A luxuriously sweet, full, suavely rounded cup enlivened by nut and spice tones and a tickle of flowers. "Rich, saturated butter," exclaimed one panelist. Slightly sharp when hot, but as the cup cools the bitter edge swoons into the enveloping sweetness.
By Kenneth Davids
July 1st, 2000
Panelists found this coffee interesting but ambiguous. They were attracted by its combination of nuanced, caramelly softness and bright, aggressive acidity; put off by a smoky, slightly bitter pungency that hinted at a drying fault.
"Very pleasant, sweet, solid cup -- milk chocolate," reported one panelist. Another pursued the same theme with more enthusiasm: "sweet; soft, creamy, beautiful to behold, subtle yet complete, ... understated." Apparently too understated for the majority of the panelists, who felt the virtues of this coffee stopped with the impressive sweetness.
The panel put this light-bodied coffee somewhere between bland and defective. Four panelists reported at least one cup of the several they sampled displayed defective aromatics, their descriptions ranging from soapy to beefy to sour. Apparently I was lucky: all of my cups were light-footed but sweetly acidy and agreeable.
Soft, low-key coffee with a twisty undercurrent of dark vegetative notes: wood or grass at worst; at best spice, tobacco or smoke. I found that, as the cup cooled, these notes sweetened pleasantly toward cocoa and cedar.
An intensely contradictory coffee. On one hand: full, smooth body, expressively and deeply sweet, long, vibrant finish. On the downside: grassy undertones and an odd edginess to the fruit that grew more obvious as the cup cooled. Some panelists went exclusively with the upside, others only with the down, while a few celebrated the paradox, sometimes in rather unconventional language: "bold, rough, strong -- Neanderthal ancestors," wrote one. One thing is certain: This coffee is considerably more interesting than its rating suggests.