Reviews for May 5th, 2015

Review Date: May 2015

Price: NT $520/225 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Lush tropical fruit and tart berry dominates with a chocolaty depth that for co-taster Ethan Hill (94) evoked “chocolate-covered raisin and tropical fruit.” Ken (94) for his part cited cleanly sweet alcohol suggestions (“fruity cabernet”), and both remarked on a sweetly tart pineapple top note that carried throughout the profile. For both tasters the mouthfeel was “plush [and] velvety,” the finish a bit drying but still saturated with the fruit and chocolate suggestions. In three parts milk the fruit and chocolate rounded but persisted with satisfying continuity.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: NT $2000/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Both co-taster Ethan Hill (93) and Ken (92) remarked on the subtle, intricate layering of aroma and flavor, which for Ethan involved “lilac, lavender, blackberry … almond.” Both found mouthfeel relatively light but “satiny” (Ethan), the general structure delicate and balanced, the finish softly resonant and berry-toned. Both Ethan and Ken felt the general poise and quiet intricacy of this coffee carried persuasively into three parts milk.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $13.95/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Big, complex, tartly pungent. Co-taster Ethan Hill (93) remarked on deeply expressed flowers, a very slightly fermenty berry note, and a musky, slightly savory hint. Both Ethan and Ken (92) found the cup “richly and sweetly tart,” though Ken apparently found the tart character a bit less appealing than did Ethan. Mouthfeel was “plush” (Ethan), the aftertaste deep and tartly complex for both tasters, though again, Ken would probably have appreciated the cup finishing on a slightly rounder note. In three parts milk both found the tart intensity untamed and “bordering on bracing” (Ethan).

Review Date: May 2015

Price: NT $600/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Both co-taster Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) were impressed with deep, pungent aromatic wood notes (sandalwood, cedar) and rich fig and date suggestions. Ken found further complication: musky flowers and chocolate. Ethan felt that the low-toned richness turned rather barley-like in the finish, though for Ken it remained chocolaty. Both were impressed by the blend in three parts milk; for Ken it displayed a “flower-nuanced cocoa and cedar.”

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $12.75/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. For both Ken (92) and co-taster Ethan Hill (91) high-toned floral notes and rather bright fruit (nectarine, strawberry) distinguished this complex blend. Very light but buoyant, almost effervescent mouthfeel. Along with fruit and flowers Ken identified a brisk roasted cacao-nib note that for him softened to chocolate in an otherwise rather drying finish. In three parts milk Ethan felt the floral character was muted and the acidity too assertive and out of balance; Ken, on the other hand, found the brisk cacao-and-flowers complex rather pleasing in milk.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $13.00/8.8 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Exhilaratingly floral. For Ken (92) the flowers were explicit – rose, lily, lavender – whereas for co-taster Ethan Hill (92) the floral character was indirect, expressed in notes of peach, nectarine and coriander. Both valued a sweetly pungent sandalwood character enveloping the foreground floral/fruit notes, and both described the mouthfeel as silky but quite light and the finish bright and mildly drying. Flavor carried with perhaps surprising balance into three parts milk, softening while preserving a brisk floral-and-fruit complexity.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $16.25/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Co-taster Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) ended with the same score for this blend though their descriptors varied rather dramatically. Ethan’s emphasized flowers and fruit, Ken’s sandalwood and nut, though both cited a fine, elegant dry cacao note. Both found a refined brightness — “piquant green grape acidity” according to Ethan – and a light though very smooth mouthfeel. A gentle tart character dominated in three-parts milk but pleasantly so, well-nuanced with cacao, cedar and orangy fruit.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $18.00/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Co-cupper Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) equally valued this espresso, but read it slightly differently. For Ethan it was a fundamentally sweet cup (“maple syrup”) with layered complexity: blackberry, chocolate, almond. For Ken a crisp, lively, slightly bitterish edge (roasted cacao nib, lavender) complicated the sweetness throughout. Both agreed that the mouthfeel was plump and syrupy. For Ethan the finish was sweet all the way; for Ken it was a touch drying. In three parts milk again Ethan emphasized the sweetness (“retained a nice marshmallow sweetness”) while Ken cited a brisk cocoa-and-lavender character.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $16.00/12 ounces

Dragonfly Coffee Roasters Logo

Evaluated as espresso. Although co-taster Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) gave this blend the same rating, Ken was a bit more enthusiastic than Ethan. Both agreed it was a crisply bright, floral-toned espresso (honeysuckle and gardenia for Ethan) with a light, silky mouthfeel. Ethan found a sweet corn undertone in the flavor, Ken a brown sugar note. Both were impressed by the flowers in the “refreshingly resonant” finish (Ethan). In three parts milk Ethan felt the floral brightness clashed a bit with the dairy, though the cup remained “quaintly drinkable”. Ken, on the other hand, felt the milk nicely softened and rounded the brisk, complex flowers.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $30.00/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Very discreetly and mildly roast-toned. Ken (93) found the hint of roast fine, maybe even refreshing given all of the bright, lighter-roasted espressos he tastes, but Ethan (91) was not entirely happy with the roasty suggestions. Chocolaty and floral yes, but he also found the blend “bittersweet,” “dry”, even “gritty,” and “lacking complexity overall.” The term “dry” found its way into Ken’s notes as well, but nevertheless he appreciated the chocolate, the caramel, the raisin, the flowers and for him a pleasant hint of anise. True, Ethan did fall in line with Ken when it came to sampling the blend in three parts milk, where both found the chocolate and caramel notes appealing and the floral notes surprisingly clear and persistent.

Review Date: May 2015

Price: $15.50/12 ounces

Temple Coffee Roasters

Evaluated as espresso. Both co-taster Ethan Hill (92) and Ken (92) remarked on distinct chocolate, sweetly tart berry and fresh-cut cedar notes. Ken found lavender as well. “Sweet, chocolate-covered cherry” added Ethan. Rather crisply bright for both tasters, with a smooth (“syrupy,” “plush”) mouthfeel and a fine floral and cocoa finish. Filled out three parts milk with tart berry and a balancing sweet chocolate.