Showing posts with label french roast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label french roast. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mugged: French Roast [Don Francisco]

What does "Mugged" mean?

Don Francisco's Coffee
Coffees Mugged:
French Roast
3+ [see key]

y and by, it seems that the hands that produce good coffee also can produce mediocre. I know that some people really prefer their coffee to be super bitter but how are we going to get away from this fad of over-roasted coffee if roasters of all types (I've seen it in most coffee roasters) continue to propitiate the habit?

One such recent situation I can point to would be Don Francisco's French Roast. In sampling their other whole bean coffees of Colombian and Kona, I felt both to be really tasty. Clearly they have no issue producing a decent quality coffee (one of the main reasons to darkly roast a coffee is to cover up defects) so my deduction came to that they're simply catering to a the niche of people that think themselves hardcore when they ask for the dark roast. Alas...

But all that aside, I still strove to evaluate this coffee objectively and so, I put it through the tests of french press, drip and siphon.

The french press produced a coffee with dark chocolate, pepper and some subdued cherry. The darkness of the coffee really cloaked a lot of the flavors here.

The drip delivered a more earthy cup with the subdued cherry still weighted beneath the dark, bitterness of the coffee.

The siphon came out with similar dark characteristics, more cherry, some broth and pepper. With this one you could see the potential of the coffee squirming against the roast level.

As you can deduce, the coffee gave what was predicted; a coffee with some possible potential buried beneath the bitter qualities of a dark roast. I will say that as far as dark roasts go, this one was by no means abhorrent as there were still other flavors present, so if you are looking for a darker coffee, try out Don Francisco's French Roast.

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

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.