Thursday, April 26, 2012

PRODUCT REVIEW: Archer Farms Colombia La Floresta Coffee

Target continues its march up-market with its own line of "gourmet" food stuffs. And no gourmet selection would be complete without coffee. I had tried a couple of Target's whole bean varieties in the past and found them completely acceptable, but not much worth mentioning.

Target has relatively recently started carrying special blends of coffee that come in their own tins. Their 2011 "Cup of Excellence" winner is a Colombian, and while Cup Of Excellence might be a bit of an overstatement (It was at the bottom of the award winner list) it's still good coffee.

The beans don't have a very good smell. They are tart with little mellow pleasantness that most will expect from roasted beans. The roast is very light and the beans are quite healthy. All good signs. They didn't provide preparation recommendations, so I erred on the side of caution with a standard grind and a 3:30 steep in a Clever Coffee Dripper.

The bloom is surprisingly good. This photo is after it had eased for about thirty seconds. I would say that the full extent of the bloom is among the best, if not the best, grocery store shelf coffee bloom that I have seen.

The nose is incredibly pleasant. It has a very slight tang to the scent with the primary smell of burning wood. To me, it smells like Christmas. As the coffee cools, other notes become apparent, but that roasted wood scent always remains front and center.

The coffee hits right where I expected it to. At full temperature, fruit and roast are the primary flavors. As the temperature decreases, the body evens out while toasted bread, wine, and an apple-y fruitiness become apparent. It has a very mild astringency and light finish. Actually, the best way to describe the coffee is very Colombian.

Overall, it is a good coffee. I like Colombian coffees because they're so damned bulletproof and this variety seems no different. Understeep, oversteep, your cup will come out alright. If you like light-roasted coffee, and your only option is the grocery store shelf, this is an excellent choice.

Archer Farms Colombia La Floresta Coffee: RECOMMENDED