Bold and spicy with a chill attitude
A Review of Tanzania Peaberry by 81301 Coffee Roasters
Posted on 4/7/2016 by Chops
It should come as no surprise that taste preference is largely subjective when it comes to coffee. Even mild coffees pack roasty punches that are not for everyone. Thus, when trying roasts that are advertised as bold or spicy, you have to take an inherent flavor skew into consideration. Adventurous palates will always gravitate towards anything provocative, so when I came across the Tanzania Peaberry by 81301 Coffee Roasters, nabbing a bag was a no-brainer.
81301 is named for their zip code in Durango, Colorado. I recently visited the area and discovered this small roasting outfit on the north side of town. They are the quintessential local coffee shop, offering a simple earthy-crunchy atmosphere while eschewing any resemblance to their corporate behemoth competition. The result is a quaint corner establishment with a loyal customer base. Oh yeah, and they brew up some tasty coffees.
Tanzania is a popular coffee region in east-central Africa, currently the 19th largest producer worldwide. An offshoot of Ethiopian varietals, the country has been growing coffee since the 16th century. Tanzanian Peaberry (single-bean fruits) are prized in the coffee world, known for their bold and rich flavors. 81301 describes their version is as "unique, spicy, bright."
I prepared my cup using a fine-mesh cone dripper with filtered water 30 seconds off the boil. The resulting brew had a deep ruby hue with a zesty aroma. Flavor wise, it had more of a campfire-like roast with a dusting of spicy notes. While certainly bold and direct, complex it was not. The body was on the heavy side of medium, felt chalky on the palate, and contained high amounts of acidity and bitterness. To be honest, the coffee came across as a bit unbalanced, almost like a mild dark roast.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Tanzania Peaberry by 81301 Coffee Roasters. That might come as a surprise considering the review, but remember what I was saying about taste being largely subjective? I tend to enjoy assertive flavors, often in spite of their lopsidedness. Yes, I found this brew to be a bit wonky and weird, but it will appeal to fans of darker roasts who might enjoy a little more nuance from their cup of charred mud. And there is where this coffee shines. If you're looking for a little more punch from your medium roast without the assault of burnt toast, then look no further. This brew is bold and spicy with a chill attitude, just like the 81301 roasters.