A blend of coffees that delivers a balanced range of flavors from Sumatra, Ethiopia and South America.

First, a big thank you to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters for sending us their new Three Continent Blend, in a bag and in K-Cups.

Funnily enough, it was the two different formats that began quite a tasting adventure for us.

But first, a few words about the coffee itself. This is a blend of coffees from Sumatra, Ethiopia and South America. And all the beans are Fair Trade Certified.

Usually we taste and review beans from a single region, and coffees from each region tend to have their own distinctive characteristics. So when you create a blend from three different continents, you get quite a surprise with the taste profile.

This is where the fun began. I brewed some of this coffee in a French press and passed to my girlfriend, without telling her anything about the origins.

Her first reaction was to say, “It’s a rainbow of coffee!” 

She was exactly right. If you think of flavors instead of colors, this blend combines the full range of tastes.

You get the rich, deep notes of the Sumatran beans, the citrus fruitiness of the South American beans, and the delicate finish of the Ethiopian beans. That said, I think the Ethiopian flavors were a little overwhelmed by the other two.

But our adventure had just begun!

I then brewed the same coffee, but with the K-Cup. I had expected a very similar taste to the French press coffee, but instead the K-Cup coffee was noticeably lighter in the mouth. Interestingly, I think I found the Ethiopian notes came out a little stronger with the K-Cup version.

Now I was intrigued, so I got really serious about the brew, took out my Chemex, my scales and my measuring jug for the water, and brewed it for a third time, with very precise measurements and timing.

The Chemex version was the best. At least, that was my conclusion. Although my girlfriend said that for an early morning coffee she would go for the French press version simply because it felt a lot stronger in the mouth.

But to get the full range of all the flavors, in a near-perfect balance, I would vote for the Chemex.

As an aside, it’s interesting to see how brewing methods can influence the taste in the cup. My advice, if you really want to get the best from any decent coffee, is to get a little geeky about the measurements – the right amount of water for the right weight of ground coffee, brewed for the right number of minutes.

But I digress.

This is a really nice coffee. It must have taken a lot of work and experimentation to take coffees from such divers regions and end up with a blend that works.

I would certainly recommend that you give this a try.

If you can’t find it locally, you can buy the Three Continent Blend from the Green Mountain Coffee website.

About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…

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