Kona Coffee is rightfully one of the rarest coffees in the world. It can only be grown in a relatively small 30 mile stretch of mountain range known as the Kona Coffee Belt on the big island of Hawaii. The uniquely-suited climate of the area produces incredibly smooth yet complex coffee.
Carta Coffee Merchants is a Kona coffee company that we at Best Quality Coffee are well aware of. In our humble opinion, they are one of a small handful of companies in the industry that do Kona right.
Related: Check out our previous Carta Coffee merchants reviews.
The company recently launched their 2020 Artists series and we're excited to report our findings.
Under normal circumstances, we don't start our coffee reviews by discussing the packaging but being that this is an artist series, we'll make this well-deserved exception. The design was created by Norman Kekki. I've been a fan of Kekki's art since I was introduced to Carta Coffee years ago, when I first saw some of his previous works on one of coffee bags. The current artwork depicts the founder Scott Burr living out his passion in the coffee fields. I really appreciate the subtle detail that he incorporates into his work and think the illustration captures Scott's passion for the art of coffee farming.
Ok, as much as I loved the packaging, how about the actual coffee?
Carta Coffee Review: Aroma
The aroma was fantastic. It was full, deep, and rich. I've had their Meridian and Captain's Roast which are already excellent examples of what pure Kona should smell like. But I think their Artist Series beats them out based on strength and depth alone. It has an earthen aroma to it that's perfect for me.
Carta Coffee Review: Flavor
Like the aroma, the flavor of this coffee is deep. I tasted charming notes of subtle fruit and tobacco. What was shocking about this coffee was its lack of bite at the end. Personally, this coffee raised the bar for me regarding what constitutes smooth coffee.
For those who may not know, coffee that's “ultra smooth” can frequently lack complexity in flavor. Fortunately, this coffee doesn't suffer from that at all. The rich earthen flavor is well-balanced while also expressing winey notes and even hints of chocolate.
I try and limit myself to only 2 cups of this coffee per day. But this blend delivers such a smooth and satisfying experience that it's easy for me to get carried away. For example, sometimes when I drink regular coffee that has mild acidity, my stomach will feel unsettled and I'll be reminded to stop drinking. However, when it comes to the Artist Series 2020, it's so smooth that I could drink this indefinitely throughout the day without my stomach complaining once.
I'd definitely consider this low acid coffee that's gentle on the stomach.
This 100% Kona blend is sourced from 4 different local farms with even some Peaberry coffee beans added. I'm assuming this is where that refined sweetness in the coffee comes from.
Carta Coffee Review: Body
The body of this coffee is just as impressive as its taste and aroma. It's well-rounded and full. There's a real thickness to this coffee that I appreciate. I've had the displeasure before of drinking near perfect coffee that had absolutely no body. Call me OCD, but coffee without a texture is not real coffee. I know I know. That was a totally coffee snob comment to make 🙂
Bonus Information: All of the pure Kona beans in this blend were dried both naturally and wet-milled without any fermentation in the water.
In closing this Carta Coffee review, I can say that this is one of their best Kona coffees yet. I absolutely love the unique dynamic of this blend and it's sure to put a smile on even the most hard-to-please coffee lovers. Whether you're brand new to the world of Kona coffee or already know the world well, you'll won't be disappointed by this stellar Kona coffee company.