Firstly, let us all take a moment to appreciate the fine lyrical genius of Salt N Pepa’s 1993 masterpiece, “Whatta Man”, the Bechdel-strangling powerhouse ballad performed with nineties flash-paper early Destiny’s Child predecessor, En Vogue:
What a man, what a man, what a man what a mighty good man
What a man, what a man, what a man what a mighty good man…
That said, I recently tried Caribou Coffee’s offering, called Mahogany.
I want to take a minute or two, and give much respect due
To the coffee I been drinking in the morn.
And though most blends are suck
I just had some good luck,
Cause this coffee is a dark roast form of caffeine porn.
And indeed, the best thing about the coffee is the description, which is made of LOL:
Mahogany is a dark roast coffee that offers dry spice notes, woodsy accents and hints of vanilla and flowers. Expect bold, dry spice along with heady, aromatic wood and leather flavors. Look also for the hints of floral, vanilla, molasses and semi-sweet chocolate.
Or possibly the picture on the front:
So, yeah, I made three pots: well, sort of. The first time was in the French press, but I let it sit too long because I was reading porn, and if you have ever let a dark roast brew for 20 minutes, you know what you get. Things did not bode well for Mahogany.
I did an autodrip, because I know people scorn the auto drip, but for consistency in timed brewing, it’s great, and I don’t use filters, so I’m not as complete philistine, assholes. I’m drinking more right now, actually. The scent is strangely dry, like you smell it and say, “yeah, I get the dry part.” Like wine. Or laundry. It is rougher in some ways, like I can see non-coffee drinkers not liking it. On the other hand, it doesn’t have that bitter edge that a lot of dark roasts seem to get the SHEER SECOND THE GROUNDS SENSE THAT YOU ARE NOT A TRAINED BARISTA AND REBEL RIGHT IN THE POT. I am serious, I hate dark roasts because while I love the aesthetic kick of that first cup, I am first and foremost a junkie, and I’ll drink the whole pot over the course of an hour or two, well after the time when it should be pitched. Dark roasts can sense that. I open the bag and they see my face and they get out their little red white and blue bandannas and ring a rousing chorus of “Red & Black” from Les Mis.
So anyway, this coffee is not bitter, but what I was excited about was that OTHER THING. You saw it. “LEATHER FLAVORS”. Who drinks coffee and says, “You know what this needs, Bob? Some leather.”
Bob: I’ll go get the gimp mask.
ANYWAY, if by “leather flavors” they mean the general sense of rugged…preppy…hipster…uh…cowboy…ness that I get when I smell the coffee and drink it, then yes. Or the way that after about two cups I get a bit of fur in the back of my mouth as if I have been ball gagged for a while, then yes. On the other hand, I might be somewhat relieved, because we all know that Red Bull’s brief flirtation with the “Leather Couch of Love” flavor for their new line of energy drinks was a complete disaster.
Yeah, it’s got woody notes, and yeah there’s dry spice, but not in that North Carolina dry rub way, if you’re asking. But what sells this coffee is the nice oil content, that gives it a bit of a smoothness, and the lack of bitter, even after it’s been standing for a while. The Brewmaster says that this is coffee for light roast drinkers who want to delve into a dark, and I agree.
Also, I feel like I’m in Masterpiece Theatre when I drink it.
I haven’t tried it in the vacuum, but I never do dark roasts in the vacuum. For why, see Marius and Enjolras over there waving that red and black flag on the battlements.
OMG SIDE NOTE: Trader Joe’s makes a coffee called “Wintry Blend” that has beans and red and pink peppercorns and cloves and shit in it. YOU CAN ONLY GET IT AROUND THE WINTER HOLIDAYS. GUESS WHO IS DUMB ENOUGH TO ORDER RED AND PINK PEPPERCORNS AND MAKE HER OWN? THIS BITCH RIGHT HERE.
And in closing:
Like engine-engine number nine
I got the rump-shakin’ flavor with the nasty rhyme
So if the crowd can move with me, move with me
Salt-N-Pepa said groove with me, groove with me.
That is all.