Methodical Coffee is a coffee shop and roasting company located in Greenville, SC. It is owned by David Baker, Will Shurtz, and Marco Suarez, each of whom play a different role within the company: Baker deals with operations; Shurtz is the “roaster and coffee leader;” and Suarez is in charge of design and aesthetics. Although I have yet to visit Methodical’s café, I’ve heard that it is clear that they are strong in all of these areas. I’ve also heard, around the coffee world, that Will Shurtz is one of the few people that can really pull off the man bun.
Opening in February 2015, it was not until July 2016 that Methodical joined the roasting world. From hearing about Shurtz’s coffee knowledge, and after tasting their coffee, it was definitely a good idea.
For this review, we will be looking at Methodical Coffee’s Kenya, Murang’a County coffee. Before noting the specific details about this coffee, I must say that Methodical’s bags are absolutely wonderful! Not only are they stunning, they also include extremely helpful information: location, varietals, roast date, tasting notes, and even the name of the artist who designed the beautiful bag (Annie Koelle).
As you may have already noticed, Methodical’s bags do not include any indication of the roast level. This is, of course, a more recent trend within the specialty coffee world. Truly, the reality of a roast level is that it is essentially nebulous and subjective. Light, medium, and dark roasts, or whatever else they might be called, mean something different to every roaster, and every consumer for that matter. Ideally, each roaster would roast each specific bean to its best possible profile, and then the consumer would simply trust that reality and find what they like best. Some, however, like the NCA, have offered basic roast guides in hopes to better standardize roasting language across the industry; but it’s quite a daunting task.
Now, specifically regarding this Kenya, Murang’a County coffee, Methodical offers quite a bit of very helpful information. It is made up of both SL 28 and SL 34 varieties and grown at 1900 masl. It is a fully washed processed coffee, processed at Gondo Wet Mill of New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative Society, where it went through an intensive selection process, after being delivered to the wet mill on the exact same day that it was picked. After the cherries are carefully separated, prior to pulping, the ripe cherries undergo the wet processing method, whereby the Kananahu stream’s clean water is utilized. After all of this, as well as being pulped and going through the fermentation process, they are sun dried and then sent to a dry mill for dry milling.
Also, before offering my tasting notes, I will point out that this coffee was received only two days after roasting, which is absolutely exceptional!
Brew Method: Chemex; 50g Coffee; 512ml Water; 203F; Medium Grind; 4:30 Brew Time.
Analysis: Upon first glance, I do not see any obvious defects, and the beans appear to be quite light in color. One of the first things I thought of, when smelling the dry aroma, was one of those Orange & Creme Hard Candies (Creme Savers). On top of this, the dry and wet aroma brought strong notes of lemon and orange, as well as some honey, sugar cane, and maybe cinnamon. The flavor notes were quite similar, with juicy citrus notes. But it also had some darker sweet notes, like molasses or maple syrup. Most memorably, though, was the vibrant dark chocolate note in the aftertaste; it was absolutely wonderful! It was as if I were really eating dark chocolate, creamy and then a little drying afterwards. While it wasn’t the most complex cup I’ve had, it was exceptionally clean and exciting. It offered a nice medium+ body, a higher level of acidity and sweetness, and nearly zero bitterness. Very much enjoyed this coffee.
This coffee can be purchased from Methodical’s Website for $18.00. If you haven’t had this one, I would definitely suggest it!
I’ll end with a quote from their website and their bags: “There is a beautiful paradox in the simplicity of brewing coffee and the complexity of its mastery.”