Co-cupper Miguel Meza (92) finds bergamot and flowers in the aroma, Ken (94) finds flowers as well as cherries, red wine, and hints of chocolate and butter. In a cup that is "sweet" for Miguel, "rich and opulent" for Ken, both read cherries and blueberry and a positive fruit ferment note which Miguel nicely describes as 'Grand Marnier" and Ken more prosaically as red wine. In either case a slight, pleasing (more so to Ken?) hint of ferment complicates a round, deep, lavishly fruity cup.
By Kenneth Davids
November 5th, 2007
Co-cupper Miguel Meza (94): "Intensely fragrant: strawberry, kiwi, cherry, amaretto. The cup is powerful, well-structured and dynamic, [progressively revealing] a whole universe of fruit flavor. Only a lingering sharp astringency, perhaps a side effect of he same process that developed the incredible range of flavors ..., limits this coffee from near perfection." Ken (92) found the lavish aroma and rich acidity particularly impressive, but like Miguel he found a slight nagging astringency in the finish, a shadow to this coffee's monumental yet seductive aromatics.
Miguel Meza (93): "An intense but slightly flawed cup. The coffee is so luscious and passionate[, however,] that such misgivings are easily forgotten. A dizzying array of ripe and dried berry flavors mingles with banana, lime and chocolate." Ken (93) agrees, finding a rich mix of "brandyish cherry, crisp cocoa/chocolate and ripe orange" notes. He is more specific about the flaw, which for him is a slight salty astringency that "softens as the cup cools, allowing the ripe fruit notes to fully bloom."
Miguel Meza (94) found only purity and ripeness in this opulent coffee; Ken (92) was impressed as well but felt just slightly let down by a limiting simplicity once past the aroma. Miguel Meza: "Vibrant, pure and ripe ... Creamy mouthfeel with vanilla-like floral notes. Full and balanced with a juicy acidity that hints of peach, orange and berries in the long, clean finish." Ken (92) admired the ripe, lush aroma every bit as much as Miguel for its "true dark chocolate, mint, floral and berry" notes, but observed that once past the aroma the cup simplified despite remaining "rich and berry-toned." Miguel and Ken diverged most strongly over the finish, where Ken detected a shadow astringency amid the memories of aromatic complexity where Miguel found only clean flavor.
Intense, complex aroma. Quite tropical for co-cupper Miguel Meza (92) who cites guava, pineapple, and orange; Ken's (92) associations are more temperate: blueberry, cherry, orange, honey. In the cup both Ken and Miguel find cherry and chocolate, and most likely Miguel's "mango and caramel" and Ken's "candyish butterscotch" both are efforts to find descriptors for the same sensation, a pleasingly pungent sweetness. Miguel passes on the finish; Ken finds the usual flaw haunting this style of coffee: a slight salty astringency hiding amid the lovely fading trajectory of fruit.
A soft cup, rather simple aromatically but "well-balanced" (co-cupper Miguel Meza, 91) and "smooth and deep in structure" (Ken, 91). Miguel finds "berries, citrus and chocolate," Ken reads some quiet chocolate and perhaps some orange. The finish is quiet but impressive with continued chocolate and fruit (Miguel: strawberry and cherry) notes. (Previously reviewed and rated 92 ponts in June 2007).
Co-cupper Miguel Meza (91) calls this coffee "juicy and refreshing," Ken (91) "sweet and deep." Both were impressed by a crisp, complex aroma (for Miguel "lemon-lime, cantaloupe and peach") and as the cup cooled distinct cocoa and sweet ferment notes that Ken read as "brandied cherry" and Miguel (with more ambition to precision) as "distilled agave."
Co-cupper Miguel Meza and Ken took different descriptive paths in an attempt to characterize the underlying structure of this low-toned, full-bodied coffee. For Miguel (92) the cup was "soft and comforting" with a mix of "dried fruit and mesquite" and "berries and chocolate." Ken (89) felt the cup's sweet yet salty structure dominated the berry- and cocoa-toned aromatics, making the cup attractive but limited.
Co-cupper Miguel Meza (89) was rather faint in his praise of this coffee, finding a "floral and tropical citrus" character he associates with the more familiar washed or wet-processed Ethiopia profile, with added "chocolate and berry" nuance derived from dry-processing. Ken (91) wrestles with the detail a bit more, admiring a wine or brandy nuance to the chocolate and berry character, which he finds "lush but crisp."
Co-cupper Miguel Meza's (88) description is succinct: "Cherry liqueur, smoke and chocolate." Ken (90) finds a similar palette: dark raisin-toned chocolate, red wine, cherry, flowers. Ken interprets Miguel's smoke notes as a slight hint of complicating mustiness. Altogether a quiet, wood-panels and leather easy chair sort of coffee.
Both co-cupper Miguel Meza (88) and Ken (89) agreed that this coffee was low-toned, but for Ken it displayed a quietly resonant depth whereas apparently for Miguel it was simply quiet. Miguel found chocolate and citrus in the aroma, Ken chocolate and a distinct ginger note. Miguel read "blueberry, over-ripe fruit and toast" in the crisply fruity cup, Ken dry chocolate, brandy, blueberries, apricot, flowers. Both noted a persistence of berryish fruit in an otherwise rather thinnish finish.
Ambiguous flavors associated with fruity mustiness run through the profile. Co-cupper Miguel Meza (87) describes them as: "Sweet-smoky and medicinal. A pungent and musty full-bodied coffee with exotic hints of eucalyptus, sassafras and bakers' yeast." Ken (86) is more conventional and more positive: "Rich, raisiny dark chocolate with a pungent cedar and herbal edge in aroma and rather syrupy cup."