City+ to Full City has raw sugar and caramel sweetness, with stone fruit notes as it cools. Weighted, silky mouthfeel, like almond milk. High percentage cacao in the finish, like fine drinking cocoa. Wonderful SO espresso. City to Full City.
Colombia has such fantastic diversity from north to south in terms of the geographical aesthetic, altitude, micro climates and yes, coffee flavors. Now it's 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 coffees 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 it's 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.
We're on to our second shipment of Pedregal coffee and they continue to be defined by their seemingly inherent sweetness ala brown sugar and raw honey. This sweetness is expressed In the dry grounds of San Antonio as notes of wildflower honey, and dried fruits such as peach and Turkish apricot. There's also a sort of almond butter/marzipan smell to be found that verges on biscotti. Wafts of aromatic sugars come up from the wet grounds. It's almost as if you just added hot water to a cup of light brown sugar...that amazing smell of caramelizing cane sugar, so floral and sweet. Our darker, Full City roast, also has a fruited note of apple on the break along with candied nuts. This lot of San Antonio has such great body to it. The mouthfeel is reminiscent of almond milk in both silky-ness and weight. With a strong presence of raw sugars, at times it's like sipping on thinned-out caramel. Fruits aren't the dominant feature of this coffee, but as the cup cools we find fresh stone fruits like yellow peach and nectarine peeking out from the background. This coffee finishes with a definite presence of high percentage cacao, and a lactic quality reminding me of hot cocoa. Overall, San Antonio Lot 230 is a balanced coffee in sweetness and body, and with a gentle acidity, makes it a prime candidate for a SO (single origin) espresso option. The shots we pulled of our Full City roast were loaded with chocolate and toffee, and had a viscous mouthfeel (to be expected) that is oh so pleasing.