HELP! Washington Wine/Beer/Spirits reviewer in over his head!

ThePourFool

New member
Jun 7, 2021
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For the last 30 years, I've been working in the adult beverage industry and for the past 14 have been writing a blog in seattlepi.com, now a website called The Pour Fool. So, I am an old pro at tasting. BUT...I have never drunk coffee much at all and have certainly never studied it.

My wife is another matter. She is literally the Woman of My Dreams and I would do anything for her but she uses coffee for blood and I have flailed away for our entire twenty years together, trying to find her Perfect Coffee. What she wants is not complicated: she wants a full-bodied, assertive coffee that we'll buy in whole beans (French press users) and hand grind and that expresses what most people think of as "coffee flavors", that fat core of chocolate or cocoa, smoke, roasted nuts, dark caramel, a dash of baking spices, and maybe hints of cola and maple syrup.

I read a BUNCH of reviews from what I will charitably call "coffeegeeks" (I am a wine and beer and whiskey geek, so this is NOT a pejorative - in which they drool over coffees with notes of grapefruit and other citrus, vivid florals, exotic spices, pepper, herbal notes, etc. I have sometimes described certain New Zealana Sauvignon Blancs as having "cat pee" aromas and, in a certain context, that is NOT a fault but I totally get it why some people would go, "Ooh, ICK!" and skip the wine.

I'm not out on the edges with this: I'm hoping you coffee experts can recommend A) a coffee we can find; tiny artisanal roasters in rural Vermont or New Mexico do no good if I can't get the coffee on a regular basis, B) to quote a beer topic which drives me batty ("Beer flavored beer!"), Coffee-flavored with a vengeance, and C) dark-roasted because my wife has well-managed stomach acid problems and I don't want to get those activated again.

If that sounds like I'm saying "Tell me the Perfect Coffee, PLEASE!", okay, guilty. And I know that this will all be a matter of opinion but if you can offer suggestions, I'd be VERY grateful!

Steve Body
 

Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,516
6
Kansas City
Steve - there are a lot of similarities in wine/coffee - each takes on flavors/mineral profiles of the geographic area they are grown in. You have 4 major growing 'areas' - Central America, South America, Africa & Indonesia. Followed by how they are fermented/milled and what we call in our business 'process' - typically washed, natural or wet-hulled. Most craft roasters myself will list varietal but most people can't tell the difference between varietals (not as significant as wine). From what I can tell, I would skip most African coffees - they are considered the 'best' but they are typically lighter in body and smooth drinking coffees. I would suggest trying a coffee from Sumatra - typically full-bodied, bold flavors with a slightly earthy/mineral taste. Most good quality Sumatra's are similar in flavor profile (keep in mind that's a bit like saying all Cabs taste the same.. clearly not but the flavor profiles are mainly similar). I would also try South American coffees - Brazil's are somewhat plain jain but are similar to what you describe as a flavor profile. Lastly - a good central - Mexico/Guat. For the Brazil's and Centrals look for a washed coffee. Natural coffees are much sweeter and fruitier.
 

Ramiel

New member
Jan 22, 2021
25
0
Melbourne
Honestly, according to your description, Brazilian coffee would be the best fit. Brazilian coffee is soft, nutty, has low acidity, and offers a pleasant bittersweet chocolate taste. I'm sure your wife will like it. Although I have a small business with coffee, I also love beer, and I have tasted a few times beer that had the taste and aroma of coffee. My favorite is Breakfast Stout. The stout smells mainly of coffee and dark chocolate with slight hints of caramel and malt. It is also alcohol-free. It's a drink that everyone will love. I usually order from free-beer.co.uk. My wife loves it too.
 
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