Roast Review: Duotone Coffee
Apr 21, 2022Daniel Kennedy

Roast Review: Duotone Coffee


I’m thrilled to be highlighting this next coffee roaster - fresh out of Northern Colorado - which is making a splash in the Colorado coffee scene. Duotone is a family-owned coffee roaster in Fort Collins, Colorado that is inspired by music. In fact, on their “About” page they remind us that coffee is like music in that: “It's memorable, thought provoking, compelling, and, most importantly, it creates human connection.” I couldn’t agree more! So when I met Lael, one of the owners, at an event in Berthoud, Colorado, I knew I had to try Duotone coffee for myself.

Side B

First impressions

My husband, James, was kind enough to serve as my assistant once again for this coffee tasting experience. We spilled beans into the coffee grinder and ground them into a texture fine enough for our Nanopresso. Then we inhaled the smell of the ground beans to see what notes the grinder had opened up for us. As with all our coffee reviews, we didn’t look at the description labels of either coffee until after the taste test! 

I danced around a few thoughts and guessed chocolate and citrus, perhaps lemon? James was much more confident in his observation, noting a chocolate covered nut and brown sugar. “Maybe caramel,” he said. 

Tasting notes

It was our lucky day (or perhaps it was the quality of the beans!) — our Nanopresso produced one of the best looking espressos we’d seen in a while. Maybe ever? There was a beautiful crema on the top, making the already delicious smelling espresso even more enticing.

We took a sip… 

Sheila: “Wow”

James: “Yeah wow” 

I marveled at how drinkable, sweet, and smooth the taste was. I didn’t note any of the citrus I had guessed at but instead chocolate and nut. James noted the nutty flavor as well as dark chocolate and earthiness without overpowering the experience.

We finally looked at the description of Side B, which notes that this roast offers a 

“persistent sweetness,” (definitely!) “a framework of unrefined sugary flavors,” (yes and yum!) “roasted almond accents” (we certainly tasted nuttiness),” and deep chocolate flavors,” (okay… so this blend has it all!). 

Personally, I’m looking forward to drinking this espresso on special occasions as well as treating friends when they visit. To say the least we were impressed and eager to try the second roast in our Cuppamoka.


First impressions

We went for a medium grind the second time around, with plans to use the Cuppamoka for this roast. Both of us agreed that the initial smell of the ground beans was earthy and bright. We also noted a “bright” fruit … perhaps lemon or a tart cherry?

I slowly poured hot water through the Cuppamoka and watched the coffee bloom (my favorite part, after the actual drinking coffee experience). Once the brew was complete we had our first taste of the Mormora.

Tasting notes

James tasted the coffee and remarked that it was easy-drinking. He noted a smoothness but caught a certain fruity aftertaste. I agreed on the drinkability and exclaimed that there was some specific fruity flavor I couldn’t quite place. It felt both foreign and familiar. I had to take a look at the description!

Before I reveal it, I’ll first tell you one of my favorite parts about the Duotone coffee product pages. Other than sharing the typical origin and tasting notes, they offer a scale that shows where the roast falls between “classic” and “wild.” I love this! I learned Mormora is almost all the way to the top of the wild scale, likely for its unique fruity notes – “Cherry Jam, Tangerine, Peach, Honeydew & Lychee.” Wow – what an assortment. 

Though unique, I agree with the statement on the website: “it's comfortable and exciting all at once.” Not too wild, not boring. James and I agreed that this coffee is one to sip before an adventure day out or before work to start off the day right.  

Apr 21, 2022 Daniel Kennedy