We have some scheduled site maintenance to take care of, so our shopping cart will be down for about an hour starting at 6am PST on Wed. 10/17. You can still window shop...you just won't be able to buy anything until around 7am. Sorry for the trouble and thanks for your patience.
In my opinion Colombia is part of coffee's holy trinity with Ethiopia and Kenya. (Cue, tomato throwing Guatemalan fanatics i.e. Thompson Owen)
Colombia has such fantastic diversity from north to south in terms of the geographical aesthetic, altitude, micro climates and yes, coffee flavors. Now its important to note that I'm a sucker for sweetness in coffees. Along with absolute cleanliness I really don't think there is any more important sensory component in a coffee's flavor profile. It's an indication of proper cherry selection and, as you all know, we are dealing with a fruit here. Pedregal coffees are so sweet and the range of sweetness is maybe what's most impressive. Brown sugar and raw honey perfume the aromatics intensely while, although still present in the cup itself, juicy fruit flavors like green grape and red apple are most apparent. These are some of the sweetest coffees. I know them better than most as I've been working with this group for what is now the 7th consecutive year.
Getting out to Pedregal is arduous. In the past year, heavy rains and the resulting rising rivers knocked out a bridge that connects the growing region to the nearest major city with a municipal airport. It has not been rebuilt, and now this "road less traveled" includes a river crossing via motorized canoe. It's all in the spirit of adventure, right? Anyway, we've done more lot separation, on a regional level, this year than we've ever done in the past. Pedregal is the equivalent of what we would call a county here in the states. The coffee is grown in the tiny hamlets perched up in surrounding highlands at altitudes ranging from 1700 masl to over 2000 masl. La Palmera, Agua Blanca, Palmichal, La Venta, La Milagrosa, San Jose, San Rafael, etc each produce coffee that can fairly unique from another. Due to its isolation Pedregal has escaped a lot of the Colombia and Castillo varietal (catimor) propaganda from the government. Caturra still reigns supreme and we've even found small amounts of Bourbon and Typica mixed in with it.
Folks, these are world class coffees. Their completeness and complexity are hard to match in Latin America. Tom, Dan and myself have spent days on end last summer, and continue to into the winter, evaluating Pedregal coffees and constructing these lots. All this cupping along with three visits already this year, you can believe that we're heavily invested in this project. And for good reason. We'll have a fairly consistent supply of these coffees coming through the year due to climate change and the constant rainfall/flowering in Colombia. All of that said, I expect these coffees to be very popular so get them while you can.
We are very pleased to be adding a few of our more "special" small lot coffees from the Pedregal region just in time for this holiday season. Like our other Pedregal lots, this coffee is sweetness driven. However, it's the aromatic sugars and fruit complexity that comprise the profile of this particular lot, that bump it into a different category alltogether. There's a candied sweetness in the dry grounds, with black walnut and honey, giving off a prailine-like note. Adding hot water, the crust is perfumed with that sort of unfiltered, crystalline sugar essence that you find in raw honey - dense, very floral, and up front. Trapped beneath the crust we find notes of raisin, oatmeal, light brown sugar, and sweet spices, which emerge from the back of the spoon on the break. The cup profile of this micro-lot is so juicy, both in the way of fruit and mouthfeel. The dominant fruited notes are black currant and blackberry, that provide both a pectin quality and also define the mild, yet tart acidity. The finish is predominantly comprised of light caramel and fine dutch cocoa notes, which the weighty mouthfeel allows to linger long on the pallet. This coffee has such a beautiful profile, which you are continually reminded of, as the sweet and floral aromatic aspects transfer from mouth to nasal passage with every sip. This lot from Libardo Ossa is indeed special, and at 4 bags, I don't expect it to be around very long.