Coffee Wars Round 2

allegro coffee keny grand cru taste test hot cold brew

Another entry where I pretend to be able to taste coffee. I knew I was going to do this entry soon, but having the dog wake me up after 4 hours of sleep to go outside and not really be able to fall asleep again made today the day. Sorry in advance for missing words or grammar issues. 

Same setup as before – same coffee beans, some brewed hot, some brewed cold, served at approximately the same temperature. Today’s blend is Allegro Coffee’s Kenya Grand Cru. I picked it up at Whole Foods when I was getting ice cream supplies. They had the roast date posted by the bag but I don’t remember it anymore. I want to say it’s about 3 weeks old. It’s another light roast, and the bag proclaims flavors of red wine, blackberry and currant. Hopefully my unrefined palate can pick up on at least one of those. I’ll try to not whine about “difficulty” in dissecting flavors & smells too much because I feel like if I actually drank coffee regularly, it would be simple, just like dissecting wine or liquor or beer (or anything really) gets easier with repetition.

As a heads up, I just baked a batch of biscuits and changed an awful toddler poo, so there may be outside influences on my smell at the moment.

First up, cold brew. I smell some biscuit.. but I’m not convinced it’s the coffee. I smell something green (green beans?), a whisper of berry, and just the lightest touch of “coffee,” but it’s not roast-y. The color is light, and I can see down into the cup a bit. The first sip is a little astringent, but seems to decrease with additional drinks. I don’t get any of the green quality in the taste. It’s smooth, with very little bitterness. The taste is full bodied and subtly layered, while maintaining an incredibly light mouthfeel. There is a hint of earthiness, similar to some red wines, but it’s faint. Hints of cocoa, and citrus as it goes down, and some berry notes in the finish.

Hot brew looks a little cloudier, but it hasn’t been sitting in a fridge overnight to have the sediment settle out. The smell reminds me of the inside of a Panera. Light coffee notes mingle with baked goods notes; some are bread-y, some are dessert-y. There’s a stronger berry smell now. The biscuits have been out of the oven for over half an hour now, so I don’t think they’re really an issue anymore. This is still very light, but it does have a little more weight and roast quality in the finish. There’s a mild astringency and it does not fade after the first sip. An image of a cup of black coffee next to a piece of blackberry pie comes to mind.

I actually prefer hot brew here. I really like how it brings the berry notes out more, and the mouthfeel comes across as more balanced. Plus, I’m not really a fan of vegetal notes in coffee. I would buy this again, but I wouldn’t mind if it was a few dollars cheaper.

In other news, I watched the “It” remake last night. It’s very well done, better (accuracy-wise) than I expected it to be, and I would gladly watch it again – BUT I don’t like one of the things they changed with Bev’s character. Without too many details (to risk spoilers), I feel like she got robbed of her big heroic moment and got demoted to damsel in distress. They do fit a lot into the movie considering it’s length though, and I’m looking forward to part 2.

The peppers also seem to be done overflowing, I only had to dab with a napkin a few times yesterday.


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