In the last few weeks, i’ve been taking it easy and feeling a little off after hurting my feet. Sounds lame, but they support my stick-like frame, and a “relentless, dull pain” (as one fellow hobbler i met put it), just takes the fun out of anything.
Things are thankfully getting better in time for a Mercanta-organised trip over to El Salvador, visiting Finca La Fany and La Siberia (very excited!), followed by El Cero and La Reforma (?) and a look at El Borbollón milling facility. From there we travel through Honduras to Nicaragua to see a couple of other mills and Don Esteban farm. Finishing off with a visit to El Limoncillo and Siares. Yes!
On another topic, at the roastery, we’ve been cupping some new coffees and trying to get the bottom of an issue, which i’ll cover in a bit. But first:
Brazil Daterra Reserve
It seems to have lost the “special” tag somewhere on the way, but its good to see the Barista’s favorite is still what it should be: floral and a little grassy (in a good way) with a hints of Brazil’s classic chocolate and nuts. Lighter roasts are what we’re going with, just to get those high notes, but the darker roasts of this coffee gave us even more chocolate and a thicker mouthfeel. Great whichever way you brew, and always a pleasure.
Brazil Samambaia Estate Pulped Natural
This cupped like last years pulped natural bourbon. So, so, so nutty with a bit of choc in there. We’ve been wondering about this season’s crop of Pulped Natural, it hasn’t quite hit the spot that last years did, which is a shame, but this Estate lot (as opposed to the Yellow Bourbon) seems to do the trick. A few weeks ago, Peter opened a sack of Pulped Natural Yellow Bourbon to find a disturbing number of mouldy beans (see pic). It seems to be just that one sack, but it isn’t really a good sign. I guess this brings us back to the whole Pests and Diseases topic. I’ve done a little looking around and found a few pay-per-view articles from scientific journals which seem to use Fazenda Samambaia as a case study, though what, if any, problems they discuss shall for the moment remain a mystery to me. Anyone?
The lighter roasts of this coffee had a subtle plummy/date-ish thing going on, though more emphasis on the bitter, molasses-like fruit side of things, as opposes to sweet and sugary. A bit like tamarind i suppose. With the darker roasts, these unusual elements disappeared, leaving quite a dryness on the palate. The espresso machine was much kinder to this coffee, making a great, if slightly curious espresso full of chocolate and nuts.
Costa Rica La Candelilla
What a coffee! This one really stood out from the crowd when we cupped a sample last week. Really sweet, with a fermented fruit acidity (sounds bad, but is good. Trust me) reminicent of fine champagne, or perhaps a really good cider or perry. Certainly not musky ferment. A very classy number and we look forward to getting our hands on more of this great coffee. Until then keep thinking of apples and pears.