Carta Coffee Merchant, Kona Peaberry
Traditional or Natural, you don’t need to choose, you can have both!
Carta Coffee Merchant’s latest offering of Kona Peaberry Traditional or Natural, is now in a sampler pack, so you don’t have to agonize over which type you want to treat your taste buds to. Both are full of richness, and complex flavors that are exotic, and absolutely delicious. What makes this offering so special is that it is a peaberry. A peaberry coffee bean is a single bean, as apposed to two beans that come in a coffee cherry. The flavor of a peaberry is richer, and more complex than a regular coffee bean. Carta Coffee Merchants is in the enviable position of having a harvest of Kona Peaberry.
And I have the good fortune of receiving this latest offering from Scott, of Carta Coffee, and spent my morning drinking it and sharing it with my family, here is what we found.
Natural;Big, big aroma, full of deep dark chocolate with rich spiciness. I also get a nice foundation of earthiness and smokiness as well. Very full, I find it to be quite heady. As it brewed, I got a hint of black berries, giving the dark chocolate a nice fruity bouquet that reminds me of some expensive chocolates.
Traditional;Big, crisp slightly more edge or sharpness, I picked up the earthiness, but the citrus sharpness and honey aroma balanced it out nicely. It filled up the room with hints of tangerines and oranges, very pleasing.
Natural;Wow this is good! Very naturally sweet, clean and complex at the beginning, then it temps you with a smooth rich dark chocolate covered blackberry profile, there is a hint of vanilla going on as well, and there is a hint of allspice. To top it all off this cup has a very smoky velvet finish that I love. We are still jamming on this coffee, saying “wow this is good.”
Traditional;Again, with the WOW! factor, we were quite blown away with how good both of these are and yet how distinctive in taste they are, and yet they are from the same crop the only difference is the method processing. The natural sweetness is still there and is the dominate flavor, but this method gives it a cleaner taste, I don’t get the dark chocolate covered blackberry, but a tangerine and honey notes, very refreshing and just as good as the natural, this again is an outstanding cup here. Quite refreshing, I get a slight hint of allspice but no vanilla. I am reminded of a pekoe black tea that has a dash more body to it. Very good indeed.
Flavor with milk or cream:
Natural;Usually when I add milk or cream to most coffees, it takes away or mutes the profile, but I found this was not the case, in fact it totally enhanced it! The dark chocolate covered blackberry flavor really comes out and the cup gets more complexed than what it already is. You still have all the other flavors there and there is no subtraction going on, but an enhancement of a complex and delicious cup of coffee.
Traditional;Again, the milk did not mute, but it did change the flavor profile of this coffee, and rather enhanced it as it did with the Natural. The honey flavor becomes dominate, and the vanilla shows up. Turning this coffee into a dessert cup for me.
Natural; Naturally sweet, smooth, soft and fruity. The acidity is low in this cup, making it last a long time without going bitter or sharp.
Traditional; Very clean and brisk, no lingering aftertaste. It is not sharp but rather on the soft side, and very sweet. I did not get any flatness, but a full fruity and balanced cup.
Natural; Very full, not heavy, but impressive, there is some weight to the coffee, as it hits the right area of the tongue, giving you a very pleasurable mouth feel. With the milk, or cream added to it, it gets a little heavy without being creamy.
Traditional; Full and impressive. Not at all watery, nor creamy. It is not as thick as the Natural, but it is not light, it is rather juicy and full of life.
Natural; A nice earthy finish that is loaded with all kinds of flavors, you have your chocolate covered blackberries, allspice, vanilla, and smokiness that is not fast fading. But a nice melody of long full flavors that swirl on your palate waking up your taste buds. This is a very well-rounded roast that is fresh and full of exotic flavors.
Traditional; Very clean, fresh and full, there is some slight earthiness but not over the top and there is no smokiness as with the natural. I found it to be rich in complexity making it a well- rounded cup, with flavors of citrus and honey.
I am at a loss as to decide which process I like the most. Both have some very strong selling points, and very few points against, which is why I can’t really find any. Both are radically different from each other and offer a wealth of flavors that are naturally sweet and complex. All from the same coffee bean! The only difference is in the processing method. You can’t go wrong here with this sampler, again Carta Coffee Merchants have out done itself again.