Type: Single Origin Timor Arabica
Preparation: Freshly ground, French-pressed, sipped black
Evidently I am more of a neophyte than I thought, because I have no idea what McNulty's means by "plantation coffee." That is how it describes the Timor Arabica: "rich, heavy body, a plantation coffee." I am not sure that we are all on the same page, but never mind. Let us start at the beginning.
The color of this coffee is slightly lighter than most. Not that it is less saturated with the hue, but rather the hue itself is of a lighter shade, something more on the orangey-reddish side of things. Imagine that someone put a fraction of a drop of ruby-red grapefruit coloring into the mix.
The aroma is nice and strong. It comes off fruity, earthy, rather as though one were romping among berry shrubs after a rain around harvest time. The taste is high in acidity, bitter, of medium intensity; strong but not bold. It has mostly earthy tones, and the fruitiness from the aroma blends into the acidity such that it is difficult to distinguish between them. The texture is thin, but not too much so. It is well-rounded, even, and smooth. The coffee also has a good, nice, even finish: the flavor fades neither too slowly nor too quickly.
I cannot imagine what McNulty's means by "heavy body." Conceivably the discrepancy can be chalked up to different preparation methods, but I let it brew in the press for seven minutes, which, while not an insane world record, should be plenty of time to let a heavy coffee develop properly. As for "rich," I assume that it refers to the flavor, which is indeed rich.
Also, I cannot tell if it is a medium roast or a dark roast. It has the flavor profile of something on the darker side. Then again, a dark roast with high acidity always seemed like an oxymoron to me. The play of acidity on the palate feels much more akin to the personality of a light roast. Still, in this case, it balances out nicely. I suppose that considering the overall character of the coffee, the guess is that it is a medium roast.
The Timor Arabica, all told, really is a very nice cup of coffee. The particular convergence of flavor and texture works out wonderfully. Actually, it is ideal not only for drinking plain, but also for my preferred flavoring method: apricot. Do not knock it until you have tried it. Apricot is my favorite food to have with coffee, and I like to take the pit and a small sliver of the flesh and drop them right into the full cup. Delicious. And heck if the Timor Arabica does not take to that just great.