While in Phoenix, AZ for a half-marathon we stopped by Cartel Coffee Labs to grab some locally roasted coffee. After sampling a pair of Ethiopian coffees we ended up purchasing their Aricha, naturally processed Yirgacheffe. We sampled this at their downtown caffe brewed via V60. This coffee started bright when hot, but as it cooled down had huge fruity flavors. I got massive amounts of blueberry reminding me a lot of a Harrar I had from a roaster in DC a couple years ago.
Back home I’ve been grinding it on a Hario Skerton and brewing it via Aeropess. On my own I am not getting as much blueberry as I got at the source, but it’s still very fruity, more like muted strawberry or jam. It could just be that the water at my office isn’t hot enough, I’ve got the coffee water ratio for Aeropress off, or this coffee is just better brewed via another method.
I’ve also sampled this brewed on a friend’s espresso machine. Brewed as an espresso it had strawberry fruit flavor, but a bit of a thin body compared to another Yirgacheffe we sampled side by side. Of the two though I think the Aricha had more subtle flavors and at a cooler temperature or mixed with water was the better of the two (the comparison was Chromatic Kochere, also excellent).
Overall this was a tasty coffee and I’d like to have more of it. Sadly Cartel Coffee Labs is in Phoenix, AZ and I won’t be back there anytime soon. While they do have an airport location which I could end up visiting if on USAirways or Southwest, the airport location didn’t seem to have the same selection of coffees the actual retail stores had.