Rating: [rating:4.5/5]

You may recall that I was pretty chuffed with Green Mountain’s 2006 eCafe Gold Competition auction lot — Ethiopian Shanta Golba Natural Process Sidamo. If you don’t recall (or don’t wanna click) here’s the particulars:

Extremely fruited, with peach and blueberry aromas, and a little whiff of cocoa and cinnamon when wetted. Fruit plays large in the flavor, too… blueberry, strawberry, spiced peach and cardamom, with a dark chocolate understory. The finish, while not everything it was a year ago, it still sweet and resonant, and fades to a pleasant, dusky leather. Yeah, this is one of those coffees you think about dabbing behind your ears, too.

You may also recall that Barry Jarret of Riley’s Coffee got some of the green, too, and I was keen to get my hands on his roast to compare them side by side. Well, I did. And I did. And to sum up, I could simply say, Barry Jarrett is a coffee roasting genius.

Barry’s roast of the Shanta Golba is everything that Green Mountain’s offers, and more. The fruit tones in the aroma are more distinct, more pure, more alive. Riley's CoffeeThe acidity — while mild overall, as is the Green Mountain roast — is crisper in Barry’s roast. The flavors in the cup are rich, and exceptionally fruit-forward. Strawberry is a predominant note, backed up by peach and blueberry. And where the finish of the Green Mountain cup takes on dusky notes, Barry’s roast remains purely fruited. It’s as if Green Mountain’s jammy cup were made of dried fruit, and Barry’s, fresh: in the finish there’s nothing lost, nothing diminished at all.

Highly recommended.

If you’re lucky it’s still available at Riley’s Coffee. Go get some.

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