Willem: "Blossom-like, peppery aroma, just like the roses from my 50+year-old rose tree! Mild sweet flavor with lingering floral aftertaste. Excellent caramel complexity with milk. I loved it." (92) What for Willem was peppery and blossom-like, for Ken was spicy and fruity in the aroma and smokily fruity in the small cup. Ken wanted more sweetness in the demitasse but in milk praised this blend as "sweet, crisp and cherry-like edging toward chocolate." (89).
In the few years since its founding in 1996 by Jeff Babcock and coffee legend Tim McCormack (early Starbucks, Caravali Coffee), Zoka has developed into an influential quality leader in small-batch espresso roasting and espresso education. Zoka has taken the lead in preparing American competitors for success in the new world of national and international barista championships. Zoka master barista Dismas Smith recently won the North American barista championship using a Zoka blend. For more information, visit www.zokacoffee.com, call 206-545-4313, or shop online at www.greatcoffee.com.
Who Should Drink It
Those who do straight shots and short milk drinks should enjoy this blend's finely understated complexity.
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This review originally appeared in the February, 2004 tasting report: The Aficionado's Pacific Northwest Espressos