Last weekend I got an opportunity to compare Pine Mountain Coffee’s Premium Dark Blend to Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend. Some of you may have seen the single season of Andrea Immer’s show “Simply Wine”. I enjoyed that show because she had simple ways of introducing the major varietals and the flavors of wine without making it snobby.
Andrea once mentioned that the only important tasting quality you needed to know was “if you liked it.” Another time during a pairing show she described a friend of hers who paired everything he ate with the boldest bottle of Cabernet he could, simply because he loved Cabs that much more than anything else.
Finally I remember Andrea explaining varietals in a great way. You can open two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, try them with each other and they can taste completely different. But if you compare these bottles to any other varietal, then what you will recognize instantly about both of them is that they are Sauvignon Blancs. To compare that to this coffee post, both the Pine Mountain Premium Dark Blend and Peet’s Major Dickanson’s Blend are full bodied dark coffees; just the kind I love! But there are differences between them so lets get started.
I brewed both of the cups above using a small french press. While I was dumping the scoops into the presses I noticed that the Pine Mountain had a stronger coffee aroma. After brewing I compared their colors and smells again. The photo makes it look like there was a noticeable difference in color, but in reality there was none. Additionally after brewing the smells were the same. So I moved on to taste.
Major Dickanson’s has a slightly tangy acidic bitterness to it, while the Pine Mountain has a smooth balanced bold flavor with no strong bitterness to it. Now I love Peet’s and their dark robust coffees, and since they started in Berkeley they are pretty local too, but honestly I can say I enjoyed the cup of Pine Mountain from Sacramento just a little bit more! Maybe it is the slow traditional small batch roasting method Pine Mountain is able to use due to their size that shows up in the balance of their premium dark blend. Regardless I will definitely pick more up the next time I run into them at the farmers market.