img_0504 In this quest for the perfect shot, I have written before about my fond memories of drinking coffee last December made from honey beans of Panama, so I was delighted to spy this bag on the shelf. Let's get down to business.

Name: Hartmann Honey Selection 5

Geographic Origin: Volcan, Panama

Description: Full body, grapefruit acidity, black currant aroma, gentle berry notes, nutty finish.

Date Roasted: Dec. 9, 2008, by Novo Coffee of Denver.

Date Purchased: Dec. 15.

Source: Café Grumpy, 224 W. 20th St., Manhattan, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

The Pour: I could not find any reference to the Hartmann honey bean on the Novo site (although there is a listing for Bambito Honey from another grower in the same region, using a honey process, that sounds delicious; I might just order some). I have to admit, in the case of this Selection 5, I was filled with mild trepidation at the mention of "grapefruit acidity" in the description. I have found beans with citrus hints interesting, but more and more I think I prefer the richer, nuttier flavors. Would this shot send me high-tailing it down to Grumpy's to buy more of this selection? I'm afraid the answer is no. I definitely pick up the strong grapefruit flavor when I first sip it, and the experience is not entirely pleasant. The taste is most pronounced when I swirl it in the front of my mouth and taste it with the tip of my tongue. Definitely weird, definitely not what I want in coffee. Too bad. I don't detect the nutty finish at all, which is also too bad. That could have saved it.

Effects: It does what coffee does. But the disappointment lingers, and another shot only hardens my impression. This is not what I've been looking for. And unlike some of the other odder beans I've tried, I'm thinking I might have a hard time getting through the whole bag. I may have to mix it with something else, not sure what. We'll be having guests tomorrow, and I guess they'll be getting the last of the Poker Face Espresso if they are not game to try this.

AuthorPatrick LaForge