Plenty of nuance and long, complex development. An authoritative, dry-spice pungency opens in a matrix of shadow sweetness. A touch of vanilla in the finish, dry chocolate in the aftertaste. As the cup cools the spice softens and sweetens deliciously.
By Kenneth Davids
September 1st, 1998
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.
The floral perfumes are high-toned and exquisite in the aroma and overwhelmingly fragrant in the cup. Eventually a sweet, bright-toned coffee emerges from behind all the flowers. Owing to the floral lift the body reads as lightly buoyant rather than thin.
Distinct fruity chocolate tones, cherryish and round, are balanced by a tobaccoey dryness. When the coffee is hot the chocolate-fruit tones are fresh, complex, and thrilling. As the cup cools the tobacco tones intensify and turn slightly (though cleanly) astringent.
An extraordinarily clean, elegant Mocha-Java. The contribution of the two Ethiopian coffees is brightly fruity, floral and exhilaratingly fresh. The Java mostly stays out of the way, contributing a slight pungency to balance the Ethiopias' high-toned sweetness. The light body could be taken as a fault, but I found it more exhilaratingly weightless than disappointingly thin.
The superb oxymoron of this coffee, powerfully sweet yet sharply pungent, is at its best in aroma and in finish, when the pungent tones soften to a distinct and pleasing spice. Rich, clean aftertaste; medium to light body.
A gentle cup that seduces rather than imposes. Saved from the ordinary by a soft, rounded complexity and impressive dimension. Warmly pungent tones, faintly tobaccoish or herby, soften toward chocolate in the finish.
The dry, bright sensation called acidity dominates both nose and cup here. It is a pure acidity, without fruity complication or sweet reservation: clean and abstract. Acidity energizes a profile with plenty of sensation in mid range, but with little at the top and only a hint of pruny underpinning.
A fresh, clean, delightfully natural sweetness is balanced by a drier but still fruity pungency. A fine and distinctive coffee, though memorable more for what it gives out front than what it insinuates. The profile is immediate and pleasing rather than deep.
This delightfully gentle coffee is soft, brightly (and lightly) acidy, slightly floral. The aftertaste is as clean as white clapboard, with a lovely vanilla/floral burst, then a memory of pure sweetness. Not much power or depth here, but with a coffee this chastely bright and sweet who cares.
A fine example of the French-roast archetype. The carbon notes, as integral to French roasts as smoky notes are to Scotch whiskey, are discreet. The main taste complex here is sweet vanilla, floating above a dry, light pungency. Carbon notes prevail in the aftertaste, though a persistent low-toned sweetness gives them a run.