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Grimpeur Bros; Leif Erikson/Saltzman RD S.O

January 29, 2016

Very happily, the first of the coffees I get to review is from one of my favorites; Grimpeur Bros Specialty Coffee.

Grimpeur, for those unfamiliar with the word, is French for “climber” or “one who excels at climbing.” In cycling, grimpeur is usually reserved for those who are not just good at going uphill, but for those who do it better than anybody, and without a trace of effort or strain, climbing the steepest and longest mountains, in the worst of conditions, all the while tapping out poetry in each pedal stroke. For many in recent decades, the word seems to have been saved for the Colombian and Basque climbers who always appear to be most at home, as a collective group, when climbs approach “epic” qualities. It is perhaps fitting that the brothers of Grimpeur Bros are not brothers. They are both cyclists, and love the community of cycling, so it is no surprise that they support cycling to the extent that they do- selling many coffees that help individual riders, or teams, or groups like the Amy D Foundation. It’s long been known that coffee and cycling go hand in hand, and Grimpeur Bros have made that their entire ethos.

The Leif Erikson/Saltzman Rd single origin is a lightly roasted African coffee with a beautiful aroma. Per the Grimpeur website;

Leif Erikson / Saltzman Single Origin is a SWEET Burundi coffee harvested by a 300 small producers working through the Mpanga Washing Station in Kayanza. This lot features vibrant sweet lemon-lime, dried fruit, and floral notes with a classic East African finish.

The taste is light, crisp, and sweet. The aroma is gorgeous. Opening the bag was a treat, and the freshly ground beans filled my tiny kitchen with a delicious smell that lingered nicely. I knew from the smell, I was gonna be pleased.

SO good!

Beautiful beans.

Simple set up and process.

That smell!

Allowing it to “bloom.”

In my normal fashion, for the initial taste, I brewed as I always do- Aeropress, stainless steel filter, and water boiled to 200+ degrees. The initial aroma of the coffee as it “bloomed” was just as nice as the freshly ground beans. Again, the wonderful aroma of this coffee is exceptional. But, there’s more to coffee than smell.

I like to try each new coffee straight black- if it tastes good straight, then you know it’s a good coffee! My normal cuppa is with a little bit of sugar and half & half, especially later in the day/ evening. That said, the Leif Erikson is bright and crisp. There’s no hint of icky bitterness- it’s clearly not over-roasted or burned. I love African coffees, and this is a very nice example. I have found that even when roasted a bit too long, they tend to retain great flavor, so they’re a little forgiving that way … but that’s from a purely anecdotal perspective. If you like a lighter coffee with smooth, crisp, sweet flavor then this is an exceptional coffee. I drank the first cup while getting started writing this review and it stayed tasty from first hot sip until the last cooler sip.

I’ll have more about Grimpeur Bros in a follow-up post about the company. Dan and Nigel have created something special, and they’re damn good guys. Dan’s smiling face is often seen at bigger CX races across the country, or in the Austin, TX area. If, like me, you like to support companies who support cycling, then Grimpeur Bros needs to be at the top of your list. It feels good to buy from nice people who happen to enjoy cycling, and the payoff is some awesome coffee to drink too.


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