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
- Dry Aroma: Buttery chocolate
- Wet Aroma: Sweet berries
- Taste: Profound nutty, earthy and chocolate flavors that accompany its caramel aroma, a hint of citrus, high acidity
- Overall Notes: This preparation revealed a citrus blast that was finished by almonds and chocolate.
- Click here to learn how to properly use a Vietnamese Phin Filter – by BaristaOnDutY
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.
Now, I am a 100% advocate for fresh-roasted coffee. But after returning from a few months of travel, I realized I still had at least one cup’s worth of beans to brew from this amazing coffee – BaristaOnDutY’s Light Roast Vietnamese Caphe R16. I fired it up, and much to my surprise, I was greeted with elements of caramel, raisin, and wine – almost like a nice pinotage or syrah. This was very different from the woodsy, tobacco-like qualities I had experienced upon fresh roast. I must say, after a few months – yes a few months – of rest, this coffee still had some mind-blowing characteristics. Of course I lit up a cigar to go along with it, which turned out to be the perfect pairing. Perdomo Lot 23 Belicoso, a mild cigar with woody and sweet spice notes, complimented this coffee so well. For as little as $4.95, you can enjoy this torpedo for about 30-45 minutes along with a sweet caramelly, rested, light roasted Vietnamese Caphe R16 from BaristaOnDutY.com. Coffee + Cigar Pairings.
Previous R16 Reviews
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.
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!
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!
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!
The Vietnamese Caphe is such an incredible coffee, it’s ridiculous. Its atypical shape, aroma, and taste qualities made me keep by nose deep into the beans for the majority of the tasting. Provided by BaristaOnDutY.com (@BaristaOnDutY), this coffee’s dry whole bean aroma was a collaboration of several scents: onions, spice, tobacco, leather, smoked wood chips, grassy. Its ground dry aroma is where we experienced more of the sweeter scents like caramel and soft floral accents. The wet aroma (immersing in water) – Oh My God – intense tobacco & molasses was very apparent. We also got hints of sweet raisin, plum and more of that caramel – but also a smoked wood.
So we finally get to taste: winey, licorice, tobacco & cigar accents, would be great for espresso, a very clean finish. About halfway through, all of the dry and wet aromas along with the upfront tastes blend together very well and are quite pleasurable!
The Beans: The beans were actually quite small in comparison to the average bean. Interestingly enough, the texture of the beans were both smooth and rigid and had a color variation of both dark and light. These unique traits give it character and an unconventional beauty.
Pairs Well With: A light cigar, A rich chocolate dessert
What to look for soon: best preparation methods (espresso, drip, French Press, phin filter)