Simon Hsieh's Aroma Roast Coffees

Kona Maragogipe Honey S.O. Espresso

Location: Taoyuan City, Taiwan

Origin: Kona growing district, "Big Island" of Hawaii.

Roast: Medium

Est. Price: NT $1600/8 ounces

Review Date: June 2012

Agtron: 53/63

Aroma: 9

Body: 8

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 9

With Milk: 9

Blind Assessment:

Evaluated as espresso. Crisp, delicate, refreshingly and cleanly fruit-toned. Tart cherry, ripe orange, cedar, baker’s chocolate in aroma and small cup. Light in body but surprisingly silky-syrupy in mouthfeel; deep, flavor-saturated finish. Continued delicate but very complex in two parts milk, with both chocolate and fruit rounding and sweetening.


Maragogipe (Maragojipe in Spanish; also spelled Maragogype) is a rare botanical variety of Arabica famous for its huge beans. This Maragogipe apparently was processed by the “honey” method, meaning the skin was removed from the coffee fruit immediately after picking but the beans or seeds were dried with at least some of the fruit pulp or “honey” still adhering to them. This practice contrasts to the more conventional wet or washed method, wherein both skin and pulp are removed from the beans before drying. Although the big-beaned Maragogipe is not particularly admired for its cup character, this Kona honey version, skillfully roasted by Simon Hsieh, displays impressive character as a single-origin espresso. In addition to his retail roasting operation Aroma Roast Coffees, Simon Hsieh also operates Soaring Phoenix Trading, a business focused on purposed-built commercial espresso blends and high quality single-origin coffees. Visit tw.myblog.yahoo.com/Grey-Zone or call 886-0983-749876 for more information.

Who Should Drink It: A giant-beaned gourmet curiosity that also offers an exceptional sensory experience.

This review originally appeared in the June, 2012 tasting report: Coffees of Taiwan

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