Thanks again to the folks at King’s Row Coffee for sending us several of their coffees to try.
In our first King’s Row review we tasted and wrote about their Shelton Signature blend. And we liked it a lot.
This time we are going to try their Bonbon Blend.
Before we get into our review, I first want to say a few words about coffee blends, and the King’s Row approach to blending their coffees.
First off, a lot of people think that a coffee blend is automatically inferior to a single origin coffee, whether that origin be a specific farm or an entire coffee growing region.
That’s weird and wrong thinking. A single origin coffee from a specific farm can be horrible if that farmer grows poor coffee, or if that coffee is processed badly. Single-origin doesn’t automatically mean “good”.
If you are a fan of Scotch whisky you’ll know that most enthusiasts seek out a single-malt whisky. But if you really know your whiskies, you know that Johnnie Walker Blue Label is outstanding. And it’s a blend.
A blend of coffees can be as good or better than a single-origin coffee. Just as long as you get a couple of things right.
First, all the coffees in your blend should be of the highest quality.
Second, you should roast batches of different coffee beans separately. A good roaster knows know how to get the best from each type of coffee bean. So if he or she is blending three different coffees, those coffees are roasted separately, and then mixed together to create the desired blend.
Not many roasters and coffee companies do it this way, but King’s Row Coffee does.
OK... onto the Bonbon Blend.
This blend of coffees has been created to be at its best when enjoyed during or just after a meal.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, both savory and sweet flavors bring out the best in the coffee. In other words, drink it with your eggs and bacon at breakfast, or after dessert at lunchtime or dinner.
In our case, as the photo above suggests, we tried this coffee before and after chomping down on some delicious chocolate.
As always, we ground the beans immediately prior to brewing. Once brewed, we left the coffee to cool for a few minutes before tasting.
We tasted the coffee before and after a taste of chocolate, to see if King’s Row Coffee’s claim held true for us.
Here’s what we found...
This is a very nicely balanced coffee. It has a full-mouth feel and is very smooth. I hesitate to call it bold, but it’s nearly there. It has a touch of acidity, balanced by a natural sweetness with a touch of caramel.
Then we each ate a square of chocolate, and...
Well, we didn’t find a big difference, but I hadn’t expected to. What we did notice, and like, was an increased brightness to the coffee. The sweetness of the chocolate somehow brought out a fresh vibrancy in the coffee. Very nice.
Next time we’ll have to conduct the same taste test with something savory.
This was an interesting experience for us. We had never experimented before with pairing a coffee with a specific food.
I would imagine and hope that restaurants hear about this coffee and serve it with their meals. Goodness knows most restaurants need to up their game when it comes to coffee, but that’s a whole different story.
You can find out more about King’s Row Coffee here.
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NOTE: This product was sent to us free in return for a review. (That said, we always reserve the right NOT to review a free product if we don't like it, or feel you wouldn't like it.)
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About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…
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