Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Sightglass Coffee’s Hunky Dory

Is that the cutest name or what?

We’re already at the fourth entry in the Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series. That’s more than enough beans to start feeling the differences in quality. What caught my eye with this one (aside from the roaster’s adorable naming conventions) was the promise of a bergamot flavor note. For those that don’t know, that’s the tea leaf that gives Earl Grey its distinctive flavor. My tea cabinet is a pretty impressive creation, so this was something I had to check out for myself.

Does Hunky Dory truly live up to its title? Let’s take a look at this charming little bag and what it has to offer to both coffee lovers and tea fanatics. If you’re new to the series, check out my previous posts on Counter Culture Coffee’s Slow Motion or Partners Coffee Roasters’ Ghost Town.

Without further ado!

Getting a specialty coffee bag in the mail is such a pick-me-up.

The promise of two or three weeks of freshly roasted coffee is a certified mood booster. It doesn’t hurt getting single bags also means you get to see really cute little cardboard boxes. I haven’t the heart to toss them yet (and I’m hoarding the bags for my as-of-yet unnamed future art project).

Here’s to recycling.

Origin

We’ve got a USDA certified organic coffee roaster on our hands, one that uses a blended washed and Swiss Water method for decaffeination. If you want to learn more about how it works, there’s a great guide here.

Roaster

Sightglass Coffee is a cafe-roaster from San Francisco, California. They’re independent, sibling-owned and have been in the business since 2009. Alongside coffee they offer beer, pizza and farmer’s market goods.

Packaging

This roaster has some of the most delightful naming conventions I’ve ever seen. Oh my goodness.

I mean, Owl’s Howl? Hunky Dory? Blueboon? I feel like I’m sifting through the pages of a fantasy novel as I browse their wares. Whereas Counter Culture Coffee is a poppy bonanza, Sightglass Coffee goes for a more muted approach. Blues and browns dominate here, with a striking round silhouette like a rising moon. It’s both hushed and romantic, making me feel the better part of a twee browser in a rainy village. The little silver illustration on the back of the bag tops it off perfectly.

Coffee’s an experience, after all. Every little detail counts.

Aroma

This decaf coffee was delivered to me promptly, roasted just a few days earlier and ensuring I’d get a damn fine scent when I opened the bag. I wasn’t disappointed. There’s a subtle sweetness to Hunky Dory, leaning toward mild without being bland. Not unlike popping open a box of tea.

Brew Methods

Good news: I’ve finally obtained a Moka pot! This means I’ll have a solid three brew methods in upcoming coffee reviews (as well as reviewing the amazing pot itself, which you’ll want to stay tuned for). For now, both the French Press and pourover boasted a smooth, slightly thin body. Nothing outstanding, but nothing I would call weak, either. Just standard.

I have to mention the beautiful crema, though. While freshly roasted coffee often boasts golden tones when steeping in water (and those are plenty beautiful already), this one leans closer toward a reddish amber. Almost jewel-like. Good decaf coffee shouldn’t just smell good, it should look good.

Roast Profile

I couldn’t find the roast profile over on the website, but this decaf coffee tastes and smells like a lighter roast.

Flavor Notes

I’m happy to say the bergamot is indeed there. Not striking, no, but that’s what actual bergamot is for, right?

It also has to compete with the other flavor notes, one of which I’m happy to say is just as distinctive. Tangy notes rise to the top, meaning the red grape was immediately pronounced with a pleasant tartness that hits sweet. The bergamot lingers nicely as a tea-like aftertaste, which is a great pairing to the smooth and simple mouthfeel. The toffee ends up being the most muted by far, which had me saddened, but not at all surprised. When you are offered so many flavor notes — contradictory ones, at that — some are bound to get drowned out.

Overall? That’s still two pronounced flavors in this decidedly gentle coffee.

Final Verdict

Stronger than Partners’ Ghost Town and not quite as much of a showstopper as the Decaf Kuichi, Hunky Dory is exactly what it says on the bag: pleasant and charming.

There isn’t a hint of bitterness when you drink it straight, which is perfect for those that really can’t stand the bite of some coffee. Their description of Hunky Dory as ‘floral and delicate’ is very accurate, with enough red grape and bergamot to make up for the lack of toffee. If you’re a big tea fan and crave a gentler roast? This should be your next order. Fans of stronger flavors or more striking mouthfeels, however, may want to look elsewhere.

All in all, I’m very glad I tried this and am happy to add this dainty, freshly roasted coffee to my repertoire. You can find Sightglass Coffee at their website here.

Craving more coffee knowledge? You might enjoy:

Coffee and music are two of my favorite things. If your playlist could use a few new additions, I reviewed five catchy songs that talk about or reference coffee.

Robusta isn’t as resilient as previously thought. This new report from Daily Coffee News takes a look at the popular misconception concerning this coffee variety and why it still faces the same environmental issues as Arabica.

Coffee shoes and robots. No, that sentence didn’t come out of a random phrase generator. Check out this fascinating news story about how recycled coffee grounds help robots move faster.

3 thoughts on “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Sightglass Coffee’s Hunky Dory

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