Encounter raw sugar and dried fruited notes, flavors of cornbread with honey, peach skin, a dense bittersweetness at the core. Hazelnut note marks the finish. City+ to Full City+. Chocolatey espresso.
Urrao is unique for many reasons, one being the average altitude of this mountain town. The Valley of Penderisco where Urrao lies in northern Antioquia sits at 1800 - 1850 meters, this valley floor being higher than some of the mountain peaks in other areas we buy. Many of the farms we're buying from in the region top out at 2100 meters, healthy Caturra plantings abound. This area is quite cold too, however the coffee farmers have benefited from an uptick of a couple of degrees C over the past decade, now a climate more suitable for coffee production. This lot from Don Giraldo is a first for us, a newer producer to the buying program we are part of in this region, the number of contributing farmers now upwards to 50. Most farms are less than 5 hectares of coffee, and planted in Caturra, Variedad Colombia, and a local heirloom of Caturra. The coffee is wet processed at home, depulped, fermented, and dried in raised solar dryers. Because of the cold weather, fermentation times are longer on average than many southern coffees we buy. This lends to more fruit-forward notes, and somewhat muted acidity. We enjoyed City+ and Full City roasts of Don Giraldo's coffee the most, where dark fruit notes are paired with bittersweetness, and body is dense and weighty.
Grinding the coffee gives a pleasant, if not accurate, preview of what to expect in a brewed cup. Molasses and other dark sugar sweetness dominate, with understated dried fruit and herbal notes accenting the ground coffee. The level of sweetness builds in the wet aroma, a creamy smell of brown sugar and chocolate milk, accents of banana bread coming up in the steam after breaking through the wetted crust. These fruit tones carry weight in the cup too, especially as you pass City+ roast level, which I think is a roast level minimum for this coffee (lighter and I found sweetness to be lacking). Fruited notes are on the subtle side when the coffee is hot, but a bittersweet core flavor matrix is anything but. At City+ the bittersweetness isn't so chocolatey, but more like corn muffin with honey and a peach skin bittering. Once cooled down a bit, dried fruit notes come through but are not easily defined with the base bittersweetness more in focus, and a hazelnut flavor fills the aftertaste. Full City roasts build up layers of chocolate roast tone, like baking cocoa and high % cacao bar, and dark berry undertones add a layer of complexity. At 48 hours rest, cup characteristics of City+ and Full City roasts find harmony, and make for a nice brewed coffee. Full City and Full City+ roasts make a fantastic chocolate-toned espresso too.