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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.
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.
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.
This washed process bean is flavorful and rich, with a lower citrus profile, as is typical w/ most grown in Central and South America. Featuring distinct flavor notes of creamy dark chocolate, cherry, plum and even a hint of cola, balanced by more subtle mango and apple that come through as the coffee cools.
The beans originate from the Finca el Tambor farm in the Palencia municipality of Guatemala, featuring 8 full time workers who are allowed to farm about 10% of the farm to grow vegetables for themselves. The name translates to “The Drum Farm”, inspired by an underground waterfall that once pulsed the land with a drumming sound. Interestingly, the owner, Victor Calderon, a fifth generation coffee grower, is a big proponent of sustainable growing methods. He has chosen to leave half of the farm under forest, has his team weed mechanically rather than use pesticides, and uses smaller scale machines to process the beans, resulting in very low energy consumption, less than 10 gallons of diesel for an entire harvest season. The farm also captures some of the 50 inches of rain water that falls during the rainy season and later uses it to process the beans in addition to the two dozen fresh water springs that run through the 5,000+ foot altitude property. The farm also uses a unique method of employing shade trees from avocado and cinnamon to help protect the coffee trees.
The beans from the various parts of the farm are kept separate and processed separately, then washed in the retained rainwater, de-pulped, and then dried and turned frequently on concrete patios. The varietals include Bourbon and Caturra.
This elegant Ethiopian bean offers complex yet silky flavors of black tea. The taste of peach, sweet sugar plum, honeysuckle and chocolate pair nicely with light floral aromas of lavender, ending with a delicate, pleasing, acidic punch. The soft flavors of this bean make it best served as a medium roast.
The farm collectives are located in Halo Beriti Woreda, in the Gedeb District region of Ethiopia, averaging about 6,500 feet above sea level.
The beans are hand picked, wet-processed and fermented for three days before being separated from the fruit. This process allows the beans to absorb the sugars in the coffee fruit, creating a stronger full-body flavor.
This bean provides intense flavors of tropical fruit followed by a delicate floral aroma. Bold passionfruit notes are transformed into lingering pineapple and lemonade flavors. This beautifully refined cup is characterized by strong citric acidity and sweet herbal notes of lavender, jasmine, bergamot and hops and is kept as a medium roast.
This bean comes from the village of Edido, in the Aricha sub-region of the Yirgacheffe District of Ethiopia. The fertile soil, consistent and plentiful rains and high altitudes of 6,200-7,200 feet contribute to the high status of Yirgacheffe coffees.
The Yirgacheffe is a fully washed bean, with ripe cherries that are fermented for 36-48 hours then sun dried on African beds for up to two weeks. The beans are covered between 12pm and 3pm and at night time, to protect them from the sun and rainfall/moisture.
This natural process, Grade 1 Organic certified coffee is known for its diversified yet exquisite profile. On one side, the sweet but tangy watermelon and berry (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry) flavors brighten the cup, while the chocolate fudge notes produce a more mild finish.
These beans are harvested at the organic, privately owned Kayon Mountain farm located in the Guji zone of Ethiopia, about 6,700 feet in elevation.
The cherries are placed onto raised beds for 12-20 days, meticulously hand turned and picked over to remove and defective beans. The dried cherries are then milled to reveal the beautiful naturally processed bean.