Beans: Red Bourbon, Typica, Anaerobic, Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador.
Shop: Friedhats, FUKU and webshop, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Friedhats – El Salvador Miramar: Background information.
Friedhats is a micro roastery in the city of amsterdam, run by Lex Wenneker (runner-up 2018 WBC) and Dylan Sedgwick. In september 2018, Friedhats opened their own coffeeshop in Amsterdam: FUKU (fortune in Japanese, but I’m not sure if this was intentional haha). On the Friedhats website they state their philosophy about the coffee and the mission they pursue:
“We only want to sell coffee that tastes great, consistently and with transparency and honesty. We buy coffees directly from the producers and from trusted importers Europe-wide.Sustainability is a process for us not a buzz word without any substance. That means we are not perfect and we admit that, but we are always searching for better solutions to make our products have less impact on the environment and everything living in it. We want our packaging to be reused, refilled and at the very least recycled. We want our coffee to always taste great, no matter who makes it. But most of all, we want you to get as much enjoyment from its flavour as we do!”
The coffee in this review is the El Salvador ‘Miramar’. Now to be clear, there are two finca Miramar’s in El Salvador: Finca Miramar I is owned by Calixto Catota Lapa, and Finca Miramar II is owned by Jaime Ernesto Catota Moreno. The coffee that Friendhats sells comes from Miramar II and is grown by Jaime Catota and his son William at an altitude of 1650 meters above sea level. The finca is located at the slopes of the Santa Ana volcano in the Palo Campana area, overlooking the pacific ocean. The Volcano is the highest volcano in El Salvador and erupted only recently in 2005. The coffee has undergone a 120 hours anaerobic fermentation process after which the cherries were dried on raised beds for 3 to 4 weeks. The El Salvador consists out of the Red Bourbon and Typica varieties. Time to open the package!
Opening the Package.
As most of you know, Friedhats sells their coffee in plastic containers with beautiful art on the label. Instead of using packages that one will throw away in the trash bin, Friedhats hopes that their plastic containers will be re-used for different purposes. The emphasis lies un re-use or recycle because the containers are not bio-degradable. The plastic used is dark coloured so that sunlight will not penetrate the package and make the beans grow stale quickly. Their label is cartoony, fun to look at and colourful and, in this case, depicts palmtrees, fiery waves, forests, a shooting star and some more small doodles that give this package a ‘happy feeling’. On the El Salvador Miramar label you will find the roast style, roasting date, producer, variety, region, altitude, process and harvest. You will also see a short tasting note on the container. When opening the package you will find equally roasted beans and no defects at all, which is to be expected from Friedhats. The Beans taste crispy and fruity with a flavour of whole grain cookie before getting a little bitter and leaning towards black tea. The aroma that erupts from this container is that of fermented banana, cognac, marker (yes, the thick marker.), cocoa nibs and cherry liquor. It is time to brew!
I reviewed this coffee on my Rocket Giotto Evoluzione R while grinding with the Eureka Atom specialty 75 (position 4.7). For brewing I used both the normal as the naked portafilter. I started with 18 grams of coffee but ended up using 19.5 grams of coffee at 93 degrees, which brought out the flavours beautifully.
After brewing the espresso, take a sniff of the aroma and you will find whole grain cookies spices, dark chocolate, a hint of the fermentation process and spices. How different it is from when you take a sip.
When you take a sip, slurp some oxygen inside and swirl the coffee round in your mouth. The mouthfeel and the acidity should get your attention immediately: citric, fresh orange juice and even a bit of a brightness (tingly) on the tongue. This acidity and mouthfeel is accompanied by a salty and sweet flavour profile while the coffee is still hot. If you focus on the flavours you should get dark chocolate and cherry bonbon’s easily. There is a hint of orange zest/peel when the coffee is still hot but it is the chocolate bonbon that is pleasantly dominant. Now that is not all, I hear you think, and you are right. That fermented, super sweet flavour that tingles your palette? it is overripe banana! This flavour is just a gift out of heaven that keeps on getting stronger and stronger. Even in the aftertaste you will be able to clearly get that note. Together with the now grainy, thick mouthfeel and a hint of sweet cookies spices, it really gives a boost to this coffee. I am excited! (insert house of god sample).
This coffee shouldn’t be wasted on an espresso alone, do brew your cappuccino (or any other latte based drink) with it as well. The chocolate bonbon flavour is a solid and tasteful foundation to the frothed milk and the fruity banana note pushes through the milk flavour as well, especially in the aftertaste.
Friedhats – El Salvador Miramar: The verdict.
Friedhats made this review an easy one by roasting this coffee so well. The Miramar is great in every aspect (including the price) and holds some great flavours: bonbon chocolate, overripe banana (!!!), cookie spices and a beautiful fresh orange acidity. As a latte based drink it holds its own and I cannot think of any negative thing to say about this coffee. Well, there is one thing…they should insist that you buy this coffee as a filter roast as well haha.
But on a serious note: this coffee is great and the way all the tasting notes support and mingle is something you don’t get often for this price. Thank you for roasting this coffee Friedhats!
I have placed a link to the webpage of this coffee so it’s easier for you to buy this coffee (which I recommend). I do not get paid for this link and it’s just a courtesy towards you, the reader of this review.