Coffee Tasting: Santa’s Dark Secret Blend

Once more I wandered to Atkinsons[1] to purchase some of their Xmas special blend, Santa’s Dark Secret and oh Santa you are a little naughtier[2] in the cup than suggested by your cover:

which looks likes every other Atkinsons cover as if they employed staff tutored in the nineteenth century. Atkinsons has an old world charm, every time I walk into the shop I think that if Dickens were to be stood at the counter discussing the novel Hard Times and it’s relationship to Preston and Lancashire he would not be out of place, and I could quiz him on Messers Chokeumchild and Gladgrind.

Also, to some of my readers who know I am a fan of decaf coffee as I sometimes like to sleep at night, you should note that this is a caffeinated blend, being neither neutered, broken, nor having as one might put it, “all its f*cking life sucked out leaving a no fun cup of p*ss replacement”.

The Taste

[Please note this is not a professional tasting guide, just an enthusiast, I have used language that is in the register of food & drink tasting only to sound coherent, even if there is some debate as to whether this is fully cogent]

The smell of this coffee completely blew me away when I first sniffed the freshly ground beans, it was so complex I really couldn’t work out what I could smell. So many scents were vying for my attention and this was not eased when I brewed a fresh pot.

The scents were not overpowering, they were all just…present…omnipresent even, each one a distinct and tantilising aroma that mingle and entice the sense and distract the attention. I personally felt there was a sense of Government Java and maybe some African coffee aromas (I thought I could detect Ethiopian but am probably way off the mark). So it would be guess work of the first order to try and decipher the beans/types. So instead I will tell you there is more than a hint of citrus in the nose, really reminiscent of orange oil mixed in with brazil nut and cocoa.

The cup quickly brings up a moderate crema, no doubt a machine would produce a satisfying top, and the first mouthful shocks you. The taste on the tongue is nowhere near as overpowering as the nose. Those distinct scents are lost and instead we have a smooth dark coffee that tastes full bodied and would, to my mind, confuse people if they hadn’t smelt it first. it does not taste like a blend, it has more of a feeling of a good blue bean coffee, reminded me of a coffee I had in Florida that was from a select Jamaican farm. It is fresh and rich and thoroughly Christmassy.

For once I am not going to try this coffee with milk, it would in my opinion completely kill this magnificent coffee. Have this coffee black or as an espresso, and have it quickly before Santa leaves for another year.

To summarise, while he’s not, quite, the Messiah, he is a very satisfying Santa, so bravo to the master mixer/roaster at Atkinsons once more.

[1] Please note that this is an Unsolicited Blog, okay I do use the same coffee shop, but they are in the city where I live, they roast their own beans and they are a very friendly and helpful group of people, so yes, I do gush about them in glowing terms. And, if by reading this blog you visit them and purchase some of their produce I say Huzzah, one for the local businesses with dedicated and talented professional employees.

[2] Middle English noughti, wicked,

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