The wonderful folks at California Coffee Roasters provided me with a very wide range of samples, and today I picked one at random.
Caramel Nut. I like caramel, I like nuts, and I love coffee. This has potential. I’m going to go brew a cup of it now.
I’m back, coffee mug in hand. It smells like candy, which to me is not bad because I’m notorious for my sweet tooth. The taste … is flavored coffee. Well, yes. Of course. What did I expect, it to be magically not-flavored?
I’ll not judge a flavored coffee against non-flavored coffees, just like I wouldn’t compare a flavored malt beverage to a beer. They are two different animals. So…
This Caramel Nut is very good. The caramel taste rides high on the palate, surfing over the top of a smooth, well balanced coffee blend. As the taste fades, the last thing to bloom is a toasty harvest grain flavor, with maybe a hint of almond. So the coffee itself is sandwiched in a way, between caramel on one side and the nut on the other.
One thing I have noticed, is that if you are going to drink a flavored coffee, enjoy it while it’s hot. As it cools the flavor deteriorates rapidly, much faster than a non-flavored coffee. The sweetness breaks down and a unpleasant bitterness begins to bloom. That’s not just for this Caramel Nut. I’m making a broad, generalized sweeping comment covering flavors A-Z from any coffee roaster you’d care to name.
As for this one in particular, I’d have to say for a flavored coffee, it’s pretty darn groovy.