I recently bought a bag of Haitian Bleu Dark Roast at a Target in
Columbia, MD. It had a Best By July 24 2009 stamp on it. The dot for
roast was halfway across the bar between light and dark. This was in a
bag - just under $7 for 12oz, not a tin although they had some of those
premium coffees in tins for sale.
What follows is a somewhat detailed warning based on this limited
experience - halfway across that bar indicates a very darkly roasted, if
not over-roasted coffee.
I just joined this list today so no one has any background info by which
to judge if I know anything about coffee.
My GF and I think it is really very undrinkable and agree that it tastes
over-roasted. We've made two presses with it and don't want to drink
any more - and I may even return it. We probably aren't as knowledgeable
as some on this list but mostly buy coffee from a local roaster in
Baltimore. We experiment with lots of different coffees from different
countries, roasters, etc, drinking almost exclusively single source
beans. In the last few years, we rarely buy beans or coffee to drink
that are extremely dark roasts but primarily buy coffees roasted in the
City +, Full City, Vienna range on the Sweet Maria's pictorial guide.
(I've read quite a bit of the info on the website recently.)
But to my tastes this coffee was roasted far beyond what we usually get
and beyond the usual Starbucks roast, beyond the usual French roast and
had a bitter over roasted aspect to it. Leah agreed and she still likes
Starbucks somewhat more than I do.
In the past I had a period where I was a big Starbucks and French Roast
fan. But as I learned more about the tastes of different single origin
coffees - interestingly beginning at a Starbucks that was across the
street from where I worked in DC back in the mid 90's, I drifted down to
slightly less roasted coffees. So, it isn't like I've never had dark
roasts or never buy them anymore.
I may not like a coffee I buy and decide I'll be unlikely to buy that
coffee again, but I'll virtually always grind, brew and drink the bag -
sometimes changing my mind about the coffee I'd initially not liked much
after several days builds an appreciation of its characteristics.
The only other time I've found a coffee I've bought to undrinkable in
the last 6+ years is when I found the last bag of Costa Rican among the
beans from a different local roaster stuck in the back of its display at
a local grocery store and they were stale - I knew that when I opened
the bag. They'd probably gotten stuck in the back and missed in a
These Target Haitian beans don't smell or taste stale.
Just my $.02 on this.
I'll try to write a short intro post on why I've joined this list in
the next day or two, beyond just stating that I am thinking about
starting to home roast. I have learned quite a bit from reading the
information on this site. It really is a wonderful source and I have
much more to learn.
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