Arvid Nordquist Amigas—”Starbucks” without the ”Starbucks note”

Since I’ve always enjoyed Swedish coffee, I decided to check out the Arvid Nordquist blends that I hadn’t had yet—or at least the ones that are available at my local supermarket.

The first one was this: Amigas.

The bag description is mostly about the people who produce the coffee. Nordquist tells us, for example, that depending on supply, at least 50% of this coffee is produced by women, who otherwise are often left with limited possibilities in the rural areas of the countries where coffee is produced. That’s all very good.

The company doesn’t provide a lot of information about the ingredients. They only say that Amigas is made of ”100% quality Arabica beans.” On their website they add that the Arabicas are from Peru.

Nordquist calls this blend (my translation) extra dark, powerful and balanced. As for the flavor profile, they say the following:

  • Roasting: Extra Dark (9/10)
  • Acidity: Pleasant (6/10)
  • Spiciness: Chocolate (5/10)
  • Body: Balanced (7,5/10)
  • Fruitiness: Sweet Citrus (8/10)
  • Nut Chocolate: Marzipan (6/10)

OK, that sounds pretty accurate.

The overall feel was classic Nordquist: bold, really bold. This is the one thing I like about their approach. Unlike some Finnish coffee companies, Nordquist has the guts to be what they are. It’s like: ”These are the flavors we want you to taste. Take it or leave it.” Whatever the roast level, there is nothing subdued about their blends.

On the other hand, Amigas was not quite as multifaceted as, say, Reko by the same company. The roasting (really dark!) seemed to cover some of the nuances that probably would have been there otherwise. For instance, the chocolate and marzipan were detectable, but they remained in the back seat, while the dark intensity took the wheel. The same was true of the ”sweet citrus” thing: yes, the overall feel was somewhat acidic, but without reading the bag description, I wouldn’t have thought it actually tasted like citrus.

However, I never got the impression that Amigas was roasted this dark in order to cover up the lesser quality of the beans (which unfortunately seems to be what some coffee companies on this side of the Gulf of Bothnia tend to do). The quality seemed perfectly fine.

All in all, Amigas was just like the other Arvid Nordquist blends: it was not exactly gourmet coffee, but at the same time, it was almost up there with your Espresso House or Starbucks products. Actually, it was a lot like many dark roasted Starbucks blends, only without the ”Starbucks note.” If that’s what you like, try it!

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