Disclosure: Pull & Pour received coffee samples for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
When I first read about Black Sails Coffee Roasters, I was a bit apprehensive. My apprehension was not because of its size (it is a one-man micro-roaster), but instead because of its time in business. After trying literally hundreds of roasters through the years, I’ve learned that the size of the roaster has very little impact on the actual quality of the coffee they roast. The time in business (or time roasting) on the other hand usually does. As I learned more about Sean and his roasting experience though, I realized that while Black Sails Coffee Roasters has only been around for less than a year, Sean’s been in the coffee business quite a bit longer. He’s been roasting professionally for 14 years and has won multiple awards in the past for his coffee with previous roasters (silver and bronze medals for Golden Bean of North America, etc.). His experience and expertise truly came through in each of the coffees I tried from Black Sails. They each were unique, complex, expertly roasted and incredibly delicious.
The coffee began with a strong fragrance full of sweet berry notes. After grinding the beans, I was surprised by the strong melon notes that came through (a flavor note I rarely notice in coffee). At the bloom there was another eruption of sweetness that carried through the brew. The flavor was full of strong berry sweetness and I tasted notes of blueberry, raspberry and more melon. The coffee was exceptionally bright (as you’d expect with a naturally processed Ethiopian coffee) with a light mouthfeel. The finish lingered with the sweetness and acidity lasting long after each sip.
While conforming quite nicely to the expected mold for a naturally processed Ethiopian coffee, Dur Feres stood out as a very strong coffee for this style. The intensity of the aroma, sweetness & brightness surprised even me and its flexibility to work equally well in all brew methods made this coffee really stand out as a special one.