The Big Bang is a medium-roasted Ethiopian coffee. The coffee considered is a tribute roast to Alfred Peet, who was a world traveler and expert in the field if ever a man earned that title. His passport stamps include London, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the U.S.A. His company claims to have been the roots for starting and training the founders of Starbucks, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown Roasters. They have since acquired Intelligentsia and Stumptown. Alfred Peets’s main goal in staying in the U.S. and transitioning from importing coffee to starting a cafe was helping Americans appreciate better coffee, so he started in California and stayed. How do you pay tribute to the man who has impacted the coffee scene so richly? Well, it probably is not a consequence that the coffee used for this bag is from Ethiopia, the home of coffee. I think it is on the darker side of the medium scale towards a dark roast. It is roasted in California. I made it in a small pour-over and a French press, and here are my opinions.
The pour-over was well-ordered and flavorful; the flavors were not trying to hurry over one another. Because this is a paper-filtered coffee, it had no oils present, and the presentation was a standard black. The notes were nutty, dark chocolate, and smokey. I would pair this with breakfast tacos, most likely from a BBQ house, or, on the other end, an Eclair or a Bavarian creme donut. For cigars, I would smoke Plascencia 149 or Punch Diablo because the spice and very bright cedar notes will pair nicely with the smokey and dark chocolate notes of the coffee.
In the French press, the oils form atop the brew, covering the entire surface of the cup. It almost reminds me of head on a beer; the oils also change the color of the coffee from black to brown. Upfront, the oils don’t affect the flavor of the coffee, but they stick with you for hours later. In the French press, the taste is mainly smoke and dark chocolate. The finish has a bigger bite than the pour-over did. The pairings here would be different. It would be a dark chocolate bar with sea salt Carmel or a brownie. I would do Plascencia prototype maduro, Foundation Tabernacle, or the aging room quattro for cigars.
This coffee rates a 10/10 because this is a unicorn coffee. What I mean is that this is a cup of coffee by which others will be judged. The multitude and coherence of the flavors in the pour-over are amazing and hard to match. The French press’s ability to change the experience by muting the nutty notes and expressing all the oils is also amazing how coffee can do all that, so it is important to test both brewing methods. I highly recommend going out and trying this bag and raising a glass to Mr. Peet.