Results: Coffee taste test

Which coffee scored highest at Red Rock?

Coffee is the nectar of many bicyclists, and several companies offer bike-themed whole-bean blends. We gathered a small group of coffee experts at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA to give us their opinion on five selections.


The coffees were provided by Kinetic Koffee, 53×11 Coffee, Project Rwanda, Peace Coffee, and Tom Danielson Coffee. Each roaster provided freshly roasted whole beans in various blends. All coffees were tested for unground aroma, freshly ground aroma, first taste, cooling taste, then cream taste. An 8-cup French press was used, with water boiled to 200-degrees F, left to steep for exactly four minutes.

Separate French presses were used for each blend, and tasters used fresh testing mugs each time. Coffee expert and Red Rock barista John Riemenschnitter did the grinding and brewing, and lead the tasting. Here are the results.

Score keeping every step of the way.

Kinetic Koffee – Morning Mayhem

This custom organic blend, a dark Italian roast, had a slight fruity smell in whole bean, and was a bit more earthy once ground. Tasters found it smoky and somewhat acidic, with a bitter aftertaste, consistent with an Italian roast. Best with cream. US$10.99/12oz.

Rating: 14/30 Verdict:

53×11 Coffee – The Early Break

This five-country blend was medium roasted. Tasters noticed a powerful unground smell, with a flatter taste. Unremarkable but okay. US$11.95/12oz.

Rating: 15/30 Verdict:

Project Rwanda – Wooden Bike Coffee

This 100 percent Rwandan cooperative-grown coffee was woody and a little nutty in unground bean, then had a dry aftertaste once brewed. A bit fruity tasting with cream. US$12.95/16oz.

Rating: 18/30 Verdict:

Peace Coffee – Heavy Pedal

This Columbian organic coffee smelled a bit sweet and somewhat fruity unground, but was intense and enjoyable with and without cream. US$9.95/16oz.

Rating: 24/30 Verdict:

Tom Danielson Coffee – Brasstown Bald blend

This medium-dark roasted coffee had a chocolate aroma unground, then became a bit mellow and tangy with the first taste. Smooth and flavourful. US$9.95/12oz.

Rating: 20/30 Verdict:

The winner…peace coffee.

Our tasters enjoyed the coffees, but Peace Coffee’s Heavy Pedal blend stood out, and took the top prize unanimously. Every roaster except Project Rwanda offers different blends and roasts for different taste buds. Other bike-related coffees are available from Chris King and Magnus Backstedt. If you’re a coffee lover, choose something to add to your wish list (in addition to that custom titanium bike) this Christmas. There’s still time.

After the 45-minute process, which coffee ranked highest…?

© BikeRadar 2007