly of chocolate.

    The coffee was very enjoyable from the first sip to the bottom of the cup!

    Correct Ratios and Settings

    Hario V60

    The first brew ratio and grind size hit the nail on the head. I used a 16:1 ratio and the Porlex grinder setting of 5 was perfect, the pour over finished around the 3:45 mark after a 25- to 30-second bloom.

    The brew wasn’t overly rich, more clean and smooth.

    If you like a richer cup of coffee, I recommend using the French Press with this Ethiopian coffee from Recess Coffee.

    French Press

    I use an electric grinder for my coarse grinds as the handheld models have too much wobble at the coarser settings in my opinion. I use the third from last setting.

    Again, I recommend a 16:1 ratio and let the coffee steep for 4-minutes.

    I thought I might get a little bit of bitterness from this Ethiopian coffee brewed in a French Press. That wasn’t the case.

    As you might expect, the coffee brewed in the French Press had a heavier mouthfeel and richness. The fruity tones were more muted with coffee brewed in French Press, but the later chocolate notes were more distinct. Again, even with the richer flavor, there was no bitterness, not even at the end of the pot.

    I make a liter of coffee when using a French Press, and I don’t leave the coffee in the pot. Rather, I pour it into a pre-warmed thermos to stop the coffee from getting over extracted in the press while I drink the first cup.

    I highly recommend using the French Press with this Ethiopian coffee.

    Bean & Roasting Info

    Roast Level: City (2nd out of 5 according to Recess Coffee Roasting level.
    Producers: Unknown
    Country of Origin: Ethiopia
    Region: Unknown
    Variety: Unknown
    Processing method: Washed
    Growing altitude: Unknown
    Roaster tasting notes: Aroma: Sweet Cream and Vanilla. Notes: Stone fruit and floral finish

    Recess coffee ethiopian beans

    Summary of the Ethiopian Coffee Review from Recess Coffee

    This coffee was easy to dial in with my brewing default parameters. The same ratio worked for both the pour over and the French Press. I didn’t brew this coffee with an auto-drip.

    You will not be disappointed with these Ethiopian beans roasted by Recess Coffee.

    I like the fact that Recess Coffee sells their retail coffee in one-pound bags. Remember this when you see the prices of Recess Coffee beans. These aren’t the smaller 8- or 12-ounce bags.

    The coffee has fruity notes that change as the cup cools. At the bottom of the cup, I noticed chocolate notes. I didn’t notice the stone fruit notes that Recess lists on their website for this Ethiopian coffee. The fruity notes were more citrus to me.

    However, the aroma of the beans is very sweet, similar to vanilla and sweet cream notes that Recess mentions.

    Recess’s Ethiopian coffee is excellent, and I highly recommend it. Especially if you like coffee, that doesn’t have bitter notes. The aftertaste will get you back into the kitchen to pour another cup!

    You can visit Recess Coffee by clicking the button below.

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    The Coffee Pragmatist

    No-nonsense advice on artisan and speciality coffee. From bean to cup, though I prefer mugs. Get how-to advice, reviews, recommendations, interviews and discounts on coffee beans from roasters around the country. 

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