Reviews for Trader Joe's
Steamed wood (boiling water poured on board), caramel and a hint of dark chocolate in the aroma. The acidity hints at brightness, but lapses into a dull bitterness as the cup cools. Lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Boiled, or maybe burned, wood in the cup, rounded by caramel and the barest suggestion of dark chocolate. Sweet in the finish though quite astringent.
A simple roasty earthiness in the aroma, with hints of baking spices and wood. Soft acidity, with a full, yet slightly lean body. Nuttiness emerges in the cup with more earthy tones and a hint of cocoa. A roasty finish, with a hint of bitter-nut astringency.
Deep, rather richly roasty aroma: charred cedar, dark chocolate, hints of flowers and raisins. In the cup thin-bodied and shallow, almost watery, with continued charred cedar notes hinting at dark chocolate together with a little additional tickle of flowers and perhaps menthol. The finish is sweet and rich in the short, mildly astringent in the long.
Intense, roundly balanced aroma with mildly pungent roast character and orange, nut and cedary chocolate notes. In the cup low in acidity, medium in body and agreeable but rather simple aromatically: bittersweet, woody, with only a hint of cedary, perhaps earthy, chocolate. Not a long finish, but sweet and rich.
Lindsey Bolger exclaims: "A lovely, well-structured coffee! In the dry fragrance I detected a slightly rancid note, suggesting staling. But after the pour and upon the break, a delightful aroma of brown sugar and cocoa bloomed to mask any lack of freshness. With a maple-syrupy sweetness, bright but restrained acidity and refined fruit notes, this is an excellent example of a classic Sumatra that defies the origin's reputation for earthiness" (88). Ken concurred, finding "both aroma and cup dryly acidy yet deeply sweet, lush with a sort of spicy fruit suggesting pineapple. Rich, smooth mouthfeel" (89).
A touch of sweet but acidy brightness survives the steam treatment, together with restrained floral and dry, wine-toned fruit notes. The understated but brisk cup is marred by a dull, salty sensation that intensifies as the coffee cools. Treated to remove acidity by a “patented, natural steaming process involving no harmful chemical solvents.” Trader Joe […]
This blend expresses the usual bitter-but-sweet paradox of dark-roast coffees with particular intensity. The sweetness is almost sugary and the burned bitterness dramatically sharp. Not much range, development or weight, but the cup does offer a pleasant tickle of fruit and lavender. The bitterness outlasts the sweetness in the aftertaste.
Superb aroma: full, rich, stretching from winy top notes to a deep, engaging bottom. But the wine-like East African acidity turns hard in the cup, then reveals clear fermented notes as the coffee cools. The Java component is weak, failing to provide the expansive bottom such blends call for.