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coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Ruby Coffee Roasters’ Flume Seasonal Blend

Ruby Coffee Roasters is a roaster I’m thrilled to return to. Their coffee portfolio strikes the perfect balance between a quality cup and a romantic approach.

I fell in love with their Decaf Cauca earlier this year, a fruity and honeyed delight that hit high notes in every brewing method. Now they boast two new decaf coffees that promise more delicious mugs on the horizon. While the Decaf Aguacate sounds delectable, I honed in on the Flume Seasonal Blend partially for its flavor notes and partially for the brilliant site description.

This is the kind of coffee I would instantly recommend to those thinking of expanding their knowledge. It’s one thing to understand coffee can hit a whole ‘nother level. It’s another thing to know.

If you’re a regular (or occasional!) decaf drinker that wants to broaden your tastes, check out my Decaf, Decaf Everywhere review series. I recently reviewed the fantastic Slow Jamz from Deadstock Coffee, as well as a highly anticipated Sugarcane Decaf from Merit Coffee Co.

How are coffee beans blended? Which decaf coffee is the best for you? Let’s see how Ruby Coffee Roasters continues to bring the quality:

Origin

This decaf coffee blend hails partially from Brazil (Serra Negra) and partially from Colombia (Cauca).

So, how are coffee beans blended? While some blends are (quietly) created to mask coffee defects, Ruby Coffee Roasters stresses their experimental intentions. The Brazilian coffee is stated to be more ‘chocolatey and creamy’, while the Colombian is on the ‘lighter and fruitier’ side.

Combining the two creates an interplay of flavors and sensations. The Cauca region, in particular, consistently churns out tasty coffee. Check out my review of Methodical Coffee’s Decaf Cauca to learn more about what this popular region has to offer.

The Coffee Quality Institute recently interviewed a coffee quality control manager who hails from the Cauca region, which I highly recommend checking out if you love behind-the-scenes details!

Roaster

Ruby Coffee Roasters is a microroaster from Wisconsin, starting out extremely local and gradually expanding to include a tasting room and larger shipping houses.

Their coffee portfolio is a blend of origins, ranging from Colombia to Kenya. They’re now offering a compostable steeped coffee alongside classic whole or ground beans. You can also try a sampler pack if you can’t narrow down your decision.

I’m really happy to say Ruby Coffee Roasters has a refreshing attitude toward decaf: they consider it the perfect ‘all-day drink’ when they want to wind down for the evening. It’s a nice change from the usual, “Wow, I can’t believe our decaf doesn’t taste like crap!” I usually see on roaster sites.

Packaging

This decaf coffee blend boasts one of the most charming site descriptions I’ve ever read.

Coffee’s journey from soil to cup is a story unfolding. Ruby Coffee Roasters clearly understands this vital foundation, because their Flume Seasonal Blend taps into every little detail that makes coffee meaningful. They explicitly chose the name ‘flume’ based on Flume Creek, a little stream near the roastery that inspires warm and cozy thoughts.

The site description waxes philosophical about the peace that comes with the rolling countryside and how a good cup of coffee embodies the sensation. D’aw.

While I already reviewed the similar packaging of their Decaf Cauca, this bag has switched things up a little. It has the same logo and color scheme, but now goes for an even more minimalist approach. Their Biotre coffee packaging bags are stated to be a more cost-efficient alternative to make up for shipping delays and financial instability.

This is the kind of communication I can really get behind in coffee branding. Sharing your business struggles doesn’t make you look bad: it reminds customers that humans are behind the logo.

Aroma

Ahh. This decaf coffee smells just like a baked apple pie. The roasters weren’t kidding when they said this blend was comforting.

The ground bean brings out the fruit to a more tangy degree, though not to the level of zest you’d get from, say, a raspberry or lemon. It’s still apple, through and through, and I’d say it’s a little more red than green.

Mouthfeel/Roast Level

This looks and tastes like a medium roast coffee. The mouthfeel is consistently low on acidity, smooth and full-bodied.

The pourover and the French Press hit a silky sensation that suited the flavor notes nicely.

Flavor Notes

Oh, what a cuddly sounding coffee. Maple, nutmeg, baked apple, and cocoa powder are the dominant notes of this cozy blend.

Did they actually pan out?

When it comes to the baked apple and cocoa powder flavor notes: absolutely. These were consistent across the board, with the baking spice note of nutmeg more prominent in the mellow French Press. The sweetness of the maple and chocolate pops in the pourover. The Moka pot is characteristically fruity, yet circumvents a sour tang in favor of more of that apple pie goodness.

The coffee held up very well to milk and sugar, with few of its notes drowned out. For a second time, Ruby Coffee Roasters has me deeply impressed.

Final Verdict

Another home run for Ruby Coffee Roasters. Every time they bring in a new decaf, I’m going to be first in line to try it.

This coffee experience starts off strong with its wistful, romantic site description. The coffee beans more than hold up to the promise, blending baking spices with fruity and chocolate notes. This was clearly a blend they put a lot of thought into.

This is the kind of coffee that slots in wonderfully with a good book and a lazy evening. These flavors hearken to everything that slows the heartrate down. The holidays, good company, the weight of a warm cat curled on your lap…you name it.

It was hard to pick a favorite brewing method, but I found myself returning to the pourover for its persistent sweetness. If you’re a decaf drinker that steers clear of bitter or acidic coffee, I highly recommend you give this blend a try while it’s still available. Likewise? If you’re a tea drinker that’s fond of chai or fruit teas, the Flume Seasonal Blend will find a welcome spot in your kitchen.

You can find Ruby Coffee Roasters at their site here.

Want to learn more about what’s going on in the world of coffee? Check out:

It’s not just the bean that can make a good drink. Olam Coffee is looking into marketing cascara drinks created from the coffee bean’s leftover fruity pulp.

Coffee drinking trends change on a dime…sometimes! Daily Coffee News recently took a look at what has and hasn’t changed in American coffee culture.

Freshly roasted coffee is one of the most popular selling points of roasters. As it stands, there’s compelling evidence that waiting a few days on a fresh roast can strengthen flavors.

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