Opening the bag, I’m greated with fruity/sharp aromas that give way to a subtle chocolate aroma. Making my latte, I’m greeted with fruit forward flavors with a pleasant floral after taste. After a few sips, I start smelling and tasting this rich chocolate flavor which really makes brings the enjoyment up a notch.
This is the third and final bag of Taiwanese grown coffee form OKLAO. Like the previous bag, the beans appear to come from a different coffee farm in the Yunlin region. They taste and smell very similar to the previous bag. The fruity and flowery aroma remains consistent perhaps because it’s from the same region.
Making my latte, I don’t taste the ashy/mineral flavor that I tasted in the last bag. Instead, I get a fruity and floral flavors. Of the three Taiwanese coffees, I enjoyed this one the most as it reminded me more of traditional coffee flavors (fruity and floral).
February’s Trade Coffee comes from Dune Coffee Roasters. The bag that I received is a single origin from El Salvador. The fruity and floral aroma from the bag is a wonderful. I’ve been making my latte a little later in the day (sometimes almost at lunch time) and I enjoy having this little break away from the “working from home” routine. Making my latte, I’m greeted with a subtle berry and nutty flavor. It’s a smooth and drinkable. As a side note, there was a day when I let the latte sit too long and it cooled down to room temperature. I amazed at how the chocolate flavor came through. I guzzled that latte that day.
Another bag of beans from Taiwan’s OKLAO’s Specialty Coffee that appear to be from Yunlin which is another region of Taiwan but also near the mountainous Ali Shan region. These beans do not have that “ferment-ish” aroma that the first bag from OKLAO had. They had the more typical fruity and flowery aroma.
Making my latte, I taste a very ashy/minerally flavor similar to Hawaii’s Kona coffee beans. I also taste slight fruitiness after getting past the ashiness. Compared to the previos OKLAO beans, these have a much more straight forward flavor profile that I enjoy.
January’s Angels Cup comes from Free Space Coffee. The bag is a blend of beans from Ethiopia. I didn’t get to it untl February since I had the OKLAO Taiwan beans that I brought back. To be honest, this is smells and tastes like classic Ethiopian grown coffee beans. I’m constantly amazed that the Ethiopian beans have consistently provided the same kind of taste and irrespective of the roasters. The flowery earthy aroma mixed with a fruity, chocolatey taste in my latte.
Coffee from Taiwan? Taiwan is located at the border of the Coffee Belt. These beans were grown in the famous mountainous regions of Taiwan’s “Ali Shan” which also grows quite a number of teas too. They are roasted by a Taiwanese roaster close to where I stayed called OKLAO Specialty Coffee.
Upon opening the bag, I’m greeted with this chocolate, nutty aroma with a faint fermentation smell as well. Grinding and making my latte, the full aroma of that faint fermentation comes back with a vengeance. Though I don’t taste anything “fermented,” the aroma itself gives the fruity and chocolate flavors a different taste making it feel a little more tangy (for lack of a better word). It’s kind of like the after taste from drinking those Yakult priobiotic drink.
January’s Trade Coffee comes from ReAnimator Coffee Roasters. The coffee bags have these pretty cool designs giving these beans a sense of individuality. These beans are actually from Chiapas, Mexico which from a Google Map search is apparently right next door to Guatemala. To be honest, I didn’t know Mexico grew coffee beans but seing how the southern tip of Mexico lines up along the top edges of the “Coffe Belt“, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Now the beans themselves have a very subdued aroma. However, there’s this pleaseant subtle aroma of chocolate and berries every time I open the bag to start making my latte. Grinding the beans and making my latte, the first sip has this wonderful honey, sweet, fruity flavor. There is also this pleaseant chocolate after taste that lingers in the mouth making me want to drink more. The latte is smooth and extremely drinkable (gulpable) that I had to make a 2nd cup.
November’s Angels Cup comes from Black Oak Coffee Roasters. It’s a blend of dark roasted beans. I’m a little disappointed that the past four Angels Cup deliveries have been blends. I was hoping that some intrepid roaster would create a dark roast single origin. I suppose it might be a waste to dark roast single origin beans.
Upon opening the bag, I first smell the strong ashy/smoky aroma followed by hints of chocolate and nuts. Subsequent sniffs brings a nice balanced aroma of smoky and chocolate. Making my latte, I taste this sweet chocolate flavor on the first sip. It tastes very much like a dark chocolate milk. What’s surprising is that there’s no bitterness that normally comes with dark roasts. With the lack of bitterness and the sweet chocolate flavor, I ended up making a second cup.
To be honest, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these beans. The previous blends have been average flavor-wise. They are good but didn’t “wow” me like some of the single origins. I know it’s not a fair comparison (single origin vs blends) but after drinking so many single origin, it’s inevitable to make certain comparisons. I think this dark roast blend stands out because of the lack of bitterness while maintaining some of the sweetness tasted in light/medium roast beans.
From the aroma and past experiences with Ethiopian beans to make my latte, the flavor profile so far has been very similar across multiple roasters. These beans continue with the fruity, berry flavor profile in the latte. The flavors have a more berry/fruit forward taste and also tasted sweeter than the previous beans (an espresso blend). The after taste after each sip was a nice refreshing milk chocolate flavor that lingered at the back of the tongue. Ethiopian beans do not disappoint.