THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. This Java Cultivar boasts balance of sweet and bitter flavors, "Nicaragua-like" in that regard. But it's the elegant top notes set it apart from the rest: unique florals, jasmine, dried fruits, lemon-lime, and mouthcleansing acidity. A true highlight Nicaragua. City to Full City.
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This lot is from the Buenos Aires Beneficio (wet mill) just outside Ocotal, Nueva Segovia. The emphasis here is not on the mill or region as much as the coffee variety grown, a unique type called Java (they pronounce it "hava"), sometimes called Nicajava. It is not from Java, and it's true origin is a bit of a mystery, an elongated and slightly pointed bean, and a tree with very upright branches, reminiscent of a young pine cut as a Christmas tree. Some of these plants have green-tipped new leaves, others are bronze-colored (first two photos are Java cultivar in Nicaragua). I first sourced this coffee over 10 years ago from the Mierisch family, and since then, the seed has been planted at many farms yielding different results. More significant than the history is a unique cup character that stands out on a table of Nicaragua Caturra or Catuai coffees. The Java has a unique sweetness, and moderate floral and fruit notes.
Transplanting cultivars doesn't always yield a carbon copy - especially when it comes to what's tasted in the cup. This is one of the successes, and the prized characteristics share a lot more in common with African coffees than Central American. The nose boasts fresh floral smells, lilac and jasmine, and a honeysuckle sweetness. Perfumed with spice and tea notes, aromatics are strikingly similar to Darjeeling tea, and with a smell of ginger snap cookies when breaking through the wet crust. More defined fruit flavors come out in the brewed cup, starting with a flavor that really reminds me of fruit loops cereal! A nice sweet cup, in the realm of cane juice, an unrefined and slightly rustic cane sugar appeal. It harnesses balance between bitter and sweet flavors, the sort of "core" flavors we expect from this region . The cooling coffee shows black tea top-notes, English Breakfast, Darjeeling, and plain old Lipton with lemon. Subtle flavors of golden raisin, black currant, and a lemon-lime 'tang' show too, along with a unique jasmine hint. Acidity is also tea-like, mild and tannic, but a bit mouth-cleansing, an aspect that holds on well into the aftertaste. This coffee has a bit of silver skin intact, consequently producing quite a bit more chaff than some other coffees. Agitating the coffee with your bare hands is a good way to detach the chaff, followed by a good winnowing to remove it.