coffee reviews

Bean Juice Review: Cerberus

Cerberus Coffee, Jacksonville, OR
Wizard Cat – Medium Roast, Blend of Brazil and Uganda
Tasting Notes: Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Balanced
Method: Pour over

Obviously I bought this impulsively because of the packaging, right? Cerberus Coffee is the featured roaster for Market of Choice stores for April and May, and it’s well deserved. Great packaging and pretty good coffee too.

Jacksonville is a small town in southern Oregon, a few miles away from Medford. I’m not too familiar with southern Oregon except for the town of Klamath from Fallout 2, but my friends who are from there tend to talk about it in a way that feels like it is a whole different land from the Willamette Valley part of Cascadia. (I’m actually traveling to the Medford area this summer so I might have some more imput later.)

I appreciate that Cerberus puts some of its money back toward the community, especially the LGBTQ community. But how does it taste?!

Well it tastes pretty … balanced. As if they blended two different origins and roasted them just enough to give a blanket taste. Not a bad cup of coffee at all, but nothing jumping out. I got more of the dark chocolate notes than the fruit. When I want a cup of coffee that tastes good and full-bodied without the sometimes pesky nuances of a light roast, this is what I would gravitate toward.

Overall, despite the confusing marketing between a Cat who is a Wizard and a Dog with Three Heads who guards the gates of Hell, Cerberus’s Wizard Cat is a tasty blend that doesn’t try anything too wild. 7/10

coffee reviews

Bean Juice Review: Keia & Martyn’s

Keia & Martyn’s, Portland, OR
Light(?) Roast, Colombia Nilson Yunda
Tasting Notes: Sugar, chocolate cookie, dried fruit

Oh boy. Oh boy. I’m excited for this one. First off, look at this packaging:

Absolutely cute as fuck. And compact, too!

But moreover, this coffee has a bit of lore to it, which has particular interest to me. Martyn is Martyn Leaper, of the band the Minders. I don’t know the Minders, but I am familiar with who they are connected to: the Elephant 6 Collective. These were a group of musicians who created some of my favorite bands–Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal, and Apples in Stereo to name a few. (Elf Power, Olivia Tremor Control, and Beulah to name more.)

To grab this coffee on a whim because it had cute packaging, only to find out that one of the roasters was a part of a highly influential recording collective, is pretty cool! Sadly, it appears that Martyn recently had a heart attack and is recovering from heart surgery. I hope he makes a full recovery!

I can’t find much information on Keia, unfortunately, though having a Black woman as a roaster bodes well for the equity of the beans, I think. I’m always leery about fair trade when it’s just a bunch of squirrely looking white guys running the roastery, you know? She has even set up an awesome Equity Pricing model for purchases. Super great.

Yeah yeah Josh, but how’s the coffee taste?

Pretty good! First sip was a blast of bright, floral notes, followed by a rounded out roasty flavor aftertaste. I’m fairly sure the beans are a light roast, which explains the floralness of it, but they may be more of a light-medium. I don’t really get any of the tasting notes, but that’s unsurprising for me. (I’m bad at tasting notes.) Perhaps the floral aspect I’m tasting is more along the “dried fruit” route, but I swear it has a bit more of an almost lavendery-esque taste to it. I thought the floral punch would stick around but subsequent sips are much more mellow.

Overall, great pro-social justice coffee roaster with a nice, pleasant flavored cup of coffee. And the Minders are a good band too! 7/10