We have received our first three Costa Rica coffees ... the first of many, many farm-direct small lots we will offer this season! Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero -Villa Sarchi is a distinct variety of coffee (Villa Sarchi) that the farm separated for us, with a very balanced cup profile, whereas Costa Rica El Puente "Caturra Miel" is the first of several "Honey Coffees" we'll have. (Miel is a hybrid between wet-process and dry-process which leaves more fruit on the bean). The Costa Rica Asoproaaa Coop Tarrazu is a classic wet-processed coffee, but with vivid brightness, floral aroma, and nut-chocolate roast tones.
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We are receiving new coffees at a remarkable rate... Today we have available;
- A new Peaberry lot of the excellent El Salvador Matalapa, as well as (coincidently) a new peaberry lot of the Poco Fundo Organic coffee from Brazil. And there are 3 new African lots (Ethiopia-Kenya-Kenya)!
- Ethiopia Dry-Process Limu: Honey lemonade brightness, herbal tea notes, very lively for a dry-process coffee.
- Kenya Auction Lot #425 -Karimikui Peaberry: Ruby red grapefruit bright notes, glazed almond, light molasses.
- Kenya Auction Lot #643 -Mutitu: Winey fruits and black currant in this Nyeri district coffee.
- Coming tomorrow ... the first 3 of many Costa Rica Micro-Lots!
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.
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!