Reader Ben Anderson finds this Blue Mountain "phenomenal," a "yardstickexample of the variety ... extremely complex and proportioned." Certainly a fine example of theBlue Mountain profile, far better than any production roast Blue Mountain I have cupped overthe past few years: balanced, with resonant, bell-toned dimension and classic fruit notes of pure essential coffee character.
By Kenneth Davids
January 30th, 2003
Reader Jim Beckham of Athens, Texas reports he drinks "about a pound a week ofthis espresso. I frequently try others, but I always come back to this great blend." I might comeback to it too. Dry fruit, chocolate and leather notes, fat body, smooth, round, completelywithout bitterness. In milk excellent authority: rich, developing from dry chocolate in small dairyto milk chocolate in large.
Reader Derick Miller called Graffeo to my attention, testifying that this groupof three small in-store roasters produces "great coffee." I found this light-roasted version of theGraffeo blend acidy but sweet, rich, with a broad flavor range including delicate orange and floralnotes. Both aroma and finish showed a slight bitter edge which rounded and softened as the cupcooled.
"Great crema - best espresso I've ever had," writes Mandy Elion of Pasadena,California, who rates Supreme Bean espressos 90 - 94. This all-organic espresso blend isbalanced, richly and roundly roasty in the demitasse, with undertones of fruity chocolate. Atingle of astringency in the finish is invigorating rather than rough. In small milk comes acrossheavy with fruity chocolate tones; in large milk sweetly and roundly fruity.
Reader Liz Snyder of Newark, Ohio rates this blend 95 - 100 on the basis of an evaluation thatmakes up in enthusiasm for what it may lack in technical detail: "I love [this coffee]. It tastes SOgood." I evaluated the Wiener Melange as espresso. In the demitasse I found it full and round inbody and heavily bittersweet in flavor, complicated by dry chocolate tones. In small milk itremained dry, smoky, chocolaty and rather heavy. In larger milk it came fully into its own,softening but still dominating with fruit- and chocolate-nuanced authority.
A classic medium-roasted Latin-American cup, acidy but distinctly sweet andfree of bitterness. The acidity displays some pleasant complication: tangy, grapefruity, perhapsspicy. Nominating reader John Schulz of Northglenn, Colorado rates his sample 90 - 94, findingit "rich and complex, with subtle winey notes." I tasted no wine notes in the sample I broughthome, but wine - sweet fermented fruit - notes are quite common in contemporary Colombiacoffees and doubtless appear in other batches of the Millstone presentation.
Reader Ben Anderson calls this coffee "fantastic." That familiar adjectivefreshens up when applied to Sulawesi coffees, whose unexpected forest and fruit notes often doseem to express a sort of adventurous coffee fantasy. When hot, this Sulawesi displayed a richcup with a fine balance of acidity, sweetness and roastiness plus - the Sulawesi factor - carnally rich fruit notes reminiscent of cantaloupe. I started with a rating of over 90, but as the cup cooleda slight salty astringency in the finish lowered my assessment.
Reader Derick Miller called Graffeo to my attention, testifying that this groupof three small in-store roasters produces "great coffee." I brewed this dark-roasted version of theGraffeo blend as espresso and found it medium-bodied, smooth in mouthfeel, sweet but crisplyroasty. In small milk the bittersweetness read as a dry, smoky chocolate; in larger milk as adelicately sweet but rather dilute chocolate.
Reader "Cynmar69" reports this espresso blend "has a true coffee taste, ...smooth and flavorsome unlike most burnt flavored coffees." I found it full-bodied and fat on thetongue, with the kind of pleasantly fermented fruit tones that suggest chocolate-covered cherries.A shimmer of sharp acidity is balanced by sweetness. The finish is clean, rich and chocolaty.Slightly disappointing in small milk, where the coffee seems to simplify without softening, but inlarger milk the fruit and chocolate tones bloom nicely. The preground, canned format doubtlessaccounts for the subdued aroma.
Reader "Siehata" nominated a "morning blend" from Seattle's Best Coffee,testifying that SBC "has been a favorite of mine for years. Better than Millstone or even theover-priced burnt Starbucks." I couldn't find a Seattle's Best morning blend, so I pickedSaturday's Blend, figuring that Saturdays have mornings, maybe better mornings than the otherdays of the week. I found it crisply roasty (though most definitely not burned), with pleasantlydry, bittersweet chocolate tones. For me it hit the sweet spot of dark roasted coffees, butdisplayed a limited range of aromatics and a lean body. Perhaps it had sat in its bag too long.