Monday, August 01, 2011

Coffee of the Week--tasting notes from a barista

As most of you know by now, I work at Starbucks and I get a free pound of coffee for life every week.  This week's coffee mark out is Yukon Blend.

Yukon is a blend of Indonesian and Latin American beans, and on the tasting spectrum between mild and extra-bold, it is considered a bold one.  But it is so smooth, it doesn't feel like it to me.  Most Indonesian coffees have low acidic, herbal and earthy tones.  Some differences occur like a spicey note that makes the Sumatra bean really feel like sandpaper on my tongue.  In contrast, the coffee from Sulawesi tends to be silky smooth.  Latin American beans are a lot brighter, because the post harvest processing of those coffee cherries is called "washed",  where the mucilage and pulp surrounding the coffee bean inside is removed with an extra wash.  Indonesian coffees are called "semi-washed" meaning the mucilage surrounding the coffee bean is left on for a while before it is removed by washing. 

As a blend, the Yukon is well-rounded because the Latin American beans tend to cut the heaviness of the Indonesian bean.  There is some acidity, but not much, which I detect on the sides of my tongue.  There is an earthiness still present, but it doesn't linger as long.  There is some spice, but it is silky, too.  I never feel like I have "coffee breath" when I sip Yukon.  When customers want to make a step up from the milder coffees in our line-up, I always recommend Yukon because it doesn't overwhelm them as much.  But it is an outdoorsy, large and broad tasting coffee, and if you keep sipping it, it's like discovering a gold mine.  

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