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What the? When "good" coffees fail to impress friends/family

Postby jbviau on Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:41 pm

So I recently ordered a bag of Klatch's Ethiopian Gedeo Worka, roasted 8/28. Here's the official description:

Klatch wrote:This is the bowl of berries we come to expect from a clean Ethiopian Natural. It's composed of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries along with its additional notes of bing cherries and the unexpected tropical fruit nuances. Overall, the subtle hints of vanilla and slight coco powder hold the flavors together, providing a bright acidity within a creamy and juicy body.

I've been enjoying this coffee (unlike the last natural I ordered, PT's Elida), but it seems to provoke unpleasant reactions. My wife came downstairs yesterday, took one whiff of it (brewed), and started looking for baby vomit we might have forgotten to wipe up earlier. And then tonight a friend of mine got "cheese" in the dry aroma and passed in favor of a washed Yirg.

Both people have what I'd consider sensitive and refined palates, generally speaking. Could they be on to something? I think the "pineapple" might be to blame--kind of a "when tropical fruit goes bad" sort of deal. And am I/are we sufficiently out there in terms of the range of flavors we're accustomed to in coffee that this kind of disconnect should be expected?
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Postby another_jim on Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:16 pm

This is typical for natural coffees; the very aromas that enthrall you can disgust others.
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Postby dustin360 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:01 am

Haha... personally I love the Gedeo Worka from Klatch(green), I haven't detected any notes of baby vomit or cheese yet. The green coffee itself smells amazing (chocolate covered gummy bears, watermelon), so I made my little brothers smell it. They both thought it smelled awful...
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Postby Stereo Heathen on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:31 am

My mother and I both detected a powerful aroma of, well, feces, in this particular coffee (though from a different roaster) brewed in a Chemex, some time ago.
So, I would say there is something to their perceptions.
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Postby allon on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:30 am

Hah! Bringing back memories of the Liberica SM had a number of years back. One coworker commented "it smells like animal".

My office mate loved it, though, but he likes stinky cheese, bitter drinks, salty licorice an all manners of strongly flavored food items.
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Postby erics on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:49 am

. . . in terms of the range of flavors we're accustomed to in coffee . . .

This, to me, is the key element of the situation.
My mother and I both detected a powerful aroma of, well, feces, in this particular coffee

Time to get the chef front and center and reinstitute the practice of "keel hauling". :)
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Postby KScarfeBeckett on Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:39 am

Perhaps 'notes of durian' would act as a useful catch-all descriptor?
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Postby bostonbuzz on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:10 pm

I opened a bag of Haribender, and I swear it smelled just like day-old pizza... delicious!
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Postby jbviau on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:50 pm

Durian! Nice. You might be right. It's been so long since I've had it, though, and I'm not particularly motivated to refresh my memory of its scent. Guess there's a reason *that* fruit's not in the Nez du Café set...

Interesting to read these posts, which seem to confirm that Gedeo Worka is an acquired taste. I've definitely had cleaner naturals. This one's funky.
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Postby jonny on Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:23 pm

"good coffee" is extremely subjective, not ultimately defined by the sensitivity or expertise of one's palate, or even by the score of a coffee. :wink:

Consider: The more sensitive a sense is, the narrower the range of enjoyment. For example: a lot of animals acute sense of hearing make many sounds intolerable. Also, my mother's sensitive nose is a curse to her.

The rest is personal preference, one not being superior to the other. Personally, I'll stick to the clean tastes of washed coffees.
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