Dark-Milk Coffee

by El Ceibo
Info Details
Country Bolivia   
Type Flavored   (Coffee; Dark-Milk 60%)
Strain Beniano   
Source Bolivia   (Alto Bení; Agua Clara)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Rustic      
A reactor that fuses up caffè macchicocoa into a WMD for Delicious (in violation of the Banned Words List). Why carry around sloshing beverages in search of cup-holders when this piece of Bolivian produce slips right into a purse or pocket to conveniently terroirize the senses?
Appearance   4.3 / 5
Color: beautiful apricotta brown
Surface: soft brushed
Temper: burnished marble
Snap: low & hollow even for a 60%; granulated edge
Aroma   9.6 / 10
gifted, a crossover phenom: sumptuous coffee ground in cocoa -> milk serves to honey the pair -> rounds out blackberry
Mouthfeel   14.4 / 15
Texture: an edifice complex; packs the pounds on; voluptuous
Melt: thick sap to syrup that melts with you
Flavor   48.7 / 50
Milk Choc caramel rolls into vibrant snappy coffee rich w/ cocoa fumes -> apricot in the color appears as dried fruit on the tongue -> thick honey pollinated in Bolivian fuschia blossoms -> butter-toffee the force-multiplier for umami F/Xs -> coffee resurfaces carrying tamarind
Quality   18.4 / 20
Total sensory command from the look, the scent, the touch, the flavor & the mood it ultimately sets & leaves behind. Insanely corrupting; restraints or some intervention will be needed to hold oneself down. TASPs out the pleasure centers making your day.

A mash-up of elements compensates for El Ceibo’s generally subpar processing techniques. Just as well since it highlights the intrinsic qualities of them superbly.

As noted elsewhere, Boliviano cacáo has its own coffee inflections. And, judging from this bar, Bolivian coffee from the Caranavi region apparently endows with inherent cocoa, like many Yemeni coffee beans, to return the flavor-favor. They’re cross-dressers made for each other with milk in the middle as matchmaker.

The complimentary & yet contrastive forces too -- at once simultaneous & interactive -- are unprecedented at this degree for the coffee-cocoa category, even if it lacks the über polish of Coppeneur’s Blue Mt or the refined elegance of Cluizel’s Noir au Café. Those are Euro; this the high Amazon playing with the home field advantage to brew epic witchcraft in a wholly relaxed composite.

The only knock -- & this really in search of one – might be that chocolate seems the 3rd wheel next to coffee & dairy, weighing less on the palate than its 60% frame, almost rivaling Slitti’s much lighter 45% Caffe Latte (though it drives, along with milk, those caramel / toffee tones as well as delivers the purple-fruited accents... Boliviano cacáo’s natural plum / prune / pomegranate punch... sublimated here into sweet tamarind by the end). Or perhaps that its depth reaches short of the unfathomable descent of El Ceibo’s 71% (though, again, this is still deep).

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, whole milk pwdr, cacáo butter, coffee, soy lecithin

Reviewed January 2011


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