Lino Rodriguez Pink Bourbon from Aviary

One of my favorite coffees this year comes from one of my favorite new roasters, Aviary. Lino Rodriguez’s Pink Bourbon raised the bar for what I consider an exceptional coffee.

double dipping

The nature of single origin coffee (and the fact that I enjoy tasting a wide variety) means that I’m rarely drinking two bags of the same coffee without waiting many months between harvests. But as I write this, I’m about to break open my second bag of Lino Rodriguez’s Pink Bourbon from Aviary. This coffee was so exceptional, I couldn’t help but double dip.

Aviary describes the taste as, “fig, nectarine, blood orange and lychee, and black currant” for fans of “classic expressions of Pink Bourbon that are laden with stone fruit and citrus as well as dense, vibrant, zingy acidity”.

I cupped it at three weeks off roast and tasted juicy acidity, with citrus, watermelon, and blackcurrant. Overall a clean and bright coffee with an intoxicating aroma. It was the type of coffee where I was basically chugging the cupping bowl.

And it was a rare example of a coffee that was delicious in every brew.

juicy from day one

From cupping to brewing, I could tell that this coffee was special. As it aged, some of the citrus turned into more of a fig sweetness but it was consistently delicious. And it totally raised the bar for what I consider exceptional.

When buying coffee, there’s a lot of bad coffee, some great coffee, and a narrow selection of incredible coffee. Most of what I brew at home falls into the “great” category, and I’m very pleased with that. But occasionally, you have a coffee that is memorable because it stands above the rest.

It’s bittersweet; I have such fond memories of this coffee but I’ll miss it when I finish the bag. And I can’t help comparing future brews to it.

Ultimately though it’s exciting, because I now have another producer, Lino Rodriguez, in my mind as someone to look out for in the future. I’ll also be eagerly awaiting future Aviary releases.

And speaking of Aviary, this was my first time trying its coffee. Needless to say, it left a great impression.

bird up

Aviary is a new roaster (although it’s owner, Christopher Feran is anything but new to the coffee world) that has gotten a lot of praise through its first few releases. And I do mean releases because, like MoodTrap or The Picky Chemist, Aviary releases limited availability drops of new coffees.

I know this bothers some people, and I can understand why. Not everyone likes the idea of spending more money for smaller quantities of coffee and having to jump on a release the moment it opens, or risk missing it forever.

This limited window can induce a sense of FOMO or even resentment. But it’s important to remember that the roasters doing this are very small businesses, sometimes even operating as a side businesses. It’s unrealistic to expect them to buy massive quantitates of green coffee. They also usually have a specific goal or quality standard they uphold with each release, selling “just any old coffee” would defeat the purpose.

And remember that coffee is an agricultural product; for any bean there is an inherently limited harvest. Often, higher quality goes hand in hand with smaller quantities.

The way to never have a coffee be sold out is blends, and I would much rather buy Lino Rodriguez’s Pink Bourbon from Aviary than the “Busy Bird Blend”.

Try to avoid the FOMO; there will always be another exciting coffee release and every release might not fit your tastes. Buy coffee when you need it and enjoy what you have open.

For me, Aviary very much lives up to the hype and is worth the premium. If you want exceptional coffee and want to support someone doing great work in the industry, keep an eye out for future releases.

Not to mention the “Import to Beanconqueror” feature, that should be reason enough to support.

brewing advice

Note: I don’t plan on giving specific recipes in these posts. Instead, I’ll provide guidance or variations in approach based on the coffee’s characteristics.

  • This was actually one of the easiest coffees I’ve brewed. Just make sure your water is good and you’ll have a great time.
  • Rest this coffee at least two to three weeks as it’s quite light. I enjoy trying coffees at this earlier window and then tasting how they change with rest.
  • For this coffee, I noticed more florals and citrus at lower extractions and more fig sweetness when pushed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top