Café Liégeois Mano Mano Subtil—nuanced, yet simple and rustic

dav

This week, I’ve been enjoying Mano Mano Subtil from Café Liégeois, Belgium.

On the bag, the company tells us that that ”this blend includes, among other things, coffee from Bolivia” (my translation). That’s all they say about it, really. OK, there was the familiar graph, too. This time, it said this:

  • Rondeur: 10/14
  • Intensité: 9/14
  • Fruité: 13/14

The roast was medium dark, somewhere around 3–3,5/5. Right off the bat, it seemed to me that this coffee would work really well in the moka pot as well as the AeroPress. Again, I was right! Either way, the mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy, just like in the other Café Liégeois coffees I’ve had the pleasure of trying. This seems to be part of their trademark!

What about the flavor profile, then? At first, I was having a bit of a hard time articulating what Subtil tasted like. After several cups, however, I started to figure it out. I concluded that the main notes were medium dark milk chocolate flavor, and fresh fruits. But there was also a nice bitterness that seemed to come ”from within” the coffee, if that makes sense. What I’m trying to say is that Subtil felt smooth and slightly bitter at the same time. It was also somewhat nuanced, yet simple and rustic. I liked it!

Despite its name, Mano Mano Subtil from Café Liégeois might not offer you the most subtle flavors you can think of. Anyhow, I found it to be a pleasant all around blend that you can brew in any way you want, and enjoy any time of the day. I think it’s worth checking out! In Finland, you can get it from Kahvikaveri.

Café Liégeois Mano Mano Puissant—potent but smooth!

dav

Next up: Puissant from Café Liégeois, Belgium. As the name would suggest, this is one of the more potent blends in the company’s Mano Mano line of coffees.

On the bag, there is little information on the ingredients. The company only tells us that ”[c]e mélange contient, entre autre, du café de… Inde”. That is to say, ”this blend includes, among other things, coffee from India” (my translation). Based on the flavor profile, however, I assumed that this is a blend of Arabica and Robusta. While it was hard to guess the proportions, there seemed to be a generous helping of R in this—which was nice!

As on the other Café Liégeois coffee bags, here too the flavor profile was described by the familiar graph. It could be interpreted thus:

  • Rondeur: 10/14
  • Intensité: 12/14
  • Fruité: 5/14

The roast was dark, somewhere around 4/5, in my estimation. Just the appearance of the beans made me think that this would be suitable for moka/espresso use. I was right! (I guess don’t have to tell you that I chose to use my Bialetti Moka!)

The bouquet reminded me of pine needles and dark baking cocoa. These were the main players in the actual flavor profile, too. There might have been a hint of something floral in there as well (Robusta!), but it was by no means a prominent component. While there was some acidity and bitterness—both very pleasant—, on the whole, the blend was very well behaved and smooth.

So, if you’re looking for a Robusta forward espresso that is

  • flavorful
  • smooth
  • very satisfying
  • but something that won’t punch you in the face…

then Mano Mano Puissant from Café Liégeois might be a good choice. I think you should give it a try! In Finland, you can get it from Kahvikaveri.

Café Liégeois Kivu—CREAMY!

dav

On the border between Congo and Rwanda, the high plateaux bordering Lake Kivu are favourable to growing high-quality coffee. The altitude and the humid tropical climate, combined with the richness of the soil, give the grain a slight citrus taste, as well as beautiful persistence in the mouth.

This is how Café Liégeois (Belgium) describes Kivu, their dark roast (4/5?) coffee that comes from the Amka coop, Kivu region, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They are so right. This is exactly what you get with this coffee.

On the bag, the flavor profile is described further by a graph. It could be interpreted thus:

  • Rondeur: 9/14
  • Intensité: 8/14
  • Fruité: 13/14

As was the case with Café Liégeois’ Chiapas Mexico which I reviewed a couple of days ago, there was no information on the bag about suggested brewing methods. So again, I ended up brewing the coffee in my Bialetti Moka, and in the AeroPress (inverted, paper filter). Whichever method I chose, I really liked what I tasted.

Brewed in the moka pot, the bouquet was truly great. It smelled like chocolate, marzipan, cream and sugar, and fresh fruits. The mouthfeel was exceptionally creamy, too, perhaps even oily. I loved it! While the flavor profile was not super complex, it did have different aspects to it. I tasted pretty much all of the things I had detected in the bouquet; the chocolate, marzipan, cream and sugar, and fresh fruits were all there. But then, on top of that, there was the same extremely high note that I had detected eariler in Chiapas Mexico. As I was reviewing that blend, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. At the time, I thought it was kiwifruit. Now, however, after reading the Kivu bag description, I went: ”Yes, citrus!” In both Chiapas Mexico and Kivu, this citrusy tinge was barely noticeable. Even then, it added some personality to the flavor profiles.

Again, as could be expected, the AeroPress made the overall experience a little ”softer”. Having said that, the flavor profile was pretty much the same as in the moka version. The mouthfeel was almost equally creamy and pleasant.

Man, these Café Liégeois products are good! I really think you should check them out. In Finland, you can get them from Kahvikaveri.

Café Liégeois Chiapas Mexico—all day every day!

dav

This is Chiapas Mexico by Café Liégeois, Belgium. It is a medium roast (3/5?) coffee from—you guessed it—Chiapas, Mexico.

On the bag, there was not much information on the product, but the company does tell us this: ”Rich and complex, it reveals very fruity, exquisite aroma notes. Fair [trade?]. The perfect blend between flavor and solidarity.” Additionally, the flavor profile was described by a graph. It could be interpreted thus:

  • Rondeur: 9/14
  • Intensité: 9/14
  • Fruité: 13/14

Since there was no information about suggested brewing methods, I ended up brewing this coffee in the ways I know:

  1. in my good old Bialetti Moka, and
  2. in my trusty AeroPress (inverted, paper filter).

Either way, I really liked what I tasted.

In my opinion, the Moka pot brought the best out of this coffee. The bouquet was truly mouthwatering: it was tobaccoey, creamy, caramelly, and fruity. I could tell that this was going to taste pleasantly acidic—which it did.

There were two aspects to the flavor profile: On the one hand, Chiapas was relatively robust, with the flavors of tobacco, nuts, and some caramel. On the other hand, however, it made me think of yellow stonefruits (apricots?), maybe even some kiwifruit. These two aspects worked extremely well together. The end product was robust enough to wake me up in the morning, and yet sophisticated and delicate enough to work as a dessert coffee.

As could be expected, the AeroPress made the overall experience ”softer”, or more muted; the individual flavors were not quite as intense. Brewed this way, Chiapas seemed to be exactly what I like to have first thing in the morning: an honest, middle of the road Coffee, with no bells and whistles.

I found Chiapas Mexico from Café Liégeois to be a pleasant ”all day every day” type of coffee. Granted, it didn’t blow me away like some higher-end coffees would, but it did precisely what it was supposed to do. I will definitely order some more! In the meantime, I’ll be excited to try other blends from the same manufacturer!

In Finland, you can get Café Liégeois products from Kahvikaveri. Check them out!