I really enjoy seasonal blends, and no I am not talking about the latest seasonal blend made with beans that are being currently harvested. I am talking about blends that are made to be festive for the season, they just help me in one other part of my life get ready for big holiday, and Christmas is big bad vodoo Daddy of them all so here I find Nataliza roasted by Caffe D'arte.
This coffee reminds me a lot of other Christmas blends that I have had over the years from different roasters, deep smokey flavors and a biting spice at the end of the coffee. It's one of those flavors that can remind me of Christmas because it is so familar. That being said it isn't what I would typically go for if I was picking a coffee without a holiday name to it, so it's kind of a fun change of pace.
So far I have only tried this coffee a few different ways, auto-drip, espresso and as a latte.
The auto-drip was the exact taste I described above deep dark and spicy. I normally drink my coffee black in the mornings and so this coffee is not that enjoyable for me in this way. However, what discovered this morning on my second pot is a little bit of milk and sugar really opens this coffee up, it becomes really rich. And then tonight with some holiday sweets it went with very very well, sugar + Nataliza = gold. So it would be good for that after dinner coffee with pie.
Then the espresso, same as above not very enjoyable as a straight shot dark, almost burnt, tabacco. However, pull short shot and pour some micro foam over it and you have yourself what a good deep dark Starbucks coffee should taste like. I am really amazed at how well it does with milk, it seems like it was blended with that in mind.
Overall, I am not the biggest fan of this blend it's too dark roasted for me and gets to more of a roast flavor profile. This isn't a bad thing just means it's not all that different from other coffees out there. However, it does do well doctored up a little bit and I have been truely impressed by that.
I went to Caffe D'arte's website tonight and was treated to this photo, do you think they like dark roasted coffee? My bad for picking this one out, but if you like the dark roast you seem to have found a good roaster!
http://www.caffedarte.com/images1/cofferoaster2.jpg" height="250" width="370" align="absbottom" />
On a different note I would be interested to know anyone else's experience with Caffe D'arte because it took a little while for it to get to me, 9 days, which was disappointing because I wanted to try the blend out and if it was good I was going to order a few packs for friends. I think I might've gotten another bag or two as I have some people that really like dark roasts, but who knows.