December 8, 2009

Review: Indian Mysore Coffee Pods from The Coffee Artisan

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In August the Coffee Artisan launched its own house brand of premium 10-gram coffee pods, and we have to say we're impressed. Owner Chad Elliott has gone to great lengths to use high-quality beans roasted in small batches so as to showcase the unique character of each variety. The full line-up includes an Italian Roast blend, the Dark Side, along with excellent and affordably priced 100% Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain light roasts, but we'll save those for future posts. To begin with, we'd like to focus on the more exotic single-origin coffees that Chad has brought to market, in particular the Coffee Artisan's Indian Mysore pod.

Indian coffee is not well-known in the U.S. Nevertheless, coffee has been grown in India since the 17th century, when it was imported from Yemen. The beans used in the Coffee Artisan's Indian Mysore pods are 100% Arabica, harvested in the Mysore district of Karnataka state in southern India, and almost certainly wet-processed. Generally speaking, Indian coffees are often described as having "pronounced body, low acidity, and subtle spicy notes" (e.g.). The official description of this pod hits similar notes: "Exceptionally well balanced with moderate acidity, full body, and a fruity-nutty flavor."

We found this pod's aroma alluring right out of the golden package. Dry it smelled almost savory, like a spice rub. After brewing in our Grindmaster OPOD on the tea setting, the wet aroma had continued spice with hints of tobacco, wood, and a subtle fruitiness that was perhaps closest to dried apricot. This was a very smooth, mild cup with low acidity but plenty of body for a lighter roast (officially City+, see).

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The flavor was solid but intriguingly difficult to describe with unsweetened chocolate notes in the finish, especially as it cooled. Some in the forums have commented on this coffee's nuttiness, but that aspect of the flavor did not stand out for us (though it is detectable, in particular with cream). We preferred to drink this coffee black. Mouth feel was way above average in terms of complexity. Though the pod occasionally left us at a loss for words, we truly enjoyed the taste adventure it took us on.

  • Aroma - 9 - Alluring and unusual. Spicy with hints of tobacco, wood, and dried apricot.
  • Acidity - 9 - Low acidity. A very smooth, mild coffee.
  • Body - 8 - Plenty of body for a lighter roast.
  • Flavor - 8 - Tasty. Hard to describe, but we had fun trying. Bit of an unsweetened chocolate finish.
  • Mouth feel - 9 - Complex and round.
  • Coffee Drinker - While this pod should suit a wide variety of coffee drinkers, it is more a coffee to taste and savor than anything else. If you're just looking for something to fill up your travel mug with on a long road trip, you might reach for a different pod.

Overall rating: 90 - Exceptional


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It's important to highlight the fact that, in addition to the Indian Mysore pod, four others from the Coffee Artisan's new line-up (Celebes Kalossi, Malawi, Panama Boquete, and Puerto Rican) are unique in the pod world. You won't find these varieties anywhere else in pod form. By sourcing such exotic beans, Chad has done single-serve coffee fans a huge service, adding to the eye-opening variety of fresh, individually wrapped coffee pods currently available to us and helping our palates become more worldly in the process, one cup at a time. We can only hope that the trend continues.

Coffee Artisan Indian Mysore coffee pods will work in your Senseo, Grindmaster GPOD or OPOD, Bunn My Cafe, Cuisinart SS-1 Cup-O-Matic, Cafe Invento, Melitta One:One, simplehuman, Krups 1010, Home Cafe, Melitta MES5B Javapod, Kienna Sun Cafe, and other single-serve coffee pod brewers.

We purchased these coffee pods directly from The Coffee Artisan ourselves for this review.

Read how we review and rate single serve coffee and other single serve coffee beverages here.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at December 8, 2009 7:37 AM

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