Tag Archives: Coffee Reviews

Coffee. Black: Alterra Love Supreme

11 Feb

Love is a warm French press

Yep, I’m still drinking coffee.  Plenty of it.  The fine folks at Alterra have a new limited release special blend for all you love birds out there.  A sweet melange of some of my favorite African origin coffees with a splash of Indonesian, Love Supreme has me smitten like a kitten in mittens.

This stuff is silky smooth with just enough of that wine-like acidity that I love from the Kenya AA balanced by the chocolatey and nutty undertones of Ethiopia Harar and wrapped in a ribbon of spicy clove from the Sulawesi Toraja. This stuff makes a rich, deep cup and won’t be around for long.  Hit up Alterra’s website or stop by your neighborhood Barriques and pick up a pound before that oh-so-special/oh-so-forgettable day passes and we’re left checking off the calendar until Sweetest Day.

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Hold the soy: Alterra Kenya AA Nyeri

6 Oct

Alterra KenyaWhile interviewing for a job at *drumroll* Barriques last week, I was treated to a cup of Alterra Kenya AA Nyeri while I waited.  Now I usually am attracted to darker roasts with lower acidity, which tend to work well in espresso drinks.  I don’t own a drip coffee maker (nor do I really plan to), so I don’t drink a lot of brewed coffee unless I’m using my French press.  I must say that this simple cup of black coffee blew my mind.  Never before have I experienced such a range of flavors and mouthfeel in a single bean.  The muddy roasted flavors that I have grown accustomed to were replaced with bright, wine-like acidity and spicy hot apple cider notes that nip at the back of the tongue.

Alterra_Kenya

When I saw the beans for sale at Sentry Hilldale this weekend, I jumped at the opportunity to put them to use at home. These characteristics are undoubtedly muted when paired with steamed milk and microfoam in a cappuccino, but the brightness still manages to break through in the end and makes for unique experience.  Who knew that in a 24 hours I would have my conception of coffee turned upside down and get the good news of an opportunity to get my food service feet wet.  I clearly have much to learn and I can’t wait to be humbled by the new worlds that lie in front of me.

Hold the soy: Alterra Delta Mud

29 Sep
If I squint real hard I think I can see Vincent Van Gogh wearing thick-rimmed glasses.  There's no booze in there, I swear.

If I squint real hard I think I can see Vincent Van Gogh wearing thick-rimmed glasses. There's no booze in there, I swear.

I apologize for my lack of…brand diversity in my Hold the soy series, but it’s hard when any blind stumble will likely land me across the street at Barriques. At this point I might as well just try every Alterra bean Barriques Fitchburg offers.  Slowly conquering the world – one half-pound bag at a time.

Alterra_Delta_Mud

Delta Mud, as it’s name would imply, is a darker full city to Italian roastslightly oily yet not quite black.  These beans produce a rich shot with a robust charred bitterness rounded by sweet cocoa notes that fool the palate into thinking you’re drinking a mocha instead of a cappuccino.  Acidity is definitely on the low side which leads to a smooth, easy drink with a lingering roasty aftertaste.  The overall impression is certainly muddy, but think more Mississippi mud  pie than 3am Denny’s.  A great bean for espresso drinks.

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)

Hold the soy: Alterra Organic Blue Heeler

4 Sep

Blue Heeler Picked up a half pound this week across the street at Barriques PD. I’m often attracted to light/dark roast blends for their depth of flavor and smoothness. This blend hasn’t disappointed so far, delivering on the promised rich, almost mossy earthiness with a bright spice to round it out. Have only used it for espresso so far, so I’l have to make a batch of cold brew to explore the Blue Heeler further. So far, a blend I would return to.

Like a baby Guinness

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