City+ roasts start with sugar in the raw, pectin sweetness, moving toward big fruit complexity: fruit pie filling, blackberry, plum, and grape jam. Full City builds chocolate bittersweetness. City to Full City. Great Colombian espresso.
This blend of coffee from Inzá, Cauca is made up from the small producers from towns, or "Veredas" as they're called in Colombia, that lie in the shadow of the monolithic mountain ridge named "El Hato". El Hato roughly translates to "herd", like a herd of cattle, a term actualized in this ridge as a steep mountain face, whose vertical striation is a physical representation of cattle (the first photo is of the ridge at left). The province of Inzá is located in Southwestern Colombia within the greater Department of Cauca. As you make the drive from La Plata to Inzá, you follow the Rio Páez, and an eventual crossing over a suspension bridge lands you on the road to the the villages whose coffees make up this blend. Like much of Colombia, Cauca is home to some very high altitude farms, many breaching the 2000 meter mark, the coffee from this lot harvested from an altitude range of about 1500 to 2000 meters. The way we make up these regional blends is by cupping several samples from the individual farms, separating out those that meet a certain cup criteria, and then blending them together. It's a great benefit to us (and not to mention the cup) having this level of quality control with our Colombian blends. This is a wet-processed coffee, most farmers using old style hand-cranked pulpers, fermenting and washing in the same tank (the first pic is of a dual-use tank), and then drying out on raised, covered beds. Most farms have a healthy amount of Caturra planted, as well as some Timor hybrids (like Variedad Colombia and Tabi) in response to the major leaf rust outbreak in the 1980's.
The dry fragrance has more than it's share of brown sugar sweetness all the way up to Full City (and probably beyond), that with a red fruit and muffin-like smell reminiscent of raisin or blueberry muffin. The wet crust too has a quality that's like baked goods, pancakes with berry syrup, and a sweet honey-wheat scent on the break. City roasts show a persistent sweetness in the hot cup, going from simple syrup like flavor up front to unrefined, and toasted sugar flavors as you progress through the cup. A dried apple note comes up as the coffee cools, as does a tart to bitter accent of lemon rind. The acidic impressions in light roasts are like blackberry, a pleasant tartness that marks the cup and gives a palate cleansing effect in the finish. Full City roasts have berry fruit flavors intertwined with bittersweet chocolate, which in the finish comes off like chocolate/berry liqueur. Wonderful at a wide range of roasts, and for those who desire a Colombian espresso option, our shots of a Full City roast boasted loads of chocolate with dark fruited hints, viscous mouthfeel, and lasting bittersweetness.