I’m fairly new to specialty coffees and frankly, don’t always know where to start. If I visit a specialty coffee shop in the city, I’ll typically ask the barista to recommend a blend, but when it comes to picking out blends to brew at home, it can be hard to decide what to get – there are so many types of blends, notes, and locations where the coffee beans are grown. That’s where Passion House Coffee Roasters come in. Not only do they offer a variety of coffee flavors, but they also categorize their blends into three different ‘genres’ to help make specialty coffee more approachable for newbies like me: Ambient, Mainstream, and Experimental. These genres help to create a language that ‘goes beyond tasting notes, origins and farm names, and makes selecting a coffee more about the experience’. Here’s a description of the types of coffee you’ll find in each genre:
Ambient – This coffee offers subtle complexity that enhances your current state of awareness.
Mainstream – This coffee is familiar enough to allow you to relax, yet gives you something unexpected.
Experimental – This coffee has a vision all its own and will excite you with its individual expression.
“Every time we brew a coffee, our intention is to present you with the truest character of the bean itself.”
Looking to expand my coffee horizons, I was excited when Passion House Coffee Roasters offered me the opportunity to try out their AME mix. It’s a sort of starter variety pack that includes a coffee blend from each genre, which helps familiarize you with the different flavors and coffee ‘experiences’ they offer. All you have to do is decide which size coffee bags you want – 8oz or 12oz – and they’ll deliver three fresh blends straight to your door. The ones I have here are 12oz, and the three blends I received in my first AME mix were the Bassline Espresso Blend (Ambient), Chicago House Blend (Mainstream), and Kenya Wahundrun AA (Experimental). Keep reading for my review of each!
Kenya Wahundura AA
Right off the bat, the aroma of the coffees was so enticing, but the Kenya Wahundrun AA drew me first – it smelled amazing in the bag and I had to give it a try.
- Hi: ruby red grapefruit, star fruit, pineapple
- Mid: dried currant, raw sugar, pecan
- Lo: burnt caramel, graham crackers, cocoa
The beans are incredibly fragrant, and fill the room with a warm, slightly nutty smell (works as well as a Yankee Candle for scenting a room!). Now, typically when I make my coffee, I’ll immediately add sugar and milk to cover the acidity and smooth it out, but I took a taste of this one straight from the coffee pot…and kept sipping…and sipping, just enjoying the flavor. I never felt the need to add sugar or milk – the coffee already has a slight sweetness from the maple syrup and raw cane sugar, which balanced the citrus acidity perfectly. At the base, I can almost taste the graham crackers, cocoa and caramel, which creates a warm, smooth finish to every sip.
Chicago House Blend
The second coffee blend I tried out was their Chicago House Blend. It’s inspired by house music and the city of Chicago, and has a ‘funky’, fresh flavor. It’s described as a well balanced blend with citrus flavors and a nice body that rounds out at the end.
- Hi: citrus zest, aromatic
- Mid: roasted almonds, wildflower honey
- Lo: milk chocolate, caramel
This coffee blend tasted exactly as it says – balanced. First it hits you with the sharper notes from the citrus zest, and then smooths out with a slight chocolaty sweetness. Despite the honey and caramel notes, the coffee is definitely not as sweet as you’d expect. It’s the way to go if you like your coffees with a bit of a ‘funky’ edge. 😉
Bassline Espresso Blend
And for the final blend, we come to the Bassline Espresso Blend, which is part of their Ambient coffee genre. It’s described as an ‘espresso for those who crave chocolate, nuts and a heavier body’.
- Hi: candied citrus, hint of floral
- Mid: roasted almonds, roasted pecans
- Lo: milk chocolate, dark chocolate
The Bassline Espresso Blend has a nice rich, smooth flavor. I love the slight sweetness from the chocolate, and the nuttiness from the almonds and pecans. This blend is perfect for drinking in the evenings after a meal for a quick little pick-me-up!
Overall, I’m really enjoying these coffees blends. They’re probably the most unique and complex coffee blends I’ve ever tried, and I also love how they create an ‘experience’ each time I drink a cup. After tasting a coffee from each genre, I’m definitely leaning toward the Experimental blends! Want to #DiscoverYourGenre? Check out Passion House Coffee Roasters and explore their selection, or give their AMX mix a try!
What’s your favorite type of coffee? Do you like to experiment with different blends and flavors?