October 19, 2009

Nespresso: Singatoba Special Edition Espresso Capsule Review


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Singatoba is this season's Special Club Capsule from Nespresso, hailing from the island of Sumatra. The 100% Blue Batak Arabica beans are sourced from the northern part of the island and goes through a ferment and wash type process that has it acquiring both flavor complexity and its characteristic blue hue. Nespresso seems to have gone all out here and split roasted the coffee, light roasting some portion of the blend to keep the fruity and earthy notes, while dark roasting a portion of the batch to develop the body and the strength of the espresso.
NespressoSingatobaCapsules.jpgI bought some Singatoba as soon as it was available and then also received some from Nespresso along with the signature cups for this review. After drinking for the last couple of weeks, I have come to appreciate the complexity of the espresso both in simple form and in lattes also. Below you'll see the overall description from Nespresso, and they are right on with a lot of complexity and rich intensity. I saw earthy tones mixed with fruity and woody top notes in the aroma. The flavor is dark, but not burt or ashy, with a good lingering espresso base and simple but noticeable acidity. I like acidity, and count the Rosabaya as one of my favorites, where the strong acidity presents itself as an extreme brightness in the cup, dominating a lot of the show. The Singatoba, is not anywhere close to that level, but offers an acidity that keeps the flavors flowing and balanced, throughout the experience. I also drank the Singatoba in a latte several times and thought that the base notes stood up well to the milk. You lose some of the complexity, but it you want a versatile capsule, this can handle both duties.

I was brewing the Singatoba up in the Nespresso CitiZ brewer for this review, and into the Singatoba signature cups. The cups shown here were designed to reflect the coffee bean and a group of children offering protection as they encircle hand in hand. Using the classic Nespresso shape, the cups and saucers continue to be some of my favorites.
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Overall, if you like darker espresso without going to the extreme, the Singatoba is a great choice. I thought that the flavor complexity was great, with aromas that I haven't seen in an espresso in a long time. I came to appreciate it most with a small amount of sugar that I thought filled out the flavor even more. These usually sell out fast, you can get them at the Nespresso Club.

At Nespresso Club


Below is Nespresso's description of this year's Special Club - Singatoba:  

Special Club 2009 - Singatoba

ORIGIN Made in Indonesia from 100% Blue Batak Arabica grown around Lake Toba in northern Sumatra, Singatoba is subject to a complex treatment process which gives it a unique aromatic bouquet.

FRUITY AND WOODY This Blue Batak Arabica from Sumatra is a full-bodied espresso revealing refreshing notes of blackcurrant buds and grapefruit along with sweet notes reminiscent of licorice sticks and conifers.

Espresso 40 ml Intensity 8

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Posted by Scott Martin at October 19, 2009 6:40 AM
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