Brew The Day
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Brew The Day

Algerian Coffee Stores — Old Brown Java

A coffee you can treasure. Just don’t bury it.

Image of Red Coffee Bag full of coffee beans — Bag printed “Algerian Coffee Stores Established 1887”, sitting on a coffee sack labelled SUMATRA
Algerian Coffee Stores, 2022

Full disclosure, I’m not paid commission by the store, and as such am not directly linking to them. This is just a review based on my own experience with this coffee.

Java is a loaded term. Many see it as synonymous with coffee itself. Indeed the Java programming language has a cup of coffee for a logo.

Indonesia and the island of Java have an interesting history, and while I won’t detail the colonial past in full, one character involved has the fantastic name of Sir Stamford Raffles, though it is unlikely that Java was returned to the Dutch via a numbered ticket system (though perhaps such provisions were part of the Treaty of Paris, who knows? I’d have asked David Starkey but he stopped taking my calls after I called him a racist on Twitter. Prior to that I asked if he’s still drinking lattes, but he claimed he’s strictly a hot water diluted espresso man now, due to lactose intolerance. Or what he actually said was “The flat whites have become long black”.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. This is a high level, class-based, object-oriented coffee. Wait. Let me start again.

This is an earthy, full bodied coffee, which has a hint of elsewhere. Yes that sounds like wishy-washy nonsense, I know but bear with me a moment. Old Pulteney is a Scotch whisky with a noted (and prized!) salt note, due to exposure to sea air during maturation. For this reason it is often called the ‘Maritime Malt’. Now, the Old Brown Java didn’t have a salty note, though that earthiness made me feel transported somehow.

Perhaps this is due to me not yet being able to place the flavour more exactly. This could be due to not fully dialling in, palate not sophisticated, or simply a lack of familiarity with the coffee itself after one espresso.

There was a long finish, which was pleasing, and definitely a coffee I’ll go back to and set sail with again. Perhaps there will be a discovery, perhaps I shall just enjoy the journey. Either way, at least I don’t have to worry about an encounter with the Dutch East India Trading Company.

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