October 6, 2010
Temple Coffee gets close to perfect score, national attention

Temple Coffee is adding to its reputation for superior coffee. The Sacramento coffee house and roaster, was recently awarded an astounding score of 97 by for its heirloom coffee called Guatemala Hunapu Antigua Bourbon.

Big news? Actually, it's huge. Coffee Review has the most prestigious ratings in the industry and this is the highest score given any coffee in North America in 2010.

The news left Temple's owner, Sean Kohmescher, in disbelief when he first heard. When did it start to sink in? When the shop's website began getting hits from all over the country and Temple practically sold out its inventory of this particular bean to coffee lovers in New York, Virginian, Florida, and elsewhere.

Local coffee aficionados may be out of luck. Kohmescher said the Guatemala Hunapu is pretty much sold out at the Temple Shops on S Street in midtown and 10th Street downtown. But both shops held back enough to have special tastings this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. You'll get 14 ounces made in a French press for $5.50.

I managed to nab a bag of whole beans online -- $15 for 12 ounces, plus $5.45 for shipping.

Ted Stachura, the assistant editor at Coffee Review, said he knew right away he was tasting something special. Coffee roasters and shops throughout North America routinely send beans to the Oakland-based Coffee Review for an assessment. A rating in the high 80s or low 90s can help sales significantly and bring prestige to a business.

Stachura and Kenneth Davids, the editor and well-known author of books on coffee, were the tasters.

"To me, it had a fruit quality to it that was very distinct and very pronounced, almost a black currant character," Stachura said by telephone. "We definitely both really liked this coffee and we knew it was way up there in the score. It's very unusual to give a coffee a 10 in the flavor category."

Temple has only been roasting its own beans since March. The roaster is Ed Whitman. Wonder what he will do for an encore. Congratulations to everyone involved.

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