Both Ken (92) and co-cupper Danny O'Neill (90) admired this coffee's classic completeness. "Smooth body ...Clean, fruity and well-balanced ...the whole package" for Danny. Ken was particularly impressed by the cup's "lushly sweet" acidity and complexity that for him suggested caramel, chocolate, molasses and a hint of flowers at the top. Ken was sufficiently impressed by the virtues of the cup to overlook a very slight astringency in the long finish.
By Kenneth Davids
July 7th, 2006
Co-cupper Danny O'Neill and Ken both admired this coffee's sweet floral- and chocolate-toned aroma, cleanly bright (Danny) acidity and silky body. Danny (89) cited its quintessential balance, Ken (90) a "delicate, restrained giddiness" animated by floral, apple and pear notes.
Co-cupper Danny O'Neill read "rich chocolaty pudding" in the superb aroma. Ken's reading was more conventional though just as positive: flowers, oranges, chocolate, cherry. Both admired the complex fruity character of the cup: "bouquet of fruity melon and apple" for Danny (88); "tart but rich cherry, hints of plum and orange" for Ken (91). "Finishes clean with lingering hints of late summer" (Danny).
Complex aromatics: flowers, pear, hints of brandy and cherry in the aroma. In the cup delicately acidy, roundly supple in mouthfeel, with a continued complex fruit that co-cupper Danny O'Neill (87) read as sweet raisin and Ken (more elaborately at 91) as dried cherry, fresh pear, brandy and flowers. Rich though surprisingly short-lived finish.
Superb aroma: "sultry and exotic" for co-cupper Danny O'Neill; "richly complex" for Ken, with "milk chocolate, sweet tomato, apricot and cedar" notes. Both Danny (87) and Ken (88) admired the quiet complexity and balance of the cup; "gently bittersweet and chocolaty" for Ken, "dark and smoky" for Danny. Both noted a slight hardening of the cup as it cooled.
An exciting coffee that disappoints in the finish. Ken (88) was more forgiving than co-cupper Danny O'Neill (83), who sums up: "Bright and clean in the nose, this coffee's lusciously thick and smooth body rounds its slightly fruity, almost wine-like, acidity. Sweet honey and fruit flavors become sharp and ... astringent in the long finish." Perhaps the dry-processed Ethiopias in this blend are last year's crop, with their explosive aromatics too faded to compensate for an underlying mildly astringent structure.
Both co-cupper Danny O'Neill (85) and Ken (87) read foresty notes in the aroma: "fresh greenery and earth" for Danny, "cacao and tree bark" for Ken. The cup was both balanced and quite complex, with fruit notes ("cherry toned" for Ken, "ripe apple and berry" for Danny) combining with continued forest notes that suggested dried flowers or herbs.
A sweet musty character that can read anywhere from malty chocolate to damp basement depending on context and cupper animated this blend. Co-cupper Danny O'Neill (86) was more positive than Ken (83), citing "the sweet chocolaty aroma of fresh brownies" in the aroma and "a delicate balance of mild acidity and smooth buttery body" in the cup with "lingering fruity nuances" in the finish. Ken felt the cup was fundamentally sweet and rather rich, but objected to a "woody, baggy" character nuanced by only "the barest hints of raisins and chocolate" in the cup.
Both co-cupper Danny O'Neill (83) and Ken (87) admired an aroma that was "sweet and spicy" for Danny, "rich, deep and sweetly smoky" for Ken. For Danny the cup was "muddled" and woody, for Ken slightly astringent in structure but nevertheless pleasantly bittersweet with a rich cocoa character that strengthened as the coffee cooled.
Co-cupper Danny O'Neill calls this coffee "a solid cup, well-balanced ... fruity up the middle" (84). Ken found it balanced as well, though he reads the fruit as "a dry, fruit-toned chocolate that wants to be rich but is a bit too lean and simple" (85). Both were disappointed by a mildly astringent finish.