Showing posts with label Guatemala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guatemala. Show all posts

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mugged: Ethiopia, Kenya and Guatemala [Black Oak]

Subject: Black Oak Coffee Roasters
Coffee Mugged and Rating [see key]:
- Kenya Kabatha AB 5+
- Ethiopia Konga 5+
- Guatemala San Diego Buena Vista 6+

California wine country is renowned for its many great vineyards, but up until recently, the sea of grapes harbored little else of such high quality. Fortunately the area is growing even more appealing, with quality specialty coffee slowly gaining a stronger foothold in the land of vino. Take Black Oak Coffee Roasters in the town of Ukiah right off the 101; what more could you ask for than a coffee roaster that takes as much care and love in their beans as the best vineyards surrounding put into making their wine?  

Monday, July 07, 2014

Mugged: Guatemala [Unicorn]

Subject: Unicorn Coffee Company
Coffees Mugged: Guatemala
Rating [see key]: 4+

It's not often you get to try out coffee before it hits the shelves. But these days with more and more folks starting up production well before they open their doors, every now and then such an opportunity to do so arises. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mugged: Deep Red, Ethiopia and Guatemala [Booskerdoo]

Subject: Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Co.
Coffee Mugged and Rating [see key]:
  - Deep Red Bells 5+
  - Guatemala Huehuetenango Rainforest Alliance Cert. 4+
  - Ethiopia Sidamo Peaberry (City Roast) 3+

For a state that borders two major metropolitan areas, NJ finally seems to be capitalizing on the large swaths of thirsty coffee drinkers meandering its roads and alleys. I've seen several new roasting faces pop up in the past year (some upcoming posts on some of them) but also current companies continuing to grow their reach.

Booskerdoo of Monmouth Beach is one roaster that seems to be evermore on my radar. Recently, I had the pleasure of trying out three NJ-roasted coffees from Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Co in my home lab: their Deep Red Bells blend, Guatemala Huehuetenango and Ethiopian Sidamo Peaberry. Except for the Guatemala for which my vacuum pot malfunctioned and went down for over a week, I sampled each coffee via pourover, french press and siphon.

The Deep Red Bells blend is a seasonal coffee that consists of two different roasts of an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Worka Coop Unwashed Organic blended together, a method I usually don't see pulled off well, but Deep Red Bells proved the exception. Via drip, it displayed blueberry cobbler, nougat, rosemary and limeade bubblegum, proving bright and juicy with nice sultry notes of cocoa. The french press smacked of blueberry, semisweet chocolate chips, hibiscus, almond croissant, slight vanilla cookie, rosemary and a touch of sour cream in a light/medium body; a multifaceted and bejeweled coffee. The siphon serenaded me with blueberry, nougat, apple juice, rosemary and cream, making for a smooth and silky coffee full of juicy and succulent flavors.

Next up was the Guatemala, a Rainforest Alliance coffee marketed as nutty and rich coffee. The pourover tasted of molasses, pecan pie, ginger snap, pear, skim milk and pizza crust within a medium body. The french press leaned more towards plum, sarsaparilla, sweet potato, blue corn chips and dandelion greens in a malty, medium body with a cake-ish sweetness. While I found the coffee sweet and a touch nutty, their were a few heavier flavors that kind of weighed the coffee down. 

The Ethiopian, last up, made for a mildly intriguing cup. The pourover held white toast, merlot, a pinch of pepper and slight cocoa in a medium body. The french press drummed out blueberry, merlot, pepper, cloves, brisket, med body and smoother and bright with a nice complexity. The siphon detected notes of blueberry, rye, cloves, lemon pepper, brisket and red pepper within med body. For an Ethiopian coffee, the beans had some bright and pleasant facets, but all were a bit overshadowed by a spicy body and a flat, slightly astringent aftertaste

In a short synopsis, I would definitely order two out of the three coffees again (the Ethiopian Peaberry was not my favorite). If you seek some beans, take a gander over to the Booskerdoo, whether you live near Monmouth Beach or you just seek its local flavor.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mugged: Java Bean Plus

Subject: Java Bean Plus 
Mugged: Various
Rating: 4+ for Mexico and Guatemala
3+ for Costa Rica [see key]

Most coffee that you get at a coffeehouse you can also get direct from the roaster on the internet. But what if coffee roasters sourced only through their wholesale accounts, empowering each coffeehouse to be a more exclusive source for their patron's coffee? No matter your view on middle men and proprietary blends, the concept is certainly intriguing and not very common in the coffee world.

Coffee provider Java Bean Plus is one of the few coffee roasters I know of that sells their coffee exclusively through their wholesale accounts. Since I've never had a drop of their coffee before, I was curious to give three of their light roast coffees a whirl. They sent out their Mexico High Grown, Guatemala Antigua & Costa Rica Tarrazu; all of which I sampled via drip, french press and siphon (except the Costa Rica via siphon, as my siphon decided to break prior to its occurrence).

The Mexico High Grown drip produced notes of whiskey, honey, wheat cracker, a little fresh peanut and malt within a medium body; a deep but sweet coffee. The french press demonstrated wheat cracker, corn flakes, molasses, parsley, fig and some prune on the end with a lighter body; a deep wheat and sweet brew. The siphon relayed a slight whiskey, honey, cracker, heavy malt and a medium body, painting a deep, smooth and slightly sugary cup. Overall, a sweet coffee with nice notes of wheat and deep fruits.

The Guatemala Antigua drip smacked of life cereal, bran, a little cream, celery and a pinch of salt and plantain, all together making a smooth and sweet coffee with a bran shadow. The french press held glazed doughnut, prunes, spinach, salt and life cereal which was similar to the siphon that gave sweet wheat notes, life cereal, spinach and a bit of salt. In the end, a decent full coffee to sip with cereal.

The Costa Rica Tarrazu was the darkest of the three, with a noticeable but slight presence of oil on the beans. Its drip sang of malt, heavy root beer, mint, sirloin lemon pepper and sweet cream on end; a heavy bodied infusion that held a good deal of pepper and savory qualities. The french press, proving much smoother than drip, parried with root beer, cream, lemon with less pepper and some fig. As I didn't get to try out the siphon on this one, I had to go off the drip and french press in that this coffee held more savory and peppery notes then I would have liked.

While I found the Mexico and the Guatemala palatable coffees with nice flavors, I wasn't as big of a fan of the Costa Rica given it's darker qualities. Thus, if you're a coffee business looking for a decent coffee roaster who will never sell alongside you, give Java Bean Plus a go.

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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mugged: Guatemala [Rogue Coffee]


Coffee Mugged: Guatemala Finca Bourbon
Rating: 3+ [see key

Oregon is a state that continually fascinates me the more I explore it. Sure, most people (myself included) rave about Portland but as it is with most states, there are tons of curious spots to discover off the beaten path, like south Oregon's Rogue Valley. While I have not been (yet), the place seems like an interesting (mostly) rural area; it boasts a wine country, plenty of outdoor sights and of course, some prospects of good coffee. 

One new-to-me coffee entity to appear on my radar was Rogue Coffee Roasters. As they sent over a bag of their Guatemala Finca Bourbon to try, it not only lead me to explore the coffee, but the area as well (hence above).  

Onto the coffee, I sampled it via the drip, french press and siphon infusions. While I believe the coffee was categorized a light roast, the beans were fairly dark.

The drip emanated notes of oregano and tobacco with an underlying caramel, as well as cinnamon, granola and rye bread amidst a medium body. A dark yet sweet brew.

The french press held stronger notes of caramel and less tobacco, as well as oolong tea, rye, frosted flakes and sweet cream. A much sweeter and lighter bodied cup.

The siphon lent unique flavors of vanilla, cloves, cherry and hazelnut as well as the oolong, frosted flakes and tobacco of the prior infusions. 

All in all, I had my doubts at first as to whether this dark coffee would be a decent coffee but whether it needed a day to mature between the drip and french press infusions or some other factor changed, this coffee got better as I went along. Still, it was a little too dark (especially if it is truly a light roast) and I think I would have liked it more if it were lighter. 

Whether you're in the area or on the opposite coast, give Rogue's Guatemala a try if you're out for a smoky and sweet coffee.

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

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Mugged: Estate Blend [R Dalton Coffee]


What does "Mugged" mean?

R Dalton Coffee
Coffees Mugged:
Estate Blend

Rating: 3+
[see key]

oy does spring really jump into summer! I've been running to and fro with work and life's transitions seemingly nonstop with no sign of it slowing.

Today, my task was to get back on schedule and do some blogging that I've been backed up on for some weeks. R Dalton Coffee, a coffee company that sells Guatemalan coffee exclusively it seems (in 6 pack quantities), sent me two of their coffees to try out and today was the day to get the reviews out. First up was their Estate Blend, a blend of coffees from various R Dalton estates.

Brewed in french press, it displayed dark flavors (a little overtly bitter) as well as a bit of lime, dough, cherry, grass and oregano. A decent showing but it didn't knock my socks off.

The drip was not as dark (though still dark with bitter notes) with the lime, dough and cherry as well as a little honey. A bit better of a coffee infusion.

The siphon was still dark (this time not in a detrimental way at all) with the lime, dough, cherry and grass all displayed well in concert. By far, the best cup.

Putting it all together, I enjoyed this Guatemalan blend but I feel that it was a little too dark for the coffee's beans though I also suspect that there could be other factors (such as lack of freshness). Give R Dalton's Estate Blend a try if you're looking for a decent six-pack of coffee.

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mugged: PT's Coffee [Finca La Felicidad - Guatemalan Antigua]


What does "Mugged" mean?

Subject: PT's Coffee
Coffee Mugged: Finca La Felicidad - Guatemalan Antigua
Rating: 5+ [see key]

ecently, a number of coffee roasters have made great strides in creating direct trade with coffee farmers (i.e. cut out the middle man), a move that develops long-term relationships with the farm and ends up benefiting both parties with a greater product and fair pricing across the board (quite often the farm benefits many times more then Fair Trade certified farms).

PT's Coffee would be an example of one such roaster working hard at it. When they recently sent me a bag of Finca La Felicidad - Guatemalan Antigua to try out, I was thrilled to find the coffee comes from such a Direct Trade relationship.

As mentioned on PT's website, the coffee beans did produce a lovely potent buttery aroma. I sampled the coffee via french press, vacuum press and drip. The french press produced a deep chocolate taste, medium smooth body and followed with flecks of spice and molasses. The vacuum press had similar flavors, with the spiciness a little more pronounced and a bit more of an earthy flavor that came out. The drip had a much smoother body and little more subdued expression of the flavors (especially the cocoa).

On the whole, this coffee rocked my socks off. If you're looking for a great South American coffee, try Finca La Felicidad for sure.