loquacious brag week: crema’s sidamo korate (hint: HOLY SCHNAIKES)

August 28, 2008 – 11:51 pm

we don’t care that these taste descriptors are meaningless to you — other blogs brag about their coffee spoils all the time! and so, we hereby parlay an unprecedented stretch of excellent brew — a home junkie’s full house — into an ENTIRE WEEK of loquacious gloating. amorphous crack-metaphors for the romantics, cupping notes for the serious students and a 17-point scale for the churlish analytics!

korate to blog: “eat me.”

** crema coffee’s ethiopia sidamo korate is perhaps the third coffee ever to turn this blog into a stark raving evangelist. it makes you want to EAT. one whiff, and you reflexively — no kidding — begin to chew, whether in an effort to contain the drool within your vacuous longing bouche or in an involuntary effort to EAT THAT BURBLING BERRY SAUCE.

the korate is like a monstrous mixed berry torte smeared viciously with creme fraiche. it’s like a milky, sweet pipe tobacco drowning in a loganberry reduction and port wine. it’s all the berries you can think of, at various stages of sipping. it’s mind-blowing in a way you never realized you wanted your mind to be huffed upon. it makes you scrutinize the granules to see if, perchance, they are soft and bursting with juice.

“what’s korate?” we said. and still, we’ve seen none few* of the big quality roasters offer this coffee (though a few lesser knowns are). we were less than enthused when c-n-c’s shannon trotted it out, a new offering from his new small-time n.c. roaster. shannon, we guess, hadn’t even tasted yet.

meanwhile, the barista-poet was traveling in our direction as people across the southeast tried to distract him by offering stellar coffees in our comments section. of course, we panicked. “what does this blog have to offer?” we moaned. “he’s not coming from the PNW to drink vivace dolce on the home bar.”

from such ignominy a glory such as korate must arise. at least, that’s what abe lincoln said. with mr. barista’s choice in our home, himself towing a wealth of stunning brews, the korate arrived, from an ethiopian place we’d never heard of, through a start-up north carolina roaster via the cash register at the local coffee kiosk, which is situated in a log cabin, on the prairie ….

no, wait. lest hyperventilation ensue, we’ll consult more empirical sources of judgement: in ethiopia, the korate handily outscored the famed idido yirgacheffe and the sidamo biloya. it grabbed a beefy 94 points from a certain notorious coffee reviewer. it “blew the doors off” jon lewis’ green espresso truck back in idaho. and, it turns out, our favorite green coffee supplier now offers a wet- and dry-process version, each carrying a hefty score.

we’ve got 60 pounds in the mail, the cypriot and this blog.

on the cupping table, it stood up to counter culture’s esmeralda, aroma-wise. pulled with soft water, it was a sort of drier, fluffier, filmier fruit spritzer, with a hint of biscotti dough. mineralize the water a bit, though, and an 18-gram, 199-degree, 1.8-oz. double espresso reminds us of …. wait, didn’t we just write a post on this?

sparky. give it a 16.

p.s. the 17-point scoring scale invented for this week of unbridled bloggy braggadocio is, it should be noted, of a completely arbitrary breadth. but no less so than any other static numeric score! context is everything

UPDATE: * this blog stands corrected. stumptown, using a different spelling, appears to offer the stuff.

UPDATE 9/3: it stands to reason! having flogged the stuff relentlessly, octane’s ben and danielle came to town, only to find … meh. at least, that’s what this blog got from the looks on their faces. for some reason, the crema coffee-roasted korate was more muted today, more “mango” in danielle’s words, more barley-esque to this blog’s palette.

at least one of them was sympathetic, having dealt with an extremely finicky dry-processed ethiopian at this year’s national barista competition. looks like we need to know how far out of the roaster the stuff is, in order to brag reliably.

strangely, the aroma wafting from shannon’s hopper was more massive, juicy blueberry than ever …