Recent Coffee Reviews

We have published thousands of coffee reviews and espresso reviews since 1997. The reviews below appear in reverse chronological order by review date. You may refine your search by key word or category using links to the right. Older reviews may no longer accurately reflect current versions of the same coffee.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $18.00/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Co-cupper Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) equally valued this espresso, but read it slightly differently. For Ethan it was a fundamentally sweet cup (“maple syrup”) with layered complexity: blackberry, chocolate, almond. For Ken a crisp, lively, slightly bitterish edge (roasted cacao nib, lavender) complicated the sweetness throughout. Both agreed that the mouthfeel was plump and syrupy. For Ethan the finish was sweet all the way; for Ken it was a touch drying. In three parts milk again Ethan emphasized the sweetness (“retained a nice marshmallow sweetness”) while Ken cited a brisk cocoa-and-lavender character.

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Review Date: May 2015

Price: $16.25/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Co-taster Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) ended with the same score for this blend though their descriptors varied rather dramatically. Ethan’s emphasized flowers and fruit, Ken’s sandalwood and nut, though both cited a fine, elegant dry cacao note. Both found a refined brightness — “piquant green grape acidity” according to Ethan – and a light though very smooth mouthfeel. A gentle tart character dominated in three-parts milk but pleasantly so, well-nuanced with cacao, cedar and orangy fruit.

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Review Date: May 2015

Price: $13.00/8.8 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Exhilaratingly floral. For Ken (92) the flowers were explicit – rose, lily, lavender – whereas for co-taster Ethan Hill (92) the floral character was indirect, expressed in notes of peach, nectarine and coriander. Both valued a sweetly pungent sandalwood character enveloping the foreground floral/fruit notes, and both described the mouthfeel as silky but quite light and the finish bright and mildly drying. Flavor carried with perhaps surprising balance into three parts milk, softening while preserving a brisk floral-and-fruit complexity.

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Review Date: May 2015

Price: $12.75/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. For both Ken (92) and co-taster Ethan Hill (91) high-toned floral notes and rather bright fruit (nectarine, strawberry) distinguished this complex blend. Very light but buoyant, almost effervescent mouthfeel. Along with fruit and flowers Ken identified a brisk roasted cacao-nib note that for him softened to chocolate in an otherwise rather drying finish. In three parts milk Ethan felt the floral character was muted and the acidity too assertive and out of balance; Ken, on the other hand, found the brisk cacao-and-flowers complex rather pleasing in milk.

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Review Date: May 2015

Price: NT $600/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Both co-taster Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) were impressed with deep, pungent aromatic wood notes (sandalwood, cedar) and rich fig and date suggestions. Ken found further complication: musky flowers and chocolate. Ethan felt that the low-toned richness turned rather barley-like in the finish, though for Ken it remained chocolaty. Both were impressed by the blend in three parts milk; for Ken it displayed a “flower-nuanced cocoa and cedar.”

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: RMB $350/75 grams

Beautifully structured, seething with intricate aroma and flavor notes. Lavender, jasmine, kiwi, pomegranate, sandalwood, much more in aroma and cup. Sweetly juicy, complexly expressed acidity; syrupy, gently buoyant mouthfeel. Flavor carries deep into a long, arcing finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: RMB $234/125 grams

Gentle and roundly bright, quietly intricate. Honeydew melon, almond, spicy fresh-cut redwood, lush lily in aroma and cup. Suave, lively acidity; satiny mouthfeel. Poised, gently flavor-saturated finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $12.00/12 ounces

OQ_logo

Deeply resonant, pungent. Black currant, apricot, hints of dark chocolate and wisteria-like flowers in aroma and cup. Crisply sweet acidity; satiny mouthfeel. A slight savory edge deepens and complicates a sweet finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: RMB $88/125 grams

Round, resonant, deep. Dark chocolate, gently scorched cedar, raisin, plum blossom, musk in aroma and cup. Gently brisk acidity; light though syrupy-textured mouthfeel. Dark chocolate and flowers carry into a rich though drying finish with a complicating suggestion of savory.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $14.00/12 ounces

OQ_logo

Crisp, cedary, gently brisk. Hazelnut, caramel, lavender-like flowers, kumquat in aroma and cup. Richly dry acidity; lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Sweet-toned though mildly drying in the finish with a hint of savory depth.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $18.00/12 ounces

Round, resonant. Dark chocolate, gently roasty oak, juicy blackberry, a hint of orange in aroma and cup. Crisp, roast-rounded acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. Blackberry, chocolate and oak carry into a rich though drying finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $14.99/12 ounces

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters

Sweet-toned, deep, gentle. Apricot and plum, hazelnut, sweet chocolate, rhododendron-like flowers in aroma and cup. Lightly crisp, lively acidity; silky mouthfeel. Hints of apricot, chocolate and flowers carry into a soft, rich finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: NTD $650/8 ounces

Sweetly and richly fermenty: rye whisky, lilac-like flowers, lemon custard, carob and almond suggestions in aroma and cup. Tart, lively acidity; plush mouthfeel. Flavor saturates a clean though richly drying finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $4.99/10 capsules

Evaluated as espresso produced as a ristretto 25ml (.85-ounce) shot by a Nespresso capsule espresso brewer with whole milk heated using a conventional steam wand. Gently bright, cleanly crisp. Pear, roasted cacao nib, fresh-cut fir, a hint of wisteria-like flowers in aroma and small cup. Smooth though rather lean mouthfeel. The cacao-nib note in particular lingers in a delicate finish and predictably sweetens and rounds toward chocolate in three parts milk.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $18.45/12 ounces

Barrington Coffee Roasters Logo

Softly pungent, lushly exhilarating. Narcissus-like flowers, dark chocolate, sweet lime, myrrh in aroma and cup. Quietly though complexly bright acidity; buoyant, syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor carries deep into a sweet finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $30.95/12 ounces

Barrington Coffee Roasters Logo

Juicy, velvety, complete. Crisp roasted cacao nib, ripe citrus and strawberry, honeysuckle, sandalwood in aroma and cup. Gently vibrant, perfectly balanced acidity; plush mouthfeel. Sweet, flavor-saturated finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $14.50/12 ounces

CQ Coffee Logo

Lush, intricate, with a deep, cushiony sweetness. Lavishly complex floral notes – cherry blossom, lavender, saffron, more – complicated by mulberry, tangerine and a crisp roasted cacao nib. Round, floral-toned acidity; plush, lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor, particularly the floral notes, sustain in a long, balanced, lightly drying finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $48.50/8 ounces

Dragonfly_Logo_3

Massively complex: original; brisk yet juicy. Lilac, tropical fruit, floral-toned herb, vanilla, frankincense in aroma and cup. Big, richly juicy acidity; syrupy mouthfeel. Flowers and fruit leave the herbs and incense behind in a long, shimmering finish.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $14.50/12 ounces

CQ Coffee Logo

Deep, roundly pungent, very sweet. Lilac and narcissus, sandalwood, banana, molasses, minty chocolate in aroma and cup. Rich, roundly tart acidity; lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Sandalwood dominates in a resonant, gently bittersweet short finish; floral notes sweeten and carry far into the long.

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Review Date: April 2015

Price: $18.00/12 ounces

Dragonfly_Logo_3

Brisk, intricate. Lavender, sandalwood, kiwi, roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Brisk, floral-toned acidity; lightly syrupy, buoyant mouthfeel. Lavender and cocoa carry into a gently bracing, bittersweet finish.

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