The last time I tasted coffee from the Sigri Estate in Papa New Guinea, it was a roast from Michigan-based Hyperion Coffee Company that was sensational. So when word reached my inbox that Deeper Roots Coffee in Cincinnati would be offering up a Sigri roast, it made perfect sense to hop in the car for a trip up I-75 North to procure a bag, along with making a quick pit stop at Party Source and New Riff for some non-caffeinated treats.
For some background on Sigri, let us turn to Deeper Roots for an explanation:
Sigri is a washed Arabica coffee that undergoes a rigorous wet factory process. Quality Control begins in the field; Cherries are hand-picked and carefully checked for uniformity. It must be red and fully ripe which allows for the correct balance of sugar and acid within the cherry. This selected cherry is then pulped on the day of picking.
A fermentation process follows — three days broken every 24 hours by washing, but unlike many other coffees, the Sigri process follows this by total immersion in water for a further day. This balances the flavors, ultimately, creating a better coffee. Careful conditioning of 21 days is followed by hulling, grading, densitometric sorting, color sorting, and finally hand sorting. This, combined with rigorous quality control before packing, produces the specialty green beans for which Sigri is renowned.
Immediately after brewing, the nose hits from a distance — a generous note of tropical and floral elements that thankfully mellows as the temperature decreases. The palate keeps the sweetness going but adds notes of brown sugar and plenty of chestnut honey before giving way over time to a character that resembles a well-brewed oolong tea. The earthier elements strike a rolling finish of mild dark chocolate and raisin that is long and not too acidic.
I attempted with great modesty to create a cappuccino from this blend, and milk tempers the oolong tea tones, creating a well-balanced drink. The two main elements complement one another with ease rather than striving for dominance.
Deeper Roots takes one of the more lively non-African coffees available and roasts beans with excellent precision, resulting in a clean, agreeable cup that is low-key and suitable for a hearty weekend breakfast. It was well worth the road trip.
B+ / $14 per 12 oz bag
Fine print: Your tasting notes may vary based on personal brewing preferences. For the sake of this review, coffee was ground at a medium-coarse setting and brewed with a Chemex Ottomatic pour-over system, enjoyed black with no additives.