$19. Indah Coffee. 2238 Sumter Street. 803-708-0275. indahcoffee.com
Sumter Street’s Indah Coffee (which also brews its beans at a shop on Main Street) is part of a snug group of roasters in the Midlands.
It's been met with a fair amount of praise since its inception in 2010 as a mobile operation — its first brick-and-mortar opened in 2017 — and it's easy to see why. Indah boasts a strong roasting program, two beautiful shops and a nice selection of espresso drinks.
One of the highlights of my at-home coffee drinking experience is when a bag is finished, and my partner and I make a trip to the Sumter Street shop to pick out a new bag. We lean in to look closely at the shop’s various options, typically aiming for lighter roasts that feature fruity notes. Occasionally, we mix it up and find a medium or dark roast that trends closer to earthy or chocolatey notes.
Most recently, we picked up Indah’s Confluence Blend, named after the confluence of rivers that form the Congaree in the heart of Columbia. Fittingly, Indah’s latest roast is in partnership with The River Alliance, with a portion of all sales going to that organization, which advocates for the rivers and peoples’ uses of them.
In another nice touch, owner Nick Hauser’s daughter Abby Hauser and Mazie Cook, the co-owner of the next door NOMA Warehouse, paired to make the art for the bag and recently collaborated on a mural inside the shop with a similar aesthetic.
The description on the bag lacks tasting notes, but details that the blend comes from two coffees, one a “deep and earthy” bean, the other “crisp and delicate.” Confluence hews closer to that first description, not presenting any notes specifically reminiscent of certain berries, fruits or other typical coffee descriptors, and leaning into Indah's description for the first of the two beans in the blend.
Brewing it by way of an at-home pour over, the blend has a smooth, non-oily, mouthfeel, with a strong earthy backbone that trends toward the roastier end of the coffee spectrum. There's a a nice dose of bitterness in the finish, but one that doesn't overwhelm.