La Roca — La Cabra

Moving from one Aarhus based roaster to the next. I did write of the Burundi from MokkaHouse. It’s acids and nice fruitiness.

This time I went to La Cabra in Aarhus. Even though a very local roaster, La Cabra is pretty well-known worldwide among baristas and coffee lovers. They are pretty famous for their very light roasts of beans from very small lots, handpicked from travels around the globe.

One of the more long-term roasts at La Cabra is La Rocha from Costa Rica.

They say it’s with notes of Mandarin, Vanilla, and Toffee — and I’m about to agree.

Compared to the Burundi from the other day, it’s a coffee with totally other notes. The Burundi is sharp and bitter-fruity while this coffee is a true smooth operator.

It’s also a coffee that is more expensive, and I’m pretty sure I can experience many of the same flavors by looking towards other coffees from South America. If you seek it, I read from the website, that you can get African type acids in this coffee, but with my pour-over brew, I didn’t experience that much.

After the rather acidy Burundi, I urged a smooth cup — still clean, with loads of complex flavors and with a full-blown body. I love both experiences, but one is more easily drinkable than the other — and guess what, the easy is the smooth cup (no surprise).

Brews

I do three brews, starting with Hario V60 pour-over. Then a run on Aeropress to see how that goes and finally it’s in the Syphon.

Up front, I’d expect this coffee to be perfect to pour-over, so let me start there.


Hario V60 Pour Over

Expecting this be my favorite, and the coffee to be nearly perfect for the purpose. Light roast, rich body and complex flavors of Toffee and Vanilla — must be best extracted via pour over.

Ingredients

  • 400 grams of water at 92-degree Celsius
  • 26 grams of medium/fine ground coffee
  • 40 grams of water for infusion / 40 seconds
  • Total brew-time: 3:00.
400 grams of finished brew.

Method

  1. Weigh up 26 grams of beans
  2. Put water to warmth — 92-degrees Celsius
  3. Apply filter and water it to remove paper tastes and heat the range server
  4. Add the coffee to the filter
  5. Add 40 grams of water (pour center out in circular movements) and let sit for 40 seconds.
  6. Add the last 360 grams of water slowly and with circular movements. Pour with approximately same speed as it runs through the filter to avoid too much water in the filter.
  7. When you reach 400 grams — relax and let the water run through the filter.
  8. Enjoy the rich, clean and smooth cup.
La Rocha cupped and ready for a taste.

Results

I seriously love this coffee — it’s so smooth as toffee almost as if there’s already added half and half.

Clear notes of toffee and vanilla. Some sweet fruit notes as well might be mandarin. If this coffee wasn’t so pricey I’d drink it every day.

Score: 8/10


The Aeropress

Expectations before the brew — is a less clean cup, but with more fruity flavours and acids coming through the filtering.

I have a strategy of doing a grind-level similar to the V60 and let it sit for extraction for an extra minute or so.

Ingredients

  • 200 grams of water at 96-degree Celsius
  • 15 grams of coffee grinded like for the V60 (medium/fine)
  • 40 grams of water for infusion for 40 seconds
  • Total brew time is 1 minute 40 seconds + the press itself

Method

  1. Heat water to 96-degree Celsius
  2. Measure your coffe and grind
  3. Add filter to filter-cap and wash with hot water
  4. Assemble the press (upside-down) and add the coffee
  5. Add 40 grams of water and let it infuse for 40 seconds (stir once if not all coffee is wet)
  6. Add the remaining water (till 200 grams) and let sit for 1 minute
  7. Stir 7 times and assemble the press
  8. Flip the assembled press and put it on your range server and press for 25 seconds until it hizzes
  9. Remove Aeropress and serve coffee
Aeropress — light brew in range server

Results

The coffee is rather light in the colors. If you want it darker, grind finer. If you grind finer, you’ll get more bitter-notes and oils, while less of the flowery fruitiness.

Tastes are loads of vanilla and mandarin, still a very smooth cup. It has loads of notes like “Baileys”. Adding air by “slurping” you’ll get a lot of the mandarin flowery notes as well.

Still a VERY nice cup, but i do prefer the V60 brew as it is more rich in the body of the brew.

I do, however, have difficulties putting my finger on what this brew does to me — I still like it a lot. It’s just a great coffee I guess.

Score: 7/10


Syphon brew

Before the brew, my expectations are an very clean cup — as that’s what the Syphon always gives me. I hope for very clear body with extensive vanilla tastes. I also guess there’s more clear acids than in the V60 — as the heat is higher in the boil.

Ingredients

  • 23 grams of medium/fine grind coffee
  • 300 grams of water

Method

  1. Heat 300 grams of water to 98-degree Celsius. I prefer the water not to have boiled as I have a feeling of a richer flavour in the coffee
  2. Measure 23 grams of coffee and grind to medium/fine level
  3. Pour hot water into the bottom of the Syphon and add heating source
  4. Apply top loosely and when the metal balls starts “plopping” apply top tighter
  5. Wait for all water to flow to the top and stir 7 times clock-wise
  6. Wait 1 minute exactly — remove the heating source and stir to times clock-wise
  7. When all the coffee is back in the bottom of the device — serve a delicious, clean and beautiful cup
La Rocha in the Syphon

Results

Pretty much as I expected. A silky-smooth cup with fantastic notes of toffee and vanilla. The lasting notes are fruity, sweet that last longer than and are more clear than in the V60 brew.

I am in love with the Syphon as well as the V60 as brew methods, however the Syphon is way less consistent. Playing around with brew-times on the Syphon easily extract different flavours, but as mentioned the price is consistency.

So with this coffee, as with others — the Syphon is a toy, while the V60 is a tool.

Score: 6/10

To sum-up

This coffee from LaCabra is among the very best I’ve played with. It’s so rich, and smooth at the same time. Don’t use it for milky coffees, don’t add things to the coffee, it’s a shame to do so. Everybody will love this coffee, especially in the V60 brew described here. You can buy the coffee on their website, and even though it’s kinda pricey, it’s worth it for those special occasions or when you just want to treat yourself a bit better.

In general LaCabra is very good coffee worth buying — but also very expressive coffees, same goes for this La Rocha from Costa Rica. It’s very special as it’s not a typical Costa Rica coffee, and sort of have the best of two worlds (Costa Rican mountains and African coffees).

Try it out — and happy brewing everyone.

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