What does "Mugged" mean?
Subject: Aduro Bean Micro-Roasters
Coffees Mugged: Black and Tan Blend
Rating: 2+ [see key]
Blending coffee (mixing certain single origin coffees to make a desired flavor) has been a widely-used practice for some time. While I don't know if they were first, Italians truly made popular the art of coffee blending in order to better harness the right mixture of coffee beans to better make their espresso pop (most places still do it today). In the non-espresso arena, coffee entities have looked to blending for years in order to keep a similar flavor profile for a consistent product.
As for appearance, I can't say I've seen too many blends that have beans that look vastly different from one another. But I managed to find such a mixture with an Aduro Bean coffee that mixed a dark and a medium roast into what they call their Black and Tan Blend. Despite some concern of how the darker roast would play with the lighter roast, I assumed the best and dove in.
Thus, in getting started with the sampling, I took a crack at the coffee with my french press first. The cup proved bitter right up front, followed by a tickle of strawberry, some nice mention of chocolate and then more bitterness in the end and aftertaste. There was also a little bit of a jalapeno burn and overall, the cup was not so smooth and a held a very heavy body.
Next up was the drip. I definitely still tasted the bitterness and pepper but a nice pear-ish and watermelon sweetness swept underneath soon after. This cup had a smoother body once I got past the lingering darkness.
Lastly came the siphon. This cup threw out the least bitterness and pepper of the three, held more of the watermelon than the drip and had a fair earthiness. The body seemed smoother as there was less lingering darkness.
To put it simply, I think Black and Tan might be better off left to blending beer. While the coffee embodied some nice flavors, they were all overshadowed by the dark beans. Maybe if the "black" component of this blend was more of a medium/dark roast (i.e. no oil on the outside), it may fair better.
If you're looking to try out an unconventional blend, try out the Black and Tan.
note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.