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Laos - Bolaven Farms - Natural Robusta

April 30, 2009
Combined

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.

For information on Bolaven Farms, see our previous review of their washed Arabica coffees.

Our Combined Reviews: As can be seen below, there is almost no difference between the descriptions of the cups produced by the flat-bean and peaberry forms of this coffee. That is why we have placed them on the same page. There are however, differences in the scores of the two types.

Natural Robusta Flat Bean:

  • Dry Fragrance: Clean distillates with hints of chocolate.
  • Wet Aroma: Marzipan with hints of chocolate and caramel.
  • Flavor/Taste/Depth: Nutty, sweet, marzipan.
  • Finish/Aftertaste: Clean distillates in finish.
  • Brightness/Acidity: Low
  • Body/Movement/Mouth-Feel: Syrupy
  • Drink Preparation:
      • Brewed: An interesting cup, competitive in body and flavor with generic specialty grade Sumatras or Javas.
      • Espresso: Clean, no petrol tastes, good buttery body, fairly aggressive almond flavors, not sweet, but not overly dry.
      • Cappuccino: Needs a dark roast, well into the 2nd crack, to punch through.

Natural Robusta Peaberry:

  • Dry Fragrance: Clean distillates with hints of chocolate.
  • Wet Aroma: Marzipan, caramel, pineapple.
  • Flavor/Taste/Depth: Nutty, sweet, marzipan, good intensity.
  • Finish/Aftertaste: Clean distillates in finish.
  • Brightness/Acidity: Low
  • Body/Movement/Mouth-Feel: Syrupy
  • Drink Preparation:
      • Brewed: An interesting cup, competitive in body and flavor with generic specialty grade Sumatras or Javas.
      • Espresso: Clean, no petrol tastes, good buttery body, fairly aggressive almond flavors, not sweet, but not overly dry.
      • Cappuccino: Needs a dark roast, well into the 2nd crack, to punch through.

Scores

Coffee

Robusta***

Robusta PB**

Dry Fragrance (1-5):

3.8

4.4

Wet Aroma (1-5):

3.7

4.6

Flavor/Taste/Depth (1-10):

7.5

7.0

Finish/Aftertaste (1-10):

7.0

7.7

Brightness/Acidity (1-10):

5.0*

5.4*

Body/Movement/Mouth-Feel (1-10):

8.0

7.3

TOTAL (subtotal + 50)

85.0

86.4

* Robustas have reduced acidity not comparable to Arabicas -- this is a place holder score to keep the overall scores comparable.

**These are Bob’s cupping scores. Bob roasted the Robusta peaberry at three different roast levels (light, medium and dark) and these scores are an average of the cupping results of the two lighter-roasted cups. The darkest roasted cup caused the loss of the varietal qualities of the beans and was therefore, left out of the scoring. Basically, we are both in agreement that the Robusta flat bean and peaberry cup almost the same.

***This is an average score of Jim and Bob. For example, Jim’s total score for this coffee was 84.6. As mentioned above, the important considerations for these coffees are not in these scores but rather, in the above narratives.


 

 

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UPDATED: April 30, 2009