Here in Finland, Arvid Nordquist coffee is available in almost every supermarket. Having tasted many of the blends by the big Swedish coffee manufacturer, I find it easy to understand why they have gained such a popularity. They offer good quality for the price point.
Now, this is one of their blends that I had not tried before: Classic Franskrost. Obviously, the Swedish name refers to a classic French roast. Indeed, the roast is pretty dark. Even so, the beans are significantly lighter in color than some American dark roast blends I’ve had recently. The roast level appears to be somewhere between a classic Italian espresso and Freedom Fuel by Black Rifle Coffee Company or the fantastic Two Group by E’s World Coffee.
According to Nordquist, Classic Franskrost is a blend of Arabicas from Brazil, Colombia, Central America and Eastern Africa. They describe the aroma and flavor profile thus: ”A dark chocolate aroma. A powerful flavour full of nuance, with a hint of vanilla. A long aftertaste with balanced acidity.” The company also offers the following information:
- Roasting: Extra dark (9/10)
- Acidity: Light (5/10)
- Spiciness: Vanilla (8/10)
- Body: Powerful (8/10)
- Fruitiness: Black currant (6/10)
- Nut chocolate: Dark chocolate (10/10)
Since Nordquist implies that Classic Franskrost is suitable for all brewing methods, I started with (you guessed it!) my trusty Bialetti Moka pot, and then—inspired by the ”French” roast—I unearthed my good old French press. I used James Hoffmann’s Ultimate French Press Technique which, by the way, is your ticket to amazing coffee.
The moka pot brew was all about bitter chocolate. Try to imagine the flavor of an unsweetened, intense 75% dark chocolate bar, and you get the picture. While I also detected the vanilla, it was not quite as prominent as the company promises. To me, the black currant was nonexistent. Instead, I tasted the greenish sourness of a light wrapper cigar. Quite pleasant, actually.
As expected, the French press version was more well-behaved and subdued. Even so, the general flavor profile remained the same. Only the cigar-like flavor was harder to detect.
To sum up, Arvid Nordquist Classic Franskrost is a nice Scandinavian dark roasted blend that offers better quality than many other grocery store coffees. Honestly, I did not find it as nuanced as the company seems to suggest, but I wouldn’t describe it as a one-trick pony, either. I think it’s worth checking out. That said, if you want really great dark roasted coffee with lots of complexity, I would suggest you order some Two Group from E’s World Coffee instead.