Mokafina ”Presto”—a big all-around blend

In the past week, I’ve been enjoying Presto, a big Arabica / Robusta blend from Mokafina, Belgium.

On the label, the product is described thus (translated from the Dutch):

Presto is an all-around coffee with a rich aroma, and a very full flavor with a nice balance between soft and very spicy. Ideal to start the day.

While the company does not give away the exact proportions of the ingredients, it seems that Presto has a pretty large amount of Robusta. According to the strength (?) graph on the label, this is the most potent one of the Mokafina blends that I’ve had the pleasure of trying.

As usual, I used my Bialetti Moka pot for brewing.

The bouquet was all about a harmonious mélange of nougat, vanilla, and flowers (hyacinth, perhaps, but not as strong as in, say, Lavazza Crema e Gusto). Now, such aromas are not rare in robusta-forward espressos. In this case, however, the interplay between the aromas was exceptional. Briefly, the coffee smelled fantastic.

Considering the bouquet, the flavor profile was slightly unexpected, but no less amazing. The main notes were (in this order)

  • dark chocolate
  • a pleasantly sour, cigar-like quality
  • a small tinge of vanilla
  • a hint of figs and raisins in the finish

In sum, Presto was exactly what the company promised. It was rich, flavorful, well-balanced, soft, and spicy—just like the other Mokafina blends I’ve tested. It was big, bold, and sophisticated, and yet on the other hand it was simple and easygoing enough to be called an all-around coffee. I liked it a lot!

I know I’m repeating myself, but this is important: Mokafina coffees are very, very good. In my opinion, all coffee enthusiasts deserve to have them on hand at all times. I urge every coffee shop in Finland—and elsewhere—to consider distributing Mokafina products!

Mokafina ”Da Vinci”—an espresso masterpiece

If this was a blindfold test, I would guess I was having a genuine Italian espresso made of Arabicas and Robustas (blended to the ratio of A/R 85/15 %?). However, I would be quick to add that this was no ordinary espresso blend.

Well, that’s almost exactly what this coffee is about. Only the country of origin is different.

Let’s hear it from the Belgian maker, Mokafina. On the label they state the following (translated from the Dutch):

Da Vinci is a superior coffee for the true coffee expert. Without doubt it is one of the best and darkest roasted mixes from Mokafina.

I couldn’t agree more.

The beans were slightly darker and oilier than the other Mokafina blends I’ve tried so far. Even so, the roast was nowhere near the darkness of Scandinavian ”dark roast” blends. It was only a tad darker than most Italian espresso beans.

As I ground the beans I knew the blend was going to taste fantastic. The Arabicas smelled rich and chocolatey. The familiar, pungent aroma of Robusta was there as well: floral, on the one hand, yet slightly earthy, on the other. I could tell that while the Robusta was not going to be overpowering, it was going to make itself known in the flavor profile.

Oh yes, the flavor profile. It made me dream of slow morning coffees in Rome. Just like a true Italian espresso, Da Vinci was pretty full flavored. I detected

  • chocolate
  • nuts
  • a pleasant bitterness
  • spices
  • earth
  • some florality
  • a hint of vanilla
  • maybe even a tiny hint of licorice in the background?

Even with this much flavor, the mouthfeel was not too heavy. Instead, it felt medium light, somewhat creamy and silky smooth.

In short, Mokafina Da Vinci is everything I love about espresso. It is a true masterpiece. The combination of strength and smoothness was so well made that apart from, say, Arcaffè Gorgona, I can’t think of a better ”Italian” espresso blend. In my opinion, every fan of Italian coffee needs to try it out.

Mokafina ”BGS”—Dark roast fans: This is for you!

Here’s my third blend from my new favorite coffee company, Mokafina (Belgium): BGS, or ”Black Gold Special”.

The company’s Dutch description of this 100 % Arabica blend can be translated as follows:

Black Gold Special is a strong, powerful and heart-warming coffee with a taste of chocolate.

Now that is exactly what this blend is like.

Before we get into the flavor-profile, however, I should mention that the BGS beans looked very much like the other Mokafina medium roasted Arabica blends I’ve had. Since the other blends worked extremely well with my Bialetti moka pot, it seemed only natural to brew BGS using the same device.

Right off the bat, BGS tasted somewhat darker than it looked in the bag. It was bold, strong and powerful. Yet there was a familiar, cozy feel to it. It was ”ordinary” enough to be enjoyed multiple times a day. It was simple enough not to require too much attention, which made it a very good companion for work.

The flavor profile was mainly about dark, unsweetened chocolate. There might have been tiny hints of lighter cocoa and vanilla as well, but they stayed in the background. On the other hand, there was a smoky, almost leathery quality to it that balanced out the sweeter notes. In my opinion, these two aspects complemented each other very well.

While BGS was pretty big, it was not one of those blends that are in your face, shouting at you. Even with its full flavored potency, it never felt heavy or overpowering. Instead—a lot like the other Mokafina offerings that I’ve had the pleasure of trying—, BGS was a very agreeable, well-behaved coffee blend that felt smooth, somewhat creamy, and medium-light in the mouth.

To sum up, BGS is an excellent straight Arabica blend that would appeal to fans of dark roasted coffee. I’m sure many of my Finnish friends would love it. Flavor-wise, it’s in the same ballpark with many popular Scandinavian ”dark roast” blends. Only the quality is better. When Mokafina blends finally become available in Northern Europe, I can see people rushing to stock up on BGS!

Mokafina ”Resto”—big, refined, and excellent

This is Resto, a 100% Arabica blend I recently received from Mokafina, Belgium. Thank you, I really appreciate it!

On the label, the company describes the coffee thus:

Resto is a carefully composed and subtle mixture of the noblest and most rigorously selected Arabicas. A very refined coffee enjoyment with a delicious, mild and slightly acidulated taste.

As I opened the bag, everything told me that this would be an ”Italian” experience. Accordingly, I decided to brew the coffee in my beloved Bialetti three cup moka pot. But before doing so, I obviously had to put it into my lovely Wilfa Svart Aroma grinder.

The aroma of the ground beans was very rich and chocolatey. It reminded me of naturally sweet dark chocolate, and a touch of unsweetened cocoa powder.

As I expected, both the bouquet and the actual flavor profile were dominated by semi-sweet dark chocolate notes, and a hint of dark cocoa. In this sense, Resto was not unlike its sister blend, Mokafina Santos. In comparison to Santos, however, it was more chocolatey and less cocoa-like. The chocolatey side was also balanced out by a dark bitterness, similar to that found in many good Italian espressos. As was the case with Santos, the bitterness was very pleasant, and it seemed to come ”from within” the blend. As a result, the flavor profile was pretty robust and muscular, but on the other hand, it didn’t feel harsh at all. Actually, the blend felt surprisingly light in the mouth. It was at the same time both strong and potent, and  clear and transparent.

Try to imagine an experienced, well-trained natural bodybuilder, who is confident enough not to have to display his strength to anyone. Instead, he can act like a gentleman, always being courteous to everyone around him. To me, this is what Resto was like.

In Resto, Mokafina has created another excellent, medium 100 % Arabica espresso in the true Italian style. It is big and bold enough to satisfy any espresso purist. Yet it is refined and delicate enough to be enjoyed at all times. I liked it a lot!

Oh yes, and by the way: it would work extremely well as a base for café au lait, cappuccino, or caffè latte.

I really wish Resto was made widely available here in Finland, and everywhere else! There’s no doubt it would have myriads of regular buyers. Who would be the first to distribute it?

Mokafina ”Santos”—a very smooth ”Italian” espresso

A couple of days ago, I received a generous package from Mokafina, the Belgian coffee company: five of their coffees, and three cool Mokafina branded Ecoffee Cups. Thank you so much!

All of these blends seemed to be suitable for espresso/moka pot use. Fantastic! On the label of each coffee bag, there was a simple graph describing the strength (?) of the product. I decided to start my series of Mokafina reviews from what appeared to be the ”lightest” coffee of the batch.

So, here’s my review of Mokafina Santos.

The description on the label was concise. If I could translate the Dutch text correctly, it said this:

Santos coffee is a smooth coffee with a full, smooth taste. The beans are of Brazilian origin, the largest coffee producer in the world, boasting a wide variety of flavors.

Other than that, it only said that Santos is ”100% Arabica bonen”. To me, the roast seemed to be medium—very similar to many Italian espresso blends.

Having ground the beans, I immediately knew that I was in for a treat. I was greeted by the mouthwatering aroma of semi-sweet natural cocoa, chocolate, and a hint of marzipan confectionery. So, aroma-wise, too, the coffee was very much reminiscent of some of the best Italian espresso blends.

It was clear right off the bat that I was going to brew Santos in my Bialetti Moka. Here’s what I found.

The bouquet was very engaging: cocoa, chocolate, and a slight tinge of smokiness. The mouthfeel was semi-creamy and silky smooth, just as promised. I almost thought I was having a cup of great European hot chocolate.

Flavorwise, Santos was medium-full bodied. It tasted like medium dark, naturally sweet cocoa mixed with some chocolate. In the background, I might have detected some cinnamon as well. Accompanying this, there was also a hint of a pleasant smoky bitterness to it—again, similar to that found in great Italian espressos. This bitterness was by no means a dominant feature, however. Rather, it seemed to ”come from within” the coffee, to add some robustness to the flavor profile. Even so, the overall experience was extremely well-rounded and smooth.

While I usually never add milk to my coffee, I should add that Santos worked really well as a base for café au lait. I imagine it would be the perfect base for cappuccino and caffè latte as well.

In summary, I found Santos to be a very enjoyable and smooth Italian style straight Arabica espresso. It was mainstream enough to be enjoyed by anyone, at any time. But the quality was so good that it did make me wish I had it on hand at all times. From this, we come to my last point.

At present, Mokafina coffees are not available in Finland. If you ask me, however, every coffee lover should get the opportunity to try and enjoy this blend. Therefore, in my opinion, every serious coffee importer should be in the race to be the company that distributes this fine product.

A big thank you to Mokafina for this opportunity! I can’t wait to try the next blend!