Arabian Mocha Java
|Roaster Location:||Seattle, Washington|
|Coffee Origin:||East Java, Indonesia; central Yemen.|
|Review Date:||October 2002|
Blind Assessment: "Light-bodied with an almost rioy flavor. Quakers, soft, wild-looking. Could have been better if roasted a little darker?" (78). Rioy is a hard, medicinal flavor taken on by some dry-processed coffees during the drying. Quakers are beans that fail to take the roast and remain light, robbing the coffee of flavor and body. Ken: "Burned tones, faint sweetness, not much else" (78).
Notes: Mocha-Java is the world's oldest recorded coffee blend. The Starbucks version is authentic, combining wet-processed coffee from Java with dry-processed coffee from Yemen. Yemen's small-holding farmers prepare their coffee in the simplest of fashion: pick it and put it out, fruit and all, to dry on the roofs of their stone houses. Yemens can be among the finest coffees in the world, but the one that Starbucks used in this blend is not one of them, and constitutes the source of John Weaver's complaints in his blind assessment. An irony is that the decaffeinated version of this blend I cupped for an earlier article was much superior in the cup to this regular version. Visit
Who Should Drink It: In the great roulette that Starbucks' mammoth output of coffee has become, those who picked this number were unlucky losers. Spin the wheel again; Starbucks does produce some excellent coffees, as does Yemen.
This review originally appeared in the October, 2002 tasting report: A Roast Master's Perspective on Dark Roasts: John Weaver