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Review #76: Merge Coffee Company

Name of Roaster: Merge Coffee Company Location of Roaster (City, State, Country): Harrisonburg, VA Name of Roast: Accelerate Type of Roast (Light, Medium, Dark): Medium

Origin of Beans: Ethiopia Sidamo, Brazil Cerrado, Brazil Sao Francisco (1/3 each) Price: $14.99 (12 oz) Brewing Method (Drip, Chemex, AeroPress, etc.): Chemex Time Between Purchase and Brewing (Ballpark is fine): Four Days Aroma: Tearing open the bag, we noted soft chocolate brownie with crisped edges, frosted chocolate cake and a hint of red berry. The grind offered a warmer scent, with some bittersweet dark chocolate showing along with chocolate cake, a touch of char, and baking spices. The pour revealed dark brown sugar, caramelizing white sugar, and raw cane sugar. Flavor Profile: The coffee had a high entry on the palate and light body, coating the roof of the mouth quickly from front to back before circling back to the center of the tongue. Notes of bittersweet chocolate show at the outset, along with cedar and a slightly herbaceous note. A warm feeling pervades, and the sides of the tongue pick up rounded orange and tomato. Woody aromatics persist. As the coffee cools, it mellows, and its flavors meld into a balanced sip. Overall Impression (What did you think of it? Anything else we should know?): This a good introductory coffee for those who are looking to convert to specialty coffee from their usual, big box home brew. There are no wild flavors here - i.e., it is not a "fruit bomb" or tea-like; the primary thought we had was that this tastes like "coffee." There was a slight unevenness to the roast, but we don't think that impacted the flavor profile at all. We recommend pairing this coffee with a sweet pastry as opposed to a savory item: when we paired it with raspberry jelly, the depth of flavor of the preserves strengthened, while when paired with charcuterie, the coffee effectively "disappeared", as meat overpowered the pairing. Also, we would be remiss if we did not note that Merge, being in Harrisonburg, VA, is along Interstate 81, which lacks many specialty coffee options in Virginia once you get south of Winchester, VA. We recommend stopping into this shop and saying hello to the roasters if you need a pick-me-up on your drive north or south. Final Score (1-10, with 10 being the best cup of coffee in your life): 7.3 Where to Buy: Merge Coffee Company Looking to do a review of your own? Hop over to the Community and get to it!

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