I have a few coffees from Dark Roast December to still get posted for your reading pleasure! One of them is today’s feature, D’Amico Coffee Roasters’ Red Hook Blend. They sent me six dark roasts to try out, so the rest will get posted in the next couple weeks. D’Amico has been roasting coffee in Brooklyn, NY since 1948 and they are old school. I waxed eloquently for a while about dark roasts and D’Amico in my last article about them, so check that out here.
Red Hook Blend is a mix of three beans from Africa and South America, but I don’t have the details on origins, processes, etc. It’s part of D’Amico’s Brownstone Collections, which seem to be coffees named after Brooklyn, NY neighborhoods. D’Amico’s website says it is “smooth, yet dark with a slightly sweet finish” and they recommend trying it in a Moka pot. I wish I’d tried that first because I went with my trusty 1:15 Gino pourover on this one, as always! You can buy a full pound of this coffee straight from D’Amico for $13.99.
This is dark, and I mean, DARK, coffee. The beans are black and super duper oily, rating about a 5 on my fishmonger smell-o-meter (again, the fishy smell you get from a lot of dark roasts is from caffeine being converted to other amines, a class of chemicals found in most foods, that happen to have a fishy odor. No problem, perfectly safe, doesn’t come through in the flavor in my experience). The aroma in the cup is old school dark roast… chocolate and cocoa and a lot of roastiness. As I found with their House Blend, D’Amico’s Red Hook is a bit harsh in the fresh cup but mellows and sweetens significantly as it cools down a bit. This is a coffee just begging for a shot of cream and a sugar packet, which is the lure of a lot of dark roasts for coffee drinkers, really. Let’s be perfectly honest, dark roasts usually taste awesome with milk and sugar!
There was something about the House Blend that I liked more than this Red Hook Blend, although they are very similar because they are both roasted as dark as coffee can get. I can’t put my finger on it without doing a side by side tasting, so I won’t even guess, but the Red Hook blend is maybe a bit more bitter overall and it makes it a bit less drinkable than the really sweet and friendly House Blend. That being said, this Red Hook is a fine example of a super dark roast that is still drinkable and holds up to milk well (I had some in the fridge, and, yep, that is tasty!) and it’s still way better to my palate than a dark roast from the grocery store or one of the big chains. Nicely done!