Kirkland Signature (Costco)
Rwandan French Roast
Decent but flawed ultra-dark-roast. Begins well: Roundly and gently charred in the aroma with hints of dark chocolate and butter. In the cup medium body and a simple but richly, buttery charred character with a continued slight suggestion of chocolate. A rather rich astringency in the short finish grows more insistent in the long. As the cup cools the hints of chocolate regrettably give way to hints of rubber.
French Roast is the standard name in North America for a coffee that has been brought to an extreme dark roast that mutes the characteristics of the green coffee itself and foregrounds the pungent flavor of the roast. Rwanda is now producing coffees that rank among the world's finest, but given the extreme dark roast to which this Rwanda has been subjected it is difficult to determine anything whatsoever about the character of the green coffee. At Costco in Northern California, $11.99 per 48-ounce bag, or 25 cents per ounce. Costco is a membership-only wholesaler and retailer with stores in most areas of the United States. Visit
Who Should Drink It
A bargain-priced ultra-dark "French" roast that situates somewhere between the lifeless, flat, robusta-heavy French roasts in supermarket cans and the aromatically limited/nuance-challenged but ruggedly pungent versions from good specialty roasters. This one is rugged but also a touch rubbery.
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This review originally appeared in the January, 2008 tasting report: Big Bags from the Big Boxes: Value All-Arabicas from the Discount Chains