Evaluated as espresso. Sturdy, balanced, chocolaty. All three reviewers (John DiRuocco 92, Jen Apodaca 94, Ken 92) cited caramel and chocolate; two read a particularly sweet orange (Ken called it orange marmalade). A “chocolate bomb” for John in three parts milk; for Ken the chocolate continued ripely orange-toned.
By Kenneth Davids
November 3rd, 2016
Evaluated as espresso. An engagingly exotic coffee that polarized the three reviewers: John DiRuocco was lukewarm at 90, whereas Jen Apodaca was very enthusiastic at 95; Ken landed in the middle at 93. Ken read the coffee as driven by an attractive sweet ferment that for him suggested winey grape edging on grappa; John cited a fruit that for him was simultaneously ripe, tart and spicy; Jen went entirely positive on the fruit notes, citing in particular mango and passion fruit – fruit that taken together perhaps echoes John’s lush, tart and spicy reading. The cup was intense for John but not entirely coherent, while Jen found it expressed a “nice balance of acidity and sweetness.” Everyone found the coffee attractively complex in three parts milk, simultaneously lushly sweet and tart.
Evaluated as espresso. Sweet, balanced, engagingly layered. Driven by sweet ripe citrus—co-taster John DiRuocco (92) associated it with orange, Jen Apodaca (93) with tangerine, Ken (93) with sweet grapefruit—and intriguing floral/herbal notes: Jen wild fennel, Ken lavender. Everyone was particularly impressed with a general resonant complexity and balance in flavor and finish. Jen felt the sample faded a bit in three parts milk, but Ken and John read continued quiet intrigue, especially Ken, who found delicate grapefruit and chocolate.
Evaluated as espresso. All three reviewers praised this espresso for its clean, citrusy/orangy sweetness: “orange hard candy” for co-taster Jen Apodaca (94); orange and brown sugar for John DiRuocco (93); tart but juicy blood orange for Ken (93). All found notes that rounded and complicated the citrus: the brown sugar for John, caramel for Ken, Concord grape for Jen. Jen was most enthusiastic and explicit about what this coffee brought to three parts milk: “tasted like cherry pie.”
Evaluated as espresso. Smooth, fragrant, lively. The three reviewers for this coffee lined up nicely in respect to rating: John DiRuocco at 93, Jen Apodaca at 93, and Ken at 94. All found the buoyant, richly silky mouthfeel particularly impressive (Jen: “light and airy on the tongue like a meringue cookie”). All three reviewers additionally cited caramel notes, and two sweet flowers. The subtle but explicit sweetness attracted a range of candy-toned positives, from vanilla marshmallow (Jen) to, in three parts milk, dulce de leche (John).
Evaluated as espresso. Of three reviewers, John DiRuocco (95) most admired this crisp, floral-toned espresso: “complex and complete … floral, red fruit and stone fruit flavors … the body … light but sufficient, the finish clean and resonating.” Jen Apodaca (89) was considerably less enthusiastic and more terse: “There was a lot going on in this espresso … it finished like a dry red cabernet.” For Ken (91) this coffee represented a certain style of dried-in-the-fruit coffee: bittersweet, intriguingly anise- and lavender-toned, yet not quite sweet and fat enough for him.
Evaluated as espresso. Reviewer Jen Apodaca (95) loved this coffee: “rosewater, Meyer lemon, peach preserves, honey and brown sugar … Sweet and aromatic from start to finish … a standout in milk.” John DiRuocco (91) was less enthusiastic, though he praised this coffee’s delicacy and raisin and sweet chocolate notes. Ken found enough to like (blood orange, rose-like flowers, sweet pipe tobacco) to squeeze out a 90. All three reviewers found what they liked most about the coffee carrying into three parts milk.
Evaluated as espresso. Clean, sweet, gently tart, honey-toned. All three reviewers were impressed by the clean, sweet balance of this espresso, delivering almost identical scores: John DiRuocco 92, Jen Apodaca 93, Ken 92. Honey figured in everyone’s descriptors; Ken and John also found berry and a backgrounded cocoa butter. Citrusy in three parts milk, with an enveloping chocolate. “I could drink this every day,” Jen added.
Price: $16.75/12 ounces
Evaluated as espresso. Complexly bright, citrus- and chocolate-toned. All three reviewers – Jen Apodaca (92), John DiRuocco (91) and Ken (91) – cited the dynamic, citrusy acidity, rounding chocolate, crisp floral hints and surprisingly full mouthfeel. Continued bright and briskly chocolaty in three parts milk.
Evaluated as espresso. Of three reviewers, Ken (93) was most supportive of this crisply chocolaty, silky-bodied espresso, citing its balanced range of baker’s chocolate, flowers and fruit. Jen Apodaca’s (92) descriptors overlapped Ken’s. For John DiRuocco (89), however, the sample was “a bit bipolar,” lacking coherence, although he praised the baker’s chocolate and pleasing mouthfeel. Everyone liked this one in three-parts milk, which help the chocolate sweeten and blossom.