Beans: Yemen Mocha, Java Estate, fully washed, sun dried, Java and Yemen.
Shop: Out of the Grey, Pennsylvania, USA.
Out of the Grey – Mocha Java (government blend): Background information
The Mocha Java blend is probably one of the oldest blends in the history of coffee. The story behind it is fun to know and it has something to do with my home country: The Netherlands. Back in the days when Indonesia was a colony of The Netherlands, coffee was already a commodity in Europe. The Dutch sailing companies often brought coffee from Java into Europe via Yemen. In the port of Mokha (back then Mokha was one of the biggest trade harbors in the world) the coffee would be sold and bought and obviously consumed as well. At one point in time, someone decided to blend the local coffee (Yemen Mocha) with the coffee from Java and it turned out to be an instant success. The earthy notes of the Indonesian coffee and the sweet fruity and cocoa notes of the Yemen Mocha were a match made in heaven.
Nowadays the Mocha Java blend can be found anywhere in the world. A lot of roasters tend to use Ethiopian coffee instead of Yemen coffee and Sumatran coffee instead of Java coffee. While they still name it the Mocha Java blend, it actually isn’t. Out of the Grey went out of their way to recreate the original Mocha Java blend and named it: Mocha Java (Government Blend).
Out of the Grey – Mocha Java (government blend): Opening the Package.
The package of Out of the Grey is a beige one with a degassing valve and a ziplock to keep the coffee fresh. When opening the package the sight of the medium dark roasted coffee is accompanied with a waft of sweet cocoa and hints of earthiness. Obviously I take a bean and start to chew on it. It is crispy and a little bitter. After a while the bitterness gets a touch of smoke to the taste as well. The other bean has a soft cocoa aspect to it when I chew. This bean also gets a touch of smoke after a while. Lets grind and brew!
Out of the Grey – Mocha Java (government blend): The tasting
When I started this review I had to mix and match my grind and brew settings before hitting the sweet spot. This coffee has two aspects that made it a nice challenge to get that perfect shot. There is a fine line between bitter and sweet in this coffee. Eventually I decided on a setting in which I used 18 grams of coffee, a grind setting that gave me 30 ml of coffee with 24 seconds of extraction.
The syrupy coffee flowed out of my machine like hot lava. The colors of beige and dark brown fill my cup and the aroma of cocoa is slowly spreading through the room. When the brewing is done, I take a look at the coffee and swirl it through the cup. The thick crema rolls through my cup and I smell the aromas: sweet cocoa, earthy and a hint of cardamom appears.
I take a sip of the coffee and it fills my mouth with a buttery and milky mouthfeel. The crema is thick, the body is full but a the same time light as a feather. I swirl the coffee through my mouth and notice how the sweetness of the cocoa blends nicely with the earthy notes in the background. The more I swirl the coffee in my mouth, the more the sweetness dissolves into a fruity flavor that reminds me of plum and also has a little citric aspect to it. It is faint but supports the coffee just enough to make it very agreeable. While the coffee rests in the back of my mouth I notice a leathery note appear and when I swallow the coffee and a soft dry cocoa bitterness comes forth as well. It clings to the backside of my tongue together with the raw leather note. This tastes super nice since the fruity sweetness is still supporting the flavors, and the earthy notes of the coffee now start to bloom as well. For a moment there is this balance of wet earth, leather, fruity sweetness and dry cocoa all at once. The aftertaste lingers and lingers and lingers. The coffee keeps pulling saliva and making the aftertaste sweet but full of earthy leathery notes. Lovely!
My next tasting is that of a Cappuccino. I use the same recipe and use the froth of a full fat milk. The coffee blends nicely and the color of the crema makes for an excellent latte art foundation. The flavors of cocoa and leather go so smooth with the milk, creating a sweet but firm cappuccino with notes of chocolate milk, leather and a great texture. This is a coffee that goes great with milk based drinks.
Out of the Grey – Mocha Java (government blend): The Verdict.
It comes as no surprise that the original Mocha Java blend is so popular with coffee enthusiasts throughout the world. The notes of dry cocoa, leather, fruity sweetness and soft dark earth go together so well,that it seems as if you’re drinking a single origin coffee. Out of the Grey managed to roast a full bodied, buttery and creamy Mocha Java coffee that still feels feathery light on the tongue. This coffee is not just great as an espresso, but it will make for an excellent milk based drink as well. If you are looking for an espresso that contains a myriad of flavors and aroma’s, but still want to drink it all day, then this is your coffee.