Reviews for Armeno Coffee
Close to the great Blue Mountains of the past: balanced, round, very rich, almost bouillon-like, with a slight, spicy effervescence tickling at the heart of the cup. Regrettably, a faint, almost undetectable hardness or storage-related fading shadows the otherwise superb cup.
I had difficulty deciding whether to honor the inert hardness of this coffee because it's a deliberately achieved characteristic, or condemn it as a defect because I don't find it a particularly pleasant version of the aged taste. The dominating attribute is an oppressively hard pungency that flattens and simplifies the profile. Only a delicate halo of almost subliminal sweetness lightens the cup.
A high score but a relatively low wow quotient. Apparently panelists valued this coffee for its rich balance and deeply matrixed fruit; the body was described variously as full, heavy, and thick. However, several panelists felt the cup was a bit faded, restrained, "past-croppish." Perhaps this is an instance when the mid-season timing of the cupping did prejudice the cupping results.
Bright but well-matrixed acidity, full body, and a complex cluster of grace notes elevated the score of this sample. "Good balance of flavors, excellent complexity, ... fruit, spice, ... tropical woods, cedar with some sweet dark chocolate. [But] fades when cool. Where did all that flavor go?" For me the flavor went too soon. I missed length and development, and found the smoky, herby notes a touch dissonant. But that's a minority opinion: Overall the panel very much admired this coffee.
Displays a rich, deeply matrixed acidity reminiscent of the best Sumatras. Although the cup is not quite as sweet and roundly ingratiating at first sip as some others in the cupping, the acidity sustains power as the cup cools, hence the somewhat higher rating for this coffee compared to those with comparable sweetness and body. A slight edginess to the acidity may indicate a scattering of cherries that were close to ferment as the coffee dried, but this shadow fault, if present at all, is so faint that it strikes me as a quibble. A fine coffee well-roasted.
Complete and classic. Dry and acidy, but the acidity is held inside a deep, resonant matrix and complicated by richly wine-tinged fruit tones. Sweetens exquisitely in the finish. The medium body is smooth and buttery.
Everything happens in the higher registers here, and a lot does. A wonderful, dry/sweet complex, almost effervescent, lifts the heart of this light, bright coffee. An amazing range of grace notes shimmer in the higher registers: dry chocolate, herb, even a suggestion of vanilla in the finish. I had to strain to find a hint of Red Sea gaminess amid all the aromatic action; it may have shown up in the long, subtly complex aftertaste. Hard to believe so much complexity made it through the decaffeination process. Perhaps a good Yemen coffee is so intense that the muting effect of decaffeination actually helps by mellowing it a bit.