Chicago might be in the throes of a cold front and there just might be a blizzard outside, so today’s coffee has me pining for the hot summer sun even more than I was already. Compelling and Rich Coffee returns to the Table with their latest seasonal espresso blend, “Brown Betty.”
Kian, the owner/roaster of Compelling and Rich Coffee, tells me, “I designed and roasted this espresso with the influence of where I [grew up] and where I roast—sunny Los Angeles, California. I wanted it to be bright, sweet, memorable, and hold up in an iced latte just as well as it holds up as a filter cup.” He named the blend “Brown Betty” as an homage to his home: “brown” for the color of the coffee, and “Betty,” which is California surfer slang for a beautiful woman.
The components of the blend are a Bourbon from Antigua, Guatemala and the Kenya Kirimahiga.
This Kenyan coffee was bought by Elephant Coffee Importers. All of their current Kenyan coffees are grown just north of Nairobi, Kenya in Murang’a County. With altitudes ranging from 1650 meters to 2650 meters, two lush rain seasons each year, lessening dependence upon irrigation systems, and average temperatures hovering between 69 and 95 degrees, the growing conditions in this region are some of the most advantageous and sought after in the entire world.
The green beans currently available to US purchasers were grown by the Kirimahiga, Kahiriga, Kayu and Gondo coffee farmer cooperatives, made up of groups of growing societies located on the slopes leading the way to Mount Kenya. This particular lot was grown by the Kirimahiga Cooperative.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of the Brown Betty Seasonal Blend, from Compelling and Rich Coffee in Los Angeles, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Murang’a, Kenya // Antigua, Guatemala
producer: smallholder farmers // N/A
association: Kirimahiga Cooperative // N/A
elevation: 1650 – 2650 meters above sea level
cultivars: SL28, SL34 // Bourbon
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
grind: 20, Preciso
coffee: 38 g
water: 390 g
pour: 2:00 straight pour, 1:00 rest, :10 stir, 1:00 rest, 2:00 drop
Brown Betty’s aroma is absolutely heavenly and it bursts out of the cup. It’s intensely sweet with scents of brown sugar and honey, but it’s also lousy with red fruits.
Taking my first few sips of the cup immediately post-brew, my palate is greeted by a beautiful, full-bodied coffee that floods the palate with a bright, clean, and fresh juiciness. Right out of the gate, this coffee is very red fruit forward—it’s like a Syrah in its presentation: tart with pomegranate, raspberry, and blackberry, sweet with red delicious apple, red grape, plum, black cherry, but also honeyed, spicy with red wine tannins, and fragrant with violet aromatics.
As the cup cools, the coffee becomes even sweeter. The fruits come together to form a more cohesive “fruit punch” flavor while salted caramel, bittwersweet dark chocolate, and cane sugar play out in the finish.
Full body; juicy mouthfeel; berry acidity; clean finish.
Compelling and Rich Coffee’s Brown Betty is a big, bodacious, full-bodied, bawdy, buxom, beautiful blend that brings a bounty of berries and sugar brownings.
Okay, that’s enough alliteration; but the truth of it is that Brown Betty is an absolutely incredible coffee. Full-bodied, juicy,sweet, fruity, and delicious through and through. Unfortunately, I don’t have the faculties to pull this coffee as an espresso, but I can only imagine what it must be like.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in Los Angeles, though, you won’t have to imagine what it’s like. Compelling and Rich Coffee will very soon be hosting their shop’s soft opening at an undisclosed downtown L.A. location. Do some research, Los Angelenos, and seek out this coffee.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.