In the Fall, I had the pleasure of meeting David Baker, co-owner at Methodical during an outdoor retailer show in Greenville, SC. Although it was my first time meeting any of the crew from Methodical, it definitely was not my first experience with the brand. When we started conceptualizing the Martha's brand, we took a deep dive into the Southeast coffee scene. Methodical was constantly coming up in our research as a premium Southeast roaster. The more we learned about the Greenville, SC based roaster, the more we realized they are not just a regional powerhouse, but a nationally respected roaster and café. For many good reasons, including attention to detail, variety of bean sources, complex flavors, premium experience, authenticity and personable ownership, Methodical quickly gained respect throughout the coffee industry. Serving high quality, delicious coffee has been a priority of Martha's since day one. The more time we have in the coffee industry, the more we get absolutely blown away by the amazing people we meet and how incredibly tasteful and complex coffee can get. Before our event season starts this Spring, we had some time to do a proper cupping of three popular roast from Methodical. We have spent some time in their Greenville café so knew first hand the quality that comes from their coffee. The tasting we did on the coffee trailer was not to determine if the coffee was 'good or not'...that was never a debate. The pour over tasting was to help us better develop our pallet for complexities in coffee and really focus on the incredible work that goes into producing super premium roasted coffee beans.
For the coffee, we ground all the roast the same, using the GH2 Bulk Coffee Grinder
We used a medium grind consistency which is the recommended grind size for pour over. We made sure to grind all three roasts at the same setting.
For each tasting, we used 28g of coffee. Let me tell you...the coffee trailer smelled amazing even before the brewing started. Having all three freshly ground Methodical roasts out for the cupping filled the coffee trailer with beautiful aromas.
Like we do for all of our brewing, we used a filtered water; 448g of water.
In general, the water to coffee ratio when brewing pour over is 16:1. Meaning for every 16 grams of water, you'll plan for 1g of ground coffee.
Because we're always serving at events where customer 'rushes' happen in waves and are often fast, we haven't offered pour over as an option. However, there's something peaceful and precise feeling when using the kettle. I enjoy knowing how dialed, literally, we can get the water temperature and how hands-on the process becomes when using the pour over techniques. Although water temperatures can range depending on the roast, we did roast all of the Methodical varieties at a water temperature of 205 F.
For the process, we used brew guidelines from Methodical considering it was their roast. Below are the EXACT instructions pulled from the Methodical Brew Guide 'How to Make a Pour Over Coffee':
Step 1 - 0:00 Add 50g of water to allow freshly roasted coffee to degas
Step 2 - 0:30 Slowly add 200g of water using circular motions
Step 3 - 1:00 Add 100g of water again with circular motions
Step 4 - 2:00 Add the remaining water and let it filter through the coffee with a complete brew time of around 3:30 to 4 minutes
Again, I want to highlight the incredible resource that Methodical offers on their website. Their brew guides are well planned (not a surprise) and are made to elevate everyone's barista abilities. The brew guide is a great reflection of the Methodical brand - premium, personable, substantial, and well....methodical.
And now for the coffee...
We'll start with the Walter Bauista. I recently learned from competition winning Methodical Coffee barista, Jennings Hollister, that Walter Bauista is the actual farmer. How cool is it that the farmers name is right on the packaging! Walter is a fourth generation farmer in Honduras. The tasting notes from the roaster callout: Blackberry, Honey and Green Apple. Out of the three coffee's we sampled, this was the most familiar for us. We work closely with the amazing family owned farm and roaster, Alma Coffee (Canton, GA). The Alma farm is also located in Honduras, and for us, although the flavors between our Alma roast we typically serve and the Walter Bauista were identifiably different, the Walter was more familiar to us than the other roast. The tastes were identifiable but not too bold. This is a coffee that could pretty much go with every occasion. I do plan to spend more time brewing this coffee because I have the most questions remaining on this roast compared to the others. I hope to better understand this roast over time and I plan to experiment with brewing it different ways.
Next up is the Tio Conejo Catw out of Colombia. This roast was the most unique - as in I could likely identify this roast blindfolded 10 out of 10 times. The tasting notes include: White Tea, Peach, Strawberry. This coffee, from my first experience, is the bridge between tea and coffee. It was a really easy to drink, light and Spring-like. This coffee tasted 'cheerful'. The aroma of the flavors would hit me well before I would even take a drink. If this coffee was a painting, I imagine it as a Impressionism painting of a French luncheon....I can't tell you why, it's just the visual that comes to mind when I experience this roast. It was a lot of fun, distinguishable and easy to drink.
The final roast we sampled was the Finca Medina from Guatemala. This was our favorite! The taste include: Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Brown Sugar, Caramel. Methodical calls this their 'easy going, everyday coffee'. Unlike the Tio Conejo Catw, the unique tastes were not as bold but the 'classic flavor' was reliable and comforting. The flavor was full from the beginning of the sip to the end and I didn't experience any flavor drop off. We plan to experiment with this roast as espresso a bit as we really fell in love with this complex yet familiar roast. Methodical classifies the Finca Medina as part of their Contemporary coffees.
We'll continue to stay close to all the incredible work coming out of the Methodical Coffee roastery. Not only is the coffee absolutely intelligent but the team at Methodical is a joy to be around and it's the type of place that you just want to be involved with.
Do you have a coffee roaster you would recommend for us to do a tasting with? If you know of any roasters in GA, AL, SC or TN that we can support, please contact us at email@example.com. We plan to continue to highlight the Southeast coffee community and we want to support all our local roasters.