Reviews for Equal Exchange
Roasted nut, fresh-cut fir and a brightening orangy citrus dominate in aroma and cup. Balanced, rather muted acidity, lean but silky mouthfeel. In the cup the nut notes turn toward chocolate and the fruit deepens. The chocolate tendencies in particular persist in a sweet, clean finish.
A touch of fruit ferment both pleasantly complicates and slightly mars this interesting coffee. In the cup the ferment turns the acidity pleasantly winy and bends the fruit toward a rich, brandied chocolate with raisin and caramel innuendo. The long finish is marred by a troublesome bitterness, however, probably owing to the same ferment.
The roast dominates the coffee in this extreme dark-roast profile. Intensely but roundly and sweetly charred in the aroma, with a gingery, cedarish complication. The cup is dominated by charred tones that remain just on the pleasantly rich, aromatic cedar side of flat-out burned.
Lindsey Bolger was all positive on this one: "One of my favorites in the cupping. Chocolate laced with cinnamon punctuates the aroma. More sweet spice and cocoa, even some floral notes, emerge in the flavor. A fine specimen of a Sumatra -- tamed but not over domesticated!" (88) Ken was attracted by "an opulent, deep-toned fruity chocolate" that nevertheless hinted at various flavor ambiguities like ferment. Ultimately, though, a "rich, clean finish" convinced him to go with a very positive reading (89) of this complex Sumatra.