Speckled Axe Early Riser

For January I am reviewing Speckled Axe Early Riser out of Portland, Maine. Speckled Axe wood roasts their beans which is an interesting twist. You can read more about it on their website.

There was no branding on the bag other than the icon they use for the variety on their website and “Early Riser” followed by the tasting notes. There wasn’t a way to reseal the bag, but this was not a huge issue. They mistakenly sent me a 2 lb. bag rather than the 12 oz. bag that was ordered, so my guess is that their 12 oz. packaging is designed differently.

Their website describes this coffee as:

This is our interpretation of a breakfast blend, and is a combination of light and medium roasted coffees from Africa and the Americas. Every one of the coffees we roast for Early Riser is delicious and interesting enough to stand on its own as a single origin coffee (and often, they can be found on our single origin menu). It’s got delightful floral aromatics and a bit of spunky acidity (to cut through bacon and pancakes), but has enough body and smooth character to drink all day long.

Below the variety reads, “A seasonal blend of organic coffees from the Americas and east Africa. Snappy and balanced. milk chocolate, dark fruits, florals”. Slightly different tasting notes, but not too different.

The beans varied in size. They were a chocolatey brown with a pronounced beige line down the center. They did not smell over-roasted, but had a nice, toasty smell. After grinding the scent stronger and sweeter with a definite peanut butter vibe.

Overall I would compare this to a really good diner type coffee. It was definitely something you could drink all day or pair with a meal.

I feel like the best brewing result for this coffee was as an Americano, but the Chemex had a very similar taste. Both had a slight bitterness at your throat with a smooth mouth feel. It paired great with chocolate. With the Chemex you got more of the dark fruit notes-similar to prunes and figs I felt. The bloom on the Chemex was kind of different, it rose all over, then sunk in the middle in a cone shape. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

The French Press bloom had very little sink after brewing. It had a sweeter smell than the Chemex, but the actual coffee was more sour. Sour, but not unenjoyable. Adding cream did not cut the sourness either.

They sent a larger bag of coffee, but the price should have been $14.00 plus $4.00 shipping for a 12 oz. bag. That brings the price per ounce to $1.50. While I did enjoy this coffee, I don’t think it’s worth that price.

Have you tried any coffees that had unusual roasting processes? I’d love to hear about them!

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