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A definite chocolaty sweetness, a rare aromatic quality in canephora (robusta) coffees. There's a hint of spice in the break of the crust. The cup is unquestionably robusta, but not your basic truck stop type. No rubbery flavors, no dirt, no musty notes. There are some maple and brown sugar sweet flavors, and excellent body.
Robustas need a minimum of Full City+ meaning the coffee has audibly reached 2nd crack, and I prefer 455 probed bean temperature (external) which is a Vienna stage. This coffee needs a lot of rest after roasting, such as 4+ days!
Jeelan Estate is located in the Chikmagalur district near the town of Mudigere Magundi, on the Bhadra river and at an altitude of 2500 feet. I was able to visit the farm when the coffee was in full bloom and spend a couple days with the owner, Mohan Alvares. This lot of single-origin, wet-processed, Kaapi Royale (top grade) robusta for your espresso blends. Nirali is hand-picked, depulped to leave the fruity mucilage layer on the coffee seed, and carefully screen-dried on raised bed. In order to do this, they use metal screens and to "turn" the coffee for even drying, they use metal scrapers ... all because the fruit of the robusta dries so sticky and hard that normal "raking" methods don't work. The result is outstanding crema, fruited hints, sweetness and brightness. In fact, I could cup test and drink this as a regular brewed coffee at FC+/Vienna roast, something that can be very unpleasant with average robusta coffees. It out-cupped all the robustas on the table, and while too strong as a straight shot espresso, the sweetness could be discerned in the espresso aroma. I appreciate a note in this coffee that has an almost maple-syrup sweetness, and no off flavors associated with typical or even specialty grade robusta. For me, Robusta needs to do its job in a blend, not detract from the arabicas, and actually add some positive flavor attribute. While the aromatics from this cup are low (as with all robustas) I still detect a definite chocolaty sweetness there, a rare aromatic quality in canephora coffees. There's a hint of spice in the break of the crust. The cup is unquestionably robusta, but not your basic truck stop type. No rubbery flavors, no dirt, no musty notes. There are some maple and brown sugar sweet flavors, and excellent body. The preparation is outstanding; the roast is very even. I would keep Robusta below 15% in an espresso blend but because of the quality of this robusta, you can go up to 25% before it starts to overtake to cup too much. Robusta has less aroma than arabicas, but this lot actually has a nice, dark, mildly sweet note to it. The aftertaste is extremely long and persistent, turning pungent in the finish as would a bittersweet chocolate. It's an amazing robusta, and actually has a maple syrup sweetness lingering in the cup. In fact, you can brew the FC+ roast of this in a French Press and have quite a remarkable cup.