What’s Ryan Brewing? Entry #1

My first entry to the “What’s Ryan Brewing” series is about Detour Coffee Roasters's Holiday Blend

Detour’s Holiday Blend is a blend of Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans that will “…fuel your shorter days, pond hockey games and toboggan races.” In this post I wax poetic on corporate social responsibility while putting this brew through its paces.

Okay. I’m going to go off on an early tangent.

I love marketing, branding, and packaging.

really do.

Maybe lately I've been drawn to it more because of a business project that’s on my back burner. Maybe my eyes just like to see nice things. But to tie that tangent in, I like what Detour did with their retail bag. Sleek, simple, and a catchy label that resonates with anyone who lives in a snow zone. Plus, I love how they’ve chosen a local charity to donate proceeds to—541 Eatery & Exchange in Hamilton.

541 is a phenomenal place. It’s a community based café and eatery that ensures people from all walks of life can have access to amazing food, coffee, and (most importantly) community. 541's staff is a combo of volunteers and paid help. They truly make a difference in the community. If you’re ever in the area, visit for some great food and buy a few ‘pay it forward’ buttons to help those in need.

But back to the coffee. [*Ryan sips]

Okay. I brew my first cup with my Kalita 185 SS Wave. I’d toyed with using another of my brewing toys but instead decided to “brew it better.” To do so, I’m using my Acaia Pearl, a better pour technique (previously I’d just flood the filter and walk away) and recorded my settings. Typically I do 20g in, 300g out, or 15:1, which remained the same for this brew. My overall brew time was just under 3 minutes for drip out, with finished pouring at around the 2:15 mark. Grind was #20 on my Encore and I think it needs to be adjusted for future pours.

This coffee was roasted on December 18th and has been open for around 4 days. I think now it is at its peak. The Holiday Blend from Detour was roasted on an S35 Kestrel Loring roaster, which I find typically takes a bit longer to degas.

[*Ryan sips again]

The overall cup is pretty tasty. With a different grind setting, it would have been so much better. This coffee has a great mouth-feel. It’s something I’d enjoy while sitting in front of a fireplace, singing along with family wearing our best ugly Christmas sweaters, with the smell of pine in the air. Obviously.

The Ethiopian really adds to the character of the cup, with the Guatemalan acting as a solid base. Something you may notice is my lack of reference to tasting notes. I understand their importance for making decisions, and I appreciate they exist. But I find, at the end of the day, the most important thing is whether you like the coffee. For me, that’s all that actually matters. What is the coffee for? Breakfast? Dinner? OMG I NEED A COFFEE NOW? Detour’s Holiday Blend is a rock solid coffee. Something I’d get again, something I’d picture as a cold-day-coffee to keep my bones warm.

As I can now see the bottom of my mug [*Ryan takes his last sip] we’ve come to the end of this first post.

Thank you for joining me, and stay tuned for future posts. As always, feedback is appreciated. Whether you have questions, comments, stories, or suggestions for future posts—please share!


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