I stumbled onto Bill’s Beans after having a conversation with @ryHanson on Twitter. We communicate about what we’re drinking from time to time, and Ryan has made it clear that he swears by Bill’s Beans, a microroaster founded, owned, and operated by Bill Angle in Pocatello, Idaho. I’m from Idaho originally, and I’ve been to Pocatello a few times. Make no mistake, it’s a great place. But it’s not exactly known as a mecca of coffee.
I was hesitant from the get-go, but Idaho will always have a special place in my heart. BoiseCoffee started in Boise, after all, and I try to get back to my roots as often as I can. This seemed like a great opportunity, so I sent Bill a message about possibly reviewing his coffee. After a brief online exchange, my coffee was in the mail.
First, a little about Bill’s Beans. His website says,
All coffee bean orders are roasted within 1-2 days of the date the order is place.
All coffee beans are roasted at an elevation of 6014 ft and are roasted in a Diedrich IR-7, an Idaho made roaster.
All coffee beans are roasted and shipped from Pocatello, Idaho.
All coffee bean orders are a full pound (16oz), and come in a one way valve zip bag.
Bill just recently made the jump to selling his coffee online. His website isn’t perfect, but he does have fairly good descriptions of each coffee that is available to purchase. He sent me “Bill’s Blend” and “Bill’s Espresso Blend.” Let’s get started.
Bill’s blend smelled delicious when I opened the bag: like a chocolate cake. The smell filled the room instantly, and I loved it. I brewed Bill’s Blend in my Clever drip brewer and received varying results depending on the coffee-water ratio that I used. The best result I got was when I used 26 grams of coffee with 380 grams of water. This cup was clear and had a solid taste full of deep, low nutty notes. Brief flashes of acidity sparked my palette throughout the cup, creating an interesting combination of low notes and high notes that was more than welcome. I could tell that this was a blend right out, but it was definitely one of the better blends I’ve tried.
The cup kept me coming back for more, and I highly recommend purchasing a bag for yourself.
Bill’s Espresso Blend
I encountered an immediate problem when I opened Bill’s Espresso Blend: I don’t have an espresso machine. However, I do have an Aeropress, and it can adequately be used to create what I like to call “fakespresso”; a highly concentrated shot of coffee, but not pulled with enough pressure to deem it true espresso. I haven’t indulged in fakespresso in a while, and I was excited to give Bill’s Espresso Blend a try. The results were incredible.
Bill’s Espresso Blend pulled some of the best shots I’ve ever had, and the best I’ve ever had using an Aeropress. Strong chocolate notes rang through with some nutty notes, akin to what I experienced with Bill’s Blend. However, they were intertwined in such a way that the best word I can use to describe the taste is “Almond Hershey’s Bar.” And it really was like a delicious candy bar in a shot. The acidity of the shot was present, but fairly even and played off the tongue nicely. There wasn’t any sour aftertaste, which was great. This would make excellent espresso to go with any desert after dinner.
Bill’s Beans was the definition of what I think of when I hear the word “microroaster”: a small, relatively unknown roaster who produces an excellent product. It was evident that Bill’s almost 20 years of roasting experience really make his coffee unique and delicious. His shipping prices vary depending on where you live in the U.S., but I would highly recommend you give him a shot. Pun totally intended.
The Coffee Guy