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Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

Ryan Harden, right, and Jason Griest smell coffee before they taste it at Old Soul Coffee on June 24, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif.

Old Soul earns 93 points from prestigious Coffee Review

Published: Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 - 4:11 pm

Congratulations to roaster Ryan Harden and the entire crew at Old Soul for earning 93 points from the prestigious for its Ethiopian coffee called “Aramo Natural.”

In the high-end coffee world, this is a tremendous score – one that not only adds to the prestige of Old Soul, but it puts both the business and Sacramento’s coffee scene in the national spotlight.

In fact, on the website currently, there are only three coffees in the entire country with higher scores (one 95 points, and two at 94 points). Here’s what Coffee Review said in part about this coffee: “ Crisply sweet, refreshing, gently complex. Ripe tangerine, cherry, honey, fresh-cut cedar, hints of port wine and dark chocolate in aroma and cup. Lightly rich acidity; lightly syrupy, lively mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates but still saturates a gently drying finish.”

I happened to drop by Old Soul for an espresso when the low-key Harden learned the news. As luck would have it, I had just bought a refill jar of these beans over the weekend and started my morning with a cup of Ethiopian Aramo at home made with my trusy Aeropress. I’m not sure I picked up on the note of fresh-cut cedar, but to be honest, I’ve never tasted fresh-cut, recently-cut or old-cut cedar. But hey, it was 6 a.m.

Harden was practically speechless when he got the good news Monday morning.

“I’m kind of overwhelmed a little bit. It’s exciting. I’ve never had a scored coffee before,” Harden said while roasting a new batch of beans at the midtown facility. “It puts us on the map a little bit. I don’t know if here locally it will do much, but as more people read Coffee Review, it gets us known nationally.”

This is the second coffee Old Soul has submitted for scrutiny by the folks at Coffee Review, which is the industry leader at rating coffee. In 2011, Old Soul earned 90 points for that submission. In 2010, Sacramento’s Temple Coffee stunned the industry when it earned 97 points for its Hunapu Antigua Bourbon from Guatemala, the highest score the entire year. That probably had something to do with why Temple was named one of the nation’s best roasters by the Daily Meal earlier this year and one of the country’s top 17 small coffee makers by CNN.

As local coffee aficionados already know, we have an excellent coffee scene in Sacramento. While scores aren’t everything, this latest achievement by Old Soul keeps us in the mix on a national level and gives the city a healthy dose of prestige. Now, who’s going to make the next submission to Coffee Review?

If you’re interested in trying this Ethipoian coffee, the beans are available for sale in the store or online at $18 a pound

Call The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob

Read more articles by Blair Anthony Robertson

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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