Co-taster Willem Boot: "Fine and complex fruity/minty aroma. Exotic berry-like flavor notes with fascinating wild black currant aftertaste. Balanced, sweet and intriguing with milk" (93) Ken characterized the wild, sweet, edge-of-ferment fruit tones running through the profile from aroma to aftertaste as black cherry, and enjoyed them almost as much as Willem (90). In milk Ken completely concurred with Willem: "sweet, balanced, lovely."
By Kenneth Davids
August 6th, 2003
Co-taster Willem Boot greatly admired this coffee, awarding it an exclamatory 95: "Reddish brown supershot! Complex aroma with tingling body. Mild sweet and dry flavor balance with intense fruit and spicy notes. Cardamom flavor with milk." Ken's admiration was more restrained. He enjoyed the low-toned bouquet of pipe tobacco, leather, toast, smoke, spice and musty cantaloupe notes enough to award a rating of 88, but found the body "gritty" (Willem called it "tingling") and the finish slightly astringent.
Both Ken and co-taster Willem Boot remarked on a medium but smooth, buttery body. Aromatics and flavor were "floral and slightly malty/musty, toasty and crisp" (Ken), "light chocolate & elegant, spicy-smoky" (Willem). "Pleasant[ly] caramel" in milk for Willem, "balanced, sweet yet crisp" for Ken. Willem 90, Ken 88.
The term "balanced" dominated both Ken and co-taster Willem Boot's notes. The body was balanced and smooth for Ken, balanced and buttery for Willem; both found the presence in milk balanced and complex. Ken admired the small cup's "elegant dry fruit" while Willem praised its "lively, citrus" character. Willem 87, Ken 90.
A coffee in which a mild processing taint - sweet fermented fruit for Ken, a hint of mustiness for co-taster Willem Boot - turns toward chocolate under the influence of the dark roast. Subtle but substantial in milk: "lingering balance" in milk for Willem, "delicately complex" for Ken. Ken awarded this coffee a considerably higher rating (90) than did Willem (86), probably owing to Ken's openness to sweet, flirt-with-ferment coffees.
Both Ken and co-taster Willem Boot found chocolate notes running through aroma and small cup: "deep-toned chocolate" for Willem, "caramel, chocolate" for Ken. Both, however, complained about a slight sharpness in the finish, though Willem found it "minty." Good presence in milk: "Spicy and sweet" for Willem, "smoky, fruity and rich" for Ken. Willem rating 87, Ken 87.
A rather dramatic difference surfaced between co-taster Willem Boot and Ken on this very dark-roasted Panama. Ken wanted more sweetness and body; Willem apparently found enough of both and admired the elegant nuance. Willem: "Aroma with caramel and mild-apricot notes. Despite the dark roast, balanced flavor with apricot and chocolate. Pleasantly spicy with milk" (91). Ken: "Lovely aroma, high-toned but sweet fruit notes. In the small cup lean-bodied and crisply bitter, with a rich but astringent finish. Fruit re-emerges in milk, dry, smoky, chocolate-toned." (83).
Ken and co-taster Willem Boot both found the aroma impressive: resonant, floral, fruity. The body disappointed, however: "imbalanced and gritty" (Ken), "unsettled" (Willem). The flavor was "complex" for Willem, "rich" for Ken, with floral and fruit endnotes. Both were approving though not excited about performance in milk: "Tickling, spicy" for Willem, "dry chocolate" for Ken. Willem 85, Ken 84.
This smoky, dark-roasted coffee pleased Ken and co-taster Willem Boot more in flavor than in body. Aromatics and flavor were "smoky, rich and sweet" (Ken), "dark chocolate and smoky" (Willem). Ken found the body "gritty," however, Willem "oily and heavy." The cup softened but didn't sweeten in milk, where it was "smoky and dry" for Ken with a "butterscotch finish" for Willem. Willem 85, Ken 85.
Both Ken and co-taster Willem Boot remarked on the vanilla- and floral-toned aroma. Once to the cup, however, neither was impressed. For Willem "chocolate-bitter flavor and aftertaste" in the small cup and "spicy and slightly oniony in milk." Ken found the coffee rather lean-bodied and thin with roasty, sharp tones in the small cup, though rounder and fatter in milk. Willem 82, Ken 82.
Both Ken and co-taster Willem Boot found the aroma impressive: "elegant, sweet nut" for Willem, "elegant, sweet and fruity" for Ken. Once to the cup, however, neither found much to praise. Willem found the flavor "pungent but sweet and sour," Ken "bittersweet but sharp and shallow." Willem faintly praised this coffee's presence in milk as "mellow," whereas Ken found it "thin, a bit sharp." Willem 79, Ken 82.
Both Ken and co-taster Willem Boot criticized this coffee's tendency to sharpness and astringency. Ken nevertheless admired a "heavy apricot-toned fruit" that complicated the small cup and maintained a pleasing if lean presence in milk. Willem 76, Ken 84.