Chicago, IL Coffee Reviews

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We found 64 reviews of coffees and espressos roasted in greater Chicago, IL. These coffee reviews and espresso reviews are listed in reverse chronological order by review date. Older coffee reviews and espresso reviews may no longer accurately reflect current versions of the same coffees.

Review Date: Jun 2005

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A light-bodied, sweetly crisp coffee. Suggestions of leather, spice and a dry, fruity chocolate in the aroma. Melodic in the cup, with sweet citrus top notes and a hint of chocolate balanced by a slight tart sharpness.

Review Date: Dec 2004

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Low-key, richly pungent aroma: raisins, dried cherries, chocolate. In the cup gently pungent, softly acidy, with a tightly knit complexity, again suggesting dried fruit – raisins, cherries, with a touch of chocolate.

Review Date: Nov 2004

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An unusual bittersweet, gently spicy tendency runs from aroma through finish. The aroma is caramelly but pungent, with a hint of milk chocolate. The cup is low-toned and dominated by a sweet/sour/bitter fruit; tamarind and lemon perhaps. In the cup the background milk chocolate is more pronounced, rounding the bright fruit. The finish is slightly but richly astringent.

Review Date: Nov 2004

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The aroma is low-toned but resonant with leather and fruit-toned chocolate. The acidity is rich and smoothly integrated, the mouthfeel round and supple. The chocolate declaration in the aroma is even more pronounced in the cup, but fruitier, more opulent.

Review Date: Nov 2004

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Understated but quietly distinctive. The aroma is round, caramelly and (quite literally) buttery; patience may turn up little cedar and chocolate revelations as well. The butter and caramel notes carry into the cup, where the fruity chocolate intensifies. The short finish is deep, sweet and rich; a memory of chocolate resurfaces in the long.

Review Date: Nov 2004

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A bold, sweetly acidy coffee with a shifting, subtle complexity. In the aroma low-toned, lushly rich fruit (apricot, papaya, even banana) leaning toward milk chocolate. In the cup brighter and higher-toned, with lemon, flowers and continued suggestions of milk chocolate. Rounds and richens as it cools, the fruit tones landing somewhere near cherry.

Review Date: Oct 2004

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Co-cupper Christy Thorns’ (90) reading was precise and explicit: “The aromatics of this coffee undulate from desert lime, orange peel, lemon zest to eucalyptus and jasmine blossom. These characteristics do not carry over into the cup, however, but instead a delicate candied sweetness and roasted nut flavor dominate with a hint of ginger in the finish.” Ken (90), just as positive but less specific, was content to praise a rich wine, fruit and floral character. Either way, a complex cup with great aromatic richness and range.

Review Date: Oct 2004

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Ken (91) admired this coffee a bit more than co-cupper Christy Thorns (88), who praised its “gentle grapefruit-like acidity and a nicely rounded, sweet and berry finish” but didn’t carry on about it much. For his part, Ken particularly admired this coffee’s citrus-toned acidity, which he found sweet, rounded, and “profoundly rich and cleanly and elegantly wine-like.”

Review Date: Apr 2004

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Balanced and roundly high-toned. Slightly roasty, gently acidy. Papaya and fresh leather notes in the aroma; papaya and dark chocolate in the cup. A tickle of astringency in the long finish.

Review Date: Apr 2004

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Elegant, balanced dark roast: Comfortably sweet with a shimmer of acidity and a hint of roastiness. The bittersweet chocolate and pineapple notes in the aroma deepen and round congenially in the cup.

Review Date: Nov 2003

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A challengingly acidy coffee, by sweetly so. A sensitive roast rounds the acidity and deepens the fruit, turning it toward sweet cocoa and ripe cherry. Glints of jasmine. The cocoa-toned fruit persists agreeably through the finish.

Review Date: Nov 2003

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High-toned, complex aroma: sweet citrus, cherry, apple. In the cup gently acidy, while the fruit maintains its complex, elegant trajectory: Meyer lemon, grapefruit, tart berry. The initial, almost shocking rush of sweetness is balanced by a crisply bitter finish.

Review Date: Sep 2003

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A powerfully acidy coffee, sharply rich and winy. Beneath the acidy assertion patient drinking reveals subdued but seductive floral undertones. The aromatics are splendid but the mouthfeel is a bit too astringent for my taste.

Review Date: Jul 2003

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Giddily sweet, rich, balanced. Gentle wine-toned fruit (call it chardonnay) and low-key floral notes run through aroma and cup, rounding toward milk chocolate n the finish. A superb expression of the El Salvador type.

Review Date: Jul 2003

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Dry and forceful. The acidity is intense but sweet. The fruit is crisply austere: black currant, sauvignon blanc wine grapes. A challenging coffee that commands rather than seduces.

Review Date: Jul 2003

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A subtle, lush coffee, richly sweet and gently acidy with shimmers of flowers. Notes of fermented fruit give the cup a juicy, decadent opulence that will please more adventurous palates but may put off coffee traditionalists.

Review Date: Feb 2003

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Intense but balanced acidity, medium body, and tartly sweet fruit notes –berry and citrus — that soften toward chocolate in the finish. Director of Coffee Geoff Watts praises this coffee’s “grace and completeness.”

Review Date: Feb 2003

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Relatively light bodied but intensely dry and richly astringent, with an austere pineapple- and grapefruit-toned fruit. The finish, like the cup, is astringent but exhilarating. Director of Coffee Geoff Watts admires this Kenya’s “pristine character” and its “dynamic and elegant acidity.”

Review Date: May 2002

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Pleasantly low-key, sweet, rather light-bodied, roasty without bitterness, modestly complicated by hints of cocoa or dry chocolate.

Review Date: Apr 2002

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Fermented, wine-like fruit notes agreeably dominate the small cup, though they are shadowed by bitterness, particularly in the finish. The bitterness turns pleasantly bittersweet in cappuccino-sized milk, and flat-out gloriously sweet and chocolate-fruit-toned in big milk. (86 straight espresso, 90 w/milk)