08 Apr 2019
Good morning dear reader. This has been a long time coming. Welcome back to the Coffee Log.
I apologize (both to you and myself) for my unexpected March hiatus. Two weeks of the month I spent living out of a backpack in California: the first for NVIDIA’s GTC 2019, the second to spend time with family.
Today I’ll be reporting on Trader Joe’s French Vanilla Coffee, depicted below. It’s from an Arabica bean, pre-ground to a medium-fine grain, with a medium-light roast. Brewing took 3:30”.
The first thing you’ll notice about this coffee, even before you finish brewing, is the intense smell of vanilla. Fortunately, this character is mainly limited to the aroma; the decidedly bitter flavor of concentrated vanilla is absent from the coffee (and what bitterness we do taste can be traced back to the bean itself). Instead, the familiar earthiness of the Arabica shines through, merely bookended by the pleasant aroma of vanilla, rather than dominated by its flavor.
The slightly finer grind left me with a little more coffee dust at the bottom of my mug than I would have liked, and likely also left me with just an ever so slightly more bitter and intense body than I think suits this roast. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for a whole-bean or coarser-ground variety. Nonetheless, I still enjoy drinking this coffee, and the extra aromatic dimension added by the vanilla keeps things interesting every morning. I rate this cup a 7.25/10.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for my coverage of Trader Joe’s Bolivian Blend. Also be advised that the next installment of How We Tricked Rocks Into Thinking is on the way (but may be further delayed by my April travel schedule).