• Rating: [rating:3.5/5]

While in exile in the very picture of a quaint New England inn [there ’tis, below], I’ve been away from my trusty lil’ benchtop coffee roaster, which is in storage in a warehouse somewhere in Kansas City. [You’ll forgive me as for a moment I indulge in a mental image of the endless warehouse shelves from the first Indiana Jones movie. Done. Thanks.]

Given that I’m now working for a company that roasts coffee, this shouldn’t be quite the hardship it might otherwise be… it’s not like there isn’t any coffee around. Still, once you’ve started roasting your own, it feels a little curious to not roast your own. Probably like a home-brewer bellying up to the bar to order a micro-brew: it’s good stuff, sure, but it’s not yours.

Mind you, there are some very nifty double-barreled sample roasters in the cupping lab, and one of these days I’ll get around to trying them out. Meanwhile, I thought it’d be a tasty and useful exercise to drink my way through the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters product line. It’s going to take a while… GMCR offers more than 90 coffees. So I’d better get started.

Green Mountain Estate Java

I was surprised to discover that this particular bean from Java is a peaberry. Regular readers might recall that I’ve got a certain fondness for these fairly rare and curious beans… on average, only about 5% of a given crop is made of peaberries.

The “classic” Java profile is a heavy-bodied, somewhat earthy, mildly sweet cup. This coffee fits that profile tidily enough, ‘cept it’s got more earth in the cup than I might expect. In fact, the predominant fragrance of this coffee is earth, with a smattering of forest-floor thrown in for effect. It’s a slightly musty, musky fragrance – not offensive, really – but enough to make me imagine that maybe this is how “Olde Brown” Java might have revealed itself in the cup… [but that’s before my time].

This coffee offers very little acidity… again, very consistent with its origin. There’s a mild roast-lemon tang that’s more noticeable as the cup cools, but it’s a subtle note. The predominant flavors are tobacco, and a malty, bittersweet chocolate. It’s body is rich, even oily. Unctuous.

Green Mountain finishes this coffee with a light roast – far lighter than I’d roast it, really – and to good effect. A darker roast would make this coffee nothing but a blender-bean… body, and little else. The light roast brings out the bean’s chocolate notes, and that very mild acidity, making this a surprisingly able single-origin cup.

And yummy, by the way, with cream.

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