I have written before that I am always in search of good dark roasts because my wife likes dark roasts and I like lighter roasts, but enjoy a really good dark roast once in a while and so if I am going to order it anyway for her, I would rather find something I like, too, so I have an added option.
A few weeks ago I ordered Caffe Pronto Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere District
And really enjoyed it. It was very different from any coffee I had ever had before with incredible notes of honey etc. You can read about it here
My wife even liked it even though it was a fairly light roast (they call it medium, but I think it is much lighter than the average medium roast). On the other hand she suggested it would be best blended with a french roast, and we had great success blending it with Velton’s Bonsai blend.
I decided to see if Caffe Pronto’s darker roasts were a perfect solution. The first problem was that they no longer existed, but that was solved when I realized that they had just been renamed Ceremony coffee roasters.
I ordered their French roast figuring that if their medium roast was fairly light their French roast might be lighter than the usual French roast, too. It instead is a classic French Roast. It is a good one, but what you taste or at least what I taste is the roast. If you drink Starbucks and then try this roast you will be in heaven because it is in that style, but done much better.
My wife really likes it as a dark coffee drinker. To me it is a little too dark, but not to the point where it is unpleasant, just to the point where it tastes more of roast than coffee. I think it would indeed be fantastic blended with their Ethiopian roast so you would have the roast and the coffee featured. . I think the best French Roast I have ever had is the one from Stumptown that seems to transcend French Roasts, but I cannot think of another one I would put ahead of the Ceremony other than that.
As a second point I tried it at 200 degrees and at 175 degrees and both were good, but as I have found for every coffee lately I preferred it at the lower temperature.
I will be curious to see if it makes a good espresso or not. It may be able to punch through a big milk drink. I tend to like lighter roasts for espresso than brewed coffee, but I will be curious to see how it goes as sometimes a great roaster can make a great dark roasted espresso.
I am now eager to try some of their coffees that fall between these two in terms of roast.