I had heard about this new player in the world of coffee called Perfect Coffee. What they claimed seemed outrageous. Pre-ground coffee that's good. I reacted the same way that all my fellow coffee snobs probably did. I scoffed at the idea and immediately discounted it as impossible, because, you know, we all think we know what's "right" when it comes to coffee. But, I decided them to give them a try, why not, what did I have to lose? So I signed up to be an alpha drinker.
Just a couple days ago, my first order came in. 4 vacuum sealed packets of Chromatic Coffee, based out of San Jose, CA. I got a familiar Ethiopia Kochere, a Kenya Kakuyuni, Keynote, and La Virgen. At the time that I ordered, my choices were limited to Blue Bottle, Philz, and Chromatic. I'm not the biggest fan of the first two (they're not bad, just my personal preference), so I decided to take a plunge and try something new. Ideally, I would have picked something I liked and have tried before, just for comparison's sake, but oh well. We're ditching exact science and going for pure enjoyment. No A/Bing here.
All the coffees were roasted fairly recently with the exception of the Keynote. My order shipped on the 25th and I received my order on the 26th.
At the time of writing this post, I have only tried the Ethiopia Kochere and cannot yet comment on the other three coffees. I ordered all the coffees with the Bonavita Coffee Maker option, as I figured that would give me the closest grind size for my manual pourover methods. I weighed the contents of the packet out to be 38 grams, pretty good for a two cup Chemex brew, so that's what I chose to brew in.
If you want basic brewing parameters, here you go: 38 grams coffee, 570 grams water, ~5 minute 40 second brew time with a 30 second bloom.
And finally, here are my honest opinions on this cup. It was pretty darn good. Before tasting, I threw out all potential misconceptions I had about pre-ground coffee and took my cup with an open mind. Dare I say, it actually ended up being one of the better cups I brewed in a while. It wasn't as bright as I expected it to be, probably given its pre-ground nature, but it was still a solid cup. Hint of tangerine acidity and sweetness on the front end with a nice, mellow chocolatey finish and a syrupy mouthfeel.
Sure, it would be ideal if I had some freshly ground coffee to compare this to, but whatever, I'm happy. Would I completely ditch my grinder and sell myself to pre-ground coffee? No, not just yet. I like being able to adjust my grind on the fly, and I'd have to do some A/B testing to really get a feel for the difference, or lack thereof in the pre-ground stuff.
Check them out and sign up to be an alpha tester at www.perfectcoffee.com.