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A competition worthy Colombian coffee, light roasts show a complex array of honey drenched beeswax and lilac floral notes, fleshy fruit flavors, apple, golden plum, cinnamon stick, and acidity akin to black tea and apple juice. City to City+.
"Las Estrellas de Buesaco Microlote" is a blend of several producer's coffee in the Buesaco region of Nari_o. Five contributing producer's coffee in total, these were the top-scoring coffees (we'll call them "the stars") from a visit to the region last Jul. We haven't visited this area in quite some time, and most of our experience with the coffees that make up this blend were only at the cupping table in town, but you can believe the farmers who make up this blend are on our list of visits next harvest! Most of the farms are planted in a couple hectares or less of coffee, Caturra heavily represented, with Variedad Colombia, Typica, and a even some Castillo trees mixed in. The majority of coffee production is performed using hand-crank depulpers, then the coffee is generally fermented overnight, and finally dryed on raised, covered beds ("parabolicos"). The latter helps protect the unstable, wet parchment from the elements, and ventilation facilitates good airflow. Most of the individual lots making up this blend were less than a 70 kg bag on their own, but put together culminates in an 9 bag microlot blend. No doubt a limited quantity, but at 70 kgs per bag affords more than just a few folks the opportunity to taste Las Estrellas de Buesaco for themselves.
Truly a star of the new arrivals, Las Estrellas boasts subtle floral hints and honeyed sweetness, clean and articulated flavors that ride out through a very long aftertaste. The dry fragrance pushes a rose water like floral accent, and dense caramel sweetness, while the wet aroma is bears a likeness to cinnamon spiced wild honey. I often found "floral" at the tip of my tongue when thinking about Las Estrellas while I was drinking it, sometimes in the form of the floral side of sugars (inciting a retronasal response, like honey), and actual fresh and dried flowers. In the cool cup, these floral impressions show both ways, our lightest City roast having a delicious honey sweetness that reminds me of chewing honey-drenched beeswax from the comb, an immense sweetness that fills your palette, and then followed by an understated lilac aromatic note on top. Fruits come up as the coffee cools, like red apple and ripe golden plum, sweet fleshy fruits without the tartness of the skin, and a cinnamon stick note adds to a flavor composite akin to fresh cider. I brewed one of my roasts after just 24 hours rest and found myself returning to this review to add just how much stone fruit is found in City+ brews. It's like dried apricots with a saturated flavor of brown sugar and cinnamon. Acidic impressions are similar to black tea and apple juice and weave together a complex array of top note complexity. This is a competition level Colombia, and makes a superb pour over at City and City+ roast levels.