In contrast to the Nicaragua Limoncillo from last week, this week's coffee was roasted to Full City to allow the roast flavors to become more prevalent. When we cupped the test roasts the lightest had some pungency and spiciness, not bad at all, however, we decided to go with the Full City sample as a guide since it brought a nice balance to the overall cup. We've been sticking with a similar profile in recent weeks which entails starting each batch at medium-low heat level and then incrementally raising the heat until the coffee nears first crack around 380 degrees and ten minutes into each roast. Then we lower the heat as low as possible without stalling the roast to extend the time the beans spend going through second crack and developing towards the end of the roast. For this particular coffee the final drop temperature was 440 degrees and the roasts averaged 16 minutes.
Sweet Maria's Weblog
Sorry I'm over a week late with this post, things have been hectic around here with all the new coffees being added. This one was kept at a City + roast level to highlight the "lemon cookie" flavor Tom mentions in the review. Final temp. was 427 degrees with a sixteen minute average roast time. This coffee would taste good roasted to a few different levels so this is just a decision we made at the cupping table to let the origin character take center stage, so to speak.
Friday appears to be "new coffee day" at Sweet Maria's. We have some interesting new Central American lots:
- Mexico FTO Chiapas - La Union Coop: I think the quality is up this year, with a brighter, more articulate acidity.
- Nicaragua Esteli -Nueva Esperanza Coop: A classic milk-chocolate-and-nut Nicaragua flavor profile.
- Panama Boquete Golden Peaberry: Bright and surprisingly more complex and intense than typical Panamas
- Panama Don Pepe Estate Dry-Process: Wins the award for unconventional; like a Ethiopia Harar or DP Sidamo!
- In other big news this week, we were in on the Guatemala Cup of Excellence #1 Auction Lot, El Injerto Estate Pacamara, lot that went for north of $80/Lb. green in the auction. Stumptown did the bidding and gets the majority of it, Kentaro Maruyama and his Mikatajuku group will offer it in Japan, and we get just one bag (154 Lbs). But oh what an expensive bag it will be, adding import and transportation too... Ay Caramba! Still, it's shy of the +$100 we spent on Batch 2 at the Panama Esmeralda Gesha auction... sure makes these 4 new arrivals seem quite reasonable!
- Guatemala Organic Finca Ceylan Maragogype: An outstanding large-bean Maragogype lot, smoky, bright, unusual.
- Panama Carmen Estate 1800+ Meters: Our special selection from this outstanding farm; crisp and bright.
- Brazil Cachoeira "Canario Bourbon": This is a boutique lot of an unusual sub-type of Bourbon coffee - floral!
- Brazil Jacu Bird Coffee!: The bird is back. We bought all of this, er, bird-processed coffee, and had it vac-packed.
- Colombia Cauca Finca El Roble (4-Star): New top-notch microlot from the farmer Geraldina Chango. Fruited ...
- Colombia Huila Finca Buenavista (4-Star): Our second selection that made the 88+ score to be a 4-Star lot.
- Colombia Huila Finca Las Mesitas (4-Star): Our third 88+ lot, from the Timana region of Central Huila
- Ethiopia Organic "Menno's Misty Valley": A silly name but a great, intense, heavily fruited lot ... 5 Lb. limit.
- Ethiopia Organic Yirga Cheffe: Super floral, sweet, citrusy; this is an incredible wet-processed Yirga Cheffe arrival.
- Brazil Cerrado WP Decaf: A great blend base for decaf espresso, or lo-caf blends. Neutral, good body.
This is a unique peaberry lot from Sumatra that has outstanding sweetness and a nice zesty finish when kept in the City+ range. To do this on the Probat we used some elements of the profile from the past few weeks, i.e. building up a steady charge and then pulling back on the heat as the coffee enters first crack. Final temperature ended up being 434 degrees and each batch took about 16 minutes to roast. I started reducing the gas when the thermoprobe read 380 degrees which occurred around the 10-11 minute mark. The resultant cup is bright for a Sumatra coffee and has a syrupy quality. When we test roasted this coffee the Full City level roast had some redeeming qualities but the sweetness fades quite a bit and the finish is less zesty. But this is one of those coffees that is quite enjoyable at a wide range or roasts. This would be a good candidate to roast at home to different levels and then (after proper resting time) cup them side by side; you'll notice marked differences between the City+ and Full City roasts and may even find that a blend of the different roast levels suites your pallet perfectly.