Starbucks Reserve® Hawaii Ka'u Coffee
Excellent Kona - probably one of the best pre-roasted Hawaiian's on the planet
You'll be hard pressed to find a better pre-roasted Kona - mainly because you simply never know what you're getting when ordering direct from the estate. This even beats the Molokai estate coffees. You can bet SB's insists on the same bean, same grade, same size and the same roast on every batch. If anything, IMHO it could probably stand another 30 secs of roasting (or a slower cool-down) to darken it up just a bit and bring out even more sugars. As is, this coffee is so incredibly sweet with molasses that you'll find you only need 1/2 the sugar you usually use. Another SB that's similar is the Peaberry, but as everyone knows it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to roast peaberry. <<-- SB roasters I'm sure will agree. So the peaberry will turn out bitter, very "earth" tasting, maybe even dry/powdery through the grinder. Never been a fan of Peaberry because it's either charcoal or raw dirt - and impossible to get anything in between. That's why the peaberry coffee doesn't have a review page out here llol ---- Anyway back to Ka'u - I'd suggest you grind it a tick finer than usual as are most Hawaiian's they tend to be dry when roasted for espresso as these are. But this will really surprise you - wait till you pull a shot for your best friend and watch the expression - priceless. I wouldn't do it for everyone or you'll go through 10 bags / week llol
November 7, 2013
I finally got around to opening my bag of Hawaii Ka'u to brew in my Chemex brewer. This coffee is extremely smooth. In my coffee journey, I am finding that coffee doesn't always present a full range of flavors when it is hot. Besides the risk of burning your mouth, there is usually very little that you can get out of a cup of coffee other than the body and mouthfeel. As this coffee cooled to probably 15-20° warmer than body temperature, flavors such as coconut, toasted nuts, and hints of tropical fruit came through at various points. There is an aftertaste of coconut, which I am not super fond of. This coffee, as other reviewers are saying, would probably be good iced with some cream (or even coconut milk?) and sugar. I am definitely going to enjoy the rest of this bag.
November 4, 2013
Over roasted and tasteless
There is little to say about this coffee other than it was roasted so dark it had a burned taste and was not at all flavorful. In addition, there were an abundance of cracked pieces of beans mixed with the whole beans. I don't believe I have ever received such a poor quality coffee at such a premium price. After tasting one cup, I decided to return it and I am currently awaiting a refund. Truly, I was greatly disappointed in this "Reserve" coffee.
October 28, 2013
Great smooth tasting coffee! My favorite. I also tried the Costa Rica and it was great. Looking forward to trying the others and wish more locations served these.
October 13, 2013
Like it iced
After trying the Jamaican and Panama coffees, which I really liked, I tried the Ka'u today. I ordered a venti size at the store, added a little cream. Drinking this coffee hot, I really didn't taste the coconut and citrus flavors, but did however get a hint of salted caramel and nut flavor. When I arrived home I decided to ice it and add a little sugar. Iced with a little cream and sugar, really brings out the coconut and citrus flavors as well as the caramel and nut overtones. This really isn't a full-bodied, bold flavored coffee, but is really tasty when iced.
October 12, 2013