Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Starbucks Komodo Dragon Blend Coffee

My love for home-ground-coffee started with Sumatra from Starbucks Coffee, but since then my tastes have moved on a bit. Cruising around their website the other day I happened upon this Komodo Dragon blend coffee and knew that I had to give it a try. Why you ask? Because of the word "dragon" in the name; if a product has a dragon or says dragon on the label, I will probably buy it. So anyway, let's get back to the coffee...

Quick Details
  • Origin: Unique blend of Asian, Pacific coffees
  • Processing: Washed and Semi-washed
  • Price: $13.95 in store or online
Starbucks Komodo Dragon Blend Coffee
Opening the bag I was greeted by a robust aroma mix of chocolate and coffee and as I poured beans into the grinder I can see a bit of oily caramelization. So far, so good. It only took about two turns of the grinder before I noticed that this Komodo Dragon Blend was the softest coffee I had ever ground. In the past I've never really noticed a difference in beans while grinding, but these beans felt like I was grinding butter. I don't know if that means anything but it really struck me as odd.

From here, things went south a bit. I ended up trying three different grinds and brewing methods to find a cup I was happy with. My first attempt, which is my new normal was a pour over. As the water hit the ground beans a nice bloom developed followed by a nice earthy aroma. Tasting this cup I found it to be bold, which is great, but it had flavors of damp earth and a very heavy, meaty mouth feel. As I sipped away and the cup cooled no other flavors developed but some bitterness did.

Being unhappy with the pour over results, the next trial was done using my auto drip maker. This method did have much different results and may up being the best way to deal with the remaining beans. The coffee this time was brighter,  had a bit of crispness to it and the same earthy flavors with a slight hint of citrus. However, as this cup cooled, it too developed some bitterness.

With two disappointing experiments in the books, I went to my old standby, the French Press. Again the coffee developed a nice bloom and an earthy aroma when hot water was introduced. I found the same meaty, earthy flavors and for the first time a bit of bitterness right up front. Since I still had two cups remaining in the press I tried adding a bit of sugar to the second cup. What a surprise. Half a teaspoon of sugar really cleaned the second cup up bringing out some brightness and turning the heavy mouth feel into more of a pleasant syrupiness. However, as second and third cups cooled, the same bitterness showed up. Just a note, not only was the coffee bitter as it cooled, it left a lingering bitter aftertaste on the roof of my mouth.

Overall I was extremely disappointed with this Komodo Dragon blend from Starbucks, but by adding sugar, I should be able to finish the bag. I am giving this coffee a 3.5 out of 5 star rating.

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