By Kenneth Davids
January 1st, 2000
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.
Remarkably sweet, and rather heavy-bodied. The sweetness here is purely a taste sensation, however. No fruity or other aromatic nuances complicate it. The only intrigue is provided by a hint of hardness or mustiness.
When hot, understated but pleasantly sweet, with a hint of spicy fruit complicating the mildly burned, pungent tones. The aftertaste is unyieldingly bitter, however, and when the cup cools the coffee lands on the palate with a flat, unrelieved, carbon-toned thud.
I 'd call this heavy-bodied coffee rich if there was anything to be rich. The aroma is pleasantly sweet, but the cup displays -- quite literally -- no flavor whatsoever, only primary taste sensation, a sort of heavy emptiness with insinuations of bitterness and sweetness.
Overwhelmingly musty. If you don 't understand musty, imagine the smell (or taste) of old shoes at the bottom of a damp closet. The mustiness is haloed with sweetness when the cup is hot, but as the coffee cools nothing remains except mustiness: flat and oppressive.