Good morning and welcome to this today’s review of Theodore’s Coffee Roasters’ Playa Grande, an award-winning coffee from one of my go-to roasters. I can’t wait and thanks for coming along for the ride!

Theodore’s Coffee Roasters Website

Purchase this coffee for $19/12oz with free US shipping

Other reviews in this series: Buena Esperanza (Guatemala) | Parainema (Honduras)


There are so many great specialty coffee roasters in the USA that it takes a lot to stand out, but Theodore’s Coffee Roasters have been doing that for me for many years now. They always have a surprising number of coffees available and they do a fantastic job sourcing and roasting. I’ve reviewed so many of their coffees over the years and had such consistently great experiences that Theodore’s has an almost permanent spot on my “buy anything from them and it will be good” list! Theodore’s Coffee Roasters was founded in 2013 in Owosso, Michigan by Darwin Pavon, originally from Honduras. His career as an agronomist working with many hundreds of coffee farms from Mexico to Colombia has helped him forge relationships throughout Central America and select coffees from small farmers that would possibly otherwise go unnoticed. Lucky us!

This morning’s coffee is one of Theodore’s best sellers, Playa Grande. This coffee is grown by Evangelina Sagastume on her farm in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. It’s Pacas varietal grown at 2000masl and it’s a washed process coffee. This coffee farm started in 1971, so the family has a lot of experience when it comes to growing and processing coffee.

I’m using my standard pourover setup of a 1:16.5 ratio of 22g of coffee and 363g of Third Wave Water in a Trinity Origin dripper (basically a three-hole flat bottom like a Kalita Wave). I’m using Kalita 155 filters and I pulse pour my water through a Melodrip to reduce agitation of the coffee bed. This coffee was a fast brewer at just under 3:00 total time.

I got nice hits of raisin and toasted marshmallow from the brewing coffee and in my cooling cup I’m still getting a lot of sweetness and some caramelized sugars and marshmallows on the nose. Taking a sip, this is a nice example of what I call “sugarbomb” coffees from Guatemala! Sweet, sweet, sweet! I’m getting lightly caramelized sugar and barely-roasted marshmallow here. I’m also getting some apple juice vibes here, which are nice and refreshing in the middle of summer right now. In the second half of the sip I’m picking up just a hint of strawberry that carries through to the finish and is more apparent in the aftertaste, really, and some grapefruit juice, too. This offers good balance to all the sweetness in the cup and it’s a very different grapefruit note than I’d pick up from a classic Kenyan coffee, which are well-known for their very grapefruit forward acidity. The grapefruit here is subtle and more the juice than pith or peel. It hits the side of my tongue and cheeks a little, but it’s not in-your-face at all. In the middle of the sip there is a bit of milk chocolate and cocoa coming through, too. This coffee is very easy-drinking and it’s no wonder this is a best seller for Theodore’s! It finishes sweet and leaves a pleasant, lingering aftertaste with a lot of strawberry character which I am really enjoying.

This coffee is great! Theodore’s says this about it: “This coffee launches with a sweetly resinous fragrance of chocolate and roasted almonds. These carry into flavor notes, joined by buttered toast and honey. Sweet, rounded acidity and a smooth, silky mouthfeel lend a rounded and juicy profile to this shade grown coffee.” Nice to see some of the same notes in our flavor descriptions, for sure. This is definitely what I would consider a “crowd pleaser” and I can’t imagine a specialty coffee drinker not absolutely loving Playa Grande!