Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mugged: Newhall Coffee


What does "Mugged" mean?

Subject: Newhall Coffee Micro Roasting Company
Coffees Mugged: California, Patriot and Decaf
Rating: 1+ for all [see key]

ne thing that really causes me to twist my face in confusion about the coffee industry is the variation in assigning roast levels. What I mean is that one roaster's light roast is another roaster's medium roast and one coffeehouse might call something a full city roast with another designating the same shade of coffee the title of medium roast. Why can't we all just agree on a simple means of describing a coffee's roast level?

One example of two different views was when I was sent three coffees to try out from a California company called Newhall Coffee Micro Roasting Company. They sent me a medium roast (Patriot Blend), something called a specialty roast (California Blend) and the token dark roast (French Roast). But when I opened them up for sampling, despite minimal differences in shade, all three coffees were basically really dark (i.e. very prominent surface oils) and did little to resemble the differences between a medium and dark roast that I'm used to.

In trying these three coffees out, I did my usual battery of brewings: drip, french press and siphon. And predictably enough, as with most darkly roasted coffees, the results were all pretty similar.

The California Blend I broke into first. The siphon proved best, with a dark brew with bits of pear. Both the drip and french press held little else besides the darkness of the coffee, with only the drip displaying a bit of nutmeg.

The Patriot Blend came next. As a medium roast, I expected this to be the least reminiscent of a dark roast but alas, it was dark through and through. The only other detectable notes were that the french press and drip had a slight sweetness and the siphon had a tinge of cayenne pepper.

The French Roast, as the darkest, came last. Much like the other two blends, the French Roast definitely pumped out lots of bitterness and taste of surface oils. As for positives, the siphon held some spice and sugar on the end.

Alas, the coffees from Newhall did not really impress at all and if not for the compulsory nature of reviewing a free product, I probably would hold off on posting such critical opinions (I really don't like making people feel bad). At the least, I hope such feedback is helpful.

If you have had a differing experience with Newhall, I'd be curious to hear it.

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.


MIke said...

I've tried all three. I liked the California Blend. The French Roast grew on me. And I really couldn't agree with you anymore on the Patriot Blend. It seemed a lot more like a dark roast than any medium blend that I've ever had.

CoffeeNate said...

I haven't tasted any Newhall coffee yet, but I can relate to the wide range of 'medium', 'light', and 'dark' roasts. It would be helpful for these roasters to post a close-up pic beside each item.

CoffeeNate said...

I received a HUGE quantity of coffee from Newhall and I found it quite unappealing. I felt bad because they sent me so much, and I was guilty about not liking it. I just gave it away to my non-coffee snob acquaintances :)