Coffee Origin: Santa Ana, El Salvador
Roaster Location: Dallas, Texas
Roast Level: Medium
This ain’t your Grandma’s bourbon. The bourbon varietal is one of coffea arabica’s original varietals, and this blend contains three derivations of it (rather than a triple-finger shot of Grandma’s hard stuff). While many coffee blends combine subvarietals and cultivars, you rarely see three differently colored subvarietals in a single selection.
The different beans’ reddish, yellow and orange hues are lost in the uniformly brown roasted beans, but each subvarietal adds complexity to the flavor. What’s otherwise a fairly straightforward (but quite good) El Salvadorian coffee, with medium body and moderate acidity, has waves of different flavors spread over the palette during a sip.
Chocolate, nut and apricot/peach each comes and goes in turn. At one point, the coffee is like biting into an almond chocolate bar. Later on, it’s more akin to the taste of a dried apricot.
El Salvador might not be as well-known for its coffee as the neighbors of Guatemala and Honduras are. The difference in general awareness is more due to past unrest than growing conditions, though, and El Salvadorian farmers are certainly capable of producing great lots. This one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, as are many other selections from any of these three countries.
Give a bag of Tres Bourbon as a gift, or grab some for your own daily drinking brew. The blend’s moderate body and acidity will appeal to all, while its complex flavors will intrigue even the most sophisticated connoisseurs.
Brew this blend anyway you like (except for espresso). A pour-over, classic drip or French press will each showcase a slightly different aspect of the blend, but they’ll all be good. Also, make sure to brew a little extra for drinking later on — the flavor profile shifts quite noticeably as the coffee cools. Watch for more chocolate notes when it’s hot, which give way to heavier apricot and peach at lower temperatures.
Aroma: Chocolate, Apricot
Taste: Dark chocolate, Nutty, Apricot, Peach
Finish: Slightly lingering aftertaste
Recommendation: A classically medium coffee with intriguing complexity. Something that everyone will like, and even the most knowledgeable connoisseurs will be intrigued by.
Scott M. Brodie has over 20 years of professional experience working in coffee shops and writing about coffee (including selling superautomatic machines). When not writing, he can usually be found roasting a new African single origin or composing a fictional work.