Disclosure: Pull & Pour received coffee samples for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Ninety Plus Coffee is a legend when it comes to specialty coffee and the processing techniques they experiment with to bring out crazy flavors in a coffee. I recently had the opportunity to try a variety of their Signature and Innovation collection. Each coffee is unique, complex and frankly just wild. This Lotus coffee “is named for the sacred lotus which is capable of generating heat and regulating the temperature of its beautiful blossoms.”1 It is a process Ninety Plus began in 2014 to utilize temperature regulation in fermenting the coffee cherries. The result is unlike I had ever tasted in coffee before.
Immediately upon opening the small bag, I knew this was going to be one of the most unique coffees I’d ever tried. The fragrance was incredibly sweet with strong tropical fruit notes. It was likely one of the most intense fragrances I’ve ever smelled with a coffee. As I began to brew the coffee, a musky & earthy aroma arose from the grounds. It was so strikingly different then the fragrance that it caught me by surprise the first time. It happened with every brew though and was such a fun and unique surprise each time I began brewing.
The taste of the Lotus was nothing but wild. It had notes of intense tropical fruit and dark berries. Its sweetness was intense and reminded me of fermented fruit. This description really doesn’t do justice to the flavor profile of the coffee. There were so many flavor notes I had never experienced within coffee before that I had a hard time translating the flavors I was tasting into words (that doesn’t happen very often with me anymore with coffee!). The body was light, but incredibly smooth. The acidity wasn’t too pronounced, but became quite strong into the finish with an amazing sparkle. This was one of the most complex coffees I’ve ever had. It had aromatics and flavor notes I’ve never experienced in coffee and pushed me to recalibrate what I can expect in a coffee.
The Bottom Line
Lotus (and frankly each of the Ninety Plus coffees I tried) was one of the most unique and wild coffees I have ever tried. It was incredibly fun to explore and likely one of most complex coffees I had this year. They are expensive, but it you ever want to treat yourself to some of the most unique coffees you can find, trying a few from Ninety Plus is the place to start.