This could easily be one of the best coffee liqueurs out there – complex, nuanced, sophisticated. In this review, you will discover Fair Café Liqueur as I cover the following topics:
- Review Formula
- Spirit Overview
- Robe & Appearance
- Nose & Aromas
- Palate & Mouthfeel
- How To Drink Fair Café
- Cocktail Suggestions
- Recommended Pairings
- Overall Experience & Value For Money
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- Distillery: Fair. Drinks
- Expression: Café
- Variety: Coffee Liqueur
- Region: Cognac, France
- Age: n/a
- Casking: n/a
- Cask Strength: 2% ABV
- $22 / 75 cl [Buy Now]
- Parent: Fair. Drinks
Using only the finest fair-trade Arabica coffee beans from the volcanic mountains of Huatusco, Mexico, Fair Café stands out as a most characterful, distinct, and sustainable spirit, perfectly suitable for today’s palate and global need for innovative, forward-thinking companies serving a greater purpose.
Buy Fair Café Liqueur
Fair Café’s Robe
- Hue: Golden Brown
- Clarity: Crip
- Viscosity: Thick
What strikes me right away is the natural appearance and the very organic coffee-ish look of the liquid, unlike other coffee liqueurs that often tend to shimmer almost black and opaque.
This one makes its uniqueness felt already on the first impressions, shimmering in gold and amber with a tainted walnut brown color. It’s perfectly clear, not hazy at all. Obviously, because there’s sugar added, the viscosity is rather thick and oily.
Fair Café’s Nose
- Notes: Ground coffee, caramel, walnut
- Nosefeel: Warming, Eucalyptic
Right out of the gate, the liqueur radiates an impressive, lively coffee blast. It’s a rather intense coffee note, very natural, almost as if you would take a handful of coffee grounds right off the grinder. As a matter of fact, the overall impression is quite ethereal with a reminiscence of roasted flavors you’d experience standing right next to the coffee roaster.
Next, I’m met by a refreshing whiff of lemon acidity, which normally makes for a distinct layer of complexity in specialty coffee. Just behind that lies a tart minerality, reminiscent of black sea salt. These nuances are all encompassed by a smooth caramel note with hints of walnut, hazelnut cream and toffee fudge.
A slight smokiness appears in the back, as well as green herbaceousness, chiming in with the citrus quality to create a holistic stimulus of the olfactory system. For a liqueur, the nose is rather characterful, complex, and great fun to explore.
Fair Café’s Palate & Mouthfeel
- Primary Taste: Sweet, Warming
- Mouthfeel: Oily
- Opening: Earthy coffee, hazelnut cream, bitter chocolate
- Heart: Orange zest, sweet arabica, marzipan
- Finish: Long [charred wood, mahogany, coffee ground]
Again, the very first thing that I detect is this blast of earthy, freshly roasted organic coffee with an interesting and diverse profile. There’s some sweetness upfront, there is bitterness on the side of the tongue and towards the very back, just a spray of acidity keeps your palate engaged and gets the saliva going.
Consequently, I find myself wanting to go back for another sip and just take another mouthful of the Fair Café liqueur.
As mentioned before, obviously there’s ample sweetness, which should come as no surprise when sampling a liqueur neat. But then again, for a coffee liqueur, the Fair Café never feels sugary, heavily caramelized, or overly dense and cloying.
The evolution shows signs of marzipan, a creamy sensation of nougat, perfectly translating the nuttiness I experienced in the nose to the palate. Furthermore, a thought of charred oak crosses my sensory mind, in combination with dark mahogany and a charming overall woodiness towards the very back of the tongue. The finish is lingering, complex and full-bodied.
How To Drink Fair Café
Personally, I thoroughly recommend sampling the Fair Café from two different types of glassware: one being a rather traditional nosing glass when sampling the spirit neat. The other one would be a standard rocks or tumbler glass, offering plenty of space for a large, crystal-clear ice ball.
These are two different expressions I truly love to explore and compare when pouring this coffee liqueur: straight up as a soloist or on the rocks. You could add an orange or a lemon zest to release some of the essential oils of the citrus over the top of the liquid, adding an element of lightness and freshness.
Other than that, I would definitely recommend that you try a Coffee & Tonic with the Fair Café – lip-smackingly delicious.
Fair Café Cocktail Suggestions
As mentioned above, this is a fairly versatile liqueur, perfect for pure consumption, longdrinks or to spice up your daily shot of espresso. However, we have to talk about cocktail suggestions, which is where this liqueur truly shines:
- Espresso Martini
- White Russian
- Black Russian
- Coffee Alexander
Just be aware whenever you pour this into your favorite cocktail, the density and the appearance of the drink will be different because this is not as dark, sugar-loaden and heavy as some other coffee liqueurs on the market.
Best Pairings With Fair Café
In all honesty and simplicity, I love this liqueur with just a handful of walnuts on the side. It’s a beautiful match of bitter components, some of the nuttiness and the sweet creaminess that enchants the palate.
You will also find a similar sensory dialogue and this interesting interplay of flavors when pairing the Fair Café with a rather character, full-bodied Nicaraguan cigar with a dark wrapper. I chose the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua, an award-winning cigar from master blender Rafael Nodal.
I ofter state that a less alcoholic beverage, compared to ye ol’ cognac, whiskey, or rum pairing, will probably be an even more enjoyable accompaniment with your favorite smoke. Also, the sweetness of this spirit helps tame down some of the bitterness and harsh spice that some cigars can bring to the palate.
All in all, liqueurs can be excellent beverages to pour alongside your cigars, with this one being a particular favorite of mine.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
The new bottle design of Fair Café looks neat, elegant, with a clean, minimalistic design, highlighting the quality of the and the color of the spirit. The label proudly states that that the liquid is organic, fair-trade certified, and even vegan.
It’s not the most elaborate or fancy of packagings, but it certainly does the trick and helps convey a sustainable and organic message, without going over the top in terms of design and costs of material.
The bottle of 70 cl Fair Cafe will cost you somewhere around 25 euros or US dollars, depending on where you are around the world. It’s more expensive than your traditional coffee liqueurs, but definitely worth your money every single time.
Fair Café is a versatile liqueur that could be savored in many different ways and forms, whether you pour it neat, over a large block of ice, as a longdrink and in your favorite cocktails, or as an accompaniment with cigars and foods: you really can’t go wrong with this unique and rather distinct liqueur that sends all the right messages and shows depth and purpose in its mission.
"Probably the best way to get your daily dose of coffein."
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