coffee@home: Barefoot’s Sumatra Gayoland

Beans: Sumatra Gayoland Decaf-water process
Roaster: Barefoot Coffee Roasters

I picked up this 12 oz bag of Decaf Sumatra Gayoland on my recent trip to Barefoot (even though I vastly prefer getting half pound bags). I cupped it, pulled a few shots with it, and brewed it both via french press and pour over drip. I found a light, delicate, coffee. Brewed, it takes on the color of black tea with just the slightest drop of milk. My results stood in contrast to the dark, earthy espresso I had at the 2008 WRBC and the description on the label.

I don’t know if I did something wrong, but I was pleasantly surprised. The coffee had an intense, but balanced limey acidity and tasted of herbs and a touch of milk chocolate. It had a suggestion of earthy body, but still seemed clean and delicate. As an espresso, it was bright and chirpy. I enjoyed the rich flavor and intense acidity of the french press, but also liked the more subtle depth that emerged as a drip. This coffee was great after a meal of chicken in lettuce cups and went well with a vanilla cake with whipped cream. I could even find myself enjoying this coffee (gasp!) first thing in the morning.

I suppose this same bright, clean profile might not be considered a plus by everyone. I suspect people tend to drink their decaf at night (for obvious reasons), and as such may have often just finished a heavier meal or a big, fat delicious, heart-clogging desert. This is not the coffee for these occasions. The Gayoland is versatile when it comes to brewing but doesn’t want to accompany anything.

I always struggle with how to rate a decaf. Do I rank it compared to other decafs or compared to caffeinated coffees? Certainly compared to decafs this one deserves a four. It’s very good, and one of the few bright decaf coffees I can remember that didn’t come across as simply sour. Compared to caffeinated beans, I think the Gayoland is probably in the lower fours, but I’d certainly like to have this decaf in my regular coffee repertoire.

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1 comment to coffee@home: Barefoot’s Sumatra Gayoland

  • I wandered in here while looking for some Coffee-related blogs to add to my reader, and you just happened to have rated the decaf I usually drink.

    At work we’ve got this in one of the grinders next to our Clover. I generally end up hitting this in the afternoon by getting a dose for 16 oz., throwing it into the clover with water for an 8 oz. cup, and brewing it directly into a tumbler full of ice with a packet or two of sugar on top. Then I toss in a bit of half and half.

    I think it tastes a tad bit burnt (probably because of the high coffee to water ratio when brewing), but is definitely better then having me bounce off the walls all day.

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