Coffees from the Pacific tend to be some of my favorites, as they tend to make wonderfully complex and smooth dark roast coffees. I didn’t hesitate to try the Starbucks Reserve Blue Java Indonesia when my store got it in – but I did wait until I had tried it a few times before giving it a review here. The reason is that I was actually quite surprised by this coffee and it took a little bit of time for it to grow on me. This isn’t because I didn’t care for it, but because I found it to be a little unusual for a coffee from the South Pacific. While you definitely get some of the richness that I expect to find in a coffee from, say Sumatra, this particular coffee is a little lighter in flavor and quite complex. It didn’t have any of the red berry notes that I look for in Sumatran coffees. Instead, I got a lot of herb flavors from this coffee, including fresh sage and juniper, as well as a little cedar and some dry earth tones (which I usually just call “dirt,” though I certainly don’t mean that in a negative way!).
I liked it from the start, but I liked it even more once I had had it a few times. Those sage notes make this a brilliant coffee to pair with savory breakfast foods (and snacks, if you indulge in a second cup of coffee in the afternoons) and it is complex enough to keep it interesting. I also found that this made a surprisingly good iced coffee, since its lighter feel made it very refreshing when brewed cold.