The fine folks at D’Amico Coffee Roasters in Brooklyn, NY, sent me six pounds of coffee (!) when I put the request out for samples for Dark Roast December! I figured I would save some of my reviews for later so as to not overwhelm you fine readers with too much darkness! Today we’re looking at D’Amico’s French Kenya, which is a Kenyan coffee taken to a very dark French roast level! You can buy this coffee for just $13.99/lb directly from D’Amico!
D’Amico started roasting coffee in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1948. Their dark roasts have proven to be old-school and well-crafted and they bring up a lot of nostalgia for me. Single origin dark roasts are a bit of an oddity because the darker the roast, the less origin character you’ll get and the more the coffee is about the roast itself and the flavors it generates. According to D’Amico’s website, however:
For those who prefer strong coffee, look no further. French Kenya has the slight natural sweetness of the high-grown Kenyan beans we roast, but with the smoky, bold taste you can only get from a French roast. You’d be hard pressed to find it anywhere else.
I certainly wouldn’t be able to tell that this is a Kenyan coffee, however for a dark roast, like the others offered to me from D’Amico, I enjoyed it all the same! This is a dark roast and the cups from it were certainly mouth-filling and aggressive in flavor. There is a smokiness to this coffee and this one has a little more of the metallic twang I associate with really dark roasts than the other D’Amico coffees I’ve reviewed to date, but it’s enjoyable and, as you’d expect, throwing a spoonful of sugar and a dollop of whole milk into it turns this coffee into dessert!
I did find this French Kenyan had a bit of bitter edge to it that was hard to shake and that reduced it’s drinkability somewhat for me. Of the four dark roasts D’Amico sent to me, this one is proving to be my least favorite of the bunch for that reason, but again, it’s not like this coffee is a deal-breaker or that it got washed down the sink. Far from it, however I simply liked the “softness” and higher sweetness levels of those other coffees a bit more. This is still a well-roasted coffee and if you’re a milk and sugar coffee drinker this one stands up nicely.