Roast Reviews: Death Wish Coffee Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend
Get ready for a roast that’s delivered on the wings of screaming Valkyries straight from the halls of Valhalla. Whether you’re sipping this beverage from the skull of an ice giant, your favorite drinking horn, or as we prefer the Pipamoka mug; by Odin’s Raven once this ambrosia hits your lips it’s going to put a beard on your face. Enough caffeine to wake you up post Ragnarök.
Disclaimer: May or may not give you the ability to shred like rock god Zakk Wylde.
Continue reading to see what our brand new coffee reviewer, Sheila Murray, thought of it.
A Taste of Valhalla Java
We opened our bag of Death Wish Coffee's Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend from Deathwish Coffee Co. and passed it around the table. Deathwish is rather infamous in coffee circles for their bold claim in brewing the world’s strongest coffee using a proprietary combination of selected beans and their roasting process. Valhalla Java is a roast made in honor of “the world’s most powerful guitarist, Zakk Wylde” … would we feel the guitar solo power of this brew?
We were intent on following our noses and taste buds on this coffee adventure - only James knew what we would be enjoying, and even then, all of us reserved reading more about the specific beans and roast till after the taste testing. Read on to see what we thought about these incredibly strong coffee beans!
Interestingly, the “smell test” brought back memories for each of us. Perhaps because the coffee has that classic roasted scent… or perhaps because we don’t typically do smell tests of coffee beans, and in doing so we ended up evoking old memories of our first coffee experiences. Sheila’s cousin, Evan, found that the deep, earthy smell emanating from the beans reminded him of being at Macy’s Coffee in Flagstaff, Arizona; similarly, James recalled the perfect smell of coffee coming out of the grocery store grinder as his parents would grind their beans right at checkout.
Not satisfied with simply smelling the beans, we also dipped our noses back in after performing a medium-fine grind on the beans. Smelling the grinds, the earthy smell remained - but now there were hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate. It was time to load up our Pipamoka to see how the finished product would taste.
We filled the Pipamoka up with hot water to the full cup mark, put two scoops of the ground up Valhalla Java into the grounds basket, popped the top on the grounds basket, and dropped it into the Pipamoka. In 45 seconds, the basket sunk to the bottom of the Pipamoka’s mug, and we lightly tapped the mug to release the last of the air bubbles trapped beneath the grounds. Then it was simply a matter of twisting the Pipamoka’s vacuum-brew screw-top, making sure to go slowly to effectively move the water through the grounds. Tada! The resulting coffee glimmered beautifully in the Pipamoka.
For Evan and Sheila, we decanted the coffee into two tiny mugs, while James enjoyed the rest using the Pipamoka. Each of us committed our tasting thoughts to paper or mind as we silently sipped our Valhalla Java, to prevent our tasting thoughts from influencing any of the others. After having done so, we each went around and discussed what we’d tasted. Everybody agreed that the coffee was perfectly smooth
Sheila - Found the coffee to be earthy and dark, but not in the “aggressive” way of most dark roasted coffee. In that way, it was a coffee that could be sipped and enjoyed for a little while, over a walk or conversation.
James - Found that there was a definite earthy taste with a woody finish. He agreed that it was dark but very smooth, versus the bitterness one might expect. He also tasted subtle notes of chocolate and found it reminiscent of rich red wine.
Evan - Spoke to the lingering taste of the rich notes. He agreed that there was a taste of chocolate and also pointed out that it had a really nice color to it. He remarked that he would be happy to drink this at home and also out at a coffee shop.
The communal verdict? This roast is dark but the taste is earthy and chocolatey. The Pipamoka performed admirably in serving up a decadent sample of a coffee that packs a punch but goes down nice and smooth. We envision that this coffee would pair well with a hard cheese or dark chocolate, to bring out more of the notes that already exist. To that end, it would be a great accompaniment to a breakfast sandwich filled with a nice sharp cheddar, or perhaps simply by itself with chocolate as an afternoon snack. We each definitely “felt” the strength of the caffeination within Valhalla Java, so for those with sensitivities to caffeine, it might be best enjoyed in the first light of the morning!