Monday, July 30, 2012

Organic Peruvian Coffee

Type: Single Origin Organic Peruvian
Origin: Peru, South America
Purveyor: McNulty’s
Roast: Uncertain, seemingly dark
Preparation: Freshly ground, French-pressed, sipped black

In its catalogue, McNulty’s describes the organic Peruvian coffee thusly: “smooth body, low acidity”. Four little words, and it already sounds like all I have ever asked for in a coffee. Even better: It lives up to all of the hype.

The coffee has a bold, nutty aroma, specifically that of chestnuts. The aroma also has undertones split between the earthy and the acidic. The notes of acid vanish upon sipping, however, and we are left with a slightly earthy, mostly nutty cup of coffee. (Whereas the nose detects chestnuts in particular, the tongue definitely detects peanuts instead.) It has a medium body, and the flavor is certainly robust: nothing light or subtle here. The flavor is not bitter, but nor is it even remotely fruity or floral or sweet or tart. I can only think to describe it as a savory sensation, but of nutty, earthy delights instead of the fleshy foods more commonly associated with that word. There is not much texture to the finish, but a ghost of the flavor remains, not at all unpleasantly, beckoning the sipper to g’won and have some more.

Much as with the Sumatra Mandheling reviewed earlier, the roast of the organic Peruvian from McNulty’s is not certain. However, I would venture to guess that it is a dark roast. The tones are smooth, rich, and profound, not airy and jumpy and all over the place like a yippy dog as with lighter roasts. The feel of the flavor is definitely that of a darkly roasted coffee.

About the organic-ness: I am a recent convert to the organic foods movement. The bottom line is, it is much healthier in important ways. But as with any person engaged in any type of health or dietary situation, I am prone to allowing myself exceptions. (In other words, I cheat.) When it comes to my wine, coffee, tea, and spirits, I am very concerned about how the quality might be affected with the focus being shifted from growing the right plants in the right soil to make the right beverage, towards, well, anything else at all, including organic certification. Therefore, I have always tended to avoid such organic beverages. But I am very glad to report that there has not been any apparent sacrifice in quality at all with this organic Peruvian coffee. It tastes like coffee should taste, and if nobody had told me that it is organic, then I never would have imagined that anything other than growing delicious coffee was on the farmers’ minds.

In fact, I think that this coffee has – after one cup, no less – made me amenable to venturing towards other organic beverages as well. I will not make organic certification (or any similar criterion) an absolute requirement, of course, but organic stuff is now granted full access to my shelf. I have been shown that quality need not be a sacrifice.

Get yourself a cup of this delicious coffee today, and enjoy!

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