Gavina Gourmet Coffee
Old Havana Espresso
Both Ken (90) and co-taster Byron Holcomb (89) enjoyed this blend's natural sweetness. Ken found the sweetness balanced by a "gentle pungency," which could have been another term for what Byron described as dry berry or black currant notes. The aroma was delicate and "floral" (Byron), the mouthfeel buttery for Ken and nectar-like for Byron. Nicely balanced and gently chocolaty in four parts hot milk.
Available only in 2-pound valve bags from Don Francisco Gourmet Coffee, the specialty line of F. Gavina & Sons, the large, family-owned-and-operated roasting company in the Los Angeles area. Company ties to Cuba run deep. Two generations were raised on the family coffee plantation there before the business was moved to the United States. Old Havana Espresso originally was created to satisfy the tastes of Cuba's country and city dwellers; the current incarnation has proven popular with a wider market in the United States. Visit
Who Should Drink It
Those looking for an espresso blend with natural sweetness, balance, versatility and value.
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This review originally appeared in the May, 2009 tasting report: Espresso: Tasting Super-Heroes