Showing posts with label coffee labs roasters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coffee labs roasters. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mugged: Sumatra Mandheling [Coffee Labs]


What does "Mugged" mean?

Coffee Labs Roasters
Coffee Mugged:
Sumatra Mandheling

Rating: 4+
[see key]

*updated 4.19.11

hen the topic of favorite coffee comes up, many people seem to throw out Sumatra as their top pick. Granted I am sure some of them actually have carefully weighed out that designation but for most, I think people just like the idea of getting their coffee from an exotic Pacific Island.

Regardless of how much research goes into it, Sumatra does produce some decent coffee. Recently, Roaste offered a chance to review one of the many coffees they purvey and looking to try out a decent Sumatran (Africa and America have been dominating my cup as of late), I set my sights on Coffee Labs Roasters' Sumatra Mandheling. Having store credit, I glided quite quickly through Roaste's checkout process and awaited my coffee directly from Coffee Labs.

Upon first inspection, the beans were plump and medium-dark. I sampled the coffee via drip, french press and siphon.

The drip threw notes of pound cake, pepper, dark cocoa, a little molasses, some cinnamon, graham cracker and a little smokiness. The overall flavor was a little dark but with pungent sweetness amidst a medium to full body.

The french press held honey, rye, pepper, a little lemon, tobacco, vanilla and cinnamon. A slightly different cup but still a sweet, dark cup.

The siphon proved sweeter, with facets of honey and caramel, a little cashew, some sweet wine, black pepper, tobacco throughout, some apple and a olive oil. The brew had a medium body and a mellow profile.

All in all, Coffee Labs put together a decent Sumatran though the smoky and dark flavors seemed to detract from the other parts of the coffee in my opinion (maybe a lighter roast would have done it). If you are on the lookout for medium/dark Sumatran, give Coffee Labs' Sumatra Mandheling a whirl.
note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.

Update 4.19.11
In reading back through this, I realized that I breezed over the impact Roaste had on my experience unfairly. Roaste provided a very simple shopping experience that made purchasing coffee a breeze, from decision to check out to delivery straight from the roaster. The only facet that could improve is that some coffee roasters led to empty pages (such as Kickapoo).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

CC: Coffee Labs Roasters

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: Coffee Labs Roasters
Location visited:
Tarrytown, NY
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

Updated 7/31/08

Few places are fun to navigate in the rain, but I would have to say that the area between Mahwah, NJ and White Plains, NY are currently my least favorite (purely for navigational reasons; I like the area for many other aspects).

One such rainy night, on the way to a romantic dinner with the girlfriend (later that night to become fiancee'), we passed through Tarrytown. Ironically, we missed our reservation and went to hunt out other fare in town (with no luck), but we found Coffee Labs Roasters open amidst a fairly dead Main St.

Still being ravenous and not wanting to dawdle too long before we headed out to find food elsewhere, I quickly stopped in to grab some java (we also had a long drive home afterwards) and being second nature, took some mental notes on the place.

As I walked up, I could hear the sounds of local talent, and realized it was an Open Mic. Undeterred, I waded through the crowd to the front counter. The shop was very small (at least it seemed so with all the teenagers crammed in) and very, very loud (one should not have to scream to order). The place had no real unique aesthetics and seemed kind of bland as far as the environment went. The icing on the proverbial cake proved to be the drum roaster that literally sat in the middle of the shop (granted it might have been the only place you can put it, but at the sacrifice of openness and flow?)

As given in the name, they roast their own coffee and seem to focus on single origin coffees (i.e. less blends). The coffee itself tasted a little bland in my opinion but since I was in a hurry, I can't really vouch for it either way.

The espresso tasted fair though the barista who pulled the shot definitely had little experience under her belt. No matter, the shots came out pretty tasty.

Taking two drinks to go, the girlfriend and I got back on our way to finding food (we ended up settling for Wendy's b/c it was getting late) and heading south. Coffee Labs provided a good beverage but I can't really say I was floored, as I had read such praise of them in many a past forum. Maybe the next time I cross the Tappan Zee, I'll give it a second try.

Updated 7/31/08

This update is actually one that was to be posted some time ago but due to an error on mine or Blogger's part, never showed up on this post. My bad for not checking my work...

I managed to make my second visit to Tarrytown on a beautiful warm afternoon and had a significantly better experience. The store was not packed out, the baristas were uber friendly, and the coffee faired much better. While I didn't take specific notes on this particular occasion (a rare occasion where I was without the implements), I noted later that the coffee was significantly better this time around and the espresso still displayed fairly amazing.