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Australian Mountain Top Estate

August 9, 2005

This will be a combined review, both of us having received samples. For a description of Bob and Jim's evaluation procedure, see our reference page.

This is one of the new style science intensive, environmentally friendly plantations, done on the Brazilian model, with its very own website Http:// and a claim to be producing the "Hermitage" of coffees. Hype like this leads to a certain amount of skepticism, at least for folks like us. On the other hand, the washed coffee has a solid record of achievement: it was used as a single estate by Tim Wendleboe in his win at the 2004 World Barista Championship; and another WBC Champion, Australia's Paul Bassett is a very big fan of it too. So is it hype or for real?

Jim: Well, it does taste like the Brazils I like, chocolate all the way down in the cup, and caramel-chocolate at this light roast for espresso. The aroma is pleasant too, albeit subdued, reminding me of almond trees in flower. Less good were hints of ferment in about half the cups and shots; not enough to disqualify the coffee, but enough to get it a few cuppers points off. The body is heavy, and the acidity low to non-existent.

I don't think this is a good candidate for a very dark roast -- start of the rolling second will be its limit. Since it's very low acid, dark roasts aren't needed. If you are a chocolate coffee fan, this one is for you. If you are looking for complexity, take a pass. I tried it blended 50/50 with some higher toned coffees for espresso, and it is a superb "baritone" ingredient for espresso blends.

Bob: I'll just add that I picked up a bit of spice in the cupping profile and the ferment that Jim mentions; but it didn't bother me enough to take off points.

Jim's Score
Dry Fragrance: 3.0
Wet Aroma: 4.0
Flavor: 8.0
Finish: 7.5
Acidity: 6.0
Body: 8.5
Cuppers Correction:
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 85.5

Bob's Score
Dry Fragrance: 3.5
Wet Aroma: 4.2
Flavor: 7.7
Finish: 7.4
Acidity: 6.2
Body: 8.0
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 87.0

  • Lighter Roasts: Almond blossoms, cocoa and milk chocolate
  • Darker Roasts: Just chocolate
  • As Espresso: Comfort food shot, makes a nice chocolaty cappa, very good blender


UPDATED: June 27, 2005