A Mexican roast that fits our roaster’s high standards finally found its way to our facility, and this one is absolutely fantastic. It has perfect balance, with a pronounced milk chocolate introduction, followed by notes of brown sugar, vanilla, cherry, and a little wink of citrus, with a lovely creamy finish. A washed process bean, we medium roast it to bring out the truly full bodied flavor it offers.
Grown in the central sierra mountains of Veracruz, Mexico, the town of Huatusco is in the relatively high mountains, at about 4,200 feet elevation. The workers tend to speak indigenous languages, not Spanish, and therefore have been growing crops a long time, and know how to get the most out of this land. They definitely achieved that goal with these coffee beans.
The Huatusco beans have a unique process used to de-pulp the coffee cherries, adding rehydrated yeast and mucilage as part of the 48 hour fermentation process, leading to a sweeter, fruitier bean than most washed process coffee beans.
Our first natural process from Guatemala, it has lower acidity than the Ethiopian naturals, while still having a fruity profile. Blackberry, mango are the first flavors we picked up, with guava, red currant following and just the most subtlest of chocolate coming through as the cup cooled. It feels like an Ethiopian natural without the acidity or strong citrus profile.
These beans come from the southeastern part of Guatemala, in a very rural, inaccessible, mountainous area above Laguna de Ayarza (locally known as “Blue Lake”), where there are less than 10 homes in total around its perimeter. Cold, deep and pristine, the lake is said to be formed by two massive volcanoes that collapsed into a large crater, parts of the bottom having never been found. The beloved lake is part of legendary folklore for the locals. Because natural process coffee beans have more rigorous requirements, only those grown in the 5,500-6,000 elevation are selected.
Due to the hilly conditions where the beans are grown, the natural process beans are transported to a neighboring region where there is flatter land available for drying them in the sun, with sufficient breezes to blow over them. Laid out in layers of 3-4″ deep, they are dried for 5-6 days while being constantly turned during the day. The cherries go from red or yellow to purple, and then black. They are then finished for a half a day in mechanical dryers, this final process helping to control the acidity and ensure a final dry process without any pesky rain showers that may cause re-absorption of rainwater.
Juicy and fruity, but no pronounced lemon citrus as many other Ethiopians have. Watermelon and raspberry burst into your mouth, with subtle notes of strawberry, fig and yellow plum. The sweetness overall is as expected with an Ethiopian natural process, but also complex and rewarding to its purchaser. Feels like a cousin of our Kayon Mountain we featured earlier this year, though without the noted dark chocolate notes.
The Aramo station was was founded in 2005 by Asnakech Thomas, the first Ethiopian female coffee producer, miller and direct exporter. Part of her mission has been to improve the lives of the Amaro people, with a particular focus on women and girls in the area. The company also invests in training and replanting programs for all. This bean comes from the village of Aramo, another Yirgacheffe highland product within the Sidamo region, and grown at elevations of between 5,400-6,000 feet. A small army of approximately 800 farmers help to select and harvest this brown bounty.
These natural processed beans are dried in raised beds for 4-6 weeks. The beds provide an even aeration, in which dry air can reach the beans from both above and below. When ready, they are hulled and bagged for export.
A gorgeous, washed process bean, bright, fruit forward, and complex acidity, with defined citrus juice flavor notes. A melange of tangerine and mandarin blossoms into your mouth, accented by berry and apricot, this is a classic high end Kenyan coffee. This AB bean is slightly smaller than the AA version we have roasted in the past, a 15/16 screen vs. a 17/18.
The Ichuga beans are grown in the Kenyan Nyeri County highlands and processed at the Ichuga wet mill, operated by the Kiama farmers’ co-operative society. Centrally located between the Western slopes of the Aberdare range and the Eastern slopes of the highest mountain in Kenya, Mt.Kenya, this bean is grown at altitudes ranging between 5,250-5,850 feet.
The ripest cherries are selected by the over 3,000 co-operative members, and processed in the fresh water of the Gathiururuko Stream. This is followed by the traditional process of de-pulping, and then fermenting in water for 12-48 hours. After being washed and graded, it is slowly dried on raised African beds for up to 3 weeks.