Complex, enveloping, spacious, echoing with subtle, unnameable tones and innuendoes. The acidity is solidly wrapped in sweetness and body. Surprising chocolate tones emerge as the cup cools. The aftertaste is lasting and seductively complex.
By Kenneth Davids
June 1st, 1998
Liveliest and most resonant of the dark-roast samples in the cupping: Less overbearingly pungent, sweeter, with a touch of vanilla in cup as well as aroma. The entire profile deepens, smooths, and balances in the finish.
Whether deriving from the unorthodox roasting style or the coffee itself, a spicy pungency weaves its way through this rather soft, medium-bodied profile. At moments this flavor complex suggests chocolate, at others the earthy tones associated with some Indonesian coffees, at others a dark fruitiness-just-short-of-ferment. In the context of the overall sweet, intriguing, broad range of this coffee I tolerated this taste, even liked it, though purists may find it distracting.
Pleasant though restrained aroma; outstanding cup. The acidity is floral, levitating, fresh, with the floral notes sweetening and carrying into the heart of the coffee. Pleasant nuance in the upper registers and a solid bottom with suggestions of richness. Medium body.
Impressive because, unlike many of the coffees in the cupping, it displays some acidy brightness. May not generate enough sweetness to round the acidity, however, leaving the cup just a touch on the sour side. Not much nuance but solid body.
Like so many coffees in the cupping, solid overall but short on sweetness and nuance. In this case, splendidly rich, broad-ranged aroma, decent acidity with a hint of fruit, but generally pungent and rather opaque, with only a touch of sweetness in the finish. A trace of the vanilla-toned richness that dominated in aroma re-emerges in the aftertaste.
The exhilarating vanilla-nut tones in the aroma together with the heavy, buttery body are the main pleasures here. Otherwise the profile is solid to the point of stolidity. The acidity is pleasant but lacks nuance, the flavor a bit monolithic, and the aftertaste clean but simple.
A low-toned sweetness balances a discreet acidity. Full body, rich spiciness in the cup. The vanilla-nut tones in the aroma resurface fleetingly in the aftertaste. Unfortunately, an additional odd taste also surfaces, particularly when the coffee is cold. This taste, perhaps a mild processing taint, lowered my rating of this otherwise excellent sample.
Pleasantly full, rich, low-toned, complete in the bottom registers. Ambiguous grace notes, however: They read as earthy when the coffee is hot, but turn hard and mildly unpleasant as the cup cools. Probably a storage fault. Still, a coffee with power and dimension.
The slightly carbony cup seems more heavy than rich until the finish, when a deep-toned, pruny sweetness prevails, enlivened by a touch of spice or sandalwood. Things turn heavy again and a bit astringent in the aftertaste. Complex aroma, solid, buttery body.
The aroma sweetens the dark-roast pungency with a singing hint of vanilla, but the pungent character bluntly prevails in the cup. Relatively free of carbon, but not enough sweetness to balance the pungency. For the patient a pruny softness emerges in the finish.