Today’s the day folks—the longest day of the year, the summer equinox, the official first day of summer. As it has been the last few days, today is also incredibly hot. That’s why, in between attempts to make brooms and eggs stand up straight on their ends, I’ll be drinking an iced cold brew throughout the day.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today, on this first day of summer, we are sipping Passion House Coffee Roasters’ debut in the world of cold brewed coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
A couple weeks ago, I got the opportunity to attend Chicago’s Coffee Fest at Navy Pier (that was another woefully hot day, actually). I believe this was the weekend that preceded the Great Coffee Exchange—a week that I was drinking a lot of (and absolutely loving) Passion House’s Guatemala El Limonar. So I was giddy with excitement when I came across Visions Espresso‘s booth and saw that they were serving hot and iced pour-overs of that same El Limonar!
Now, let me be up front with you—this is going to be a pretty short review, because I already reviewed the Guatemala El Limonar last week and, unless I’m now living in a parallel dimension, the specs and flavor profile of the coffee haven’t changed all that much. However, having said that, there are a few things I’d like to point out about the cold brewed (or even iced) version of it.
So, let’s get down to it!
(spoiler alert: I really loved this coffee brewed over ice when I had it at Coffee Fest.)
origin: El Injerto, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
farm: Finca El Limonar
elevation: ~2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Bourbon, Catuai and Caturra
process: fully washed, patio dried
Despite it being a touch too old, I still had some Guatemala El Limonar left over from the Great Coffee Exchange, so we’re going to sip it two different ways today: cold brewed straight out of the bottle and poured over ice with a Hario V60.
After the Great Coffee Exchange, I read Randy Levine’s review of the El Limonar and it was almost as if we had reviewed two different coffees: when I tasted peaches and floral aromatics, he tasted a lot of lime and citrus. Between the two of us and some input from Shannon Steele (one of the roasters at Passion House), we determined that the flavor differences probably derived from the brewing methods. I was using pour-over methods like my V60 and Chemex, and Randy was using a submersion method with his Clever dripper.
Again, that seems to be the case here.
Poured over ice, this coffee is so, so sweet; an explosion of peach and nectarine, floral aromatics, and brown sugar. The Cold Brew, on the other hand, while those elements are definitely present, is much more citric, with massive flavors of lime and milk chocolate.
Light body; light, crisp mouthfeel; medium acidity; clean, refreshing finish.
the bottom line:
Well, no surprise here—I really love this coffee. I really enjoyed it hot, but I really, really enjoyed it cold. Hot-brewed, this coffee was very tasty and flavorful with great clarity and well-rounded acidity; but over ice and cold brewed—boy oh boy. All of the flavors burst to life!
The Cold Brew was incredibly tasty, and incredibly refreshing.
Meet me this Saturday at the Deerfield farmer’s market in Deerfield, Illinois and give this coffee a try! I’ll be serving it up with Joshua Millman of Passion House.
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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.