In which I continue to review the different coffees I’ve had.

Coffees of the World, Part Two

1398 words about review — 15:08 · 2nd Jul 2011

Close up of coffee beans which have been roasted too much.
Figure 1. Beans. Too roasted.

And so.. the much awaited “Coffees of the World” -series continues. Or maybe I’m deluding myself.. maybe it’s not awaited at all. Either way I’m still going to write it. The beans pictured above are by the way from dear old Gigantti.. Unfortunately this would be the first time (for me) that Gigantti has disappointed me. Those beans are from “KAFFE NOIR, Italian Roast” that I mentioned earlier. ICS (shame on them!) never answered my email so I have no idea what kind of blend it is. But I did try it for a week or so, brewed in the same way I brew everything else. It was not good.. not good at all. And as you might be able to see in the picture, I personally think it’s over-roasted and has too much charcoal taste. Maybe it would work better as an espresso, but alas I can only brew it with my French press.. at least for now. So, yeah. It was really not good. However as I discovered later on, it did actually work as Iced coffee. Which I will go more into later in this post.. and in part Three..

—“He likes to pretend that people care, but they don’t. The riddles he gives are too easy for us, so we never bother with them. Obviously the answer is the number 9. Like we didn’t know that. Sssssh, he’s coming back now..”

Yeah, because the math part that was going to be in this post grew exponentially I decided to give it its own post instead. Hence no math-y stuff in this one. You’ll understand why later.

So.. back to coffees then I suppose. Just like last time, I will include the brackety-thingys for the adventurous ones of you.

[RV] = Ryytivakka, Saluhallen [LK] = Liisa Koski


A map pointing to India.

My first taste of India was a very, very interesting one. Monsoon Malabar [RV] is heavy bodied. It has very little acidity and a lot of origin specific taste. But the thing that struck me the most was how salty it was. Yeah, you heard me.. salty. Malabar has a very strong salt-water smell and taste. I closed my eyes and imagined that I was out on the ocean. So for those of you that might like that sort of stuff, you definitely need to try this one. In the end, I felt like “No, I don’t particularly like my coffee salty”. But it still gets 3+ because it got everything else right in terms what I look for in my coffee. I think this would make an excellent “kesämökkikahvi” (summer cottage coffee) where things smell of the sea anyway.


A map pointing to Mexico.

The first time I went to Liisa Koski was quite an experience. The shop owner (Mr. Kulju himself) was very keen to share his acquired knowledge of coffee and I has happy to oblige because it was very interesting and unlike the other place it was noticable that he had a real passion for coffee which I can relate to/liked a lot. Which brings us all the way from India to México, where I got blah blah [LK]. Named so because I haven’t gotten a more specific name for it yet. Single origin though just like most of the other ones. This was a peculiar one, because although I was nice generally. It had an odd origin taste/smell that I could never quite identify and that I didn’t like all that much. The closest I can think of is wet bark/dirt or something like that. I will go back there and ask him what it is.


A map pointing to Colombia.

Just south from México we go to Colombia where we find Bucaramanga [RV] a deep coffee with awesome body and very nice after-taste. With hints of chocolate and a hazelnut/almond undertones this one quickly climbed to my personal favourites list and has stuck there ever since. Bucaramanga gets a 4 because now as I write this and remember that I haven’t had it for a couple of weeks my inner voices are telling me to go buy some more. This is one of my favourite afternoon coffees.


A map pointing to Indonesia.

And so we’ve reached the finalists. My (so far) two personal favourites when it comes to coffees. As you might remember from part One, Indonesia had already brought me a 2+ coffee in its Sulawesi but this Sumatran Mandheling [RV] was a very different story. Having a heavy body with low acidity, because let’s face it.. that’s what I want from my coffee, Mandheling has a a nice brightness to it, with hints of fruitiness.. subtle tones of something like mango. This one is a definite keeper and one that I will try to roast myself. I warmly recommend this coffee for those of you that want their coffee fruity rather than berry-like.


A map pointing to Kenya.

In Kenya, Africa we find the other favourite of my coffees. This Kenyan pearl bean [LK].. (again.. he’s good with coffee, bad with proper names) has a heavy body with low acidity. But where the Mandheling had a perky wakey-uppy brightness to it, this one a more somber and laid back feeling to it. If this coffee was a jazz song, it would be the bass riff. Very deep with hints of black- and redcurrant and with a wonderful red wine feeling to it this is the other keeper that I will try to roast myself. If you enjoy a glass of red wine every now and then, this might just be the coffee for you. If nothing else, this is one of the coffees for me.


A map pointing to the retailer Gigantti in Finland.

I want to give a special mention to KAFFE NOIR, Italian Roast though. Like I said earlier, I didn’t like it. And neither did those of my friends that tried it, by the way. But I figured since I still have the coffee I could just as well experiment with in my cold-brewed coffee trials. That or throw it away and I’m just too cheap to do that. Imagine my surprise when it actually worked better as Iced coffee than e.g. Indonesian Sulawesi or Méxican Blah Blah. I’m assuming that is has to do with cold-brewing not actually extracting everything from the coffee. Some of the oils allegedly are only extracted at certain temperatures, which cold-brewing never reaches. I’m imagining that e.g. Mandheling would lose the very things I like about it and since I didn’t like anything about KAFFE NOIR.. cold-brew ftw! But that is about as far as I will explain my on-going Manhattan Trials. I will get back to it in part Three more.. you know.. the math-y part with charts and shit.. oh it’s going to be ever so awesome! Well.. if you like charts it will.. otherwise.. well.. you probably won’t like it that much.

This is it for part of two. Stay tuned for part Three, the part which I suspect might be the last one so focused on coffee. I feel like I have forced all of you (all four of you) to read coffee-related things a lot. So I think we both need a bit of a break. At least I do. Besides.. there are plenty of other things to write about and if anyone actually has any questions (sometime I think this dialogue of mine is a bit one-sided) feel free to ask.

—“Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa FREUDMAN! He’s watching you watching yourself but who is he?.. only time will tell..”

You’ve just read Coffees of the World, Part Two.

In which, 12 years ago, I wrote 1398 words about review and I covered topics, such as: coffee.