When I was a child, the morning cup of Joe was more than just a quick caffeine fix to start the day. It was a ritual. My father, serious about how to brew coffee, and my mother, a self-proclaimed coffee snob, threw medical caution to the wind and encouraged sips of the morning cup. Years later, and my height stunted at 5’8″, I too am a connoisseur of coffee. A French press and AeroPress have replaced the standard drip coffee maker on the counter, and the sound and smell of certified organic, fair trade beans running through the grinder is the best part of waking up. So when I learned that local Bird Rock Coffee Roasters was awarded 2012 Roaster of the Year (micro) by Roast Magazine, I took the first opportunity to sample their wares.

At first glance Bird Rock is like any other coffee shop, with a handful of java junkies pecking at their laptops or reading, but these are true coffee lovers, forgoing the cheaper Starbucks across the street for a cup that is far superior and made with beans roasted expertly in house. The ways to enjoy their roast are many the espresso drinks are outstanding, but I’m particularly enamored with their pour-over coffee. Pour-over coffee is a very precise, scientific way to brew, taking into account exact water temperature, weight, and grind of the bean, and Bird Rock offers both Chemex and Hario options for brewing.

Chemex glass handle coffee makers, Hario V60 ceramic coffee drippers

They feature three different beans from which to choose for pour-over, and the most expensive, Finca El Injerto, catches my eye. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is one of just a handful of North American roasters to have landed some of this rare, special coffee from the lauded, Guatemalan farm. Finca El Injerto used to reserve their Pacamera varietal for the Cup of Excellence a yearly competition that selects the very best coffee produced in each participating country during that year, in order to monetarily recognize farmers and positively impact their livelihood over the long term. The Pacamera won year after year, but this year, El Injerto instead auctioned the bean directly to a few select coffee roasters across the nation. 

El Injerto Pacamera and Chemex brewing selected, it’s finally time for some coffee. Pour-over is a slow process. After about five minutes of watching the barista work his methodical magic  pouring hot water, little by little, over the ground beans  my coffee is ready. The brew is worth the wait, worth the money and worth the trip out of the city. This cup is bright in acidity, giving off notes of grape jam, milk chocolate, plum and sugar cane. It is more complex in flavor than any other coffee I have enjoyed and is definitely deserving of a trip back.

Bird Rock frequently offers cuppings and is constantly holding events to benefit the community. Check out their website for info, but more importantly enjoy a cup from this local roaster.   Sophisticated Imbiber

Tags: Coffee, Sip of the Week