For the Love of Coffee, Cigars, Wine, & Great Food!

Coffee Tasting

Complexity & Balance: Kenya AA

Ok, so judging by the lit Christmas tree in the background and the Christmas gift suggestion, we all know that I may be a wee bit late on the video update… Anyhoo, we recently tasted the Kenya AA from BaristaOnDutY, and the sensations we received from this coffee was like taking a trip to the moon – that exciting. We tested this one over different types of preparation as well as different grinds and came to the conclusion that this was more than a “knock your socks off” kinda deal. This coffee’s characteristics are versatile enough to be both complex and balanced – but we’ll get to that part in a sec. The scent alone was like a buttery praline – it made me drool and get a little weak in the knees while yelling “GET IN MY BELLY!!”

Taste Test Snapshot: French Press, Coarse Grind, 4min steep

  • Dry Aroma: Buttery, caramel, a hint of licorice
  • Wet Aroma: Sweet, honeyed, almond, praline
  • Taste: An elegant, nutty earthiness, very citrusy, lemon, bright, clean, winey, chocolate undertones, high acidity
  • Overall Notes: A citrusy cup throughout that is eclipsed by chocolate undertones. As it cools, more berry emerges.

Taste Test Snapshot: Vietnamese Phin Filter, Fine Grind, 5-6min steep

Taste Test Snapshot: Pour-Over, Medium Grind, 4min steep

  • Dry Aroma: Buttery, caramel
  • Wet Aroma: Caramel, nectar, honeysuckle
  • Taste: Pear-like, fruit, chocolate, berries, high acidity
  • Overall Notes: The first time in the pour-over, we got some of the chocolate and dark fruit. The second time around and with a little rest, this coffee had a much more intense punch of berry and fruit. All of these flavors were eclipsed by chocolate upon the first sip. As it cools, chocolate becomes very present. It proves to have a balanced complexity throughout the duration of the cup.

Now here’s where we get to complexity and balance. Can a cup be both complex and balanced – I know, awkward that we use these two terms as complimentary to each other within the same sentence – and if so, what does that mean? There were four key tastes that apply to this Kenya AA coffee: citrus, berries, chocolate, and lemon. Let’s watch to see how they all play a role in this coffee’s existence.

As we see, at different moments in time and over the course of a few different types of preparation and grinds, the Kenya AA reveals its multi-faceted characteristics throughout the experience of the cup while letting us know of its possibilities and its range – COMPLEXITY. There are no “random” moments that are unpleasantly tasted; however, it is a harmonious experience that may catch us by surprise, but it is a pleasant mix of the unexpected, and makes for a very pleasurable and desirable cup – BALANCE. Read more about complexity and balance here.


Raging Brews: The Smokehouse

A few weeks ago, we did a review on BaristaOnDutY’s Light Roast Vietnamese R16, which featured woodsy, tobacco and molasses scents highlighted by Asian spice, soft caramel, sweet raisin, and plum. The cup profile announced licorice, smoked wood, and some dark fruit  – I know, I’m salivating! After a few days of rest, this coffee boldly expresses dark plum, berries, caramel, and honey – but this time around we paired it with a suggested lighter cigar – La Gloria Cubana Churchill 7×50 NT that lasted us for a little over an hour. Dive into Raging Brews: The Smokehouse.


Coffee Chicken Wings (WAAANGS) :D

What could be more fun than cooking with coffee? Oh, wait – drinking it! Anyhoo, I received some incredible coffee from BaristaOnDutY: Light Roasted Vietnamese R16 and Medium/Dark Roasted Vietnamese R16. Both cups had an incredibly smoky profiles (check out the Light Roast Here and the Med/Dark Roast Here) with subtle, bold, and very unique twists. When applied as a glaze to baked chicken, we got a heck of a lot more of that WOW factor. Take a #coffee cooking, chicken waaaang journey with me below!

Here are some fun pics of the Med/Dark Roasted Vietnamese R16 Glaze, Light Roasted Vietnamese R16 Glaze, and Med/Dark Roasted Vietnamese R16 Glazed Chicken. Both pair well with A Malbec or Riesling!


MEAN Chicken -N- Waffles with BODY

So last week I checked in on BaristaOnDutY’s Authentic Vietnamese 16 Med/Dark Roasted Coffee. It’s a great coffee that has a wide range of opportunity while appealing to many people’s preferences :D. In the dry aroma, I got syrupy, tussin and hazelnut scents. I was both anxious and curious to get a swirl in my mouth. I broke the crust to experience the deep scents this coffee has to offer – which is basically getting your face really close to the cup, puncturing the wet, ground crust with a spoon, and dragging it to the back of the cup – all while you deeply inhale the aroma. The wet aroma released scents of licorice as well as a big jolt of dark berries – plum and raspberries – FREGGIN AMAZING!

Tasting! A smoky cup that has a graceful softness to it. The mouthfeel is very velvety and smooth. Very balanced with medium acidity. *Side Note – what is acidity? Not to be confused with an unpleasant sourness, acidity in coffee is a positive brightness experienced in the cup – the dryness, pleasant snap or tartness with a soft sweetness it leaves at the back of your palate after each sip.*

Ok, back to the task at hand – judging by the aroma of this coffee, you would expect a cup with much darker notes; however, you’re approached with a very balanced cup with a mix of smoke and honey. This coffee can definitely be enjoyed each and every day. I even enjoyed it with a handful of cranberries today – Yummy for my tummy *AND my tongue!*

Suggested Preparation & Grind: Pourover (slightly coarse to fine grind), French Press (coarse grind), Vietnamese Phin Filter (fine grind) The grind featured here was a bit finer and was prepared in a pourover.

Now for the really fun part!!! Food Pairings? I think it would pair very well with a honey-glazed crispy crab wonton. Enjoy it iced. Perhaps a caramel dessert. Show it off to your friends. And FINALLY – ever had chicken & waffles?? GOD, get some with this coffee, but make sure the chicken is CRISPY as hell and glazed with honey. Café Dufrain in Tampa, FL is a place by the water on Harbour Island. Their chicken & waffles would be succulent with this coffee!

Get BaristaOnDutY’s Coffee!


BAM! BAD-Ass Coffee!

If you haven’t already heard, today is blog action day (BAD2010)– and I’m challenging you in two major ways. Both are relatively easy – and yes, they have everything to do with coffee. Anyhoo, today’s focus is all about water, and I’m going to share how you can guzzle down exceptional coffee while helping out other communities – ALL from your kitchen. Then we’re going to take our next action to the streetz, PLAYAZZZ!  BAM! Photo Credit: Gevon Servo


Surprise Coffee From BaristaOnDutY

So I’ve been reviewing some Vietnamese coffees from BaristaOnDutY.com, and I was excited to see that there was a surprise coffee for me to review – no label or anything. So I’ve decided instead of testing it and telling you about it, we should find out the surprise together. c(_) Cheers! *Clank*

I am going to play with this in the roaster and give you a full review soon!

Suggested Preparation: Wait & See!

 


Sensual Mystery: Ethiopia Limu from BaristaOnDutY

This coffee is like Heaven in a cup…No, LITERALLY. It’s loaded with so many flavors – honey, butternut, jasmine, toasted macadamia. It’s a very floral and sweet coffee, but has such an unexpected collaboration of flavors and intriguing twists. This coffee has been around for quite some time and has always been raved about. I was so happy when I found out that BaristaOnDutY had sent some to me.

You may question what’s going on in the cup. Is it my taste buds or the coffee?? It’s so sweet and floral but very rustic and woodsy. The dry aroma made me chuckle a bit to myself – glad to smell something so pleasing: sweetened nuts, honey, and peach. The wet aroma released soft scents of banana, honey, jasmine and honeysuckle – an aroma that definitely brought me back to my childhood of picking honeysuckles and experiencing soft, elegant flavors against my tongue.

The taste of this coffee was like a playground experience: butternut, apricot, an explosion of honey, a short, dry finish, winey accents. It played with my emotions in good way. Further along in the cup, the soft jasmine aroma from before meets my tongue and excites me once again. About halfway through – SMACK! Toasted macadamia nut – well where the heck did this come from?? But I like it! A little later, more floral tastes arrive and lasts throughout the duration of the cup.

This was such a pleasurable experience – it’s easy to be taken by surprise with this coffee; however, don’t let it confuse you. Let the element of surprise share an all too intriguing melody with you. Experience this coffee any day at any time, and your mouth – and heart will smile.

Suggested Preparation: French Press, Coarse Grind

Get to know your BODY: @BaristaOnDutYBaristaOnDutY.com