Cafelatera Herbazu, Villa Sarchi Cultivar
We were looking over which new-arriving coffees were most popular, and which were selling slower, and I was shocked to see that Herbazu wet-process was a laggard. Shocked! Anyway, looking at sales, or promoting a coffee because it isn’t ripping off the shelves is all foreign to me. It’s more “businessy” than SM, but the idea that poor Herbazu isn’t popular hurt a little bit. It’s like someone calling your child ugly. It’s not right. Is it the name? Sounds herbal? Is it the fact it is a super clean, bright classic Costa Rica, which is less interesting than the newer, more exotic Miel-processed coffees like Finca Genesis? I roasted some Herbazu samples and put them in the daily cupping lineup against some other Central Americas, Honduras, Guatemala, etc. Stunning coffee. Dynamic, sweet in the aroma, citric, zesty, palate-cleansing. Surprising was how the slightly darker FC roast cupped. Rindy orange notes were sweeter than the light roast, with a darker berry fruit underlaying the piquant citrus. It’s great coffee. It’s a 90 point cup for sure.
Anyway, the normal mode here is to simply “do what I do” and not look at what sells, etc. The idea is to buy great lots from each origin, to identify a great farm, work with them, and just tell the story of the coffee and the cup. That’s it, to let your palate lead you to great coffees, and buy with your heart. Maybe I should just ignore the relative popularity of each coffee, and just focus on sourcing the best lots. But, I might ask, if you are considering a bright, classic Central, consider poor Herbazu. I doubt you could possibly find flaw with such a precious coffee. -Tom
Here we have a comparison of two mild and balanced wet-process coffees – the types of cups that make you say “That is good coffee.” It sounds dumb right? But we tend to describe coffee with so many different terms, so perhaps the best way to describe these cups is to say they are what we would call “crowd-pleasing coffees.” We hope you will join us in comparing the lighter and sweeter Honduras Marcala profile with the more chocolate-creme structure of the Costa Rica Ponderosa. Both were kept light to enhance the subtle flavors evident in each, City+ roast level, 422 final thermoprobe temperature, 15:30 roast time. The Ponderosa has a bit more body while the Marcala has a bright snap. Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment on the blog or forum, we hope to foster discussions amongst our home roasters about what these different lots have to offer at various roast levels.
We roasted two different Indonesian coffees this time… a Sumatra Grade 1, a Classic Mandheling,… and Sumatra Onan Ganjang Cultivar. The Grade 1 Mandheling is what many people look for in Sumatran coffee – heavy body and a complex earthy flavor. This is a deep, brooding, pungent, bass note coffee, with an undertone of mildly earthy dark chocolate. Onan Ganjang is a local cultivar from the Lintong area with the thick, creamy mouthfeel and low acidity you might expect in Sumatran coffee, but more rustic sweetness, malty caramel, butterscotch, chocolate, and slightly herbal flavors. Look for the taste differences between these two coffees at a similar roast level and it should be apparent how different Indonesian coffees, in this case two Sumatrans, can be. Each batch was roasted to Full City, 15 minutes, 435 degrees.
As promised earlier in the week we are adding three new coffees today, including a new Yemeni coffee, which has been much anticipated. The shipment finally came through and the first Yemen we can offer is the Yemen Mokha Sharasi, a coffee with intensely sweet aromas, and sweet fruit, spice and sandalwood accents, characteristically rustic. Interesting as a SO espresso with enough rest. The Brazil Daterra Farms – Yellow Bourbon is back, with a strong almond fragrance, and rustic sweetness. City+ roasts are good for a bright cup, and darker roasts for a compelling SO espresso. Finally, the first of our new shipment of Kenyan coffees, the ever-popular Kenya Kirinyaga Peaberry Gakuyu-ini, with high-tones citrus, Meyer lemon, layers of fruit, raisin and plum. A real fruit-bomb Kenya!