|Region||Acatenango, Guatemala; Illubabor, Western Ethiopia; Karongi, Rwanda|
|Processing||Wet Processed (Washed)|
|Arrival date||Current crop coffees|
|Packaging||Grain Pro Liner|
|Cultivar Detail||Gesha, Ethiopia Heirloom, Bourbon|
|Appearance||.5 d/300gr, 15+ screen|
|Roast/Brew Recommendations||All Roast Levels, Drip Brewing, Espresso|
|Roast Recommendations||A stretched City+ on up to Full City for espresso; City to City+ if you're roasting for brewed coffee|
|Country of Origin||Ethiopia, Guatemala, Rwanda|
|Type||Sweet Maria's Blends, Farm Gate|
La Tacita Floral, "the floral cup", an aptly titled blend pointing to ingredients that show floral notes on their own, and together make for a flowery complexity that couldn't be acheived by any single component. Each are highlight coffees, but the crowning jewel of the bunch is Gesha, this time around from Guatemala, one of the most unique Central American coffees we've procured. In the past we have recommended some of our Gesha coffees for espresso, but realize that at $15 - $20 a pound, it's not the most cost effective way to enjoy this distinctive cultivar. We've also tasted that it only takes a small amount of Gesha to stand straight out in a blend, especially when pulled as espresso, and so La Tacita Floral was put together as a sort of cost efficient Gesha espresso, and pairs it with two other floral coffees to enhance perfumed highlights in the cup. The other two parts of the blend are from Western Ethiopia and Rwanda, both regions that produce some of our most espresso-worthy African coffees each year. All three are wet processed coffees, and so acidity comes in high volume. I recommend that for espresso you either dial that back by stretching your roast times for lighter roasts (if your roaster has manual controls), or shooting for roast development around Full City. You can be sure that either roast application still produces a citric vibrance, but just not to the point of puckering, or metallic. Florals are clear and apparent across this roast spectrum, and matched by resounding sweetness.
La Tacita Floral proves that when it comes to espresso, a little Gesha cultivar goes a long way. To be fair, 1/3 is no small amount, and from the high level of floral flavor and aroma found in the shot, I'd believe it if I were told this was 100% Gesha cultivar. We roasted several batches of this blend, and some of my favorites were on the lighter end of the roast spectrum, but with stretched roast times. For example, a City+ roast that we might normally achieve in 10 minutes, was dragged out an extra 3 to 4 minutes by making more incremental adjustments in heat, which allows the coffee to roast more evenly from the inside out. This also tends to mute acidity a bit, which for a blend of coffees that have some of the highest acidity scores, rolling off that intensity in the shot is a good thing. These long but light roasts could be extracted at a 1:1 ratio (18 grams in / 18 grams out) and show lemony brilliance without getting overly bright or metallic results. An up front burst of Meyer lemon quickly fades to floral chocolate flavor that coats your palate. There's an underlying sweetness that staves off any bittering flavors that often come with chocolate roast tone, and unbound floral accent notes proliferate. A strong note of pearl jasmine tea weaves through the undercurrent of sweetened dark cocao, infusing the shot with flowery perfumed note that lingers like a stargazer lily, as does a mix of dark orange, chocolate syrup, and rose water. Our Full City roast was still loaded with floral overtones and of course dark chocolate, a flavor mix consistent with high % cacao bar spiked with jasmine flower. There was also a dark fruit note different from our lighter roasts that comes off like sweetened pomegranate juice, and with mandarin-like vibrance woven through. This blend was constructed with espresso in mind, but each of the three ingredients score 90+ on their own, and so shooting for a dual-use roast for both brewing and espresso is a more than viable option.