Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
Sweet Maria's Coffee Cupping Reviews Archive: pre-2000 Archive

2001-2002
Reviews
Pre-2000
Reviews

Brazil 

Brazil Cerrado Oberon 17/18
Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2, S/S, FC
Region:
Cerrado
Mark:
Oberon
Processing:
Dry-processed
Crop:
00/01
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Bourbon
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/82
Notes: A topnotch Brazil for espresso or straight roasts, from the same sub-region in Sul de Minas as the Monte Carmelo, but a higher level of prep and large bean size (for a Brazil). This is a fine straight roast to produce that nutty, chocolate cup with great body and low acidity. It is also a prime base for high quality espresso. It can be used in the place of Monte Carmelo or Serra Negra in blends, and roast very evenly.
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
89
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast: Full City or to your preference. Obviously these DP Brazils take darker roasts very well.
Score:
83.8
Compare to: Highest quality DP Brazil

Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2, SS, FC
Region:
Sul De Minas
Mark:
Monte Alegre Estate
Processing:
Fully-washed (wet-processed)
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
14/16scr
Varietal:
100% Bourbon certified
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/85
Notes: This is a coffee I stock only for its use in espresso blends, as a percentage of the Brazil component whioch forms the base of the blend and adds to body, sweetness and crema. If you want to experiment with espresso blending I would recommend statrting with 100% dry-processed Brazil. Then try 50% dry-processed with 50% of this wet-processed and see what you think. You will probably find a sweet crema-laden espresso but perhaps lacking an identity in terms of a defining cup character, and without the focused bite of a European espresso. If that bugs you, then you can add 15% Robusta for bite, or add a Yemen, Ethiopian Dry Process, a sharp bright Central American (10-15% max.) or other coffee to accent the cup with particular flavors you like. Common sense in the coffee world is that blends over 5 coffees are a bit ridiculous, since theres probably a simpler way to acheive the same cup, and your flavors will start to trip over themselves....
Brightness- Liveliness:
80
Body- Movement:
90
Flavor- Depth:
80
Finish- Conclusion:
78
Roast: You might not like this as a straight roast coffee, I dont stock it for that purpose or recommend it because it is too mild: Roast it to a City stage for that if you want to try it though. If you are using this for espresso (as a espresso or a portion in a blend) roast it to your own preferences. I prefer "Northern Italian" style espresso --lighter. Roast it about 30 seconds into 2nd crack, maybe even less, for that. If you like Southern Italian style -i.e. burned espresso- roast it French. Remember, "Espresso" is not the name of a roast.
Score:
80
Compare to: Not easy to compare to other Brazils since the semi-washed processing makes it sweeter. I think there are wet-processed Mexican that taste more similar in the cup.

 


Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2/3, SS,FC
Region:
Santos
Mark:
None
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
late 1998
Appearance:
1d/300gr
14/16scr
Varietal:
Mostly Bourbon
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 1
Notes: Bourbon is, along with Typica, the tradtional South American coffee tree before the disease-resistent hybrids were introduced. Our Brazil Santos is from the traditional Bourbon arabica tree, and is the 2nd highest grade available: 2/3s, Strictly Soft, Fine Cup. The Monte Carmelo has more polish in the cup, and there's a hint of herby taste here, alleacious. Lots of body from these smallish dry-processed beans (14/16 screen -fairly small), an earthy / chocolatey / peanut taste.
Acidity:
5
Body:
7
Flavor:
5
Aftertaste:
5
Roast: Full City toViennese
Overall:
17
Compare to: other Dry-Processed Brazils, some DP Ethiopians.

Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2/3s
Region:
Minas Gerais
Mark:
"Organic"
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
1998/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Mostly Bourbon
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: This is an organically grown Brazil coffee from a farm that is just 6 months shy of official Organic certification. That's why I am putting the Organic in quotes here. (All coffees I call Organic otherwise are certified and I have a copy of the certification on file). Its a great preparation, large (for DP Brazil) 17/18 screen seeds, and cups with a bit more punch than the Monte Carmelo. In fact, I think it roasts incredibly evenly too, and has a more balanced cup with a pleasant little sweet acidity to it too. Realizing that Brazil (and Colombia) are big agribusiness-type farms, that is the type of coffee production that tends to spray herbicides and pesticides, its nice to have an organically grown coffee as an option.
Acidity:
5
Body:
7
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: Full City to Viennese, or as a base in espresso blends.
Overall:
19.5
Compare to: other Dry-Processed Brazils.

Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2, SS, FC
Region:
Cerrado
Mark:
Berrador Estate
"Acaia"
Processing:
Semi-washed
Crop:
99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
14/16scr
Varietal:
-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/85
Notes: Acaia is at the forefront of a new trend in Brazilian coffee; alternative processing techniques to expand the possibilities of a regional coffee. With so much dry-processed Brazils out there, and with fully wet-processed Brazils being uninspiring, I was really happy when I cupped the Acaia as a filter coffee. But that's not where it is really meant to be used. It is truly born and bred for espresso. It can be used as a straight roast, resulting in a sweet cup with great body and excellent crema. But I have found it incredibly useful as a base coffee in an espresso blend. It is neutral enough in flavor to act as a great "backdrop" for other coffees in the blend you wish to put in the forefront, such as flavorful Yemeni or Harar. Also, blend this with a dry-processed brazil to get the best of each for the espresso blend.
Brightness- Liveliness:
85
Body- Movement:
90
Flavor- Depth:
80
Finish- Conclusion:
82
Roast: You might like this as a straight roast coffee: Roast it to a City of Full City stage for that. If you are using this for espresso (as a straight espresso or a base in a blend) roast it to your own preferences. I prefer "Northern Italian" style espresso --lighter. Roast it about 30 seconds into 2nd crack, maybe even less, for that. If you like Southern Italian style -i.e. burned espresso- roast it French. Remember, "Espresso" is not the name of a roast.
Score:
84
Compare to: Not easy to compare to other Brazils since the semi-washed processing makes it sweeter. I think there are dry-processed Mexican that taste more similar in the cup.

Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2/3s
Region:
Cerrado & Sul De Minas
Mark:
Serra Negra
Processing:
Dry -processed
Crop:
1999/00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Mostly Bourbon
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: This is a Brazil cultivated and blended from the Serra Negra farms in 2 regions specifically to produce a great blending base for espresso. Its a good straight roast for filter coffee (I prefer the Monte Carmelo for that!), but it has all the desireable cup qualities for espresso. It has TONS of body. It produces SCADS of crema. And most importantly, it doesn't have strong herby or nutty flavors that would interfere with the "grace note coffees" (Yemeni, Harar, Indonesian, a tad of Centrals, etc.). Balance is very important to a good blending base! This coffee is brokered by the respected Brazil expert Christian Wolthers ...
Acidity:
5
Body:
8
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: as a base in espresso blends roast to your taste. Also use to add body in dark roast filter coffee.
Overall:
20
Compare to: other superduper Dry-Processed Brazils.

Burundi 


Colombia 

Colombian Excelso Natural Decaf
Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Excelso
Region:
Pooled
Decaf Process:
Natural (Ethyl Acetate)
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
Varidad Colombian
Frag/Aroma:
80/ 85
Notes: There are some very nice Colombians this year, and clearly a good one went into making this Natural decaf coffee. I bought it because it is so dang good in the cup! The decaffeination process used plays a huge role in the cup quality of a decaf, and I like Natural decafs a lot. (People who look down on this process don't seem to have much experience with cupping them ...Corby Kummers to name one). One important + with this decaf is that the broker sends this coffee to the decaffeinator (Cafiver in Mexico) so the coffee is fresh crop: decafs bought from the decaffeinators own stock can be ancient, and their original pre-decaf cup quality is not verifiable. Anyway, this Colombian has A LOT of flavor -more than the CO2 Colombian we had, good acidy zing, and pleasant lingering aftertaste. PS: remember, Excelso and supremo refer to bean size and don't have much bearing on cup quality! More on decaffeination.
Acidity:
85
Body:
79
Flavor:
80
Aftertaste:
82
Roast: City, Full City, or Darker are all good! Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Overall:
81.8
Compare to: I like this stuff a lot. Compare it to good Colombians in non-decaf, but with a molasses-like flavor overlay.

Colombian Tuluni Supremo 18+ screen
Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Supremo
Region:Chaparral, Tolima
Tuluni
Mark:
Tuluni
Processing:
washed (wet processed)
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
18/19scr
Varietal:
Arabica -mostly typica
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/84
Notes: Tuluni coffee is named for one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the Tolima Department (Province) of Colombia: The Caves of Tuluni. The caves are located in the coffee growing region, above the town of Chaparral. What makes Tuluni unique is that it is one of the few traditionaly fermented and 100% sun-dried coffees. The coffee is very high grown : average altitude is 5,300 feet. I think you can taste this in the cup: more body, more fruitiness, and that distinctive taste that is slightly aggressive and bittersweet: the cup has an aggressive twist to it. Overall, no feature dominates too much resulting in power and balance. You can see this refelected in the solid mid-80's ratings. But don't think its a dull cup just because its balanced. If anything, balance leads to more resonance as you try to distinguish the alternating flavors. This small sub-region produces just 5,000 bags per year, a very small amount by Colombian standards.
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: Has a wide latitude ... very forgiving, with good character and body through the Vienna stage. I personally do not like it as much roasted City, and I like it roasted just until the first snap of second or a bit into it. So my tip is Full City to Vienna...
Score:
84.6
Compare to: San Augustin Colombian.

 
 
Colombian Nariño Reserva del Patron
Country: Colombia Grade: Supremo Region: Nariño Mark: Reserva del Patron
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 + scr Varietal: Typica
  Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: This is a new selection that is brokered by the La Minita folks, and the coffee is prepared according to their exacting milling standards. It is "heart of the crop" coffee from selected Narino (southern Colombian district) estates. This means that certain areas of certain top smallholder farms are harvested to comprise this coffee. Narino coffees (along with Tolima) are considered some of the best Colombians. It is an extremely limited production, especially since the Reserva is the Supremo grade coffee separated from the rest, and the other coffee is sold as Nino del Abuelo (quite good too). It is powerful and sophisticated. The predominant flavors are dutch chocolate/milk chocolate, especially considering the heavy body that you get from this coffee.
  Wet Aroma: 84
  Brightness- Liveliness: 86
  Body- Movement: 88
  Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: Full City, a little into second is great! There isnt fruitiness to loose, so why not underscore chocolate flavors and bittersweet roast notes. As a large bean coffee, roast a little less (or roast a little longer) in the air roasters/poppers.
  Finish- Conclusion: 86
  Score: 86.0 Compare to: Tolima Colombians, San Augustin Colombian, ones with heavier body.
 

 
Colombia San Augustin
Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Supremo
Region:
Huila
Mark:
San Augustin
Processing:
washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Arabica Typica,
Others
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/84
Notes: Coffees from the Huila region are often known as lower-end Specialty coffees. It is a Southern-most growing region, a valley nested between the coastal mountains and the Cordillera Central. They are nice, fruity, lighter body, clean, but nothing to get excited about. That is largely due to the fact that a generic Huila is a pooled coffee from many microregions in the metaregion of Huila resulting in the LCD coffee: Lowest Common Denomenator. With the new emphasis on single-origin and single farm Colombians, we have the excellent coffee from Huila, the San Augustin, as a stand-alone cup,a nd it shows incredibly more character than ANY pooled Huila I have ever cupped. The bag claims 100% Arabica Typica but it looks like 25% Tyipca to me. Still, the cup quality is what I judge ...
An exceptional Colombian with great body, balance and bite. When I cupped this initially I was sure I was cupping a Sumatran with more brightness (acidity) than most. Frankly, it was a little embarrasing to be fooled like this because a wet-processed Colombian has very little in common with a dry-processed Sumatran. They are different cultivars, different altitudes, different soil, different climate, and the biggest difference ... they are a bizzillion miles away from eachother. Nonetheless, this Colombian has an aggressive pleasant pungent flavor, outstanding body, and moderate acidity to balance out the cup. I call it a meaty coffee ...but that doesnt sound too good. it makes sense to me though... Now, I am not saying this cups exactly like a Sumatran, but just that the cups are not THAT far apart. Anyway, this has made me aware of a different cup profile that some Southern region Colombians display, a much more defined cup profile that milder, fruity Colombians, and that is a pleasant suprise. (See also the Tuluni, which is a bit fruiter but aggressive too...)
Brightness- Liveliness:
85
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: City. The body holds up if you roast it darker. I prefer a heavier roast on this coffee: Full City to Vienna. It suits the aggressive flavors. Roast it a few snaps into 2nd crack or a bit further...
Score:
84.0
Compare to: A Colombian in terms of balance and body but more than expected.
 

Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Supremo
Region:
Narino
Mark:
"Vintage"
Processing:
Wet-Processed
(Washed)
Crop:
99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Variedad Colombia
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/85
Notes: Narino is probably THE best Colombian growing region, so it makes sense that coffees like the respected Reserva Del Patron (see below) are selected entirely from Narino coffee. Last year there did not seem to be one lb. of Narino available to smaller roasters. The reason was (as I was told by brokers) that Starbucks purchased the entire crop! That's not a testament to the high quality of Starbucks product, but more to their amazing ability to demonstrate buying power over an entire growing region, buy it all, then burn it. Anyway, I saw 2 Narinos offered this year, and I bought them both. This Narino Supremo is a solid Colombian coffee, with a bit less character in the cup as the Reserva, but more flavor, brightness and balance than 95% of Colombians out there! Definitely beats all Huila coffees from this crop, and most Popayan. What does the name Vintage mean (its on the bag, and on the brokers sheet)? Nothing ...I really should just omit it, as I don't like names that have no significance but to make the coffee sound fancy.
Brightness- Liveliness:
85
Body- Movement:
83
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City to Full City. This is a versatile coffee. You will get the fruit flavors and brightness from the lighter roast though.
Score:
84.3
Compare to: Great, balanced Colombians ...and Nicaraguan.

Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Excelso
Region:
Cauca, Popayan
Mark:
Cert. Organic, Shade
Processing:
Wet-Processed
(Washed)
Crop:
99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/86
Notes: Most Popayan coffee sample I received this year had good body but nothing else. Often they were quite flavorless. I Probably would not have asked for this Cauca sample, but at the time I didn't know it was the city in Popayan where the coffee is collected by the cooperative and shipped to port. I am glad I did, because it a great cup, and an example of a so-called lower grade (Excelso) Colombian that surpasses all the Popayan Supremo samples I received by far. Could it be all the smaller beans and peaberries in the coffee? I cant say for sure. But there is great body, and more significantly excellent brightness and fruit. And it is certified Organic, which is still quite a feat in Colombia which is known for a larger use of coffee problems (the "broca" beetle) as of late.
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
85
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City to Full City. This is a versatile coffee. You will get the fruit flavors and brightness from the lighter roast though.
Score:
85
Compare to: Great fruity Colombians

Country:
Colombian
Grade:
Estate
Region:
Narino
Mark:
Reserva Del Patron
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Caturra
Frag/Aroma:
87/ 88
Notes: This is a new selection that is brokered by the La Minita folks, and the coffee is prepared according to their exacting milling standards. It is "heart of the crop" coffee from selected Narino (southern Colombian district) estates. This means that certain areas of certain top estates are harvested to comprise this coffee. It is an extremely limited production.
I LOVE this stuff! It is powerful and sophisticated. It has wonderful fresh fruit notes (currant/berry-like) but with a distinct smokiness. Its not easy for me to pin don the flavors, but this coffee has everything: acidity, body, intriguing flavors. Its just not like other Colombians
Acidity:
88
Body:
87
Flavor:
88
Aftertaste:
85
Roast: City: through first crack and NOT into or even to the first snap of 2nd crack. Thats where its at its peak!
Overall:
87.2
Compare to: La Minita comes to mind, frankly

Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Excelso
Region:
San Bartolo
Mark:
Cafe Indiana (?)
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
'98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/2
Notes: I can find the town of San Bartolo on the map (well, not the map file above, but I will plunk it in there when I get around to it), so it is neat to see exactly where it is from. Excelso is the grade before supremo but remember that in the case of Colombians and Kenyans, they grade on beans size and this has little to NOTHING to do with the cup ...his cup blows away 90% of the Supremos out there! It has great flavors, a bit husky ...not just a clean sweet mild inoffensive Colombian, but one with cajones! Its a bit smokey, a bit fruity with a note that reminds me of dried apples. I really like it...
Acidity:
6
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: City, Full City, or dark in blends.
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: better Colombians that have actual distinct taste!

Congo 
 
 

Congo Kivu
Country:
Rep. Of Congo
Grade:
AA
Region:
Kivu
Mark:
 
Processing:
washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
77/82
Notes: I like this coffee a lot ...despite what other cuppers say! Some found it powerful but too harsh, with a possible rubbery taste in the background. But brokers often cup a coffee without letting it rest 12 hours or more after roasting. I cupped this at 4 hours and identified a wild note but at 12 and 24 hours it was gone and the coffee had developed into a very powerful cup that I think many of you will like. And the price is great too. This is a powerhouse like a Kenya with less refinement but there is fruit and vanilla flavors too. Its bright and acidy, not like Ugandan. It takes a darker roast very well! Great aromatics
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
79
Finish- Conclusion:
76
Roast: Full City. I like this with a darker roast on it.
Score:
79.8
Compare to: A Kenyan but with less refinement

 
Costa Rica  

Costa Rica Dota "Conquistador"
 
Country:
Costa Rica
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Tarrazu, Dota
Mark:
Dota, "Conquistador" Beneficio
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
86/86
Notes: Dota is a subregion of Tarrazu, more remote lands up the valley than where most Tarrazu is produced. Since Tarrazu is really the Costa Rican region that produces the coffee with the most "regional character", that makes Dota all the more special. It is known as the most powerful of the Tarrazus. It also seems to be a buzzword, and one broker I deal with nullified several contracts for "Dota" when the samples did not match the legendary cup. This coffee comes from another green coffee source who has locked up most Dota contracts for years. There is no question its the real thing. The acidity is clean, citrusy, and dominating. Excellent Dutch chocolate flavors follow the acidy burst, making the flavors have a very long "sustain" (like holding a note and having it reverberate on the guitar!) in the mouth. While it is best at lighter roasts, there is certainly enough power here to take a more aggressive roast too. Its a strong coffee that perhaps might be clean and focused to a fault (as some Costas can be) but it is a must buy for lovers of premium washed, acidy coffees like powerful Guats, or even Kenyans. This coffee farm is overseen, milled and brokered by the famed Finca La Minita
Brightness- Liveliness:
93
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
90
Finish- Conclusion:
88
Roast: Optimal just before 2nd crack, but can take the darker roasts too. In fact, you can blunt the citrusy acidity by taking it a bit darker, where acidity turns to sharp roast notes.
Score:
87.8
Compare to: powerful, bright, acidy coffees: Guats, Kenyas, brightness of some Panamas

Costa Rica La Minita Tarrazu
 
Country:
Costa Rica
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Tarrazu
Mark:
La Minita
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
88/88
Notes: La Minita is a pedigree coffee for sure. You can open countless coffee books (Kummer's Joy of Coffee and Knox's Coffee Basics to name two) and read endless praise of the Bill McAlprin's La Minita farm and their exacting standards. It is so well thought of that at SCAA seminars I heard it referred to by 3 separate speakers: "When you cup the finest coffees, like a La Minita for instance ..." and so on. What's neat is that La Minita really does stand up as tall as its reputation (unlike JBM's, some Hawaiians, etc.). And it does so not by conking you over the head with its power. It's actually milder compared to some other Costa Rican coffees from the Tarrazu region. What it has is complexity, and every time I roast it and every time I brew it I feel like I am on the verge of discovering something new there. For me, it has a fresh apple fruitiness to it, and next time I get apple cider notes. There's some spice, sometimes cardamom, sometimes coriander, sometimes anise. Its always a great cup, but keep the roast light if you can ...
Brightness- Liveliness:
92
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
93
Finish- Conclusion:
92
Roast: City: Through first crack and NOT into or even to the first snap of 2nd crack. That's where its at its peak! I hear of people roasting it darker, but I think you loose what distinquishes it, plus Costa Ricans do not have much body in darker roasts (or lighter roasts for that matter).
Score:
89.5
Compare to: Complex and delicate coffees, refined Centrals.

Costa Rican SWP Decaf
Country:
Costa Rica
Grade:
SHB*
Region:
Multiple Regions
Decaf Process:
Swiss Water Process
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16 screen
Varietal:
--
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/84
Notes: I like this coffee a lot ...it is the brightest decaf coffee I have ever cupped. That's really surprising to me because acidity is usually the first thing to go in the decaffeinating process, and SWP (Swiss Water) usually does the most damage to acidity. In fact, when I cupped this I had to roast 3 other samples and re-cup it to make sure I hadn't mixed up the samples --that's how much it cups like a non-decaf, bright snappy Costa Rican! Why? I think the SWP process is getting a little better, and the coffee was from a very nice SHB* Strictly Hard Bean (read, high grown) lot to begin with. Its a rare find and I have a limited amount of this lot of coffee.
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
81
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast: City. Remember, decafs roast faster, and the color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf. Best to roast by sound --stop this as soon as you think the 2nd crack is about to begin.
Score:
83.5
Compare to: A non-decaf Costa Rican --this really cups like a regular, bright CR coffee!

Country:
Costa Rica
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Tarrazu
Mark:
Papagayo
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
Bourbon,
Caturra
Frag/Aroma:
2 / 2
Notes: An excellent high-toned bright coffee, Tarrazu region Costa Ricans are powerful and clean in the cup and display the excellent regional character.There is goodcomplexity too, discovered as the acidity fades. The green coffee itself has a powerful smokey scent, which just hints at what's coming in the cup. I prefered this to the popular and well-respected Cumbre Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Tres Volcanes, and generic Tarrazu SHB. Great at many degrees of roast... a very versatile coffee, defect-free, and a healthy marbeled appearance that suggests proper picking of fully-ripened coffee cherries. In blends, it adds a good sharp sweetness.
Acidity:
7
Body:
5
Flavor:
6.5
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: City to Full City to Vienna to French: you name it. If you get an off taste, allow this coffee to rest 24 hours after roasting.
Overall:
20.5
Compare to: Acidy "classic" coffees with big flavor: Guatemalans, Panama, Peru, other Costa Ricans

Costa Rican La Pastora Tarrazu
Country:
Costa Rica
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Tarrazu
Mark:
La Pastora Beneficio
Processing:
Wet Processed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Caturra Catuai
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/85
Notes: A bargain price for a great cup ...what more can you ask for? We bought this to replace the Costa Rican Papagayo, but it completely eclipses that coffee in terms of the high quality preparation, European Prep (E.P.) sorting, and superior cup (To be honest, I liked the Papagayo cup but was disappointed by its uneven roast, less-than-perfect prep. , and apparently poor quality milling -it seemed like not as much attention was paid to quality this past year, and you probably wont see it offered here again). On the other hand, I can only hope the La Pastor we have lasts a while, and that the new crop La Pastora that I booked will be anywhere as good as this...
Brightness- Liveliness:
88
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: City to Full City. Sure, you can dark roast a Costa but ...Are you nuts? They'll be no origin character AND no body to boot.
Score:
84.5
Compare to: Very very nice, bright Centrals

Dominican Republic  

Country:
Dominican Republic
Grade:
1
Region:
--
Mark:
Montana Verde Estate
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
--
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
78/75
Notes: Overall the coffee is mild and soft. It is clear it is an island coffee and not from a super high altitude. That said, there is a lot going on in this cup ...even without a huge aftertaste I get a lot of different flavors here. The main flavor is linked to the acidity: grapes, not fully fermented or fresh --somewhere in between. That may bug some people; I like it. Typical Central Am. acidity is judged for clarity, like ringing a bell: here the bell is rung but with your other hand on it the sound is muted. (Sounds corny, but this analogy really describes the taste in this coffee for me). Theres also hints of vanilla and spice (allspice) that lurk behind the fruit. Haitian coffee is the original new world coffee, I imagine this Dominican is what the folks woke up to in the Americas circa 1700!
Brightness- Liveliness:
75
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
77.5
Roast: While a lighter roast reveals more in the cup, I prefer a Full City to tone this coffee down and bring up some of the nice roast taste.
Score:
79.1
Compare to: Haitian, other fruity island coffees

Ethiopia 

Ethiopian Djimmah Grade 5 Dry-process
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
5
Region:
Djimmah
Mark:
--
Processing:
Dry Processed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
Moka
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/85
Notes: Ah Djimmah --even the broker I buy this from doesn't like it. So misunderstood, I don't think people really give it a chance. But sometimes I wonder if they ever really cup it, and put it against the Harars and dry-processed Sidamos. In fact, it has tons of great character! Its a lower-toned dry-processed Ethiopian meaning it has less brightness to the cup than a Harar, but it has incredible earthy/chocolatey flavors, great fruity/winey/fermented notes, and a deep resonant cup. You can find great use for this as a straight roast or in your espresso blends. Please, if you like earthy, "wild" coffees ...try this!
Brightness- Liveliness:
79
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: Full City. I like this with a darker roast on it. Lighter is nice too if you like the fruity - fermented notes
Score:
84
Compare to: Harar with less brightness, Sidamo but with more ferment/wineyness

Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
5
Region:
Harar
Mark:
Harar
Mochara
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
4d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
Traditional Moka
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 0
Notes: Harar is considered a great Ethiopian coffee. I love it so much, I offer 2 types that differ subtley in flavor. The Harar region is the birthplace of coffee, where it grew wild on the slopes for centuries before it's special properties were fully known. This Harar has more body, and more "earth," than the Harar Horse. It's true dynamite in the air popper, with a dramatic first crack and spirited puffs of roast smoke. That's just a hint of what's coming in the cup; fruityness, intense aromatics, and none of the harsh /musty taints found in lesser dry-processed coffees. These bags come with a neat picture of a child tucked inside, and the hand-typed words "Mochara Harar"
Acidity:
5.5
Body:
7
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: City, Full City, or darker. Like other DP Ethiopians, these are versatile coffees.
Overall:
18.75
Compare to: other DP Ethiopians, like DP Sidamo.

Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
2
Region:
Limmu
Mark:
Horse
Processing:
WASHED
Crop:
98
Appearance:
1d/300gr
15/16scr
Varietal:
Traditional Moka
Frag/Aroma:
2/ 2
Notes: Basically, I cupped this specific washed Limmu against all other Yirgacheffe samples, and except for the particular lot of Horse Yirgacheffe we offer, it beat the others hands down. This Limmu will easily surpass washed Sidamos, and our one broker even thinks it is better than the Yirgacheffe we sell ...but I don't; there's just a tangerine peel twist to the acidity of the Yirg. that distinguishes it. But its close! And geographicaly close too; Limmu is adjacent to Sidamo/Yirgacheffe. Another taste I have noted more lately is a honeysuckle like sweetness, very soft and pleasant.
Acidity:
7
Body:
5
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: Don't you dare roast this into second crack! I think this coffee is best air roasted just through first crack, then rested a couple or three days
Overall:
20
Compare to: washed Ethiopians: Yirgs, tea-like Harars

Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
5
Region:
Ghimbi
Mark:
Horse
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
2d/300gr
16+scr
Varietal:
Very Longberry
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 1
Notes: Now here's a Grade 5 to be proud of. Nice "present crop" Ghimbi (friend of pony pal pokey?) is clean with exceptionally long longberries in it, and green looking for a DP Ethiopian. Ghimbi has been called "poor man's Harar" because it doesn't have the soaring aromatics that make good Harar so tea-like. But Ghimbi is great coffee, with ample body, fine aromatics and a nice touch of earth. In fact, it is not my top pick in blind Harar cuppings, but does SURPASS some Harar samples (not the ones I sell, of course). It's a great base for espresso blends or a contributor. I like it as a straight roast. It is a bitter coffee (remember, all coffee classifies as sour, salty, sweet or bitter --the 4 Primary Taste Sensations --bitter is good), so it produces good chocolate flavor when roasted properly.
Acidity:
5
Body:
8
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, or darker. At City, you catch some more delicate qualities too.
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: other DP Ethiopians, especially Harar and Sidamo, and to good DP Brazil in a funny way -Brazil is sweeter.

Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
4
Region:
Harar
Mark:
None
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
98
Appearance:
4d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Traditional Moka Longberry
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Harar is considered a great Ethiopian coffee. The Harar region is the birthplace of coffee, where it grew wild on the slopes for centuries before it's special properties were fully known.
This Harar is sourced from the respected San Francisco brokerage of Erna Knutsen, who, along with Alfred Peet, formed the Adam and Eve of Specialty Coffee on the West Coast in the '60s. It is a cleaner Harar (less must and earth in the cup) than Harars we had from the 97/8 crop, which had more body but less of the prized fruity Harar acidity than this one does.
Acidity:
7
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: City, Full City, or darker. Like other DP Ethiopians, these are versatile coffees. Expect roasts to be uneven in color.
Overall:
22
Compare to: other DP Ethiopians, like DP Sidamo.

Ethiopian Sidamo C02 Decaf
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
2
Region:
Sidamo
Mark:
C02 Decaffeinated in Germany
Processing:
washed
Crop:
99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Moka
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
77/79
Notes: CO2 in a unique, direct-contact decaf process that involves no solvent chemicals. It is also unique in that the coffee is 99.9% decaffeinated ...compared to the average 95 to 98% with other processes. Customers who are VERY caffeine intolerant but cant do without the taste of coffee have verified that they feel little to no effect from this coffee. Flavor -wise, this is a very unusual cup. It originates with a washed Sidamo (not like the Dry-processed Sidamo we stock) so the flavor is more like a Yirgacheffe, and you can detect that. But there are other unusual flavors that I havent quite sorted out yet ...all I knew upon cupping it was that I liked it!
Brightness- Livliness:
82
Body- Movement:
80
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
81
Roast: City, Full City. Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Score:
80.5
Compare to: Tough to compare. Its definitely a Sidamo at heart...

Ethiopian Sidamo Grade 4 Dry-Process (natural)
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
4
Region:
Sidamo
Mark:
ETAT
Processing:
Dry-process
Crop:
00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
Longberry
Frag/Aroma:
88/90
Notes: Several key points here: this is NOT washed Sidamo. DP coffees have more body, more wild earthy flavors, and oftentimes more "regional character." Washed Sidamos can be excellent, or very blah, insipid. I love this DP Sidamo coffee. The prep is excellent; its very Longberry Varietal. The body is medium. The fruitiness is there; dried apricot flavors, and its zested with a bit of citrus too. Did you know that Yirgacheffe is a town in the Sidamo region? Sidamo is a high plateau (6000 ft) north of Harar. This is in our Moka Kadir blend, and is an excellent espresso constituent. See roast recommendation below! Also, expect uneven color in the final roast, and don't worry about that! Its the nature of DP Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees. A neat use for Sidamo is to increas the pleasant pungency of a dark roast. Try 25% in a French roast blend ...it is excellent!
Acidity:
85
Body:
84
Flavor:
90
Aftertaste:
90
Roast: There are delicate apricot fruit notes lost as the coffee approaches 2nd crack or passes into it. Roast it as light as possible, just through first crack OR go ahead and roast dark just for chocolatey and spicy notes.
Overall:
87.83
Compare to: other great DP Ethiopians.

Ethiopia Harar Grade 5 Dry-process
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
5
Region:
Hararghe
Mark:
Horse,
Lot No. 10/024/12
Processing:
Dry-process
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
2d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Longberry
Frag/Aroma:
92/90
This is THE lot that was rated the highest ever (and sold out immediately) on coffeereview.com. We are running low though!
Notes: The Harar imported under the Horse mark has a lighter body, and more fruity (blueberry to apricot) and flowery enzymatic aromas. Harars are wild, natural coffees; two euphamisms for dry-processed. These coffees have strong chocolate roast tastes, and also can have winey-fermented flavors and tobaccoy-hidey-earthy flavors. The only reason Horse is included here in the title is that this importer (Mohammed Abdullahi Ogsadey -see his certificate found in each bag above) is a good source for Ethiopian coffees. But exporters mark is still not enough: While I always cup the Horse offerings, I passed on the last two samples of Harar Horse cause they lacked the bouquet of aromas I had hoped for. I was worried subsequent containers will not be this good, and completely confident I was tasting everything I want in a Harar in *this* cup, I bought a heavy supply from these chops (lot marks) .Since the light fruity acidity and flowery aroma is the hallmark of fine Harar coffees, we consider this one to have better "origin character", the qualities that typify a coffee's origin, than our other Harar. What ...You don't use Harar in your espresso blend --are you nuts?
Acidity:
87
Body:
84
Flavor:
92
Aftertaste:
90
Roast: I prefer a light roast to highlight all the fruit notes. Roast City, through first crack and stop before 2nd crack. As with other DP Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees, expect uneven roast colors within a batch. DO NOT cull out light beans.
Overall:
89.2
Compare to: other XLNT DP Ethiopians, good Yemeni coffees.

French Chicory  

 
Guatemala 

Guatemala Huehuetenango -Catinil

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Huehuetenango
Mark:
Catinil Farm
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Caturra
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/84
Notes: A great Huehuetenango should have a fruitier flavor than other Guatemalans, and with both the Huehue's we were able to get this year I am finding more fruitiness than ever. It's just a good solid year for Huehue, despite the fact that all the Central American crops have a lower yield this year. The aromatics are quite good, the cup is very lively, and as the coffee cools you will get a better sense of the fruity, honeyed, coffee-flower flavors that are tucked in behind the bright acidity. I am not saying this is one of the more complex Guatemalans, it's just extremely likable for both the dedicated coffee drinker and the more occasional person who likes a clean-tasting, sweet cup. Both this and the Dos Lagos are quite on par in the cup, but both have uniquely different flavors, especially in the finish.
Brightness- Liveliness:
87
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City roast. Lighter roast so you don't loose the fruity notes.
Score:
85
Compare to: Brighter, fruitier Centrals, like some Atitlans, and some Panamas (but less brightness and more depth than those)

Guatemala Huehuetenango -Finca Dos Lagos

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Huehuetenango
Mark:
Dos Lagos Farm (Finca)
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Caturra
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/84
Notes: Huehuetenango is the Northernmost growing region in Guatemala, as close as 50 miles to the Mexican border in the Cuchumatanes mountains. It has the highest non-volcanic peaks in Central America! It is commonly called "Huehue" (pronounced "way-way") in the coffee trade ---the name seems overwhelming to gringos, I suppose. A great Huehue is balanced, has good body and acidity (brightness) and hopefully a unique fruitiness, usually easiest to taste when the coffee has cooled a little, and more in the aftertaste than in the initial slurp. That's exactly what this Dos Lagos delivers. The body is medium, the acidy snap isn't too extreme like an Antigua, and the flavors that linger in the aftertaste are extremely nice! The preparation of the green coffee is excellent! Keep the roast lighter on this one...
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City roast. I prefer this with a lighter roast so you don't loose the fruity notes.
Score:
84.6
Compare to: Brighter Chiapas like the La Floresta Estate we had last year. Guatemalans, other clean Centrals that emphasize flavor over acidity.

Guatemala Oriente -Finca Tres Marias

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Oriente
Mark:
Tres Marias Farm (Finca)
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Typica, Catuai
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/85
Notes: Many brokers feel that Guatemalans from the Antigua region are overrated, and that the trade isn't paying enough attention to the other regions like Fraijanes, Coban, Huehuetenango and Oriente. I cup coffees from these regions regularly. The Fraijanes this year was nice but too mild. Coban is one you don't see much. But this Oriente was really nice! Now I am not going to claim this Oriente from the Tres Marias farm was a rewrote the book on Guatemala for me, but it blew away every coffee in the cupping including an Antigua and the Fraijanes samples plus 2 Huehues. It is a very clean, light-bodied cup, with a crisp bright snap to the cup and some very delicate floral aromatics. It's an incredibly pleasant high-toned cup and surprisingly nuanced.
Brightness- Liveliness:
88
Body- Movement:
81
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: City: I prefer this roasted lighter without entering 2nd crack at all. It preserves the subtleties...
Score:
84.16
Compare to: Brighter Central Americans

Guatemalan
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Antigua
Mark:
 
Processing:
washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
2 d per 300g
19 to 25 scr
Varietal:
Maragogype
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/86
Notes: I really did not need another Guatemalan coffee, or another Maragogype to add to our list of coffees. But I get a lot of samples that I toss in with the daily cupping, and this was one. It was truly amazing, very bright, spicey, and bit of chocolate in the finish. All in all it was one of the best Guatemalan cups I have had in a few months, The La Tacita is more subtle, refined and more complex. But the intense flavors of this Maragogype from Antigua is really a heck of a good cup. I wont have this for long ...I was only able to get 70 kilos (one bag!) and there were only 3 bags of this coffee total!! There are some broken "pulper-nipped" beans in here. Its no wonder. The Maragogype is so large it is probably more difficult to pulp without damage. Also, these are large, heavy beans so roast a slightly smaller quantity than you usually do.
Brightness- Livliness:
90
Body- Movement:
81
Flavor- Depth:
89
Finish- Conclusion:
88
Roast: I suggest roasting it to a City stage, before 2nd crack begins. It will look ugly, a bit mottled, but just ignore that. You really get the full brightness from the cup roasted this way.
Score:
Compare to: Bright Centrals American coffees.

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Antigua
Mark:
Santa Barbara
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Typica, Caturra
Frag/Aroma:
2 / 2
Notes: Santa Barbara is a Beneficio, a coffee mill, that brands its own coffees based on selective purchasing from local Antigua farmers. The mill is known as the highest quality and most technologically advanced mill in Antigua, so quality of preparation is just outstanding. I am so happy with this coffee. It has more fruit in the acidity than any other Guatmalan of recent memory, and cups very well (and distinct) next to the big name Estate Guats. It strikes a great balance between its exceptionally nice flavors and clean taste ...not too clean to be boring, and has lot of that great Antigua character. Try this!
Acidity:
7
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: City or Full City. While roasting this Guatemalan into 2nd crack may produce nice roast tastes and mute acidity, you will be missing out the fruit and acidity
Overall:
22.5
Compare to: Excellent SHB Costas and Guats

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Huehuetenango
Mark:
None
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Caturra, Pache
Frag/Aroma:
2/ 2
Notes: This an excellent cup, and considering the Huehue samples from this season and last, its a miracle. I had to search high and low for this, please give it a try! A Strictly Hard Bean from the northernmost Guatemalan growing region, just a stones throw from Mexico's Chiapas region. This is a clean cup with excellent delicate fruit aromatics but plenty of punch too (hmmm... fruit punch) ...just say *way-way.* Its also expertly prepared and sorted with zero defects and none of the pods that are common to Huehues in the past 2 years. I chose this over several Estate Guats in a blind cupping, and suprised myself too ( thats what blind cupping is all about).
Acidity:
7
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: Full City, stop at 2nd crack or a tad into it.
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: Other Guatemalans, Panama, Costa Ricans

Country:
Guatemalan
Grade:
SHB
Island:
Atitlán
Mark:
Organic, FairTrade, and Songbird Cert.
Processing:
washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
86/85
Notes: This is the SWP decaf version of the exact same coffee we have non-defcaffeinated. It retained a remarkable amount of charachter through the rigorous SWP process, and its fun to cup against is caffeinated lot to see exactly wat decaffeinating does to a coffee. While it has a mollases taste it picks up in the process, this is not a bad thing in the cup. And plenty of the Guat character is there too! I usually avoid SWP in Centrals ...the acidity is the first thing diminished by the swiss water method. But this coffee proves an exception; perhaps becase it is fresh and originates in reat Guat coffee! In the cup I thought it was sweet, malty, fruity, lush, ...all good stuff!. Also, this is a cup that really strikes you in terms of its power as it cools. Your opinion of it will definitely change as it becomes tepid and you can really sense the brightness.
Brightness- Livliness:
87
Body- Movement:
79
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: This has the power to handle Full City plus ( a bit into 2nd crack, but the fruit and acidity are at their peak if you roast just before 2nd (City)
Score:
84.3
Compare to: Bright Centrals like Tarrazu Costas

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Atitlán
Mark:
Organic and Songbird Cert.
Processing:
Wet- Processed
Crop:
late 99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Typica
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
86/85
Notes: I wrote *a lot* of descriptive words on my cupping form for this coffee meaning I found it complex and the flavors alternated between hot and cool, and with minor shifts in the degree of roast. The words were sweet, malty and piquant in the nose, and bright, fruity, lush, tangy, flowery (jasmine) in the cup. Dont be suprised to see sweet in the aroma and sour in the cup; it happens a lot! Also, this is a cup that really strikes you in terms of its power as it cools. Your opinion of it will definitely change as it becomes tepid and you can really sense the brightness.
Brightness- Livliness:
90
Body- Movement:
81
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast: This has the power to handle Full City plus ( a bit into 2nd crack, but the fruit and acidity are at their peak if you roast just before 2nd (City)
Score:
85.8
Compare to: Bright Centrals like Tarrazu Costas

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Atitlan
Mark:
None, Organic
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Caturra, Cataui
Frag/Aroma:
2 / 2
Notes: We're very pleased with many Atitlan coffees this year and chose this certified organic Gutaemalan as a replacement for our Santiago Atitlan. The prep and sort is very good. The cup is very pleasant, adding dimension to our organic blends with Nicaraguan and Mexican coffees. It is shade grown, as most organics are. The certifying agency is Quality Assurance International, which sounds more like a company holding a weekend motivational seminar at an airport hotel than anything to do with organics. I roast a lot of this for my organic wholesale customer, and it's a big hit straight and blended. FYI: Atitlan, Coban, Fraijanes, Huehue (when good) and Antigua are the Guatemalans I really cup regularily.
Acidity:
6
Body:
6
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
5
Roast: Full City, stop at 2nd crack to avoid losing acidity.
Overall:
19
Compare to: Other Guatemalans, Panama, Peru, Costa Ricans

Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Atitlán
Mark:
El Quiche
Organic, TransFair Certified FairTrade
Processing:
Wet- Processed
Crop:
late 99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Bourbon, Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/85
Notes: Sometimes I think I start to beat the drum a little too hard and a little too monotonously for acidity ...Those bright notes in the forefront of high grown Central Americans and other wet-processed coffees like Kenyas and Yirgacheffe. But there's more to a good Central than citrusy bright notes, and the El Quiche really impressed me in a completely different way. It has such resonance in the middle tones --mild, bittersweet Dutch chocolate flavors -- that it cups more in the range of a Kona: balance, mildness, resonance. As an alternative to Antiguas and Tarrazus, the El Quiche shows a different dimension to the Central American cup profile... By the way, 80% of the coffee from Atitlan is grown by single family ethnic Maya farmers. El Quiche is no exception...
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: This is a mild, less acidic. You can roast it into second crack a bit, but I prefer it roasted just to the verge of the 2nd crack without hearing it actually enter it...
Score:
85.3
Compare to: Lower-acid Centrals, mild and clean Guats.

 
 
Hawaii 

Hawaiian Kona -Kowali Farms Extra Fancy
Country:
US
Grade:
Extra Fancy
Region:
Kona
Mark:
Kowali Farm
Processing:
washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
18+ scr
Varietal:
Kona
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
85/85
Notes: Kowali (which means Morning Glory in Hawaiian) is a smaller, more remote Kona farm with the right kind of altitude to produce exceptional Kona coffee. This particular Kona Extra Fancy (highest grade) from this years crop is a new experience in Kona for me. It is less of the typical clean, light-bodied, mildly acidic Kona coffees, and actually has a pleasant bittersweet that emerges in a slightly darker roast. This spicy pungency also lingers for a surprisingly long aftertaste. As the cup cools the flavors emerge. Its not the typically sweet coffee I anticipate, and I like these kinds of suprises. The coffee is perfectly prepared and the care and labor put into this coffee shows when examining the green beans. Large bean Konas do resist the cracks a bit more than other coffees, a 16-17 screen Guatemalan for example. So listen carefully to the cracks (in my Hearthware Precision the first crack is quite explosive with this coffee). I have enjoyed these unique flavors the Kowali Extra Fancy has to offer at roasts that range from City/right on the verge of 2nd crack, to Full City/about 20 seconds into 2nd crack. You can get a neat cup at Vienna roast too.
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
85
Flavor- Depth:
86
Finish- Conclusion:
87
Roast: See above: City through Vienna, Surprisingly enough. I thought this cup improved after 48 hours resting, brewed a little strong in the French Press, and cooled a bit from brew temperature.
Score:
85.5
Compare to: Good mild coffees, but a bit distinct from the typical sweet Kona cup.

Hawaiian Kona -Greenwell Farms Extra Fancy
Country:
US
Grade:
Extra Fancy
Region:
Kona
Mark:
Greenwell Farm
Processing:
washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
18+ scr
Varietal:
Kona
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/86
Notes: This is a large bean, perfect, top grade (Extra Fancy) screen Kona from the 99/00 crop. I have had a very hard time finding exceptional Kona from the new crop samples. The prices were up, and the early crop samples seemed flat. So I was very happy when the Greenwell sample arrived. Its a "model farm" and mill in terms of quality : they operate on of the finest coffee mills in the islands, milling coffee from not only their own lands, but many top farms. This is the type of Kona that deserves its price: perfectly prepped, huge bean, nice aromatics, complexity, and that hint of spice that distinguishes Kona from other washed coffees. Remember the Kona coffee scandal? Well, this is the type of Kona that nobody could fake, not in size, appearance or cup qualities. It rates close to the excellent Haka Nui I stocked for a brief time in late '99. It's a clean, lighter body cup with nice acidity (sometimes I think I get a piney flavor from this Kona), and hints of cinnamon.
Brightness- Liveliness:
87
Body- Movement:
83
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: Please don't over-roast your Kona! Keep it light --through first crack, let it go a bit then shut it down before 2nd crack...
Score:
85
Compare to: Good mild coffees.

Country:
USA
Grade:
Estate Grade
Region:
Kona, Hawaii
Mark:
Eames Farm
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18 screen
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: I gave Konas a real good chance this year at the cupping table. Some matched the quality of a good Mexican. Others didnt. Next to the Kauai coffees they all seemed like Kenyas (this is not praise for Kona, just scorn for Kauai), but none good justify the price. Then I received this humble little sample from a small farm whose main crop is ....hand-fed baby Amazon Parrots -no kidding. Whether the Eames farm are just incidental coffee farmers, contracting a mill to do their processing for them while they tend their birds matters not to me. The cup was the best hands down. It has the mild, seductive acidity and nice spice flavors that make for a rare cup of Kona that meets expectations. The prep is absolutely beautiful ...flawless with a lush jade color. Estate Grade is not the most technical gradeing term for HI coffees, but what it means is the coffee was certified and sold before sorting into Extra Fancy, Fancy and Prime. This screens as 17 to 19
Acidity:
7
Body:
8
Flavor:
8
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Light!, through first crack, not to 2nd..
Overall:
24
Compare to: a great, sweet, seductive cup of coffee!

Country:
USA
Grade:
n/a
Region:
Maui, Hawaii
Mark:
Kaanapali Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
15 screen
Varietal:
Yemen Moka
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Traditional Yemen Moka seedstock is the defining factor in the character of this coffee. From the perfect little (miniscule!) seeds to the fruity acidity in the cup, this coffee is like a Yemen without the edges. Its a refined cup, with nice maple syrup roast taste, excellent body, delicate. It shows no signs of sourness when roasted light, which IS how this coffee begs to be roasted. I think it is best in an air type roaster between Agtron 70 ( I said Light!) and Agtron 55. That means you roast it through first crack and stop. Best when rested 2 dayst nice after 12 hours too. This coffee is both mechanically- and hand-picked
A very fun coffee to see and to roast!
They have a web site, but not a TON of information there
Acidity:
7
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Light!, through first crack, not near 2nd..
Overall:
22.5
Compare to: Yemen, sort of, but not really!

Honduras 

Country:
Honduras
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Marcala
Mark:
None
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17/18 scr
Varietal:
Big stuff... Caturra?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: This is a mild, sweetly spicy cup with good body, and by far the finest Honduran coffee I have ever had. Hondurans are often very soft, insipid coffees, often conscribed to the sad purpose of ...sob ...chemical flavoring! This is a high grown coffee though, and shows some wonderful, subtle qualities. I bought one bag, and soon called David at Royal Coffee about setting aside more for future deliveries. He informed that some horrid roaster out there had just bought the remaining 65 bags for ...gasp... flavoring ...that nasty, self-loathing scourge of the secialty coffee trade bent on becoming a soft drink for the millenium. You remember Wine Coolers, don't you??? and now Hurricane Mitch!
Acidity:
4
Body:
6
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
5
Roast: City to Full City to enjoy a sweet, pleasant cup
Overall:
16.5
Compare to: Mexican, Indians, JBM, island coffees

India 

Indian Peaberry -Pearl Mountain Estate
Country:
India
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mysore
Mark:
Pearl Mountain Estate
Processing:
Wet-processed (Plantation)
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
PEABERRY
Varietal:
Kents Varietal
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82 /84
Notes: Coffees like this can convince you that India is overlooked as a growing origin. Ans this Peaberry from the Pearl Mountain Estate surpasses last years crop from the same farm in every dimension. I really liked last years crop; balanced, nice body, a pleasant but mild brightness (acidity). But this years has more body, more flavor, more brightness and cups much more like an Indonesian than before. Still, it is the class of balanced, mild coffees. The flavors are well-defined: a tad earthy and a bit of parchment and spice. There's a nice nutty roast taste that develops in the Full City stage. The acidity is bright and provides a nice balance to the other flavors. As a peaberry it roasts a bit faster than the "flat bean" version of this coffee, so keep an eye on the roast and be prepared to manually stop it. My favorite roast for this is a few snaps into 2nd crack, so keep your ears open.
Brightness- Livliness:
84
Body- Movement:
87
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: Full City, see above
Score:
84.0
Compare to: Indians, maybe some Indonesians like Timor and Papua New Guinea, but also has the character of some Brazils.

Country:
India
Grade:
Kaapi Royale
Region:
S. India
Mark:
Kaapi Royale
Processing:
washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17scr
Varietal:
Coffea Canephora-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
n/a
Notes: Kaapi Royale is actually a grade of coffee that originates with Robusta Parchment (which means that ths is a washed or wet-processed Robusta) grade AB but is sorted and screened to exacting standards. It is hand sorted, electronic color-sorted, rescreened to 17/64ths (very large for a Robusta). What is clear is that along with removing the off beans, much of the off flavors synonymous with Robusta are minimized or completely absent, such as rubbery tastes. While the Robusta seed stock still is easily identified in the cup, the Robusta strengths are maximized: body, crema, and pleasant hardness that cuts through milk drinks .
Brightness- Livliness:
n/a
Body- Movement:
n/a
Flavor- Depth:
n/a
Finish- Conclusion:
n/a
Roast: Northern Italian Espresso is roasted to the darker side of Full City. Southern italian Espresso is basically in the French stage.
Score:
n/a
 

Country:
India
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mysore
Mark:
Kents Cultivar
Processing:
Dry-processed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17scr
Varietal:
Kents
Frag/Aroma:
1/1
Notes: A wonderful mild coffee with rich, deep acidity that reminds me alternately of red wine and black cherries. The body is outstanding, but overall it might be a bit dull if you are used to Estate Kenyas and musty Sumatras. Never the less, there is something deep and luxurious here ...I actually cupped it against the Mavis Bank Estate Jamaican, and it holds up very well in the cup against a coffee that's 5x the price. (Not suprising though, against a JBM Mountain coffee). But if you buy milder coffees, Mexicans, Colombians etc, geez ...give this a try! You cant drink Yemen Hirazi every day! Hint: incredible crema production from this coffee for espresso blend bases!
Acidity:
6.5
Body:
6.5
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
5
Roast: City is great, Full City is fine, dark roasts make it indistinguishable.
Overall:
18.5
Compare to: Lush, deep, mild (low-acid) coffees.

Indonesia (for each specific island, see that section e.g. Sumatra, Sulawesi, Timor, etc.)   

Jamaica 

Jamaica Blue Mountain Mavis Bank Estate #1
Country:
Jamaica
Grade:
1
Region:
Blue Mountain
Mark:
Mavis Bank Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
18scr
Varietal:
Jamaica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80/81
Notes: True Blue Mountain is an unusual coffee; it has good body, and some very interesting mild nutty flavors with interesting herbal falvors that remind me sometimes of chamomile, sometimes of spice. There are only 4 trade names that can legally call their product Blue Mountain coffee: Wallenford, Mavis Bank, Old Tavern and one other I can never remember. So beware of imposters. Its fun to roast Blue Mountain and find out what this highly touted coffee is all about when it is fresh ... and why it ranks among the better Mexican coffees in terms of cup quality. But remember, this is an "island profile" coffee; smooth, mild, balanced ...and oh so so so expensive. Not huge fireworks here... I think this lot of Jamaican is the best I have ever had in terms of up quality and preparation of the green coffee. Personally, I will not consider offering any other Jamaican coffee, especially Wallenford. I have seen too many insect-damaged coffees from that source, and cabbage-like flavors in the cupping samples.
Brightness- Livliness:
82
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast: This has a lot of body, and I am suprised that it can take a real Full City roast; a few pops into 2nd crack. No darker though...
Score:
82.2
Compare to: Island coffee profile --mild but with depth and complexity.

Java 

Java Governement Estate Blawan '00 Crop
Country:
Indonesia
Grade:
1
Island:
Java
Mark:
Blawan (Government)
Estate
Processing:
washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
Sumatra
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
78/82
Notes: I have avoided buying Java for 2 seasons now based on outrageous prices and extremely poor, no ... absolutely crappy, quality. Not having Java came to symbolize the fact that I wouldn't bow to pressures to stock a major origin if I didnt think it was good; quality would reign supreme! But here I am upping a very nice crop year /2000 government estate Java sample. It has all the oily body that you would want from a Java -which is ALL about body, but the lighter sample roasts have great brightness balancing out the cup. This works as a straight roast, not just as a Mokha-Java blender and I suggest trying it a bit lighter than you might usually roast a Java. By the way, there is "Government Estate" Java, from the 6 old farms that date back to Dutch colonialism, and "Private Estate" Java. Government Estate is unvariably preferrred as they higher quality coffee although there are occassional exceptions.
 
We recently switched from Kayumas Estate to Blawan Estate, based on the mid-crop samples from both. I usually prefer Kayumas but this Blawan was really nice, whereas the early-year picking of Blawan was not as good as the Kayumas. Anyway, thats why I cup ...because you never know which coffee in a blind, unbiased cupping will prove to be the best!
Brightness- Livliness:
80
 
Body- Movement:
95
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
81
Roast: Typically this is a Full City coffee, but try it lighter and be amazed!
Score:
83.3
Compare to: Sulawesi without earthiness, Sumatra without without mustyness, flowers without tears (just kidding about those first two)!


Country:
Indonesian Java
Grade:
1
Island:
Java
Mark:
AGED!
Processing:
Semi-Washed, Aged
Crop:
96/97
Appearance:
2d/300gr
18/19scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
2 / 2
Notes: oh my, this is really what I expect from Aged coffee. It is powerful, pungent, smokey and complex. I have roasted it and noticed acidity! But then the next time I brew it it seems to have changed its character, and the strong smokey aged tastes prevail. I chose this coffee for its complexity, alternating tastes that form a twisty narritive when you try to tell someone what this cup is about. Its aged at least three years now, and is definitely enlarged from the process and lighter (like our monsooned malabar). But its moisture still tests at 10.8% so it has very normal behavior in the roaster in terms of crack times and temperatures.
Acidity:
5.5
Body:
7.5
Flavor:
8
Aftertaste:
7.5
Roast: I like it best at "an aggressive Full City Roast" stage ...let it go a few snaps into 2nd crack. Allow this coffee to rest 2-3 days (if you can wait!) for fully developed flavors in the cup.
Overall:
24
Compare to: This is a powerful, smokey, earthy coffee with low acidity and lots of body. It is not for everyone!

Kenya 

Kenya AA Auction Lot '00 - Samburu Estate
Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt. Kenya region
Mark:
Samburu Estate Auction Lot
Processing:
Washed (wet-processed)
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/84
Notes: Samburu offers a contrasting cup to the bright, citrusy Kenyas this year (like the Nyanja and Kiunyu). The lower acidity (I am speaking in relative terms here ...Kenyas are all bright coffees) is suplemented by great depth, and that prized Kenyas "wineyness". The aftertaste is extremely long too. And the body, combined with this wineyness makes me think of Merlot (but hey, this comes from limited experience in wine long ago ...I am not a wine drinker!) Kenays are exciting because they offer great range and depth. If you like the basic cup profile ... clean, bright ...then you will love to try each and appreciate the diffences. Some are subtle aromatic differences or fleeting flavors that come and go quickly at some part of the tasting experience. These are due to the high concentrations of very delicate volitile acids, in particular the chlorogenic acid group.Some of these flavors are not so subtle, beause it is definitely a powerful coffee too, especially as the cup cools a bit. Try Samburu! Try them all!
Brightness- Liveliness:
87
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
89
Finish- Conclusion:
90
Roast: As the other Kenyas, I prefer City, before any snaps of the Second Crack can be heard. But this is very nice roasted darker to Full City or frther into the other side of Second Crack!
Score:
86.66
Compare to: Great Auction Lot Kenyas!

Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Kirinyaga region
Mark:
Nyanja Farm
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
Main Crop 98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
NOT
Riuri 11
Frag/Aroma:
2/ 3
Notes: Too often when writing about Kenyas you find yourself slipping into worn out cliches about nippy acidity that strikes the center front of the tongue, about a bit of wineyness and fruity/berry notes. Each Kenya is really quite different, but the problem of cupping them is that the powerful aftertastes carry from one sample to the next, and all the intense heady flavors simply blow out your pallete. That's why I missed this gem, the Nyanja farm from the 98/99 auctions. Its the citrusy kind of Kenya I like (reminds a cross between last years Kiungu's citrus and Mweiga's berry), the one with such a powerful nose that I can walk by a half-consumed cup an hour later and smell it ...cold! ...from 5 feet away! That's really amazes me, since all the lively and volitile aromatics released in brewing should have evaporated or steamed away. But that's Kenya!
Acidity:
8
Body:
7
Flavor:
8
Aftertaste:
8
Roast: City-Full City for maximum character, but a coffee this powerful won't hide behind darker roast tastes either.
Overall:
25.5
Compare to: other estate Kenyans, bright acidy Centrals

Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AB
Region:
Slopes of Mt Kenya
Mark:
Gaturiri Farm
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
Main Crop 98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
NOT
Riuri 11
Frag/Aroma:
2/ 3
Notes: Kenya is 1 of 2 countries that grades coffee by screen size (the other is Colombia). Screen is not very relevent to cup quality! This AB Grade Kenya can kick most AA's in the hiney! It is a full-bore bright coffee, with enough lemony acidity to cook raw fish and a neat lemon-peel zest in the finish. Behind that is good roast taste "chocolate", which makes this coffee ideal for those who want to take their Kenya into an aggressive full city roast (a tad into 2nd crack). While this coffee's AA version topped www.coffeereview.com's Kenya cupping (and given that AA and AB's dont differ much in the cup) I differ with their cupping results. This is a powerful lemony / tangy coffee! It is a THRILL to cup! Gaturiri rocks ...it outcupped most 98/99 main crop samples I received, so I immediately snapped up more bags of it that were still available from late last season. A great 98 can beat a medocre 99 and Gaturiri is proof!
Acidity:
9
Body:
7
Flavor:
8
Aftertaste:
8
Roast: City-Full City for maximum character, but a coffee this powerful wont hide behind darker roast tastes either.
Overall:
26.5
Compare to: other estate Kenyans. If you like powerful Centrals, you need to explore these coffees too.

Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Slopes of Mt Kenya
Mark:
Kiungu Farm
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
Main Crop 98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
NOT
Riuri 11
Frag/Aroma:
2/ 3
Notes: We were lucky to get another stock of Kenya AA from the Main Crop at a time when the second picking, called the Fly Crop, is arriving. And then it's an estate coffee, Kiungu, that I cupped very vigorously against 8 competing samples, some generic AA, 4 other estates too. Kiungu is the most powerful; the acidity will make you pucker but there's depth and aftertaste too. It has a cranberry/lemony acidity, sharp and sweet t the same time. It strikes you at the tip and down the center of the tongue ..that's the nippyness of high acidity. Very nice stuff, fair price for a great Kenya AA ...no flies. I have also seen this coffee called Kiunyu on the coffeereview.com web site recently... dont ask me why, Kiungu is correct.
Acidity:
8
Body:
6
Flavor:
8
Aftertaste:
8
Roast: City-Full City for maximum character, but a coffee this powerful wont hide behind darker roast tastes either.
Overall:
25.5
Compare to: other estate Kenyans, powerful Zambians or Zimbabwes, Malawi. If you like powerful Centrals, you need to explore these coffees too.

Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt Kenya
Mark:
KirikoFarm, Main Crop Kenya 99 Auction Lot
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
88/90
Notes: This is the powerful, piercing, zesty, bright Kenya that I love ...like somone squeezed lemon juice in the coffee (well, not really -but you know what I mean). It basically was the broker's favorite, and a real standout in a Kenya crop year that has a few good ones and a majority of mediocre coffees --especially the generic AA's. It sold out the minute it hit port, and the only way I was able to squirrel some away was to buy it blind, but withold the right to rejct the coffee pending a cupng of the sample. Needless to say, Idid not reject it. If you like Kenya, you wont either.
Brightness- Livliness:
93
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
92
Roast: It has the power to take a Full City + roast and retain its character, but I like it at City, before 2nd crack.
Score:
88.8
Compare to: Kenyans ..what else? For those who like bright, powerful, clean (not earthy) coffees!

Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt Kenya
Mark:

GichunjiFarm, Main Crop

Kenya 99 Auction Lot

Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
85/87
Notes: I think there are 2 basic Kenya profiles that are both uniquely enjoyable. One is the bright piercing citrusy Kenya that nips at your tounge (acidity is sensed in the front and frontal sides of the tongue). The other has berry and other fruit notes, more winey/fermented, deeper. Both are imcomparable coffees, and I really enjoy them both equally. The Gichunji is the later. It's fruit alternates between grape and black currant, still bright, a little sour. It finishes with some spice. Its that sort of alternating tastes that defines complexity and makes Kenyas any cuppers favorite --if it doesnt overpower your senses and force you to take a day off to recover them. Sold out at the brokerage 2 days after it hit port!
Brightness- Livliness:
86
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
90
Finish- Conclusion:
88
Roast: It has the power to take a Full City + roast and retain its character, but I like it at City, before 2nd crack.
Score:
86.6
Compare to: Kenyans ..what else? For those who like bright, powerful, clean (not earthy) coffees!

Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt Kenya
Mark:
KirikoFarm, Main Crop Kenya 99 Auction Lot
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
88/90
Notes: This is the powerful, piercing, zesty, bright Kenya that I love ...like somone squeezed lemon juice in the coffee (well, not really -but you know what I mean). It basically was the broker's favorite, and a real standout in a Kenya crop year that has a few good ones and a majority of mediocre coffees --especially the generic AA's. It sold out the minute it hit port, and the only way I was able to squirrel some away was to buy it blind, but withold the right to rejct the coffee pending a cupng of the sample. Needless to say, Idid not reject it. If you like Kenya, you wont either.
Brightness- Livliness:
93
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
92
Roast: It has the power to take a Full City + roast and retain its character, but I like it at City, before 2nd crack.
Score:
88.8
Compare to: Kenyans ..what else? For those who like bright, powerful, clean (not earthy) coffees!

Kenya AB - Main Crop
Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AB
Region:
--
Mark:
--
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99 Main Crop
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
--
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/85
Notes: This coffee is a real surprise. It has absolutely no pedigree. Its a smaller beans size AB, it's a generic lot (not a farm-specific Auction Lot), and its a little tired being from the 98/99 auctions. Okay, that being said --Its a great cup! The only thing it lacks is aftertaste, but it is really a neat, fruity clean Kenyan and at a truly un-Kenya-like price. Home roasters who have been around a while know that I really enjoy finding a great coffee under common markings ...Its a challenge, and a reason to continuously cup the pedigree Estate coffees against the generic origin-specific high grown lots of arabicas. (As well as being a way for me to validate the REASON we focus on the true top 5% of coffees that are true Specialty --because they ARE better than 95% of the rest.) Anyway, try this Kenya and you will know exactly what I mean. Its bright, its clean, its pleasant, its got that great acidy snap to the cup, and nice currant-like fruit notes.
Brightness- Liveliness:
89
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
86
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: Its great roasted to Full City, but since this isn't one of those really expensive Kenyas, try a Vienna roast on it too. You'll see how dark, pruney pungent flavors emerge in darker roast Kenyas.
Score:
85.3
Compare to: Good Kenya!

Kenya AA Auction Lot '00 - Nyanja Estate
Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt. Kenya region
Mark:
Nyanja Estate Auction Lot
Processing:
Washed (wet-processed)
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
86/86
Notes: Nyanja is a name we have seen before at Sweet Maria's. It was a bright, citrusy Auction Lot we bought from a New York broker in the early 98/99 season. Its actually rare to see the same Estate name twice. Why? Because these are very small lots of coffee (60-80 bags, often less) and theres lots of buyers worldwide. Also, the quality varies so you can't count on the same farm being the same cup from year to year ...that's just the nature of these coffees where so many different factors such as climate and rainfall patterns, play a huge part in the cup quality. But in this case, Nyanja reappears on the "in transit" list of a broker in San Francisco and I put in an SAS (sample-approval based) order for it to secure a certain number of bags. Part luck, part experience ...the coffee surpasses all the other Kenya Auction Lots in the shipment ... and it is sold out when it hits shore. So here it is, many of you remember it as a great kenya in 1998 from us, and you will NOT be dissapointed this time. Once again, bright, tangerine flavors, light body, powerful, great aftertaste ... a favorite summer coffee too.
Brightness- Liveliness:
91
Body- Movement:
83
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
90
Roast: City to Full City. I like Kenya roasted a bit lighter so as not to obscure the great subtle flavors due to its origin.
Score:
87.33
Compare to: Great Auction Lot Kenyas!

Kenya AA - Kirinyaga
Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Kirinyaga
Mark:
Kirinyaga
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99 Main Crop
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
not new hybrids
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/86
Notes: Kirinyaga is the name of a particular exporter who adopted the name of the subregion the coffee comes from. Like a vinter blends from specific areas of a vineyard to produce the farms wine, Kirinyaga blends from this region, which is Northwest of nairobi at 1500 to 2100 meters altitude. The results are a consistent cup from year to year than auction-lot estate Kenyas*, and an excellent cup at that! It beats an generic AA or AB by far... Along with plenty of black currant, I get a hint of caraway and a wild leatheryness too. This coffee is powerful, and can take on a broader range of roasts without relinquishing its origin character to roast tastes.It has a smoother acidity than others and perhaps more fruity.
*this is why we don't buy from the same Kenya farms from year-to-year; Gaturiri Estate may be explosive in 97/98 (it was) and a dud in 98/99
Brightness- Livliness:
89
Body- Movement:
85
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
88
Roast: While peak origin character is found in City roasts or Full City up to the verge of 2nd crack, this coffee can handle a more aggressive roast too.
Score:
86.6
Compare to: Fruity auction-lot Kenyas, but not to those generic lots of "Kenya AA" --much better than that!

Kenya AA Auction Lot '00 - Kiunyu Estate
Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt. Kenya region
Mark:
Kiunyu Estate Auction Lot
Processing:
Washed (wet-processed)
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/86
Notes: Kiunyu was the first Auction Lot sample from the '00 event that I was really excited about. Everyone has been talking about the high auction prices and the lower general quality this year. While it may be true, there's always going to be a handful of fine, complex coffees to be found. And the brokers and roasters who spend a lot of time and effort cupping will be the ones who have them! Kiunyu is a bright, citrusy cup that I sometimes get a neat corrander note from (usually on the first sip of the first cup from a French Press. It also has some degree of winey-fruitiness that Kenyas are famous for, and you can detect this easily in the aroma as the coffee brews. I found it right away in this coffee, but when I went back to the cup I couldn't. Alas, that's part of the joy of coffee: many of the flavors come from volatile aromatic components that are distilled off the coffee with the steam in the first minute after brewing and serving. The body is light, and I preferred it roasted to a point just before the second crack and brewed a bit strong. Don't ask me to pick my favorite from the AL (auction lot) Kenyas ...I love each one for its own unique and subtle differences.
Brightness- Liveliness:
90
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
90
Roast: I prefer City, before any snaps of the Second Crack can be heard. But this, like other Kenyas, is very nice roasted darker to Full City or frther into the other side of Second Crack!
Score:
86.77
Compare to: Great Auction Lot Kenyas!

Country:
Kenya
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt Kenya
Mark:

GichunjiFarm, Main Crop

Kenya 99 Auction Lot

Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
85/87
Notes: I think there are 2 basic Kenya profiles that are both uniquely enjoyable. One is the bright piercing citrusy Kenya that nips at your tounge (acidity is sensed in the front and frontal sides of the tongue). The other has berry and other fruit notes, more winey/fermented, deeper. Both are imcomparable coffees, and I really enjoy them both equally. The Gichunji is the later. It's fruit alternates between grape and black currant, still bright, a little sour. It finishes with some spice. Its that sort of alternating tastes that defines complexity and makes Kenyas any cuppers favorite --if it doesnt overpower your senses and force you to take a day off to recover them. Sold out at the brokerage 2 days after it hit port!
Brightness- Livliness:
86
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
90
Finish- Conclusion:
88
Roast: It has the power to take a Full City + roast and retain its character, but I like it at City, before 2nd crack.
Score:
86.6
Compare to: Kenyans ..what else? For those who like bright, powerful, clean (not earthy) coffees!

Mexico 

Mexican Esmeralda Natural Decaf
Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG
Region:
Coatepec Esmeralda
Decaf Process:
Natural (Ethyl Acetate)
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
82/82
Notes: I want to stock is coffee permanently.. I like it a lot! I cant find any coffee that compares in the cup to the Esmeralda. The natural process uses ethyl acetate derived from sugar cane, which bonds to the caffeine and is then flushed from the coffee. The result is less damaging to the flavor and *cup quality* of the coffee than other decaf processes. Mexican Esmeralda is a coffee sorted to European Standards, and overall this is an excellent cup of decaf with all the flavor of non-decaf coffee. Its got a bit more body and lower acidity than out Costa Rican Natural Decaf. It's excellent. Check out our article on decaffeination. ...or some information from Cafiver in Mexico.
Acidity:
79
Body:
83
Flavor:
85
Aftertaste:
82
Roast: City, Full City. Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Overall:
82.16
Compare to: A very top-notch Mexican with excellent body but with a muted acidity and a molasses flavor.

Mexican Oaxaca Pluma - Fino Rojas
Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG
Region:
Oaxaca
Mark:
Fino Rojas
Processing:
washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80/82
Notes: Fino Rojas is a unique Mexican coffee both for its quality and origin. It is sold under the Fino Rojas name because it is the highest quality coffee offered by an elderly Mexican grower and mill owner who, in defiance of modern coffee practices, only sells his coffee from available lots. In other words, he never makes contracts on coffee yet-to-be-produced or deals in futures ...Much like a consumer who shuns credit for cash. His well-established name allows this. While he sells coffee processed at his mill grown on surrounding farms, the Fino Rojas mark on the bag is coffee grown on his Estate and processed in his mill. If the score seems numerically low, that's more indicative of a problem with cupping numbers: in this case a very nice coffee that has light body and aftertaste scores lower than it really should based on cup quality.
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
Body- Movement:
80
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
82
Roast: City is very nice, or darker to your preference
Score:
81.8
Compare to: Light-bodied coffees; other Mexicans, Centrals

Country:
Mexican
Grade:
HG Altura
Region:
Chiapas
Mark:
La Floresta Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: If you think Mexican coffees are mild, good blending base coffees, dont have delicate refined notes and interesting character, then you have never had a coffee like this. It simply bowled me over, sent by a broker as an unsolicited sample because she knew I would cup it and go nuts for it! That's great, because I wouldn't have singled out another Mexican coffee as something I need to fill in a gap in our list of offerings. Then again, what's unique about SM's is that we buy WHATEVER is good and avoid whatever is bad, even if that means over-representing one origin and offering zilch from another. The Floresta has the cup profile you would expect from a top notch Guat or Costa Rican estate, delicate, perfumey, floral. An unbelievable bargain for the price!
The cupping numbers to the left seem low to me, they just dont capure the delicate and intangible qualities of a coffee like this..
Acidity:
7
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: lighter, City, not into 2nd crack
Overall:
22
Compare to: excellent nuanced, delicate estate Costas and Guats


Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG Altura
Region:
Jalapa/
Coatepec
Mark:
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
2d/300gr
24scr
Varietal:
Maragogype
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: This is the humungous bean cultivar: the largest beans in the batch roast to 3/4 inch long! Maragogypes are respected for their cup too; the tree produces less than other cultivars and is less stressed, resulting in better fruit. I can't guarantee how this will agitate in air roasters, but its fun to roast, and truly a great Mexican in the cup. Pronounced "mar-ago-heep-ey". The acidity in this coffee rates low, but it is very pleasantly sweet. You will see some odd looking beans with rusty colors ...ignore them, they are fine. But I am seeing about 1 black bean per pound or two. These are very small and very black. Pick them out before roasting.
Acidity:
5
Body:
8
Flavor:
6.5
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: City, Full City
Overall:
20.5
Compare to: Other excellent Mexicans, but more body

Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG Altura
Region:
Coatepec
Mark:
Atoyac Organic
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17 scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 1
Notes: The Atoyac is a darn fine Mexican coffee for straight roasts. It is more complex than the Chiapas we sell, with more body. There's something rather deep about this cup, low liquor-like tones, and a not-too-subtle licorice flavor peeps its head out in the aftertaste (Ken Davids, eat your heart out!). Atoyac is between Coatepec and Veracruz regions. By the way, Mexico is the leading certified organic coffee producer in the world, and their organic crops receive better care and demand more attention, resulting in better cup quality.
Acidity:
5
Body:
6
Flavor:
5.5
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: City, Full City ...dont burn this stuff ...it's good!
Overall:
18
Compare to: good Mexican, other milds, good stick of licorice


Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG Altura
Region:
Coatepec
Mark:
Roma
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17 scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 1
Notes: This is a large screen coffee with few defects. Coaetepec Roma is good, with a good acidy tang that's preserved nicely when roasted into 2nd crack. They are quite good as straight roasts when treated properly; I suggest taking the Roma into second crack. I like the roast-taste alot, very good bittersweet here. Lighter roasts can have a legumnuous taste, a bit cabbage-like in the finish. Coatepecs are popular blenders, and are used by some for their hideous chemically flavored coffee. People really aren't buying much of this, and I can't see why. At $3.90 lb can't you afford to be brave ...you will be pleased!
Acidity:
5
Body:
6
Flavor:
5
Aftertaste:
5
Roast: Full City, or darker to taste. Body holds up OK darker.
Overall:
16.5
Compare to: good Mexican, other milds.

Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG Altura
Region:
Oaxaca Pluma
Mark:
Putla Organic
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Another excellent Mexican coffee ( I really like Mexican, if you can't tell), wonderful when roasted a tad into second crack. The Putla is a very good sort, nicely prepared (it's an EP coffee), and the least expensive organic coffee I will probably ever have! It is very pleasant in the cup with a lighter body and not a ton of acidity, but still has a bit of a snap to it. It's primary taste is sweet, and brokers are pushing as the best Mexican organic of the year. Not as hard as the Chiapas, a good balanced taste.
Acidity:
6
Body:
6
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
5
Roast: Full City +, roast a few pops into 2nd crack
Overall:
18.5
Compare to: good Mexican, other milds

Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG Altura
Region:
Chiapas
Mark:
Hamburgo Farm
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
Peaberry!
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Yes, perhaps the greatest name of any coffee we have ever offered. I can see the puns pouring in now, like "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburgo today." Or "can I roast this on my stovetop, and if so, when should I flip it."
Anyway this is a flavorful little peaberry, those funny little ovoids that roast a bit faster than normal flat-sided coffee. Its a fairly small screen size (although peaberries arent screened according to USDA standard 64th sizes like other coffees: 16 screen = 16/64th incles). Anyway, I got it because its a very flavorful cup, especially at this price! It has good acidy brightness and a very husky, aggressive note that I like. It is definitely the OPPOSITE of the Chiapas La Floresta in terms of cup character: less refined. But it can take a heavier roast too. Every pound has a couple funky beans, and a coffee pod -the outer layer is intact, if you get one, pull it apart to reveal the green coffee seed inside --its fun! Just pull those out before roasting..
Acidity:
7
Body:
5.5
Flavor:
6.5
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: Full City: I like a heavier roast on this, it has lots of charqacter and develops a very nice roast taste. Let it go a few snaps into 2nd crack. Remembertend to roast a tad faster. Keep an eye on this one...
Overall:
20.5
Compare to: good Mexican,

Mexican Organic/Shade Grown SWP Decaf
Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HB
Region:
Nayarit
Mark:
"Cafe Cumbre" Certified Organic / Certified Shade
Processing:
Washed (wet-processed)
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
1d/300gr
17 screen
Varietal:
Typica/mixed
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/85
Notes: I like this coffee a lot ... I was immediately impressed with cup character that I would NOT attribute to a decaf and some more delicate fruity notes in the acidity. I am starting to wonder if they aren't actually improving the coffee quality from the process: in the past I just could not find SWP decafs from Central or South America with any acidity or the transient fruity flavors. They just seemed to get washed out of the coffee along with the direct contact "Swiss" water (okay, so they do it in Vancouver). But we have both this and the Costa Rican as a testament that if a coffee was GOOD to began with, and is fresh (see my notes in the intro about SWP Freshness) than you can enjoy wonderful bright cups! This coffee rates solidly in the 80's in my scoring (body is always a bit lighter in Mexicans) so that's a sign that it ranks with many regulars in my book! Scrolling down the decaf list, it looks like 83.5 is some sort of charmed number here ... a high mark for the best decafs. Very odd ...
Brightness- Liveliness:
85
Body- Movement:
80
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: City to Full City. At the City Stage (first crack has completed and second has not yet begun) it is fruity, and at Full City (at the verge of 2nd crack or a few snaps into it) it develops a nice chocolate roast taste
Score:
83.5
Compare to: A Mexican like a Chiapas, bright, clean, nice fruity flavors....

Mexican Organic Chiapas -Finca Santa Anita
Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG
Region:
Chiapas
Mark:
Santa Anita Farm, OCIA Organic Cert.
Processing:
Wet-processed (washed)
 
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Mostly Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/84
Notes: Chiapas is the southernmost state of Mexico and the growing regions of Chiapas are just across from Guatemalas northernmost region: Huehuetenango. Chiapas produces coffees that are quite distinct from other Mexican regions like Coatepec, Custepec, etc. If you think Mexican coffees are mild, good blending base coffees, don't have delicate refined notes and interesting character, then you have never had a coffee like this. I have a lot of Mexican coffees now, and Fino Rojas coming too. I wouldn't have singled out another Mexican coffee as something I need to fill in a gap in our list of offerings. Then again, what's unique about SM's is that we buy WHATEVER is good and avoid whatever is bad, even if that means over-representing one origin and offering zilch from another. The Floresta has the cup profile you would expect from a top notch Guat or Costa Rican estate, delicate, perfumey, floral. An unbelievable bargain for the price!
The cupping numbers to the left seem low to me, they just dont capture the delicate and intangible qualities of a coffee like this..
Brightness- Liveliness:
85
Body- Movement:
81
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: City roast. There are some great fruity flavors you will loose if you take it too dark.
Score:
83.8
Compare to: Nice Guatemalans

Mexican Organic Pluma- Loxicha
Country:
Mexico
Grade:
HG
Region:
Oaxaca Pluma
Mark:
Organic - Loxicha
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
2d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80/80
Notes: Another excellent Mexican coffee ( I really like Mexican, if you can't tell), wonderful when roasted a tad into second crack. It is very pleasant in the cup with a lighter body and not a ton of acidity, but still has a bit of a snap to it. Like the Hamburgo from Chiapas, there is a pleasant hard nutty taste in the cup -not like the peanuty taste you get from a Brazil. It's a flavor I recognize but can't quite pin down, no matter how many visual aids (SCAA Cuppers Flavor Wheel) or sensory aids (La Nez du Cafe) I implement. Anyway, I would say that the Loxicha and Fino Rojas have been the most consistently excellent coffees from Mexico I have ever found! Certified OCIA organic.
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
Body- Movement:
81
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
81
Roast: Full City +, roast a few pops into 2nd crack, for a breakfast coffee I like it a little lighter
Score:
81.5
Compare to: Other Mexicans, distinct from the other Centrals, light body but very flavorful

Myanmar (Burma)  

Myanmar (Burma) Rubyland
Country:
Myanmar
Grade:
1
Region:
"Rubyland"
Mark:
Thayetkone
Estate
Processing:
Dry-Processed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
2d/300gr
Varietal:
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80 /78
Notes: You'll think you received a premium dry-processed Brazil when you see the Myanmar Arabica for the first time. It really looks like a dry-processed Cerrado. This is a new coffee on the market in the US, and a "borderline" specialty coffee in some respects. While the cup has tons of body, almost oily!, there's an aggressive tarry taste that seems laced with garlic. It's somewhat Indonesian in the body and earthiness, but mostly an herbaceous Brazil. It has positive qualities, possibly taints, but I thought it would be fun to share his coffee with you folks. Commercial roasters are starting to use this as a dark roast blending base or body enhancer, and it has DEFINITE espresso possibilities. It's very amusing to see an "estate" name on the bag! I assume somebody went to an SCAA conference and heard that "estate" coffees sell for more money...
Brightness- Liveliness:
78
Body- Movement:
88
Flavor- Depth:
77
Finish- Conclusion:
76
Roast: I like it best at "an aggressive Full City Roast" or darker. Its great with cream. Its weird.
Score:
79.5
Compare to: Brazils

Nicaragua 

Country:
Nicaragua
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Jinotega & Matagalpa
Mark:
None
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
18 scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Jinotega and Matagalpa coffees from the two most famous growing regions in Nicaragua are blended to create a more complex cup. These are top-grade SHG coffees, very well screened with a beaustiful, even appearance. It features a pleasant dry acidity, medium body and a powerful flavor. This is my secret coffee. I use it a lot in darker roast blends (hey, Peets does too) because of the nice body and depth it lends. Remember, while consumers aren't very conscious of Nicaraguan coffees, the trade knows how excellent it is, and how dramatically it is improving every year. We didn't think much about Zimbabwe 10 years ago, or Zambian 2 years ago! Expect coffees like this, and Timor, and a few more to be highly touted soon.
Acidity:
6
Body:
6
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: Full City, or dark in blends.
Overall:
18.5
Compare to: really good Colombians, some lower acid Centrals

Country:
Nicaragua
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Segovia
Mark:
OCIA Cert. Organic
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
18 scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/2
Notes: This certified organic Nicaraguan is evidence of the incredible commitment to cup quality and the environment from Nic cooperative farmers. It has superb body, pleasant sweetness and a big flavor, with hints of herby sweet basil and anise in the aromatics. Its bright, and a great straight roast.
What impresses me so much is the "completeness" of the cup. Here we find a wonderful balance of acidity, body, aromatics and flavors that, in the sum total, has great dimension. I couldn't blend a better cup using coffees of different origins. You can win friends and influence people (even the most stubborn supermarket coffee folks) with stuff like this!
Acidity:
6
Body:
8
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: Full City. This works well either before 2nd crack or a tad into it, depending on your tastes.
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: good good good Colombians, some lower acid Centrals

Country:
Nicaragua
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Jinotega & Matagalpa
Mark:
Gavilan
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
3 d/300gr
17 scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
78/ 78
Notes: Poor Nicaragua! Only the big roasters like Peets and Starbucks really appreciate the HUGE body, usefulness of these coffees in dark roast blends. I like them roasted to the peak of flavor, the verge of 2nd crack. There's almost a sudsy stout-like mouthfeel, syrupy and smooth. The Gavilan flavor is pleasant, a bit woody, and really reminds me of Brazils. I will be frank -this might be the lowest quality straight roast coffee I stock. This is really for the blends, because the flavors are largely neutral (so it doesn't interfere with the other coffees in the blend) but it offers body! The broker I got this from is not high on my list, because the sample didn't exactly match the shipment, but I still find this coffee very useful in my House blend and there's really nothing else that does the trick. So order the La Illusion ...It's in a class way above this, for a dime more! Or use this in your dark roast blend. Gavilan is a branded coffee originating from several farms in Jinotega and Matagalpa, then blended to create balance in the cup.
Acidity:
75
Body:
87
Flavor:
78
Aftertaste:
76
Roast: Full City or darker roast blends (use other Nic. For straight roasts).
Overall:
78.6
Compare to: this lot: Brazils, really....

Nicaragua SHG La Illusion '00
Country:
Nicaragua
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Matagalpa
Mark:
La Illusion Farm
Processing:
washed (wet processed)
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/84
Notes: This is a large but unassuming bean, very well prepared. But a lot of Nics have looked good this year and been dull or just too simple in the cup. What amazes me with the La Illusion is that it is the most complete cup: acidity, fruitiness, and that incredible body that persists through almost any roast you throw at it. I did a "roast cupping" at 4 degrees of roast on this coffee. Yes, it had more origin character -fruit- in the lighter City roast. But what amazed me is that EVERY roast sample was good ...no, great! This coffee is a winner and that's no "Illusion" (I just had to write that...)
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
Body- Movement:
89
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: As stated above, this coffee has a huge altitude. it's great at medium (City) roast, Full City and even toward Vienna --a bit into 2nd crack.
Score:
84.5
Compare to: Excellent Colombians, balanced and full of character!

Panama 

Panama Hartmann "Songbird"
Country:
Panama
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Volcan Chirqui
Mark:
Hartmann "Songbird"
Processing:
Washed (wet-processed)
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
Bourbon Typica

 

Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/85
Notes: Incredible nice dark green-blue appearance (fresh, new crop, lotsa moisture content), a delicate light-bodied cup that will win over your friends and relatives to the merits of home roasting. Very pleasant clean sweet taste and citrus aromatics, more tangerine than lemony, and a light body. It's not super complex, just real fine and delicate. To get a full sense of this acidity, taste it hot and taste it cool too! In fact, my first sip of it is always a little disappointing based on the wonderful aromatics you get when grinding it. But a lot of acidy coffees are this way. As it cools the bright notes that make it so special are fleshed out, and you will fall in love with this coffee by the time you reach the last sip. The Volcan Chirqui is right at the Costa Rican border so it is not a wonder that the coffee cups like a bright, delicate Costa Rican
...This is sold as Hartmann Songbird coffee for a very good reason, check out this nice web page about the Hartmann estate.
Brightness- Liveliness:
87
Body- Movement:
80
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City, Full City, don't overroast or you lose too much.
Score:
84
Compare to: Guatemala, other Panama, Peru, Costa Ricans

Country:
Panama
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Boquete
Mark:
Lerida Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
Bourbon Typica
Frag/Aroma:
2 / 2
Notes: In current vernacular, Lerida estate is considered "the bomb" in Panamanian coffee. The broker says consensus rates Lerida #1 in the cup, Hartmann #2, and Boutet somewhere around 5th. For me, The Lerida cups more like the Boutet, complex cup with rich acidity More body though. The green is beautiful, looks like Bourbon and Caturra, roundish, perfectly sorted, probably 16/17 in size. This is a GREAT year for Panama, and I highly recommend buying these coffees! Lerida is shade-grown and boasts that it is always sun-dried on the bag. Lerida is THE highest altitude estate in the Boquete region, considered the finest estate in the finest Panamanian region.
Acidity:
6.5
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: City, Full City, don't overroast or you lose too much.
Overall:
22.25
Compare to: Guatemala, other Panama, Peru, Costa Ricans

Panama -Lerida Estate
Country:
Panama
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Boquete
Mark:
Lerida Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
Caturra
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/85
Notes: In current vernacular, Lerida estate is considered "the bomb" in Panamanian coffee. The green is beautiful, looks like Bourbon and Caturra, roundish, perfectly sorted, probably 16/17 in size. Lerida is shade-grown and boasts that it is always sun-dried on the bag. Lerida is THE highest altitude estate in the Boquete region, considered the finest estate in the finest Panamanian region. I was chatting with Panamanian representatives at the '99 SCAA in Philly, and mentioned that I bought Lerida --they were somewhat awed because I guess the coffee has an impeccable reputation there, and one commented "well, it is the highest altitude farm in Boquete". What this means is a bright cup. If you like Centrals with a bright acidity, or citrus-like flavors in the cup, you will like Lerida. The body is light, and its so complex, but the acidity is just wonderful... They are now doing a year-round harvest there, so while other new crop Centrals aren't due for 2-3 months, this IS new crop.
Brightness- Liveliness:
90
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast:City and darker. This has the character to stand up to a darker interpretation of the Full City roast, meaning a bit into 2nd crack...
Score:
84.3
Compare to: bright, citrusy Centrals; Costa Ricans, etc.

Papua New Guinea 

Papua New Guinea -Purosa AA
Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A/AA
Region:
Wahgi
Mark:
Purosa Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
PNG
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/85
Notes: I like this coffee alot ...its that right mix of balance and character. It was also the highest rated PNG coffee in the recent Coffee Review cupping. (The Mile High Estate and Organic above were not in the cupping. I think they would have done well, and they are all quite distinct, but I can see why the panelists selected the Purosa). It has brightness, depth, complexity. I can't specify the exact flavor I get from it ...like many complex coffees it alternates. But I think my best estimate is almond-like.
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
85
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City. I like this with a lighter roast on it.
Score:
85.5
Compare to: Other really really good mild, balanced coffees. PNG's are less like other Indonesians, and remind me more of particular Central Americans

Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A
Region:
wahgi robusta
Mark:
Processing:
washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
Coffea Canephora-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
n/a
Notes: This is a fresh new crop washed Robusta that, while packing a punch, is significantly better in the cup than other Indonesian, Brazilian, or (groan) Vietnamese robustas I have tried. --okay, I'll explain: the Vietnamese robustas are just downright scarey and, at this writing, are the most unclean and hazardous-looking coffee I have ever seen. What is frightening is that record amounts of this are being used by institutional roasters in the US. Anyway, I had heard good things about PNG Robusta before but it took quite a while to get a sample. It gives a great edge to espresso, but without fouling the blend like a Brazil Conilon tends to do.
Brightness- Livliness:
n/a
Body- Movement:
n/a
Flavor- Depth:
n/a
Finish- Conclusion:
n/a
Roast: Northern Italian Espresso is roasted to the darker side of Full City. Southern italian Espresso is basically in the French stage.
Score:
n/a
 

Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A
(top grade in PNG)
Region:
Mark:
Gumanch
Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18 scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: It took a long while for good Papua New Guinea coffees to come to market. Initial offerings were poor, and many were the combined A/X grade. But this Gumanch is every bit as good as 97 PNG coffees, with that great balanced cup, nice acidity and excellent body. Did you know that PNG seedstock all originates from Jamaica Blue Mountain?
Acidity:
7
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, or darker. Roasting into 2nd crack is optional.
Overall:
22.5
Compare to: well, not much to compare Papua New Guinea to!

Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A
Region:
-Organic

Wahgilpt

Decaf Process:
Swiss Water Process
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Cups great! This is a coffee that can stand up to the rigors of SwissWater processing ... it doesnt have hoards of acidity that it will lose during decaffeination since its main qualities are in flavor. Also, as an "A" grade Papua New Guinea, it's a bit rare this year. The crop produced such small wierd seeds that much of it was sold as A grade and X grade, the lower rating, combined: A/X! Our SWP decas are fresh crop too. This is a coffee the broker sends the plant in Vancouver BC for processing, so he can assure the original quality, and freshness. An SWP decaf bought from the plant is always of unsure origin and age. Buy only a 6 month supply of SWP decaf at a time or less...it's shelf life is said to be shorter than standard green coffee and other decafs (2-3 years).
Acidity:
5
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: City, Full City. Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Overall:
20.5
Compare to: Indonesians, Java

Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
None (Peaberry)
Region:
Wahgi
Mark:
None
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
Peaberry
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Papua New Guinea is unique in the coffee world. It bears some resemblance to island profile coffees: mild, pleasantly spicy and salty. But it has the body of an Indonesian. But it's got acid too! It's not a great year for Papua New Guinea (like Java), and many X grade coffees are the only ones available. So I jumped at the chance to get this Peaberry sample after cupping it. A Peaberry sort may be the best beans in the crop this year,dthese are perfect, dark green little guys. They roast very well, and the cup quality is excellent. This is the brightest PNG sample I had this year not as much body or complexity as our now-expired Organic A Grade from the 97 crop.
Acidity:
6
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, or darker. Roasting into 2nd crack is optional.
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: well, not much to compare Papua New Guinea to!

Papua New Guinea -Organic A
Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A
Region:
Wahgi
Mark:
Organic, Shade-Grown Certified
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
PNG
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
77/82
Notes: The Orgranic PNG displays another dimension in this origin: a slightly wild note in the cup that is really nice! And actually it is something I have only found in the Certified Organic PNG coffees, but this may be just a coincidence. Overall the cup has great balance: mild brightness, good body, and very nice complexity/depth. Its just a bit more wild than the Mile High Estate or Purosa Estat PNG coffees. I also cupped this against Kalanga Estate, Gumanch Estate, and a non-estate Peaberry PNG. It was clearly the coffee of choice!
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
79
Finish- Conclusion:
76
Roast: City to Full City.
Score:
79.8
Compare to: Other great PNG's, with a wild note attached...

Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A
(top grade in PNG)
Region:
Mark:
Gumanch
Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18 scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: It took a long while for good Papua New Guinea coffees to come to market. Initial offerings were poor, and many were the combined A/X grade. But this Gumanch is every bit as good as 97 PNG coffees, with that great balanced cup, nice acidity and excellent body. Did you know that PNG seedstock all originates from Jamaica Blue Mountain?
Acidity:
7
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, or darker. Roasting into 2nd crack is optional.
Overall:
22.5
Compare to: well, not much to compare Papua New Guinea to!

Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A
Region:
-Organic

Wahgilpt

Decaf Process:
Swiss Water Process
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Cups great! This is a coffee that can stand up to the rigors of SwissWater processing ... it doesnt have hoards of acidity that it will lose during decaffeination since its main qualities are in flavor. Also, as an "A" grade Papua New Guinea, it's a bit rare this year. The crop produced such small wierd seeds that much of it was sold as A grade and X grade, the lower rating, combined: A/X! Our SWP decas are fresh crop too. This is a coffee the broker sends the plant in Vancouver BC for processing, so he can assure the original quality, and freshness. An SWP decaf bought from the plant is always of unsure origin and age. Buy only a 6 month supply of SWP decaf at a time or less...it's shelf life is said to be shorter than standard green coffee and other decafs (2-3 years).
Acidity:
5
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: City, Full City. Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Overall:
20.5
Compare to: Indonesians, Java

Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
None (Peaberry)
Region:
Wahgi
Mark:
None
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
Peaberry
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Papua New Guinea is unique in the coffee world. It bears some resemblance to island profile coffees: mild, pleasantly spicy and salty. But it has the body of an Indonesian. But it's got acid too! It's not a great year for Papua New Guinea (like Java), and many X grade coffees are the only ones available. So I jumped at the chance to get this Peaberry sample after cupping it. A Peaberry sort may be the best beans in the crop this year,dthese are perfect, dark green little guys. They roast very well, and the cup quality is excellent. This is the brightest PNG sample I had this year not as much body or complexity as our now-expired Organic A Grade from the 97 crop.
Acidity:
6
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, or darker. Roasting into 2nd crack is optional.
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: well, not much to compare Papua New Guinea to!

Papua New Guinea Organic SWP Decaf
Country:
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
A/X
Island:
Papua New Guinea
Mark:
Organic, OCIA Certified
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
2d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Sumatra/Jamaica Arabica Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80/82
Notes: Cups great! This is a coffee that can stand up to the rigors of Swiss Water processing ... it doesn't have hoards of acidity that it will lose during decaffeination since its main qualities are in flavor. Our SWP decafs are fresh crop too. This is a coffee the broker sends the plant in Vancouver BC for processing, so he can assure the original quality, and freshness. An SWP decaf bought from the plant is always of unsure origin and age. Buy only a 6 month supply of SWP decaf at a time or less...it's shelf life is said to be shorter than standard green coffee and other decafs (2-3 years).
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
83
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: City. Its hard to roast the SWP decafs light enough. The color fools you, looks darker than it tastes. In fact there are great Varietal flavors that survive the SWP ...but it requires that you keep he roast light. Its so easy to over-roast due to the dark color of SWP decafs, but try to avoid getting into (or even near) the 2nd crack.
Score:
83.5
Compare to: Mellower non-decaf PNG

Peru 

Peru SHG Organic Cuzco 
Country:
Peru
Grade:
SHG
Region:
Cuzco
Mark:
 
Cert/ Organic
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/85
Notes: A high toned coffee with a good punch to it too! Peru's are very high grown and sometimes I feel the acidity is a bit too high and too removed from the rest of the flavor profile. Typically the Chanchamayo is nice, and the Norte so-so. This is the first time I cupped the Cuzco against the others, and the Chanchamayo current crop samples seemed flat, whereas the Cuzco had the acidity and liveliness in the cup that I usually get from the Cha-cha. The Norte had brightness but it seemed dull and muted, so Cuzco wins and here it is! I really like the Peru in darker roast organic blends, or as a straight roast with a bit of an aggressive roast on it, allowing a heavier interpretation of the Full CI by letting it enter 2nd crack for a few snaps of the bean ...
Brightness- Liveliness:
88
Body- Movement:
80
Flavor- Depth:
82
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast: Full City, or dark in blends.
Score:
83.5
Compare to: Panamas, or bright Central Americans

Puerto Rico  

Saint Helena 

Isle of Saint Helena -'99/00 Review
Country:
Saint Helena (British Protectorate)
Grade:
1
Region:
Saint Helena
Mark:
St. Helena Coffee Company, Coffee Ground Farm
Processing:
Wet-Processed (washed)
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
Heirloom Yemen Seedstock
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
89/90
Notes: St Helena is the very small island in the South Central Atlantic where Napoleon was banished to, and died. The island is just 8 miles long and 6 miles wide, but was a small but productive coffee producer owned entirely by the Dutch East India Co. until recently. Because the cost of production was so high and the shipping costs so outrageous (St Helena has only 1 boat, the RMS Saint Helena, servicing the island every every 2 weeks) the farms was left largly abandoned for decades. Only in the past 10 years has the coffee production been revitalized under the care of one David Henry, and the current output is about 4,500 lbs per year. Compare this to a small Central American estate that can produced 2 containers, or 75,000 lbs per year, and you understand that this is a very rare coffee indeed. And why else is it special? Because the seedstock used to cultivate it is pure heirloom varietal Yemen brought to the island in 1730. Mr. Henry revitalized the production with meticulous care by nursing new seedlings from the aged 100 year old trees. The coffee is guaranteed by Mr. Henry to be non-certified, but 100% Organic, sustainabley grown. Our coffee comes from the Coffee Ground plot (really, all the plots are so small they really should not be called by distinct farm names since the cup quality does not differ greatly between them --the image is the view from this exact plot!). The cup? It is bright, citrus-like, tangerine flavors above more complex chocolate notes. It has more body and complexity than an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, but the brightness is similar. Its a clean cup, balanced too when the coffee is allowed to rest 24-36 hours after roasting (recommended!), deep. Well-rested, there is an amazing spiceyness to the cup, and a Cola-like flavor follows it.... Its expensive! ...but for obvious reasons of high production costs. And it is unique ---there is no coffee like it! Click here to see more images...
Brightness- Livliness:
94
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
92
Finish- Conclusion:
91
Roast: City to Full City. If you like the brightness, keep it lighter. If you are willing to mute the brightness for the sake of complex roast tastes layered with the origin tastes, take it into second crack a little. There is lots of character, this coffee will not get obliterated by a little darker roast tastes. I prefer the slightly heavier roast on this coffee.
Score:
90.3
Compare to: The Citrusy notes of a Yirgacheffe, the balance of an island (Kona) coffee, the complexity of a Yemeni dry-processed without the ferment. earthiness.

El Salvador  

El Salvador Organic Los Naranjos
Country:
El Salvador
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Pacific
Mark:
Pipil,
Cert. Organic
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
Bourbon,
Typica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/84
Notes: An excellent high-toned bright coffee, but with great balance too. This is perhaps the finest Organic Central American coffee I have ever cupped. It is a cup with both balance and character,; nice orangy acidity (I swear I did not let the name Los Naranjos -the Oranges- influence me!) fine body, good depth, great finish. Its really just a great, attractive cup all around. . If my cupping scores seem odd all hovering around the mid-80's its because of the balance of this fine cup.
It also represents a new breed of Organic Centrals and South Americans that out-cup their rival non-certified or non-organic coffees. In fact, the Non-Organic Salavador from Los Naranjos this year (I received samples about 2 months ago) was not very interesting. It was like a light version of this coffee with a good clean cup but no character. Since the organci arrives later I deduce that it is also from a higher altitude part of the farm --a good thing!-- in addition to the extra care and traditional varietals used in organic production.
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
85
Flavor- Depth:
86
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: City to Full City. The fruitiness and brightness really shines in the lighter stages, so if you must take this into 2nd crack at all, don't do it much!
Score:
85
Compare to: Acidy "classic" coffees with big flavor: Guatemalans, Panama, Peru, other Costa Ricans
 
 

El Salvador Pacamara -DeSolo Fancy
Country:
El Salvador
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Pacific
Mark:
De Solo Fancy
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
19+ scr
Varietal:
Pacamara
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/84
Notes: Pacamara is the OTHER Big Bean coffee, besides Maragogype. While it is a newer varietal, I had a chance to cup it at a seminar at the SCAA convention in San Francisco and was very impressed. And from the comments of those around me I wasn't the only one. It has exceptional acidity, and great citrusy flavors. It is one for the acid-heads, those who like Kenyas and high-grown bright Centrals. It also takes a little bit longer in an air roaster, becasue the larger bean has different thermal properties and tends to aquire heat a bit slower earlier in the roast, in my experience.
Brightness- Liveliness:
88
Body- Movement:
83
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: City to Full City. I like this with a little more roast on it ...it has the acidity that shines through even a little darker. Also, the large beans need a little more roast time in air roasters ...plan on 20-30 seconds longer, and keep an eye on it the first time you roast it.
Score:
84.5
Compare to: Very bright, nice citrusy Centrals!

Sulawesi 

Sulawesi Rantepao
Island:
Sulawesi
Grade:
1
Region:
Torajaland
Mark:

Rantepao (Monsooned)

Processing:
Semi-washed, "Monsooned"
 
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
19+ scr
Varietal:
- -
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80/82
Notes: The Rantepao is a weird story. The source swears that the coffee is not Monsooned, that its color/cup are a result of it being left in the coffee cherry for 5 days or so without pulping or drying it out. The "aged in cherry form" is definitely part true; I have looked up the Rantepao references and it was supposedly the coffee that was transported in cherry form by horseback from the farm to the mill... and during that time the coffee seed swelled. But it is also aged for quite a long time: over 4 years! This coffee is rare, and is only handled by the source broker on behalf of another importer... In the past 5 years only 4500 lbs have been produced! I have personally met the sole produced of Rantepao, although I admit there was a bit of a language problem communicating some of the details about the coffee. It looks like Monsooned Malabar, but if you let the coffee rest a day after roasting, you will find much more sweetness and depth than the Malabar. Its for people who like aggressive cups, the Aged and Monsooned ... I think this is one of the finest coffees out there in this vein.
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
89
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
87
Roast: Full City. I like this with a darker roast on it.
Score:
84.3
Compare to: Monsooned Malabar with more depth and sweetness. It is harsh if you cup it too soon after roasting, but every day of resting seems to bring out more body, more sweetness, and mellows the hard, aggressive character in the coffee...

Sulawesi Sulotco Estate Wet-Processed
Island:
Sulawesi
Grade:
1
Region:
Toraja-land
Mark:
Sulotco "Estate"
Processing:
Fully Wet-processed
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
0d/300gr
17/18+scr
Varietal:
Sumatra
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
83/83
Notes: A wet-processed Sulawesi is about as rare as snowball in Texas. It's just not something done in Sulawesi, to process coffee in a wet-mill as they would in Central America. But this cup offers a real alternative to both the dry-processed Sumatras and Sulawesi and to the wet-processed Java or Timor Indonesians. It is much cleaner and sweeter than the dry-processed, not nearly as earthy. It loses the pungent aftertaste in the process, but this is great for people who find Sumatra DP just too earthy. On the other hand, it has more character as a straight roast than Java. It also has a very thick body, so it could have use in a very clean espresso blend too. Sulotco is an estate-level coffee from their specific land, but they were an exporter from Sulawesi until a few years ago. It seems everyone wants to say they are an estate ...not that I am disputing it here since they do "own the farm". But maybe they should have given the farm a nicer name based on its geograhpic location ... Sulotco is about as romantic as Kleenix or Oleo!
Brightness- Liveliness:
82
Body- Movement:
90
Flavor- Depth:
86
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City to Full City. Takes a wide range and the body persists through all roasts.
Score:
85
Compare to: Java, Timor ...

Sulawesi Toraja Boengie "Fat Bean"
Island:
Sulawesi
Grade:
1
Region:
Toraja-land
Mark:
Boengien "Fat Bean.
Processing:
Semi Washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
17/18+scr
Varietal:
?
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
85/87
Notes: This is a premium type and premium preparation (large bean) from Sulawesi. Boengie is a cultivar and the region it is from is called Toraja or Toraja-land, the mountainous area of Sulawesi where all the commercial coffee cultivation occurs. Put it side by side with another Sulawesi and you will notice that this coffee is larger and has a rounded, flattened appearance. But you are not going to eyeball it and think "wow, what FAT beans those are!". However, they do expand quite a lot, and I had to stir the coffee in the hopper of my grinder to get the beans to fall into the burrs. My first impression of this coffee's potential was in the very early stages of roasting it. As it turned yellow, there was a very thick, sweetly-musty aroma that filled the shop. It was distinct from any other Sumatran or Sulawesian coffee samples I roast. In the cup it was simply a great Sulawesi, with sweetness, a bit of fruit, pungency, lots of that buttery body that marks Sulawesi coffee, and a touch of earth. Recent poor samples of Sulawesi I have cupped have an earthy flavor that is sensed as being separated from the other flavors, too distinct, whereas the strong notes are integrated in with the acidity and other flavors: it works! It's a neat coffee that is rare, and I might not be able to obtain it again, sadly...
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
88
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: City to Full City. Roasting into 2nd crack is optional.
Score:
86.5
Compare to: melted butter or more sophisticated Indonesians.

Sumatra 

Sumatra Organic Gayo Mountain Gr 1 Swiss Water Process Decaf
Country:
Indonesia
Grade:
1
Island:
Sumatra, Gayo Region
Mark:
Organic, Gayo Mountain Mill
Processing:
Washed --not DP!
Crop:
'01 arrival
Appearance:
2d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Sumatra
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80/82
Notes: This is a very nice Swiss Water Process Decaf, since the Gayo Mountain Sumatra (from the Northwest region of the island) is really special for its body and deep flavors, two features mostly unharmed by the water-process decaffeination. Another great feature is that you an roast this fairly light, quite dark, or anywhere in between. It's is one of the only coffees I will roast french without blending, its body can stand up against aggressive roasts. These are grown on very small organic farms but Gayo Mountain is also the name of the organic-certifed mill. It might interest you too that the Aceh region that includes Gayo has been seeking independence from Indonesia! This is a great constituent for decaf or low-caf espresso blends, or as a blending base for low-caf drip coffee. The blending strategy is to have your decaf provide body and depth (which the Sumatran and Indonesian Komodo do well) and then have your non-decaf coffees add the high, bright notes ...something many decafs cannot do well! (with the exception of MC decafs like the Kenya or Yirgacheffe)
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
87
Flavor- Depth:
85
Finish- Conclusion:
82
Roast: City. Its hard to roast the SWP decafs light enough. The color fools you, looks darker than it tastes.
Score:
84.2
Compare to: Mellower non-decaf washed Sumatran.

Island:
Sumatra
Grade:
1
"Region":
Mandheling
Mark:
"Batak Farmers"
Processing:
Dry (looks washed)
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 1
Notes: This is a premium Mandheling. If DP Mandheling is the Ugly Duckling that emerges as The Beautiful Swan in the cup, Batak story is :looks great, roasts great, tastes great.The Batak are the primary ethnic group from the Lake Toba area, and our bag says "Grade 1 DP Mandheling Coffee from Batak Farmers." Does this mean the other Mandheling is processed by Sumatra's large ethnic Chinese population, or white colonialists in Pith helmets? Who knows. I can say that the Batak appears to be washed, not entirely dry-processed as the bag says, and that there are less "defects" than the DP Mandheling. It has a tad less body than the Mandheling and a bit less aggresive in flavor. But it makes one helluva great cup of coffee. Great body, spicy, and a more even roast than the DP. This might be your favorite Mandheling, so try it! It can also take a lighter roast since there less musty earth-tones to overcome.
Acidity:
6
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, or darker. Roasting into 2nd crack is optional.
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: Sulawesi, good clean Indonesians.

Island:
Sumatra
Grade:
1
"Region":
Mandheling
Mark:
Golden Pwani
Processing:
mixed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
"1d"/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Golden Pwani is a premium Mandheling screened to a larger seed size, subjected to extra hand-sorting, and carefully prepared. It is a beautiful deep-jade color, very large beans, and roasts very evenly. In the cup it is a wonderful combination of refinement and boldness. Theres a sweet honey taste initially, that fades into rich pungent spice and pleasantly bittersweet chocolate notes. It is hard to overly-recommend this coffee for its complexity; neat delicate grace notes AND incredible power all in one cup.
Please note: premium Sumatras are sometimes without character: I have had Pwanis that are dull and lifeless in the cup --too "clean". This Pwani is exciting because it is nicely prepped AND has all the zing to it!
Acidity:
7
Body:
9
Flavor:
8
Aftertaste:
8
Roast: Full City+. This years Sumatra crop can be roasted on either side of 2nd crack, either before or after it has began.
Overall:
25.5
Compare to: Poweful Indonesians

Sumatra Mandheling C02 Decaf
Country:
Sumatra
Grade:
1
"Region":
Sumatra
Mark:
Mandheling
Processing:
Semi-washed
Crop:
99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Sumatra
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
79/81
Notes: A cup with great character and correct for the origin it is from is not in common in decafs as you might imagine. Yes, some decafs are fine cups but a bit muddled in character. Its neat to have one that has the correct character. This year I have had a Colombian, a Papua New Guinea and 2 Sumatras and they really have the cup character they should. In other words, the Sumatra Decafs are nice this year. The Swiss Sumatra originates with a washed coffee so its milder than this one. CO2 in a unique, direct-contact decaf process that involves no solvent chemicals. It is also unique in that the coffee is 99.9% decaffeinated ...compared to the average 95 to 98% with other processes. Customers who are VERY caffeine intolerant but cant do without the taste of coffee have verified that they feel little to no effect from this coffee.
Brightness- Livliness:
76
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: City, Full City. Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Score:
82.5
Compare to: Regular Sumatra

Sumatra Mandheling -Triple Pick
Country:
Sumatra
Grade:
One
Region:
Mandheling
Mark:
Madera Exp.
Processing:
Dry /Semi-washed
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Sumatra
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/83
Notes: Prettier Sumatras do exist, but polishing does little for cup quality. On the other hand, meticulous sorting of the coffee at origin does a lot to sweeten the cup character, and dry-processed coffees rely entirely on handsorting to attain cup quality. Everyone in the coffee business knows that Sumatras are very "rustic" coffees, grown on small plots and dried on any ol' patch of ground that is available. In fact, earthy flavors in grade one Mandhelings can be the direct result of lipids and fats in the coffee absorbing earthy smells while in direct contact with the ground. So here we have the prized Triple-Pick Mandheling, not easy to find, and to the untrained eye its still a rustic-looking coffee. But you will notice and absence of flattened beans split on the ends, of coffee with white mottled colors that hint at underripness or overfermentation (both which can produce some the of the likeable wild flavors in a DP Sumatra). What remains is a much more refined cup, still with all the body, depth, and pungency of a Sumatra , but with more fruity/floral flavors.
Brightness- Liveliness:
86
Body- Movement:
90
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: Full City. I like this roasted a bit lighter, since you can really get the full range of fruit in the cup. Shut down the burner when you hear jusa snap or tow of 2nd crack.
Score:
86
Compare to: The Lintong Sumatra --even though the two are wonderfully unique when you put them side by side --the Lintong has a little burst in the aftertaste, the Triple -Pick has more up front.

Island:
Sumatra
Grade:
1
Region:
Gayo, Aceh
Mark:
Gayo Mountain
Organic
Processing:
Semiwashed/ Dry-process
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
"4d"/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Sumatra
Notes: Gayo is West and North of the areas where most Mandheling and Lintong originate in the region of Aceh ( an name you will be seeing in the headlines soon as they strive for independence from Indonesia). A really wonderful shade-grown organic, our new bag of Gayo Mountain is much different in the cup than our last bag (all bags are different with natural coffees).This is extremely earthy, bordering on downright dirty. If you like that kind of wet "forest-floor" earthiness/musty-ness in the cup, this is your coffee! Extremely aggressive, low acid, with some neat fruit notes lingering in the finish, but the main story here is EARTHY. Click on logo above for certification certificate that comes in the 60kg bag of Gayo Mountain.
Frag/Aroma:
82/83
Acidity:
81
Body:
88
Flavor:
80
Aftertaste:
84
Roast: Full City+. I like this coffee roasted right to the verge of 2nd crack, or a bit lighter or a bit darker to taste. The Mandheling is better for dark roasting though. Its good in dark roast blends too
Overall:
85
Compare to:powerful, natural Indonesians

Sumatra Blue Lintong
Island:
Sumatra
Grade:
1
"Region":
Lintong
Mark:
Blue Lintong
Processing:
Semi-washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
"1d"/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
85/ 85
Notes: Oh joy ...this coffee smells SO good while roasting, it smells so good green too! I dont mean to wax poetics, but I love all those smells when they converge: sweet tropical flowers, trees honeyed with sap, moist earth. This coffee has a lot of moisture and swells to an enormous sizen roasting. This was the more expensive "Big Bean" lot the broker offered, a premium sorting of true Lintong coffee. It sold out a day after it arrived in the US! The cup is really nice, definitely on par with the Golden Pwani (which you should also try). Its a sweeter, fruitier, brighter Sumatra, as opposed to the earthier tongue-grabbing pruney ones. Comparable to the Gayoland actually ...the prep is not perfect but by marevlously good for a Sumatra. It has less loose chaff than other sumtra Dry-Processed
Acidity:
85
Body:
88
Flavor:
87
Aftertaste:
87
Roast: Full City+. This years Sumatra crop can be roasted on either side of 2nd crack
Overall:
86.6
Compare to: Pwani and premium Indonesians. See the Triple Pick too...

Sumatra Golden Pwani
Island:
Sumatra
Grade:
1
"Region":
Mandheling
Mark:
Golden Pwani
Processing:
mixed
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
"1d"/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
?
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
85/ 86
Notes: Golden Pwani is a premium Mandheling screened to a larger seed size, subjected to extra hand-sorting, and carefully prepared.Pwani is the "original" Sumatran coffee exporter to Japan and the US (see the historical note at the top of the page). It is a beautiful deep-jade color, very large beans, and roasts very evenly. In the cup it is a wonderful combination of refinement and boldness. Theres a sweet honey taste initially, that fades into rich pungent spice and pleasantly bittersweet chocolate notes. It is hard to overly-recommend this coffee for its complexity; neat delicate grace notes AND incredible power, resonance all in one cup.
Please note: premium Sumatras are sometimes without character: I have had Sumatras that are dull and lifeless in the cup --too "clean". So perfect bean appearance does NOT translate into a better cup quality with Sumatras .. aside from clearly defective low-grade coffees I amj not sure that better appearnce EVER means better cup. This Pwani is exciting because it is nicely prepped AND has all the zing to it!
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
Body- Movement:
87
Flavor- Depth:
90
Finish- Conclusion:
87
Roast: Full City+. This years Sumatra crop can be roasted on either side of 2nd crack, either before or after it has began.
Score:
86.6
Compare to: Poweful Indonesians

Tanzania 

Tanzanian Peaberry 99/00
Country:
Rep. Of Tanzania
Grade:
Peaberry
Region:
"Serenghetti"
Mark:
None
Processing:
washed
Crop:
99/00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/84
Notes: I am prone to dislike any coffee that is overrated or has an undeserved reputation. So both "Tanzania" and "Peaberry" are by nature on my personal hit-list. I never buy a Peaberry unless it cups better that "flat-bean coffees" in a blind cupping. After all, you grind a Peaberry and you have coffee particles ...So who cares what shape the bean was initially? And Tanzanians in general have mixed quality; sometimes they cup like wanna-be Kenyas, sometimes they cup like last years dirty sneakers. I don't know why ...It seems that the Peaberry in general often has a bagginess to the taste that is very "past-crop", and I suspect that since it is a popular coffee in your generic Gourmet Coffee Shop, exporters realize that they can sell it nomatter HOW it cups!
Anyway, this rant is over, because I found THIS Tanzanian Peaberry that was very surprising: it has a light-bodied, clean, bright snappy cup, very tea-like, no bagginess! THIS is how Tanzanian should always cup! Like the Adela Estate Tanzanian flat bean from last year, it is a distinct and unique East African, and merits your attention!
Brightness- Liveliness:
88
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: City to Full City. Peaberries tend to roast a bit faster due to shape and density. Peaberry is the rounded mutant bean that forms when 1 of the normal 2 seeds in the coffee cherry fails to grow.
Score:
84
Compare to: Bright East Africans. Washed Ethiopian in its light-body tea-like quality...

Country:
Tanzania
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mark:
Adela Estate
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
2 / 2
Notes: I have sworn off Tanzanian coffees for 2 years now due to that baggy coffee Tanzanian Peaberry that everyone loves except the cuppers*. The Adela has changed that for me. Its bright, with lovely berry notes, and depending somewhat on the roast you can underscore the fruit flavors with chocolate roast tastes. This farm has had great output for several years running, I have been told by reliable friends in the coffee trade. Wonderful aromatics!
Intangible quality: I like it because my mom's name is Adelle
* I actually did have a very nice Tanzanian Serenghetti Peaberry sampe earlier this year but the specific lot of 100 bags was already sold out. I will buy a good PB if it proves itself in the cup, but not for the shape of the beans!
Acidity:
8
Body:
6
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: To the verge of 2nd crack, maybe a tad into it, but not much!
Overall:
23
Compare to: Estate Kenyas, other powerful bright washed coffees!

Timor 

Timor Organic Maubese -Grade One
Country:
Timor
Grade:
1
Region:
Maubesse
Mark:
SKAL Cert. Organic
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
00/01
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
--
Frag/Aroma:
84 / 86
Notes: Timor coffee from the new crop is in! This is '00 Timor from the Maubese region. Timor is a tiny island between Australia and Sulawesi, cruely annexed by Indonesia and recently liberated in a referendem. Small scale coffee farming was jump-started several years ago after the political crisis had resulted in untended coffee farms and horrible quality. It's due to a US AID grant to revitalize the rural economy and give small farmers a cash crop. This coffee support directly the organic growing association and its farmers --not the Indonesian govt. The coffee is pale like a good Java, and cups like one too, with a big oily body and deep but subtle spice in the flavor. And, unlike Java, theres a pleasant tad of acid to round out the cup too. Really, Timor is a rising star in Indonean coffees ... Maubese is higher altitude coffee land than Aifu region. I like them both. Maubese is a little brighter so most brokers / cuppers prefer it over the Aifu, but if you selectively buy from the best lots, the Aifu can be every bit as good.
Acidity:
84
Body:
88
Flavor:
86
Aftertaste:
84
Roast: Light, medium, dark ...this coffee is very versatile
Overall:
85.5
Compare to: What a really good Java should taste like ... bears some resemblence to Papua New Guinea too in its balance, brightness, and clean taste

Timor Organic Aifu -Grade One
Country:
Timor
Grade:
1
Region:
Aifu
Mark:
SKAL Cert. Organic
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
--
Frag/Aroma:
84 / 86
Notes: Timor coffee from the new crop is in! This is '00 Timor from the Aifu region. Timor is a tiny island between Australia and Sulawesi, cruely annexed by Indonesia and recently liberated in a referendem. On a lighter note, small scale coffee farming was jump-started several years ago after the political crisis had resulted in untended coffee farms and horrible quality. It's due to a US AID grant to revitalize the rural economy and give small farmers a cash crop. This coffee support directly the organic growing association and its farmers --not the Indonesian govt. The coffee is pale like a good Java, and cups like one too, with a big oily body and deep but subtle spice in the flavor. And, unlike Java, theres a pleasant tad of acid to round out the cup too. Really, Timor is a rising star in Indonean coffees ...
Acidity:
84
Body:
88
Flavor:
86
Aftertaste:
84
Roast: Light, medium, dark ...this coffee is very versatile
Overall:
85.5
Compare to: What a really good Java should taste like ... bears some resemblence to Papua New Guinea too in its balance, brightness, and clean taste

Country:
Timor
Grade:
1
Region:
Organic Maubesse
Decaf Process:
SWP -Swiss Water
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/1
Notes: Timor is a tiny island between Australia and Sulawesi. This the same as the un-decaf Maubese we have; like a good Java, and cups like one too, with a big oily body and deep but subtle spice in the flavor. And, unlike Java, theres a pleasant tad of acid to round out the cup too. Really, Timor is a rising star in Indonean coffees ...and Java, well, better luck next year. It is sent to the SWP Plant by the broker, so the coffee is guaranteed fresh and high-quality!
By contast, an SWP decaf bought from the plant is always of unsure origin and age. Buy only a 6 month supply of SWP decaf at a time or less...it's shelf life is said to be shorter than standard green coffee and other decafs (2 years).
Acidity:
6
Body:
8
Flavor:
6
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: Light, medium, dark ...this coffee is iny versatile
Overall:
20.5
Compare to: What a really good Java shoud taste like, but this is a cruddy year for Java. Please, get this instead!

Uganda 

Vietnam 


Yemen 

Country:
Yemen
Grade:
n/a
Region:
Sana'ani
Mark:
Saihi Type Sana'ani
Processing:
Sun dry
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
2d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Heirloom Arabica
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
90/90
Notes: I consistently cup Sana'ani coffees when I rate Yemens, and they are always pleasant, fruity, light-bodied; the Beaver Clever version of the dark brooding complex Yemen cup. This Sana'ani appeared with thoroughbred samples of Yemeni coffee from a specialized single-origin importer, Yemen Mokha Trading Co. They don't sell generic Sana'ani as most do (Sana'a is the capital city and all coffees from the surrounding districts usually are lumped together). They sell specific types from distinct regions. I cupped this coffee with the Ismaili (a type from Hiraz, heralded as the finest growing region) and a true Mattari region coffee. But the Saihi lit up the cup with its beautiful apricot fruit notes, delicate yet deep complexity with alternating spice, wine and pipe tobacco notes. The body is light. This is the brightest and fruitiest (and perhaps the "cleanest cup") of the Yemens I have. There are so many aromatics dancing around this cup I feel like a Kaffe-drunk Kaldi stumbling around, stunned with happiness. Now where did I leave those damn goats?
Brightness- Liveliness:
90
Body- Movement:
80
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
87
Roast: City, t full city. Roasts somewhat unevenly, and that's part of what gives it complexity in the cup. Let the darker beans enter 2nd crack, and the laggards will be at City stage.
Score:
87.3
Compare to: Great Yemeni coffee. Also, I have NEVER seen a Yemen so well sorted and prepped: large even seeds here.

Country:
Yemen
Grade:
good question!
Region:
Dhamari
Mark:
Yemen Specialty Coffees
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
2d/300gr
14/16scr
Varietal:
Heirloom Arabica
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: This is another Yemeni micro-regional coffee I have been waiting to get in stock for so long. It is less powerful than the Hirazi, but better as a straight roast. Hirazi can be too much at 100%, and have a flavor that's too woody and wild for most people's taste. The Dhamari region is South and East of Hirazi, and has a fermented-flowery-fruity taste. It's still good as a blender, used in slightly larger quantities in blends with the same positive effects as Hirazi . Here are technical notes provided by the broker.
Acidity:
7
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
8
Roast: Full City, or darker. Roasts very unevenly, and that's part of what gives it complexity in the cup. Let the darker beans enter 2nd crack, and the laggards will be at City stage.
Overall:
23.5
Compare to: coffees sold as Yemen Sanani, Mocca, or Mattari

Country:
Yemen
Grade:
good question!
Region:
Hirazi
Mark:
Yemen Specialty Coffees
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
97/98
Appearance:
2d/300gr
14/16scr
Varietal:
Heirloom Arabica
Frag/Aroma:
1/ 2
Notes: Warning: very flavorful,powerful coffee! This is the Yemeni micro-regional coffee I have been waiting to get in stock for so long. It is a very powerful dry-processed coffee exclusively from the Hirazi region. No, you won't find Hirazi many places; coffees sold as Moka or Sanani are blends and you don't know what's in them. Moka and Sanani are not the names of growing regions. Mattari is a growing region, but you still can't be sure its not blended with Dhamari, a lesser Yemeni coffee. Our supplier buys within the country, not from a broker. They are the only company that can assure 100% distinct origin of the coffees. This coffee has a huge taste, a fermented-flowery-fruity taste, rich acidity and body. Very different character emerges in darker roasts. It's excellent in espresso blends in 10 to 15 % quanities ...don't use more or it will take over! Here are technical notes provided by the broker.
Acidity:
8
Body:
7
Flavor:
8
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, or darker. Roasts very unevenly, and that's part of what gives it complexity in the cup. Let the darker beans enter 2nd crack, and the laggards will be at City stage.
Overall:
24
Compare to: Unblended powerful Yemens like Mattari (most sources labeled Matarri ARE blended)
(click on map for larger image of Yemeni growing regions)
Zambia 

Zambian Lilyvale Estate AA
Country:
Zambia
Grade:
AA
Region:
Kapinga
Mark:
Lilyvale Estate
Processing:
washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
18scr
Varietal:
-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/85
Notes: Balance and complexity are the hallmarks of this cup --mind you, it's a bright coffee too a la Kenya. I roast it lighter so that underscores the acidity. But Acidity is part of an integrated package --not the sole feature here. In fact, I think the body in this coffee is more than you find in most Kenyan. The body stands up well to longer/darker roasting; this coffee has a wide latitude in terms of roast and cups great anywhere from the lighter end of City roast to the darkest interpretation of Full City (quite a few snaps into second crack ...towards Vienna roast).
Brightness- Liveliness:
88
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
87
Roast: City to Full City --you can roast this darker if you find it too bright roasted light: darker roasts bring out some nice chocolate roast taste.
Score:
85.3
Compare to: Other great East African washed coffees, like Zimbabwe.

Country:
Zambia
Grade:
AA
Region:
Kapinga
Mark:
Chisoba Estate '98
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
2/2
Notes: Zambian coffees were the topic of many conversations at the SCAA conference in Denver last year. I sampled it there, and cupped samples later. I wasn't too thrilled. I received samples of this Chisoba Estate coffee in October 98 and decided to give it another try, cupping it against 4 other Zambian and 1 Zimbabwe sample in my "green coffee library." It was derfinitely the best one from the first slurp of the cupping, but what was so remarkable was the aftertaste. I kept going back to the unmarked sample cup that proved to be Chisoba, and rai the on my cupping sheet after each visit. The green coffee has a very unique appearance. I have seen few samples so neatly prepared but with so much chaff tenatiously clinging to the seed.
Acidity:
7
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
8
Roast: Full City, to the verge of 2nd crack but not into it.
Overall:
24
Compare to: good Zimbabwe, milder but complex Kenya

Zimbabwe 

Country:
Zimbabwe
Grade:
PB+
Region:
Mark:
ZMT
Farm?
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
BIG scr
Varietal:
Frag/Aroma:
1/2
Notes: This big beautiful Peaberry was a very pleasant suprise ...so pleasant that I knew it would sell out of the brokerage soon, so I bought a really good supply of it! It has a farm name on the bag (ZMT...whatever). But its pedigree isnt as important as its cup. This really cups with a beautiful sweet acidity, honey-like, and similar to a less powerful (but good) Kenya. The prep is excellant with a few pieces of parchment and a few non-peaberries in there, but lush blue-green color hinting at fresh crop and good moisture content. This puts any Tanzanian Peaberry to shame (which actually doesnt say much; Tanzanian is an incredibly overrated coffee).
Acidity:
7
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
6
Roast: I like this pre 2nd crack, then rested for 2 days to de-gas. It's good darker but you lose the sweet acidity
Overall:
21.5
Compare to: good, mild Kenya AA, Zambia, Malawi, Tanz PB

Country:
Zimbabwe
Grade:
AA
Region:
Mark:
Canterbury
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
98
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
1/2
Notes: Coffees from the southernmost regions of Africa are similar, but so uniquely spiced and laced with fruit in the aromatics, that each one deserves special consideration. Zimbabwes have been a favortie of mine since the time when I first encountered them as a roaster in New Orleans. The you would find me almost apologizing to customers about a my love for a particular shipment of Zimbabwe we had," it's so good ....I never heard of it ...it doesnt look good, but it really is." Anyway, Zimbabwe has staked a claim for itself since then, but frankly a lot of samples I received this year were dead as wet cardboard. I while for this stuff to show up, brokered through New York, and it really dusted all the West Coast samples I received, both new and past crop. It has good fruit, excellent depth, and is long on the aftertaste. A customer came in this week and said, " I don't know why but that roasted coffee you sold me last week ...the african stuff ...it was really good..."
Acidity:
6.5
Body:
7
Flavor:
7
Aftertaste:
7
Roast: Full City, to the verge of 2nd crack but not into it.
Overall:
22.25
Compare to: Zambian, Kenya

Misc. 

 
 
 
 
2001-2002
Reviews
Pre-2000
Reviews