Espresso Reviews

We have published hundreds of espresso reviews since 1997. The reviews below appear in reverse chronological order. You may refine your search by key word or category using links to the right. Older espresso reviews may no longer accurately reflect current versions of the same coffee.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: NA

Evaluated as espresso. An engagingly exotic coffee that polarized the three reviewers: John DiRuocco was lukewarm at 90, whereas Jen Apodaca was very enthusiastic at 95; Ken landed in the middle at 93. Ken read the coffee as driven by an attractive sweet ferment that for him suggested winey grape edging on grappa; John cited a fruit that for him was simultaneously ripe, tart and spicy; Jen went entirely positive on the fruit notes, citing in particular mango and passion fruit – fruit that taken together perhaps echoes John’s lush, tart and spicy reading. The cup was intense for John but not entirely coherent, while Jen found it expressed a “nice balance of acidity and sweetness.” Everyone found the coffee attractively complex in three parts milk, simultaneously lushly sweet and tart.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: CAD $15.00/454 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Sturdy, balanced, chocolaty. All three reviewers (John DiRuocco 92, Jen Apodaca 94, Ken 92) cited caramel and chocolate; two read a particularly sweet orange (Ken called it orange marmalade). A “chocolate bomb” for John in three parts milk; for Ken the chocolate continued ripely orange-toned.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $16.00/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Clean, sweet, gently tart, honey-toned. All three reviewers were impressed by the clean, sweet balance of this espresso, delivering almost identical scores: John DiRuocco 92, Jen Apodaca 93, Ken 92. Honey figured in everyone’s descriptors; Ken and John also found berry and a backgrounded cocoa butter. Citrusy in three parts milk, with an enveloping chocolate. “I could drink this every day,” Jen added.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $16.00/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Reviewer Jen Apodaca (95) loved this coffee: “rosewater, Meyer lemon, peach preserves, honey and brown sugar … Sweet and aromatic from start to finish … a standout in milk.” John DiRuocco (91) was less enthusiastic, though he praised this coffee’s delicacy and raisin and sweet chocolate notes. Ken found enough to like (blood orange, rose-like flowers, sweet pipe tobacco) to squeeze out a 90. All three reviewers found what they liked most about the coffee carrying into three parts milk.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $14.75/12 ounces

Visit Durango Coffee Company

Evaluated as espresso. Of three reviewers, Ken (93) was most supportive of this crisply chocolaty, silky-bodied espresso, citing its balanced range of baker’s chocolate, flowers and fruit. Jen Apodaca’s (92) descriptors overlapped Ken’s. For John DiRuocco (89), however, the sample was “a bit bipolar,” lacking coherence, although he praised the baker’s chocolate and pleasing mouthfeel. Everyone liked this one in three-parts milk, which help the chocolate sweeten and blossom.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $18.00/250 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Of three reviewers, John DiRuocco (95) most admired this crisp, floral-toned espresso: “complex and complete … floral, red fruit and stone fruit flavors … the body … light but sufficient, the finish clean and resonating.” Jen Apodaca (89) was considerably less enthusiastic and more terse: “There was a lot going on in this espresso … it finished like a dry red cabernet.” For Ken (91) this coffee represented a certain style of dried-in-the-fruit coffee: bittersweet, intriguingly anise- and lavender-toned, yet not quite sweet and fat enough for him.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $16.75/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Complexly bright, citrus- and chocolate-toned. All three reviewers – Jen Apodaca (92), John DiRuocco (91) and Ken (91) – cited the dynamic, citrusy acidity, rounding chocolate, crisp floral hints and surprisingly full mouthfeel. Continued bright and briskly chocolaty in three parts milk.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: RMB $48.00/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Sweet-toned, balanced, smooth. Cedar, ripe fig, carob, narcissus-like flowers in aroma and small cup. Syrupy mouthfeel; richly drying finish. In three parts milk crisp fig-toned chocolate dominates, with a continuing hint of flowers.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: RMB $55.00/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Sweetly roasty, balanced. Cocoa powder, fresh-cut oak, orange zest, roasted almond, lily-like flowers in aroma and small cup. Full though rather heavy mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates to cocoa and almond in the roast-toned finish. In three parts milk, the zesty orange dominates, rounded by continued cocoa and nut.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: RMB $55.00/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Sweetly tart, pungent. Dried apricot, fir, hazelnut, gardenia, orange zest in aroma and small cup. Lightly juicy, satiny mouthfeel. The tart finish is complicated by apricot notes and fresh-cut fir. Hazelnut, orange zest and gardenia all carry persuasively into three parts milk.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: AUD $16.00/250 grams

No. 18 Coffee of 2016: Campos Coffee Blade Runner

Evaluated as espresso. Lively, complex, deeply expressive. Red currant, wisteria, hazelnut butter, lemon zest, chocolate fudge in aroma and small cup. Full, syrupy-smooth mouthfeel; crisp cocoa- and citrus-toned finish. Chocolate fudge leads in three parts milk, complicated by continued floral resonance.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: NT $2616/227 grams

No. 16 Coffee of 2016: Creation Ninety Plus Silvia

Evaluated as espresso. Extravagant, intricate, yet balanced. Strawberry guava, tangerine zest, lilac-like flowers, sandalwood, roasted cacao nib in aroma and small cup. Velvety and honeyish in mouthfeel. Deeply fruit-toned and sweet in the finish. Superb in three-parts milk: juicy, fruit-toned, chocolaty.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: NT $1156/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Dynamic yet balanced. Jasmine, chocolate, banana, tangerine zest, sandalwood in aroma and small cup. Lightly full, velvety mouthfeel; clean, round finish. Floral top notes shimmer atop deeply rich chocolate in three parts milk.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: NT $1188/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Balanced, delicately and sweetly tart. Peach, orange zest, lavender, fresh-cut cedar in aroma and small cup. Lightly but buoyantly syrupy mouthfeel; gently tart, drying, lavender-toned finish. Three parts milk both round the fruit toward chocolate while paradoxically emphasizing the blend’s bright, zesty character.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: NT $204/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Sweetly bright; zesty. Grapefruit, cedar, baker’s chocolate, candied pecan, orange blossom in aroma and small cup. Delicate, satiny mouthfeel; citrus and chocolate carry into a richly tart finish. Sweetly zesty and vivacious in three parts milk, with a rounding and softening chocolate influence.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: NT $1170/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Rich, deep, roundly tart and slightly savory. Rum-toned dark chocolate, ripe orange, plum, oak, lavender top notes in aroma and small cup. Light but silky mouthfeel; deeply chocolaty, lightly drying mouthfeel. Authoritative, perhaps a bit blunt, in three parts milk: plum-like fruit, oaky dark chocolate.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: NT $168/227 grams

Evaluated as espresso. Balanced, round but crisp and savory-edged, lightly chocolaty. Plum jam, dark chocolate, hazelnut, cedar in aroma and small cup. Lightly syrupy mouthfeel; rich, crisply sweet-savory finish. A dry, nut-toned dark chocolate dominates nicely in three-parts milk, sweetening in the finish.

Review Date: Aug 2016

Price: $18.75/12 ounces

JBC Coffee Roasters Logo

Evaluated as espresso. Balanced, sweetly tart, floral. Baker’s chocolate, honeysuckle, cedar, mango, tangerine zest in aroma and small cup. Juicy, nectar-like body. The rich, resonant finish is saturated with orange-cloaked chocolate notes. In three parts milk, fruit and floral tones round and soften but remain deeply sweet and invitingly tart.

Review Date: Aug 2016

Price: $15.75/16 ounces

Sweet, nut-toned. Hazelnut, gardenia, fresh-cut cedar, caramel, pear in aroma and cup. Crisp, delicate acidity; light, satiny mouthfeel. The richly round finish consolidates around cedar and caramel in the short; hazelnut resurfaces in the gently drying long.

Review Date: Aug 2016

Price: $15.90/12 ounces

JBC Coffee Roasters Logo

Evaluated as espresso. Deeply sweet-tart. Lemon curd, walnut, roasted cacao nib, honeysuckle, candied apple in aroma and small cup. Crisp, silky mouthfeel. Bright, balanced short finish; sweetly nut-toned in the long. Maintains its composure in three parts milk, where both chocolate and lemon notes converge and fatten.