January 2018 La Marzocco Subscription – Kickapoo

Balance isn’t just for tightrope walkers...

It’s also an important factor in specialty coffee.  What it means is no single aspect overpowers the others.  Instead they help make each other better in contrast.  For example, this is why salt and caramel is so good together.  They are complimentary, they balance each other, and together they create a pleasing flavor. If I were to choose a single word to describe the espressos from Kickapoo Coffee, it would be balanced.

From their company ethos, to their coffee quality, balance is the name of the game. Based in Viroqua Wisconsin, Kickapoo Coffee focuses just as much on the sustainability of their business, as they do on the quality of their coffees.  If it’s not being one of the first coffee roasters in the world to run most of their facilities off of solar power, or building lasting relationships with farmers at origin, they’re working hard locally to roast and distribute some of the finest coffees in the United States.  But don’t take my word for it; ask Roast Magazine, Coffee Review, or the Good Food Awards.

Now that the background is out of the way, lets talk about these espressos.  The first one to grace my hopper was the Colombia Fondo Paez. Direct from the bag there was a subtly sweet hint of dried cherry and apricot.  As an espresso it has a balanced pleasant brightness and a full body with a syrup-like mouthfeel.  When prepared with steamed whole milk the dried cherry gives way to a smooth, sweet, cocoa flavor with notes of stewed peach and brown sugar.

The Full Spectrum espresso is a bit darker of a roast, and comes to us from Huehuetenango, Guatemala.  When pulled to Kickapoo’s specs (see below) the espresso is smooth and rounded with notes of caramel and bakers chocolate.  When accompanied with steamed milk the flavors from the espresso were mellowed to more of a dark chocolate, but added a subtle sweetness that is always appreciated in a cortado, cappuccino, or latte.

My favorite of the two espressos was the Colombia Fondo Paez, but only by a small margin.  I tend to lean more towards the fruitier flavored coffees, but both were outstanding with and without milk.  I also believe both of these coffees are crowdpleasers.  They are unique enough to challenge the palate of a seasoned coffee lover, but also have those familiar flavors that your average coffee drinker can still enjoy.  So with a delicious cortado in hand, the Kickapoo Coffees score a resounding 'Stock It' on my rating scale.

Spro Scale

Kickapoo Colombia

Colombia Fondo Paez

Origins: Colombia

Roast: Medium

Brew Ratio: 1:3

Grams In: 18

Grams Out: 42

Duration: 30 seconds

Full Spectrum

Full Spectrum

Origins: Guatemala

Roast: City

Brew Ratio: 1:2

Grams In: 18

Grams Out: 36

Duration: 28-30 seconds


1 Comment

  1. […] First, lets talk about my favorite duo.  I say duo because the subscription includes two bags of espresso, and most of the roasters provide two bags of different beans.  Most of which include a blend, and a single origin, but there are a couple outliers there.  That being said the standout duo of the year for me was Kickapoo Coffee out of Viroqua, Wisconsin. With their solar powered roasting facility, two coffees that stood out in their clarity, quality,  Also, unlike most duos these coffees shined with or without milk.  To read my full review of these coffees, click here. […]


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