The West Bean is a micro-roaster located in San Diego, CA, that in a sense aligns itself more with the older- than the newer-school West Coast roasters. More like old-time Peet's or Starbucks than Ritual or Four Barrel. That is, the roasts that I've sampled are medium-dark, more dark than medium.
I currently have a one-pound bag of their Honduras Capucas in my pantry.
Upon opening the bag, I was a bit disappointed. The roast was non-uniform, and although I've had uneven beans, particularly those of Ethiopian extraction, look non-uniform yet taste delicious, here the roast as opposed to the beans were uneven. The beans were basically of the same size, but some beans were lighter than others, some had dark and almost scorched spots, and the occasional bean had an oil slick. These are fairly oily beans when compared to my usual ROASTe roaster, PT's, but not as oily as a bona fide dark roast would be. Nonetheless, my grinder wouldn't accept the beans without 3-4 shakes per grinding session. Oil.
In the cup? Black, I couldn't get a good cup, despite 4-5 attempts. The cup was dominated by roast flavor. But as with most fresh medium-dark roasts, it was very good with cream and sugar. If you want to "taste Honduras," this isn't for you, but if you want something well-balanced once sugar and dairy are in the mix, this is a good choice, particularly given the reasonable price-point.
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