This is an estate grown organic Robusta, from the exotic country island of Madagascar. Organic robusta is very hard to find. Madagascar's robusta has a high reputation, and most of the export ends up in Europe.
These beans have not been sorted by size, so there are some peaberries, some larger beans, some smaller beans. It's really not that big of a deal. You generally take robusta to a darker roast anyway, so it's all going to get dark. You’ll have no problem roasting this in your home roasting units.
We tried a variety of roast levels with it. You take it 15 seconds into second cracks all the way to a minute of 2nd cracks. There aren’t any complex undertones to unlock, so it doesn't drastically change as you roast it darker. It add really creamy body to espresso, and you typically keep it to about 10-15% in your espresso blend to give it good mouthfeel and a little extra caffeine.
But the secret thing you can do with it is create a high-caffeine drip blend. Blend it with something light and sweet, like a Tanzania or a New Guinea. Roughly 50-50 and you get a cup of coffee that 1 — makes everyone extraordinarily caffeinated and 2 — tastes different than what you’re used to, but is not offensive — just different.
Drink it 100% straight, and call me nuts, but in a pinch I could handle a cup of this. I’ve definitely had Brazils and Colombias that were far more unpleasant. The aroma is deep and intoxicating, the body is on the thin side, but not altogether missing. The flavor is that of a bitter coffee, but if you pair it with something like dark chocolate, it’s pretty dang good. I want some cocoa powder or a chocolate chip melting in my mug as I drink it, and suddenly that bitterness seems "right" The aftertaste is only mildly earthy. If anything, a feature that contributes nicely to a blend.
So obviously it is just robusta. Inexpensive, and nowhere as fascinating as a nice arabica bean. But for something fun to play around with, try a pound. This is a nice one.
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