Giddily sweet, rich, balanced. Gentle wine-toned fruit (call it chardonnay) and low-key floral notes run through aroma and cup, rounding toward milk chocolate n the finish. A superb expression of the El Salvador type.
By Kenneth Davids
July 3rd, 2003
Dry and forceful. The acidity is intense but sweet. The fruit is crisply austere: black currant, sauvignon blanc wine grapes. A challenging coffee that commands rather than seduces.
Attractive balance of chocolate-nuanced fruit, rich, low-toned but emphatic acidity, and a hint of roastiness. Ultimately, however, remains contained in its own quiet balance. Lacks the tonal range and dimension that would lift it from satisfying to remarkable.
Low-toned, sweet, gently acidy. Fresh leather and milk chocolate in the aroma. The sweet chocolate persists in the cup with an undercurrent of fruit that suggests a spicy dark cherry. Excellent dimension when hot, though the profile simplifies a bit as the cup cools.
Aroma is superbly rich, sweet and deep with chocolate notes. In the cup the powerful but low-key acidity is enveloped in richness. Ultimately more about solid balance and satisfying structure than nuance, though an apricot-toned chocolate makes itself felt toward the finish.
A subtle, lush coffee, richly sweet and gently acidy with shimmers of flowers. Notes of fermented fruit give the cup a juicy, decadent opulence that will please more adventurous palates but may put off coffee traditionalists.
A sweet, round coffee whose rich, low-key fruit notes suggest cantaloupe or apricot. The mild mildewed taste coffee professionals call baggy (acquired by green coffees during long storage in dampish conditions) shadows the cup, although the coffee's fundamental sweetness pushes these notes toward an agreeable reading as spice or malt.
The moderately dark roast takes on equal billing with the green coffee here. It preserves the essential sweetness of the coffee, but pushes the acidity toward a rich, pungent citrus, a sort of roasty grapefruit, if that can be imagined. The finish is mildly but bracingly astringent.
Displays a fundamentally pleasing balance of bitter tones, sweetness, and low-toned, roast-nuanced fruit, but ultimately seems restrained and faded. Probably last year's crop; the new crop may bring more liveliness and nuance to the cup.
Some sweetly lush apricot fruit makes itself felt around the edges of the dominating dark roast. Otherwise this cup is entirely about an aggressive roast style (richly burned and mildly astringent) rather than El Salvador bourbon coffee.
The extremely dark roast (about as dark as roasts get) leaves hardly a trace of Honduras behind, just some anonymous burned tones, gentle and sweet until the finish, when the sweetness vanishes, leaving behind a salty astringency.