Blue Bottle Kintamani – Nasty Coffee in a Bag

I very seldom come across a fresh bag of coffee that I don’t appreciate. Well, today I started pulling shots from a bag of Blue Bottle Kintamani Coffee, and I must say that it has a most peculiar and chemical flavor that I just don’t like. I imagine the flavor to be something along the line of blue toilet bowl cleaner. This suggests to me that some single origin coffees just don’t do well by themselves. Perhaps this Kintamani combined with something more earthy would bring down that tinge of nasty.

I pulled the shots short, I pulled them long, and adjusted and re-adjusted my grinder but I was never able to shift the flavor from nasty to good. I was able to dial out all suggestion of bitter and sour, but that funk just would not go.

This is a first for me. No more Blue Bottle Kintamani Coffee.

Update: Talked to a Barista at BlueBottle today and he said they’d been struggling with this particular batch of Kintamani Coffee. They are recommending that you just let it age for a week to mellow it out. I smelled some day 6 Kintamani and it most definitely had mellowed out. I tasted a roasted Kintamani Bean and it had toned down enough that perhaps a cup of joe, or an espresso made with it would now be drinkable.

6 thoughts on “Blue Bottle Kintamani – Nasty Coffee in a Bag”

  1. Ben says:

    I just bought a bag of this coffee and have found the flavor to be verging on foul. For nearly $18/lb I was really disappointed by one of my favorite coffee shops in NY.

  2. guldam says:

    Blue Bottle was offering up this Kintamani at their back window in the San Francisco Ferry Building for a while. A couple weeks after they switched to another roast, I could still taste the Kintamani Garbage Flavor. They really should have cleaned their grinder after this coffee. It lingers on everything it touches. My LeLit grinder got athorough cleaning after I ditched this stuff, otherwise all other coffee would be tainted I think.

  3. Dave says:

    You are all very foolish. Kintamani is an extremely flavorful and fruity coffee from Bali. If you are not used to this kind of coffee, it will definitely surprise you, but know first and foremost that this coffee is NOT meant for espresso… I sit here now drinking a home-brewed syphon (i used the Yama glass with a powerful butane burner for heat source) of the Kint and i can assure you it has zero bitterness and a light, fruity acidity that is unique, to say the least. The beans and coffee smell like fruity pebbles (yes, the cereal) and the taste is like that of a good peaberry– fruity, winelike, “complex.”

  4. guldam says:

    I have had another three or four batches of Bali Kintamani both from Blue Bottle and Moschetti since this review, and they have all been superior to that one foul batch from Blue Bottle. They had a bad batch, and that has nothing to do with being foolish. When the beans are good, and the roasting is done very well, then we are talking a fruit bomb potential, whether or not you are talking Espresso, or Drip or Siphon.

    If it weren’t meant for Espresso, then pray tell, why did Blue Bottle offer it as espresso? And why did the baristas there struggle so much? I had one fellow tell me it really wasn’t drinkable or reasonable to work with until after day seven.

    I am now pulling shots from a very lovely Ethiopia Sidamo Grainpro, and while not giving me blueberry bombs it is giving me a very fragrant, baby bottom smooth, and lingering fruitiness that has me pulling shots all through the day. And this batch came from Moschetti in Vallejo.

    I stand behind my review.

  5. iwa says:

    my name is iwa i am one of owner coffee plantation in kintamani, well your experience with kintamani coffee(nasty) i think you went to wrong place, who pretend being kintamani coffee maker.
    our place 900 above sea level is perfect for arabika coffee so no way will be have nasty quality of coffee.
    our green bean proces using natural mineral water uncontain any of the sour city
    -hand pick process
    -12 hour Permeentation
    -all process after pulper by manual
    – dry in para para( 20 centimeter up from the soil)

  6. Darryl says:

    I love it, but the flavor is not for everyone. This coffee is to me like some of the strange Italian wines that I love, but my wife hates. I had the most enjoyment from this coffee when pulling as straight shot espresso.

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