Rako Coffee Roasters: Thoughts & Brewing Methods

Hey coffee lovers! We’re going to start publishing more coffee related content and to kick off the inaugural post, we’re reviewing two coffees from Rako Coffee Roasters.  Located in northern Virginia, Rako specializes in sustainably-sourced, single-origin beans, roasted with environmentally friendly practices. The two coffees they generously mailed us to try is their Harimau Tiger and Espresso Blend-Ethiopia.

Rako Coffee Roasters’ Harimau Tiger

This Sumatran, a medium-dark roast with notes of cocoa, molasses, grapefruit and tobacco, was tried as a pour over and an espresso shot. The bag of whole beans has a pungent, funky scent that might scare some people, but don’t worry, this is typical of Sumatran beans and despite the aroma, is a great cup of coffee.

rako harimau tiger

Pour Over: Brewed as a pour over and taken black (no cream/no sugar), the coffee is very fragrant, smooth, slightly acidic and has a clean finish. We’d describe it as very tea like. For those who like very strong coffee, this might not be for you, however for people who prefer milder flavors or tea drinkers developing a taste for coffee, this would be perfect. 

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espresso cups

Espresso: Although not a “proper” roast for espresso, we couldn’t help ourselves and tried it anyway. The espresso was pulled from a Gaggia Classic and taken black (no sugar). We found the espresso to be solid, with strong earthy flavors up front and a mildly acidic finish. If you’re an espresso drinker who likes some amount of acidity, this might be the perfect cup for you.

Rako Coffee Roasters’ Espresso Blend – Ethiopia

This Ethiopian blend, a medium-dark roast with notes of candied ginger, cocoa, blackberry tart, was tried as a pour over, an espresso shot and an Americano.

rako espresso blend

Pour Over: Yup, we do what we want. Just because it’s an espresso blend doesn’t mean it can’t be brewed any other way and we’re glad we tried it. Brewed as a pour over and taken black (no cream/no sugar), this coffee is the perfect example of a high quality Ethiopian coffee.

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pourover coffee at home

It’s very flavorful (bright berry flavors throughout), bold with lots of character and has a clean finish. If you love Ethiopian coffee as much as we do, then this is an absolute must try!

Espresso: The espresso was pulled from a Gaggia Classic and taken black (no sugar). We found the espresso shot to be highly acidic so we recommend pulling it long and adding sugar.  Note: it’d be a good foundation for an espresso based drink so don’t be afraid to get creative with your coffee.

Americano: We used a standard recipe, and it just so happens that these beans were made for a good strong Americano. Although we enjoyed it hot, we have no doubt it tastes amazing cold as well, which is convenient because we can’t think of a better way to cool off on a hot summer day.

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rako americano coffee

Alright folks, that’s all for today. We hope you enjoyed this post and if you’re looking for a new coffee to try and do some good (10% of every sale is donated to Chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s Power of 10 crowdfunding initiative), check out Rako Coffee Roasters stat! 

PS. we’ve recently decided to start posting new content 5x a week instead of our regular Monday, Thursday and Saturday posting schedule so make sure to check back soon.  Until next time, friends!


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