Spice Road Spices
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Coffee Tasting and Review of an Artisan Maker in the Blue Mountains NSW.

Simon Cusack - 12-09-2018

Our Many Makers from Many Kitchens page in our Spice Road Spices website continues to uncover further hidden gems from Australia’s artisan Makers.

Following our successful review of Asterisk Kitchens in Melbourne we were privileged to be offered the chance to review a selection of roasted coffee beans from The Coffee Warehouse, at Kurmond in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

Naturally we jumped at the opportunity and we were supplied with the following three blends;

  • Coffee Blend 2 - Java Jive
  • Coffee Blend 4 - The Brazilian Mistress
  • Coffee Blend 5 - Espresso Delight

How we set up the tasting

We decided that we would brew the coffee using readily available and affordable equipment, our goal was to reproduce what the average coffee buff would or could have at hand or at least close equivalents thereof.

So our weapons of choice were a 'Gefu Lorenzo Manual Coffee Grinder' and a 'Rok Espresso Maker'. We have had excellent results from both of these for quite some time, in fact our 'Rok Expresso Maker' is the previous model called the 'Presso'. Years of good service from both.

We also decided to have a range of tasters as one person's dream coffee is another's nightmare. So we got two veteran coffee drinkers with 35 plus years of experience hammering their adrenals and a fresh young 20 something with about 12 months coffee drinking under her belt.

Choosing the Coffee Blend

In this installment we'll be looking at Blend 5 - Espresso Delight, we'll cover Blend 2 and 4 in an upcoming post. The description from the website is enlightening and reads;

"Excellent combination of the highest quality Papua new guinea Kimel, with the delicate flora finish of the Brazil Monte Alegra 'Natural' and rounding out with the good body, aroma and fruity high quality India Robusta Cherry AB. A great espresso blend and rumoured to being served by Saint Peter's coffee cart just inside the Pearly Gates on the left hand side, a coffee worth dying for. Just Heavenly."

Well, we can't speak of Saint Peter's taste in coffee but we can speak of ours.

In our minds an Espresso is what most people think of when they think of coffee from a decent cafe. It's strong enough so that you know you've had a coffee but not so strong you've got the jitters after only one.

It should be broadly appealing but not with any one flavour out weighing the others, which would make it unsuitable for modifying to taste ie, milk, sugar, honey It's strengths should also play to the style with which it is brewed, ie we expect more bitterness when drinking short blacks and want a richer spread of flavours when adding milk or cream.

This is how we tested.

First we brewed short blacks, then a latte, a flat white and finally bullet proof style short black (with butter and creme fresh as stipulated by one of the 'mature' drinkers). We tried them with and without sweeteners (in our case organic honey).

Our impressions;

  • Good aroma from the freshly opened pack.
  • The packet description listed a good crema as a feature, once we'd adjusted the grinder it did indeed produce a nice crema.
  • The short blacks had a good full flavour and the right amount of bitter/nutty aftertaste.
  • Once milk, cream, butter, honey, etc were added the taste of the coffee held up and produced a nice rounded flavour
  • All in all very decent cups of coffee were enjoyed all round.

Our Conclusions

So would we recommend it? Definitely! - and we are keen to try the other samples. Did the differing palate's have different perspectives? Indeed! The veterans decided that while the single shots were perfectly acceptable they would make double shots with this blend. The twenty something thought that the strength was perfect when in Latte or a Flat White but a bit strong as a short black.

Which is pretty much to be expected I guess...

For You to buy

In line with our Many Makers from Many Kitchens reviews, The Coffee Warehouse products are available online:

Coffee review and tasting by Simon Cusack and the Spice Roads team

Our spices begin their journey.