Monday, May 01, 2006


gillies colombian supremo sparkling water co2 decaf

as promised yesterday, this morning i brewed up another half-pot chemex of the don schoenholt's gillies colombian supremo in its "sparkling water" co2 decaf version. i think of the major decaf methods, this one is the least known among consumers.

and it's a shame, because from my tasting this morning, it seems on par, or close to par, with the european method. certainly, it was superior to swiss water decaf.

you'll note for example that many fine specialty roasters, like counterculture, offer primarily sparkling decaf.

i think the european method preserves a little more the delicious fresh coffee aroma -- you know the general smell of freshly made coffee -- but the sparkling method was very close. the sparkling colombian may have been very slightly less crisp than the european process coffee.

but i thought the sparkling process may have kept a little more of the nutty flavor. so i would say that the two may balance out, actually.

since most americans, according to consumer studies, report drinking their coffee with milk and/or sugar, even a splash of either would cover any differences between european and sparkling, in my experience. espressohounds who find themselves needing to drink a decaf drip black might prefer the sparkling method, since they tend to shy away from brighter coffees.

but i think serious drip lovers would most likely prefer the european method. let's be honest: i don't think anyone need fear any of the 4 major decaf methods, be it european, natural, sparkling, or even swiss water.

(purists are going to say that actually the european and natural are basically minor variations on the same "solvent" method. but they are named differently on labels and use different agents, so for clarity's sake, i'm separating them here.

and yes, gentle readers, note i say major: there is a 5th process, which is relatively new and rarely seen in the market yet, the so-called "mountain water" process, done by the mexican company sanroke. i've haven't tried this yet, but its fans say it too is superior to swiss water.)

in sum, i liked both the european and sparkling versions of gillies colombian very much. i personally might give the edge to the european, but the difference is so slight, it could come down to a question of personal preference.

my recommendation is you try both at a close interval and see which speaks to you!

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posted by fortune | 7:15 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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