Hold the Soy: Alterra Café Voltaire

14 Sep

Cafe VoltaireThis week’s coffee also comes from Barriques PD.  Alterra Cafe Voltaire is clearly a big seller over there because half of the time I stop in, the bin is empty.  I was lucky enough to snag a half pound on my last visit, so lets see if the beans are as enlightened as their namesake.  According to Alterra and other sources, French philosopher, essayist, and guy-whose-weird-novella-you-had-to-read-in-lit-class Voltaire was reputed to have drunk between 50 and 75 cups of coffee a day, which should make even the most sadistic of modern coffee junkies feel a little at ease.  It also explains a lot about Candide, and no doubt crowned Voltaire as the most gastro-intestinally regular thinker of the 18th century.  Luckily for me, 2 or 3 shots in the morning seem to do the trick.

The beans are a blend of East Indian origin with a medium-dark roast teetering on the edge of oily.  The nose is a bouquet of cinnamon and cocoa; the body rich and smooth.  Acidity is on the lower side here, which thankfully lessens the blow on the gut.  Aftertaste is understated  and clean.  Not the most dynamic cup I’ve ever drunk, but the smooth focus lends itself to many dozen refills and leaves one with a Panglossian sense of optimism.  In the best of all posssible worlds, I wouldn’t mind drinking a cup or 50 of Cafe Voltaire. (ok, I’ll stop making lame Candide references now.  But hey, serves me right for never thinking I’d ever have a real-world application for freshman-year humanities class)

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