El Salvador El Carrizal by Klatch Coffee
El Salvador El Carrizal is a coffee offered by both Klatch Coffee and Ritual Coffee. Ritual Coffee is known for a lighter roast style that emphasizes fruity acidity...their tasting notes have ranged from "jolly rancher" to "green apple" to "clementines." Klatch Coffee, on the other hand, is an older-school roaster that tries to develop roast-inflected caramel and chocolate notes in their coffees. Their interpretation of Carrizal is true to their general style. They describe it as "chocolate covered in cherries," and that's not too far off the mark.
The chocolate is not baker's chocolate, which is often a taster's code-word for slightly bitter, non-sweet chocolate. 99% cacao is not something to eat straight...so why drink its coffee corollary?
The coffee instead is more like 80%. It's dark, but it's not bitter and it's slightly sweet. After the chocolate there's a gentle fruit quality. It's not as specific as "cherry," if by cherry one means the stone fruit and not the coffee cherry itself. There's mild sweetness, in the same way that cherry has mild sweetness, but I don't think the mild sweetness is "of" cherries. Anyway.
As with most chocolatey coffees, it really takes off if one prefers cream and sugar. With whitener, it took on caramel and vanilla early on. Now with whitener, it tastes like milk chocolate. I personally liked it best black, out of the vacuum pot, where it was dominated by that dark but kind of sweet chocolate.
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