This new coffee brings back memories of our first attempt in roasting this varietal back in July 2012. Pacamara is a hybrid of 2 coffee varietals - pacas and maragogipe created in El Salvador back in the 1950s.Read More
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This is our 2nd year working with Gilberto Bararona, owner of Los Pirineos. Last year we featured a coffee from this farm that was a predominantly natural-processed lot with a mix of 30% fully washed and semi-washed processed coffee.Read More
These 2 weeks are all about new coffees. First, we rolled out the latest iteration of the Four Chairs seasonal espresso blend. Next up, we present not one, but 2 new coffees!
The first new coffee is from Finca Villa Rica. This farm is situated in a region called Cauca in Colombia. For those who have read our blog post on theorigin trip to Colombia last year, you might recall that this is the small lot which won 2nd place in the Best Cup Cauca competition and the same coffee that Dennis used for his barista competition back in Jan. We visited the producer, Richard Olmedo Claros and his wife back then and wewere truly humbled by the way they managed to produced such quality coffeeswith such little resources. Richard literally rushed back to meet the group of coffee buyers in his humble abode upon hearing that his coffee came in 2nd in competition. When he found out the final bid for his coffee - US$6.6/pound, tears welled in his eyes. In our modern society of the developed world, it’s hard for many to understand how such amounts that might not seem much to some can actually be life-changing for others like Richard. His coffee has so much potential and we are sure that with more investment put into enhancing the processing of the coffee, they can only get better!
This coffee is loaded with sweetness. Plums and raisins followed by chocolate, cherry cola and black tea notes in the finish. The silky mouthfeel and incredibly clean cup characteristic enhances the flavours, resulting in a superbly balanced cup.
- Farm: Villa Rica
- Producer: Richard Olmedo Claros
- Region: Caldono, Cauca, Colombia
- Dry Mill: Banexport
- Varietal: Castillo
- Altitude: 1530m así
- Processing: The cherries goes through 14-15 hours of dry fermentation in pulp, followed by 4-5 washes in tanks to completely remove any remaining mucilage. The coffee is then dried on parabolic drying beds for 8-16 days depending on weather.
The second new coffee is from a country which we just visited a month ago, El Salvador. Finca Mi Tierrais located in the canton of La Montañita, Chalchuapa, Department of Santa Ana in the well-known Cordillera Apaneca-Ilamatepeque. This farm is owned by the Gamero Interiano family for over three generations. The family is aware of the demand for specialty coffee in El Salvador, hence they only use the best agricultural practices for the maintenance of Finca Mi Tierra. During the cherry harvest period, more than 90 highly qualified individuals are responsible for picking the best beans in addition to the 45 permanent employees who work on the farm. The average age of the plantation is over 35 years, comprising mainly of Red Bourbon (85%), a small amount of Typica (10%) and Maragogype (5%). Once harvested, the coffee cherries are delivered immediately to Beneficio Tuxpal.
We first cupped this coffee last year when we visited Beneficio Tuxpal. The pleasant acidity caught our attention. Federico Pacas from Beneficio Tuxpal explained that he had only started working with Finca Mi Tierra recently. With the high standards of processing done by Beneficio Tuxpal, the coffee from Finca Mi Tierra shines through with lots of potential.
As an espresso, the cup displays notes of dried fruits and raisins with overtones of sweet spice. Lush creamy mouthfeel ending off with walnuts and dark chocolate in the finish. We think this could well be another crowd pleaser for those looking for an everyday cup.
- Farm: Mi Tierra
- Producer: Gamero Interiano family
- Region: Chalchuapa, Santa Ana, El Salvador
- Dry Mill: Beneficio Tuxpal
- Varietal: Mainly Red Bourbon, with traces of Typica
- Altitude: 1200-1450m asl
- Processing: Washed and dried in the sun for approximately 12 days.
Both these coffees are available both in store and on web. Grab a bag to try and let us know what you think!
It is very unusual for us to feature two Naturals back to back but since the last one was so well-received, we have decided to roll out the next natural (almost) coffee, in time for the festive season!
Named after the famous Pyrenees mountain range in the borders of France/Spain, Los Pirineos is nestled on the top of the Tecapa volcano, about 3 hours drive southeast of the capital of El Salvador. This is our first year working with Gilberto after visiting him and the farm back in February this year. He built his new wet mill at the top of the mountain beside his existing dry mill, and since building wet mills seem to be Gilberto’s other forte as he has consulted, designed and built quite a number of mills for other farms in the country.
His very own mill is built to the highest standards using easy to clean tiles and stainless steel equipment only. It is definitely one of the cleanest mill we have ever visited and Gilberto takes great pride in his processing skills. The water used during processing of the coffee is recycled and the water comes from a tank which collects rainwater. All the pulp and mucilage is turned in to fertilizer using Californian red worms that makes it into nutrient-rich compost. The compost is then used for seedlings as well as to replenish nutrients to the coffee trees.
This heirloom Bourbon varietal was brought to the farm back in 1890 from Guatemala, which was then used to develop the newer Bourbon varietal, called Tekisik that is widely grown in the country now. Our friends over at Nordic Approach has attributed that the Bourbon Elite seems to give a sweeter and more intense fruit tones in the cup as compared to the Tekisik varietal. Gilberto does the drying of the naturals on African raised beds for 30-40 days as well as on patios until the moisture level falls to the required level. The raised bed drying helps to prolong the shelf life of the green coffees and also present a cleaner cup profile on the table. This lot that we bought is a special “blend” that Gilberto put together: 70% made up of natural and the remaining 30% of pulped natural and washed. Interestingly, this really toned down the amount of pulpy and fermenty taste that some naturally processed coffee might exhibit on the cupping table, presenting a very clean but yet sweet coffee.
We are probably not the biggest fans of naturals, but this cup proved to us that a well-processed natural can be just as clean as a washed coffee. On the nose, we get toffee and dried fruit aroma. Raisins, plums and prunes are some of the fruits that we taste on top of the big brown sugar sweetness. As the cup cools, the creamy texture really shines together with the chocolate caramel and almond milk finish. Available on web and in store.
- Farm: Los Pirineos
- Producer: Gilberto Baraona
- Region: Tecapa-Chinameca, Usulutan, El Salvador
- Wet/Dry Mill: Beneficio Los Pirineos
- Varietal: Bourbon Elite
- Altitude: 1400 - 1480m asl
- Processing: 70% natural with the rest made up of pulped natural and washed coffees. The natural component is a combination of those dried on African raised beds and on patios.
Switching out from series of African coffees, we have launched a new coffee from a farm that some might find familiar. Santa Petrona belongs to our dear friends of the Pacas family from El Salvador, 6th generation producers and counting.This is also the second year that we are working with Federico and Lily Pacas as we have always had high respect for how they treat their coffee, their workers and also their community. When we visited them again at the beginning of this year, some parts of the farm were affected by the coffee leaf rust disease. Fortunately, with the application of preventive measures many months back, the farm was not as badly hit as many others.
In general, the natural processed coffees that we have cupped do not have as much of a “clean cup” characteristic as fully-washed coffees. This is the reason why we find it difficult to find good natural processed coffees. But if one is to find a lot that is extremely well-processed, then one can also expect to have a coffee that is extremely fruity and sweet, usually with a bigger body to compensate for a lower acidic cup. When we first cupped this new coffee, we were surprised by how clean this coffee was. We think it all boils down to the great job done at Beneficio Tuxpal. Federico manages the beneficio with the help of the mill manager. As he explained to us, the first was to pick just the perfect ripe cherries. Next, the cherries are directly put in patio with someone constantly moving it to dry for 16-18 days. The coffee is then rested at the warehouse for 45 days till it reaches 11.5% of humidity. The dry process took place just before shipping, it was sorted 100% by hand and bagged immediately in grain pro bags to keep as much freshness as possible.
Being a natural-processed coffee, expect bags of brown sugar sweetness in the cup. Jammy dark cherries and mature grapes comes to mind next and hints of pistachio nuts lingers at the back. We really enjoyed this coffee both as a filter and espresso, seems to hit the right spot for either but with slightly differing yet tasty results. If you have not tried a natural-processed coffee, maybe this is just the right time for one!
- Farm: Santa Petrona
- Producer: Pacas Diaz family
- Region: Santa Ana, El Salvador
- Wet/Dry Mill: Beneficio Tuxpal
- Varietal: Red Bourbon
- Altitude: 1480m asl
- Processing: Natural