It’s been some time since I grabbed a bag of Ritual beans but I was overdoing it a bit for awhile, there, and Daniel of Arabica was starting to look more like Daniel de la Ritual. Bag after bag after bag here in “The Lab”. I was a starting to get into a rut. A good rut, to be sure. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying myself. One could appease all of their coffee yearnings solely with the variety of quality beans Ritual has on offer but I had to draw the line. Don’t want to be accused of favoritism. I have a reputation to maintain…I think. But it had been long enough. I figured it was safe to venture back.
Off to the Mission, then, to cavort with the hipsters, pick up a few bike ideas and, by the by, drop by Ritual to score a bag of beans. Ritual’s Ndumberi Peaberry from Kenya, say hello “The Lab” here at Daniel of Arabica world headquarters. This bag, also, is a sort of shout out to m’lady, Danielle, who loves a good Kenya. Here ya go, babe.
Back in “The Lab” I have subjected my latest acquisition to the usual battery of tests. Here is what it has to say:
In the Chemex
Molasses. Sharp acidity. Full body. I get the lemon curd from the description (tart, sweet, egg?!) but not the strawberries. I did get some berry quality but I didn’t specifically get strawberry. The sweetness is dark, caramelized and concentrated. It’s on the bright side for a peaberry, especially, but not for a Kenya – similar, in this way, to the Flying Goat Brazilian peaberry I tasted earlier – but the body and sweetness provide a balancing backbone; it’s at once smooth and soft yet bright and citrusy. Like two coffees in one bag or a blend. As it cools the acidity becomes more berry-like and becomes more pronounced but broader and less sharp.
In the press-pot
Dark molasses aroma. If “lemon curd” wasn’t mentioned on the bag, I never would have found it but, again, I can see the point: concentrated, carmelized sugar and candied lemon. The acidity is tingly sharp but not at all unpleasant. Nose in the mug, there is a unique ripe garden tomato aroma paired with a “brothy”, resin-y herb (like rosemary).
…another fine coffee from the folks at Ritual. I had it as a cold-brew as well but I’ll be damned if I can find my notes on that prep. I’ll tell you it was tasty, that the acidity was out front but not overbearing and that the berry and lemon shone through the sweetness like a warm light welcoming you home. That good? Good. Now, go get yourself some. Tell ’em I sent ya.
Want it? Get it…
- Ritual in the Mission.
- Ritual at Flora Grubb Gardens in the Bayview.
- Ritual in Napa at The Oxbow Market.
- Ritual on the inter-tubes.