Lehmus Roastery ”Kettu-kahvi” dark roast—Recommended!

This is the third offering from the Lehmus Roastery series of seasonal coffees. Just like the other Kettu-kahvi products (Finnish for ”fox coffee”), this one is made of naturally processed Yellow Bourbon Arabica from Fazenda I.P., Brazil. It is also the darkest of the Kettu batch, 4/5 on the Lehmus scale.

On the label, the coffee is described as full-bodied. Other than that, we are only told that whereas the dark roast lends the coffee ”softness”, the natural processing makes it slightly sweet.

As usual, I used both the AeroPress and my trusty old Bialetti Moka.

Either way, the mouthfeel was relatively creamy and very pleasant. The flavor profile was naturally sweet, but also somewhat bitter and spicy. The main notes were medium dark chocolate and roasted almonds. In the finish, there was also a wonderful hint of raisins or dried figs. All the flavors were in perfect balance, and none of them overpowered the others. While this coffee did not offer the most unique flavor profile I have ever experienced, I found it to be very pleasant nonetheless.

There is no question about it. Just like its lighter siblings, the dark roasted version of Kettu-kahvi is an excellent product. I think you might like it a lot! Be sure to get yourself some from Lehmus Roastery!

Lehmus Roastery ”Kettu-kahvi” w/cardamom & cinnamon!

Here’s the second offering from the Lehmus Roastery line of seasonal coffees: Kettu-kahvi, flavored with cardamom and cinnamon.

As far as I understand, this product is based on the same exact coffee as the unflavored Kettu-kahvi medium roast I reviewed a few days ago: Yellow Bourbon Arabica from Fazenda I.P., Brazil. Also, both the unflavored and the flavored versions are roasted medium (3/5 on the Lehmus scale). The only difference between these two products seems to be that this present coffee comes pre-ground, and is blended with some extra spices.

The bag note was just mouthwatering. It made me think of sweet cinnamon rolls and Christmas cookies. There was nothing artificial about it. I am almost certain that Lehmus used only natural baking spices for flavoring.

The grind size appeared to be suitable for regular coffee machines. With that being said, it worked very well with the Bialetti Moka pot. Granted, my AeroPress would have benefited from a coarser grind. Nevertheless, I was able to make some nice coffee with that particular gadget as well.

But how did it taste? Simply put, it was just delicious! I will not repeat what I said earlier about the basic flavor profile. You can read about it from my previous review. The coffee-to-flavoring ratio was excellent: There was just enough cardamom and cinnamon to give this coffee a special seasonal character. Even so, the added spices never overpowered the unique characteristics of the Brazilian coffee. The flavors of the coffee and spices worked extremely well together, and formed a unified whole.

For some strange reason, this flavored version of the Yellow Bourbon Arabica did not feel quite as strong as the unflavored version. Honestly, I’m not sure why that is. Usually, I would opt for something with a little more oomph to it—something like, say, Hamwi Café Classic, the great Turkish/Arabic coffee with cardamom flavoring. But that’s just me. For most people who want high quality Arabica coffee with some seasonal flavoring, Kettu-kahvi with cardamom and cinnamon would probably be the perfect option.

Go to the Lehmus Roastery website and get yourself some! You will not be disappointed!

Lehmus Roastery ”Kettu-kahvi” medium roast—Just fantastic!

As winter is upon us, it is good to stock up on some seasonally appropriate coffees. This time, I wanted to try out the Kettu-kahvi (Finnish for ”Fox Coffee”) line of seasonal coffees produced by the award winning Lehmus Roastery (Lappeenranta, Finland). The line consists of three coffees, all of which are made of naturally processed Yellow Bourbon Arabica beans from Fazenda I.P., Brazil.

The first one is the medium roasted version, 3/5 on the Lehmus scale. On the label, the coffee is described as soft and full-bodied. The aromas are said to be nutty and chocolatey.

Since there were no specific instructions on how to brew the coffee, I used the usual suspects, my good old Bialetti Moka and the AeroPress.

Either way, I loved it to bits!

In the bouquet, I got caramel or toffee, some sweet licorice, and nuttiness. The mouthfeel was very soft and round. There was some of that signature Lehmus creaminess as well. The body was somewhere between medium and medium full.

Now, the flavor profile was just amazing: On the one hand, Kettu-kahvi medium roast was not the most full-flavored coffee you’ll ever try. Instead, it was well-behaved and ”medium” enough to be enjoyed on any occasion. At the same time, however, it was quite flavorful. It was the perfect mix of three things: semi-bitter nuttiness, milk chocolate, and licorice. The way the chocolatey flavors were mixed with the licorice notes reminded me of the classic English Liquorice allsorts I used to love as a kid—only less sweet, and, obviously, without the coconut essence. There was also just enough acidity to balance out the naturally sweet flavors.

Even the empty cup smelled amazing: caramel and sweet American burley pipe tobacco.

Oh wow, I just loved it!

Hurry up! Get yourself some Kettu-kahvi keskipaahto (medium roast) from Lehmus Roastery. You will be happy you did!

Lehmus Roastery Kenya Kibugu Microlot—a fruity, moderately acidic Kenyan

This is Kenya Kibugu Microlot, a limited edition coffee from the award winning Lehmus Roastery (Lappeenranta, Finland). As the name would suggest, this coffee is produced by the Kibugu Farmers CO-OP Society in the Embu County, Kenya. It comprises washed SL-28, SL-34, Batian, Ruiru 11, and K7 beans.

On the label, the company states that the mouthfeel of this coffee is juicy and soft. We are also told that it provides ample sweetness, along with notes of citrus and toffee.

As usual, I used both the AeroPress and my good old Bialetti Moka pot for brewing.

Indeed, the mouthfeel was pretty juicy, and not quite as creamy as other Lehmus products. Of course, the moka version was somewhat fuller and creamier.

Having read the tasting notes, I would have expected the coffee to be sweeter. In my opinon, the flavor profile consisted of

  1. citrusy notes: lemon, and some pink grapefruit
  2. red berries
  3. caramel or nougat (it was hard to put my finger on it!)
  4. a tiny hint of dry, herbal flavors that reminded me of (darjeeling?) tea.

Lastly, notes of toffee were apparent in the finish.

In sum, this is clearly a high-quality product. That said, it did not exactly blow me away. But that’s just about personal preference. If you want to have fruity, moderately acidic and light roasted Kenyan coffee, I can highly recommend you order yourself some Kenya Kibugu Microlot from Lehmus Roastery!

Finca las Ventanas—Colombian coffee for any occasion

For a couple of months now I have wanted to try this coffee.

Finca las Ventanas is a coffee farm run by a Finnish family in the village of Confines, Santander, Colombia. They specialize in Castillo and Colombia varietals. The coffee is hand picked, washed, and sun dried. The result is this single estate coffee which is named after the farm.

On the label, the company gives us the following information (my literal translation):

Taste: Nutty chocolate, red berries
Structure [body/mouthfeel?]: Creamy, full bodied, balanced, soft
Roast: A roast slightly darker than medium that brings out the chocolatey and nutty flavors, while retaining the fresh fruitiness.

Now that is exactly what Finca las Ventanas was all about. It was precisely what you would expect good Colombian coffee to be.

I tried it in both the AeroPress and the Bialetti moka pot.

The midrange flavors of nutty chocolate and cocoa were in the starring role. Their natural sweetness was balanced out by the soft acidity that made me think of red berries. There might have been a small hint of fresh fruits as well. These acidic flavors were more pronounced in the moka version. Either way, the mouthfeel was medium creamy, and the overall experience was well balanced.

In my opinion, Finca las Ventanas was both nuanced and middle-of-the-road enough to be enjoyed on any occasion. To me, it was a nice complement to the protein pancake I like to have for breakfast.

In Finland, Finca las Ventanas is easily available. I got mine from Muki, the great little gourmet coffee shop in Töölö, Helsinki. It is also available in several supermarkets in the Helsinki area, and on the Finca las Ventanas website. If you like Colombian coffee, check it out!

Muki ”Töölö-kahvi”—both exquisite and rustic

Töölö-kahvi is the other blend I recently received from Muki, the Helsinki based gourmet coffee store. Like Muki-kahvi, their great everyday blend, Töölö-kahvi is blended and roasted for the company by Holmen Coffee, Helsinki.

Both the label and the Muki web shop site offer little information on the blend. Basically, we are just told that it is medium roasted coffee. But as I wrote earlier, I think that’s kind of cool. Let the product speak for itself!

I was told that this coffee would work well with the French press. Now, while I do own a French press, I prefer to use my AeroPress instead. So, as I always do, I ground the beans medium coarse, and followed my favorite AeroPress recipe.

First things first: I really enjoyed this blend. That said, it took me a couple of days to figure out how to articulate what it tasted like.

In my opinion, there were three levels to the flavor profile:

  1. The high end of the flavor spectrum was dominated by the pleasant acidity and natural sweetness of fresh, exotic fruits. If I try to describe the flavor in terms of color, it felt yellow and light green. This was the easy part.
  2. In the midrange, I detected a tiny hint of semi-sweet chocolate.
  3. Lastly, in the baritone department, there was this savory quality, which I couldn’t quite put my finger on at first. Ultimately, I decided that it was a bready, bakery-like flavor. More specifically, it made me think of sourdough, perhaps even Finnish rye bread.

Now, I’ll admit that this may sound like a funny combination. But let me tell you: I found it to be very, very pleasant. While the flavor profile was mostly fruity, on the one hand, and savory, on the other, there was just enough sweetness as well. Furthermore, it was both exquisite and rustic at the same time. Whether I tried to tease out the subtle flavors, or if I just enjoyed a cup while thinking about other things, Töölö-kahvi was enjoyable either way.

If that sounds like your cup of tea (coffee?), visit the Muki B&M store in Helsinki, or go to their web shop, and get some. I can highly recommend it!

Lastly, a big thank you to Muki and Holmen Coffee for some great coffees! I had a lot of fun reviewing them!

Muki ”Muki-kahvi”—”Scandinavian” coffee made better!

Last week, I made my first visit to Muki (Finnish for ”mug”), Helsinki, the cool brick and mortar store that specializes in high quality coffee, tea, chocolate, and other related delicacies. They offer a nice selection of interesting coffees, ranging from classic Italian espressos to the exquisite products of several Finnish micro roasteries.

As for me, I wanted to try the coffees blended and roasted for Muki by Holmen Coffee, the Helsinki based artisan roastery. The man in charge, Ari-Matti, was kind enough to offer me both of these blends to try. Thank you so much!

The first one is this: Muki-kahvi. Now, on the label, there is little information on the ingredients. The Muki website, too, only reveals that this is a dark roasted (level 4/5) ”city coffee”. That’s kind of cool. I mean, let the product speak for itself!

Since I was told that this coffee was made with the regular coffee machine user in mind, I decided to try it in my AeroPress. I generally don’t use a coffee machine anyway. Oh, as you can probably guess, I used my favorite AeroPress recipe for brewing.

First off, the mouthfeel of Muki-kahvi was quite light and juicy. Even so, the body was not weak by any means. Perhaps ”medium” would be the word to describe it.

The flavor profile was quite interesting. Admittedly, after the first sip I went: ”OK, this is like… regular coffee.” But after a couple of cups, I started to get it. The juiciness of the mouthfeel made me think of (red?) berries. Surprisingly, though, there were no berry flavors to be detected. Instead, I got

  • nutty bitterness
  • caramel
  • dried fruits

These midrange flavors, mixed with some ”soft” acidity made for a very pleasant combination. On the one hand, Muki-kahvi was pleasantly bitter, which made it a good choice for my morning cup. On the other hand, the blend had enough natural sweetness to balance out the bitterness. This resulted in a flavor profile that was robust enough, yet quite soft and pleasant.

Apparently, Muki-kahvi was not created to knock your socks off with exotic flavors. Instead, its purpose appears to be to satisfy the regular coffee lover on any occasion. This is exactly what it does, and it does it really well. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes the classic Finnish or Swedish grocery store blends but wishes to have something better.

Pay a visit to Muki and get yourself some Muki-kahvi! In addition to the cool brick and mortar store, the good folks at Muki have recently opened their new web store, too. Check them out!

Lehmus Roastery ”Pusupuisto”—Guatemala!

Here’s another coffee from my favorite source, Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

This one, Pusupuisto, is made by Lehmus Roastery, the award winning coffee company based in Lappeenranta, Finland. It is a blend of washed Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai Typica, Maragogype, and Pache. The roast level is 3,5/5.

According to the company, Pusupuisto is ”a medium roasted, rich coffee” that has ”a soft mouthfeel”, and aromas (sic) of toffee, cocoa, and a hint of chocolate.

Sounds like something I would like a lot.

For brewing, I used the usual suspect: my trusty Bialetti Moka pot.

The mouthfeel was quite rich, but maybe not as creamy as one would have expected from a Lehmus Roastery blend. It was very pleasant nonetheless.

I definitely got some of the flavors (”aromas”?) that the company mentions in the description. That said, instead of actually tasting like toffee, cocoa, or chocolate, this blend provided a mélange of flavors that were in that particular ballpark—if that makes sense. There was more to it, however. I also detected dried fruits (figs, perhaps) and a tinge of red berries. These brought some juiciness and a pleasant acidity to the blend. To me, the overall flavor profile was quite multifaceted, yet very well balanced.

In summary, Pusupuisto from Lehmus Roastery is a very good and flavorful blend of Guatemalan coffees. You deserve to check it out!

Lehmus Roastery ”Kimpinen”—a creamy all day blend

I noticed that there were some coffees left in the Lehmus Roastery (Lappeenranta, Finland) lineup that I still hadn’t tried. So I got this:

Kimpinen, a ”medium roast” (3,5/5) blend of several different beans from Minas Gerais, Brazil (natural), and Coatepec, Mexico (washed). It contains Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon, Catuai, Yellow Catuai, Catimor, Maracaturra, Maragogype and Typica Arabica / Bourbon, Caturra, and Typica.

On the bag, the company states that this is a nutty and creamy blend on the darker side. They promise that there is a moderate amount of acidity and ”fullness”. It is also suggested that the blend works with filter coffee machines as well as espresso machines.

As you can guess, I wanted to try it in both of my favorite gadgets, the Bialetti Moka, and the AeroPress (several different recipes).

To me, the most memorable thing about Kimpinen was the creaminess. In the mouth, it felt exactly like the other Lehmus Roastery blends. They must be some of the creamiest coffees I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. There’s something luxurious about them. With Kimpinen, however, the creaminess was not only about the mouthfeel. It had a creamy flavor as well. On the other hand, the flavor profile was dominated by a round nuttiness. Very pleasant indeed.

Other than that, I was hard pressed to find anything to say about it.

Oh yes, with some cups I thought I detected a hint of this sweet, coconut and anise type of flavor that that reminded me of English Liquorice allsorts. Mind you, the blend did not taste like Liquorice allsorts, but there was something to the overall vibe that made me think of those flavors I used to love as a kid.

All in all, Kimpinen was a very good middle of the road coffee that could be enjoyed any time of the day. While it did not exactly make me go wow, I found it to be a pleasant all-around blend. Get yourself some from Lehmus Roastery!

Kirjalan Kahvipaahtimo ”Aino”—”Rustic” is the word

Here’s another filter coffee I recently got from Kirjalan Kahvipaahtimo (Mikkeli, Finland). The bag description reads as follows (my rough translation):

AINO—light roasted coffee

The AINO coffee grows in the Southern parts of Rwanda. Among the coffees of Eastern Africa, Rwandan coffees are often the softest [roundest?], sweetest, and the most florally nuanced.

Additionally, the company tells us that the roast level is 2/6.

Since Aino is sold as a filter coffee, I brewed it in my AeroPress. (You knew it! I used my favorite inverted recipe!) The bouquet was interesting. I detected

  • red berries
  • some fresh fruits
  • nuts
  • a little something that made think of a farm house, even a stable

I kind of liked the rustic, organic aroma.

But what did it taste like? Briefly, it was quite good. Like Louhi, the other Kirjalan Kahvipaahtimo product I reviewed a few days ago, Aino was pretty full-flavored, without being overpowering. At the same time, though, it felt juicier and more acidic in the mouth than the creamy Louhi.

I’ll have to admit that I was hard-pressed to find the essence of this coffee—the ”thing”, if you will. Granted, I detected several different flavors like berries, fresh fruits, nuts and… I wanted to say ”earth”, but I’m not sure that’s the right word. Let’s just say Aino was earthier and less sweet than Louhi. While all of these flavors were there, I couldn’t quite figure out whether they wanted worked together or not. Mind you, the coffee did NOT taste bad. Not at all! Actually, Aino was a relatively enjoyable middle-of-the-road filter coffee on the rustic end of the flavor spectrum. That said, it was probably not created to knock your socks off, or make you go ”wow”. To me, it was ”just coffee”—but in the positive sense.

Take that for what you will. As for me, I am looking forward to trying the other Kirjalan Kahvipaahtimo blends!