Tips for Each Creation Coffee
Here are some of the things I have learned while brewing the different varieties of Trung Nguyen coffees. Your own discoveries, of course, may be quite different based on your preferences.
Creation 1, Culi Robusta: When you use 1 tablespoon per cup, this is a richly flavored coffee that also provides the mellowness of an Arabica… a surprisingly broad flavor with a bit of a bite. Personally, I like to strengthen it a bit and go for the great aromatics of this variety by using a tablespoon and a half per 8-ounce cup. This is a great coffee to serve iced. You can pour it directly over ice and it will not taste diluted. It requires less creamer and sugar than a typical Arabica iced coffee. If you brew it extra strength for iced coffee you may find that it picks up some bitterness in the aftertaste. However, the strong initial taste and aroma may be worth it if you want a strong iced coffee.
Creation 2, Robusta Arabica: The Creation #2 can be brewed using anywhere between 1 and 2 tablespoons per cup. This is such a balanced coffee that it is great when mild, and just gets more rich when brewed extra strength, without any added bitterness. Adjust to your taste.
Creation 3, Arabica SE: Arabica SE is Trung Nguyen’s richest Arabica with the least bitterness. It is fine brewed at 1 tablespoon per cup but I generally like to add 50% – 100% more coffee because I generally like a strong coffee and this one holds up to much stronger brewing without acquiring any negatives. It’s also fabulous iced, and I would brew it at the stronger concentration for iced
Creation 4, Premium Culi: This is a coffee that uses Arabica and Robusta but also the somewhat rare varieties of Chari and Catimor. Since it is also an all-culi (unsplit bean) blend, it has the most complex and full-bodied flavor of the TN line. Generally not a coffee for people who like mellower coffees and Arabicas, this coffee gets a bite on if you brew it strong, which is exactly what some people prefer. This is probably the favorite blend among Vietnamese-Americans, because they tend to like their coffee strong, dark, acidic and somewhat bitter, characteristics that are not only respected but preferred among people who are used to this type of flavor being what coffee is all about. When brewed at a tablespoon per cup it really doesn’t seem all that strong, just very dark and a little acidic. But people who likes this blend best usually double up on the strength and go for brass ring. When iced, the coffee can be poured hot directly over ice without tasting diluted. Some of the pungent flavors will leave a bitter aftertaste, but the initial flavor of each sip is highly aromatic and inviting.
Creation 5, Culi Arabica: The Culi Arabica should be brewed like any fine Arabica, one tablespoon per cup. If you increase the strength you may lose the wonderful mellow flavor that comes with this coffee. The Culi selection already adds an intesting edge to the Arabica. This makes a fine iced coffee, but it is best cooled before adding to ice.
Creation 8, Legendee: The Legendee coffee has one of the most balanced flavors of coffee I have experienced when it is served hot. No matter how you brew the Legendee you will know you have one of the world’s best coffees in your cup, but consider the single-cup brewer for the authentic Vietnamese coffee-shop experience. This is the one that the tourists try to buy when they get home, but it’s not exported to the US except through this website online. The Legendee creates a flavor explosion when it is iced. I don’t know how else to describe it. No matter what you have done with it when hot, or if you have cooled it for hours or let it sit, when poured straight over ice you may not even want any cream and sugar (the Vietnamese generally prefer their iced coffee without creamer). I stand by my assertion that the Legendee is the finest iced coffee in the world. Be careful on storage; the exceptional aromatics of this blend don’t survive long storage after opening unless you seal it very tightly against the air.
Creation 9, Passiona: The Passiona is blend of selected beans that are already low in caffeine. Surprisingly flavorful and devoid of any bitterness, you can adjust the amount you use to your own taste. I like it at about 1.5 tablespoons per cup, but it is fine at 1 tablespoon. It is a fabulous iced coffee and can be poured over ice if brewed at 1.5 tablespoons, or it should be cooled some before pouring over ice if brewed at 1 tablespoon per cup. It’s an excellent keeper. If I have made a carafe of Passiona and I don’t use it all, I sometimes ice it hours after brewing and sitting in the carafe and it is still totally outstanding. Save any extra in the fridge.
House Blend: The House Blend is a great all-around coffee with style, aromatics and rich flavor without heavy roasting. It seems to only deliver the full flavor when brewed sparingly, 1 tablespoon per cup maximum. When you add more coffee, it just seems to brew wrong rather than just kicking up a notch. Why fight it? It’s an incredible value and it likes to be brewed using a low volume. Yet it’s the first coffee I tasted from TN and this is what sold me on TN coffees, it’s just a great all-around coffee for both hot and cold serving. When iced it may have a little bitter aftertaste from the stronger beans in the blend, but you will love the “nose” and the taste of each sip.This is a great choice for brewing in office “Bunn-style” machines and percolators popular at church and club gatherings. Replace any coffee you are currently using in these machines with the House Blend and everybody will notice the gourmet difference.
Premium Blend: Being a little milder than the House Blend, the Premium Blend seems to be a little more forgiving when brewed extra strength if that is to your taste. Start with the standard 1 tablespoon per cup, though. When iced it is similar to the House Blend but with more of an Arabica overall taste