We’re back with another Chicago-based roaster, Gaslight Coffee Roasters (http://gaslightcoffeeroasters.com/). Chicago has one of the largest coffee consuming populations in the United States, and there is no shortage of roasters to feed our caffeinated desires. Although we have driven by their location many times (corner of Fullerton Ave & Milwaukee Ave), this is our first tasting with any of their products.
We ordered 2 different coffees, the Nicaragua Los Manguitos, and the Kenya Chania Estate French Mission. At the time of our order, these were 2 of only 3 offerings on the site. Gaslight only offers 12 ounce bags, and their prices range from $13.00 to $17.00. Add shipping to the order and this purchase is fairly pricy. There is no shipping discount for multiple purchases within a single order.
Upon receipt of the package I was struck by the simplicity and beauty of the branding. A simple vacuum-sealed bag that looks like an old paper bag is the “embossed” by a faux wax seal and ribbon, with the initials GL, for GasLight Coffee Roasters. the back is stamped with the description of the product contained. The bag also includes a pinch clip to complete the presentation. This ties branding together nicely; in combination with their name, it harkens back to an earlier time.
The next thing that struck me was not that the coffees were roasted on different days, but the wide difference in days when they were roasted. both packages were clearly marked with their roasting dates. Sadly, the Nicaragua Los Manguitos (http://gaslightcoffeeroasters.com/products/losmanguitos) was roasted (01/23) a full week prior to its arrival (01/30), where as the other coffee we ordered was roasted (01/28) only 2 days before its arrival. This was the only truly disappointing part of our tasting experience. If a consumer is paying top dollar for coffee, as well as shipping, the expectation is clear that the coffee should be roasted to order, and not sitting on a shelf for a week.
The tasting will focus on the Nicaragua Los Manguitos. We cut the bag open and were overwhelmed by the powerful scent of cocoa. It was so strong that it took several minutes before we could discern other flavors. GasLight suggests Honey and Cola will come forth; we agree with the honey during this initial dry smell. We also sensed brown sugar, and some spice. The beans were smaller in size, and roasted to a beautiful reddish-brown cinnamon color.
We performed 2 different tastings; french press and pour over. Despite the fact that the Nicaragua Los Manguitos arrived a week after its roast date, it still released a great amount of gas during the 2 brewings. It was especially visible during the French Press tasting.
The coffee was prepared at 10 Tablespoons, medium grind, with 30 ounces of water at 198 degrees Fahrenheit. The honey came through during the brewing process. A syrupy sweet scent stuck to the back of our throats. It was those 2 flavors that stayed with us throughout the rest of the tasting.
This was a medium to full bodied coffee, with the cola flavors taking primary position. Even using a pour over, it clung to our palates for minutes after each sip. It was almost as if the coffee didn’t want to be swallowed but sit on your taste buds until they were ready to move on. Of note, even the scent of this particular coffee remained in the kitchen for hours after brewing. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it remained.
With all this in mind, when you check out GasLight Coffee Roasters make sure you take time to stop and smell the coffee. c]__[