In terms of blends, if you’re looking for something that is slightly left of centre then Dark Horse could be your answer. Without getting too specific, the first words that come to mind when I think of this blend are ‘big’ and ‘gutsy’. It’s made up of a mix of our most dynamic and complex coffees which not only keep things interesting, but they also have a natural tendency to shake things up as their individual profiles can offer a wide range of flavours.
Here’s a look at what’s in this blend?
Sumatran Lintong — This is a long standing love/hate coffee within Five Senses. It’s the classic coffee that ‘divides a table’ — which translates to meaning that half of the cuppers love it and the other half can’t stand it. However, this coffee has stood the test of time and has developed a loyal following. It’s renowned for its sweet earthy and vegetal flavours, massive syrupy mouthfeel and, occasionally, it veers away from the sweet capsicum notes to strawberry jam. After drinking this coffee for years, the one thing I can confirm with confidence is that the overall quality and clarity of flavours of this coffee have improved dramatically. What was once (five years ago) a volatile coffee on the verge of ‘funk’ (not a good thing), is now a volatile coffee with a range of positive flavours. The one thing it still guarantees is that you really never know what you’re gonna get. Good times!
Ethiopian washed Sidama — I say washed, because this one is not to be confused with the natural processed coffees coming from the same region. This coffee has always been a staple offering of ours, whether it’s from Sidama or neighbouring Yirgacheffe. It is always cupped and selected for its distinct floral notes and sweet, citric acidity. These can range from Meyer lemon to sweet tangerine, soft fuzzy peach or tart crispy nectarine. The layers are always delicate and refined and the profile is one of those that is extremely recognisable. I can often taste this one blind and pick the region 99% of the time — a decent party trick. (Don’t test me on this one!)
Guatemala Traversia — The one and only coffee in this blend that offers some form of stability. This is the creamy, caramelly, sweet, cherry toned coffee that is the main component holding this bad boy together. It fits in this line up and can hold its own in the company of some really big coffees. It only really adds to the big bang which the end result of this blend creates.
So there you have it. Sumatra sees multiple harvests a year and continually pushes out new and fresh crops. Our new crop Sidama and Guatemalan have just landed, so I would say this is THE best time of year to really dive into this blend. On the many, many occasions that we blind test blends, Dark Horse seems to always make it to the top of the faves list, as well as remaining one of the most recognisable, long standing blends that we’ve had.