Garry’s coffee special features three of our more interesting coffees. Higher acidity, fruitier slow dried naturals, this bundle is leaning towards more exotic coffee tones.
A pound each of:
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Natural Konga Gr. 1
An awesome deal on a top grade super fresh Ethiopian arrival!
These beans are coming from more than 800 farmers living in Konga. A village near the Yirgacheffe District of the Gedeo Zone within the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State, Ethiopia.
Farmers deliver ripe cherries to the Konga Coffee Station which is owned and operated by Mekuria Mergia. Ripe cherries are carefully selected at the Konga Coffee Station and immediately placed on raised beds and dried over a period of 15 to 20 days. The raised drying beds are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for an optimal drying process.
Cherries are also turned regularly on the beds to prevent damage during the drying process. The cherries are stored in a local warehouse after the moisture is reduced to between 11.5 and 12 percent, and then transported to Addis Ababa where the coffee is milled, screened and exported.
Tasting Notes: A wonderful exotic single origin drinker. A bit fruit forward of a cup until one hits the darker roasts. Light to medium roasts are very tasty and a little more acidic (bright), a nice lemony floral tone upfront, not sizzling but a bit sharper than most we have seen so far this season, hints of red fruit comingle the more citric components and both add a sweeter edge to the cup. Those lovely lighter tones will find balance with a more chocolaty spice note, pretty hidden at light roasts but builds nicely into the medium and dark roast levels. Yirgacheffe is known for its more tea like dark tones, not over the top in this cup but adds some cool complexities in the aftertaste.
Roasting Notes: We thought this best at a nice medium roast but could see benefits of going light or darker as well. Will roast a little two toned so careful with those light roasts, make sure everything get a little past 1st crack or risk a little grassy tone in the cup. Light roasts one will have to enjoy more citric/fruit components to the cup, super light. Dark roasts are the opposite, real low acidity with semi-sweet bakers chocolate spice tones with some smokiness, hints of fruit can still be found but are a bit overpowered. At the end of the tasting we blended our light/medium/dark roasts together and it turned out pretty awesome as well, much more diverse cup, acidity and strong bakers chocolate with noticeable fruity tones.
Nicaraguan Finca Las Brisas – Pulped Natural Masellesa
This is the fourth season of Finca Las Brisas ! A crop we never thought would exist! Kate has had some awesome support to keep the farm going after Hugh passed late last season. Originally it was her plan to head back to the U.S. but her heart and soul are in this farm and she has decided to keep it going, with some very tasty results.
Katherine Force owns Finca Las Brisas and started it with her late husband Hugh. They are originally from Colorado but didn’t quite fit in with the culture around them. They had done some work in Matagalpa earlier on and when they finally decided enough is enough, they gathered their things and left to Matagalpa, a beautiful city nestled along the steep mountains.
This is an 8 bag lot from a very boutique coffee farm – only around 10-20 thousand pounds are produced. That’s only about 10-15 pallets and they pour their souls into those beans. The whole farm doesn’t even produce a full container – it’s all done by hand, and because they are connected with Steve from Selva Negra, we are able to sneak a few bags onto the Selva Negra containers to make transport nice and easy.
I was very surprised when I went to Matagalpa. The roads were fantastic, even better than around here, except for the road to Kate’s farm. It seemed to consists of small boulders going right up the side of a mountain. I was very surprised to learn that old Hugh was an avid biker and a couple times a day was biking up and down that road. I am not sure I would ever attempt such a feat. Hugh even hooked up his pulper to be run by bicycle. Not only saves power but he gets to bike while working.
Kate strictly employs her neighbors and community members on the farm. Same folks year in and out working to improve their livelihoods and neighborhoods. A prime model for what every business should do.
Tasting Notes: A very cool natural type cup that almost anyone will love. Although this cup does have some classic natural fruit tones, it is not overly done – you get a little dry cascara type note in the background. Very smooth, good body, lower acidity at most roasts with a nice malty/chocolaty note coming forward. Not quite as mild as last years offering with its stronger malty notes but a very clean cup with an exotic spin.
Roasting Notes: Start with a solid medium roast and go a little darker if too acidic or fruity for your tastes. Hard to mess these beans up but avoid super light roasts or one will get some punchy acidity and a bit more dry nuttiness. Works very well as a cold brew with good body and sweetness, those soft red fruit tones come right through.
Finca Las Brisas, Hugh and Katherine Force. The name means “farm in the mists”, 50 acres high in the Cerro Apante Nature Reserve of Matagalpa, Nicaragua.
They first came to Nicaragua in 2001 to work with a small technical school for a year, teaching design and installation of rural drinking water systems. Returning to their “old“ lives of construction superintendent and civil engineer, they found their thoughts were constantly on Nicaragua. They decided to return permanently in 2005. In one of those strange vicissitudes of life, Hugh, an avid mountain biker, discovered a coffee farm, nearly abandoned since Hurricane Mitch, while on a ride.
With advice from neighbors, extension agents and other coffee growers, the farm has recuperated, producing about 10,000 pounds of coffee a year. In addition to 10 acres of coffee trees, it also supports a small dairy herd that produces milk and cheese for the area. The coffee and dairy complement each other nicely; the cows love the fruit that is stripped off of the coffee berries, and the manure and coffee wastes are composted for use in the fields. They are increasing the quantity of coffee plants each year, starting first by replacing missing, dead or weak plants in existing planting areas. Planting in new areas is started by planting shade cover several years ahead of coffee, so the new plants have sufficient cover. All the coffee is shade grown under mix of banana, orange and diversified hardwood and nitrogen-fixing trees. Although they are on the electric grid, power is so unreliable that they depulp the coffee using bicycle powered machinery. A day’s picking of 80 pails of coffee fruit can be depulped in just over an hour.
They are a small farm, with eleven permanent workers, growing up to 28 during the coffee harvest, all of them neighbors. They support the community by offering higher wages, micro loans and transportation for emergency health care. The agricultural extension agents consider them a model farm and bring groups of farmers to educate and stimulate imaginations. Support and ideas flow both ways.
Thailand – Lanna Coffee – Law Wu – Honey Processed
Although a Honey Processed coffee, these beans are quite different from many of the Central American or African Honey Processed.
Thai Coffee?!?!? A rare origin in the U.S. for stand up beans, turns out they grow a lot of coffee in Thailand. The specialty market has been up and coming and the beans getting better and better. Similar to origins like India but with more hybrid processing methods. These beans have a unique story and taste.
We have been looking for tasty Thai coffee for quite some time, had some friends on the ground over there for a bit but every time we got samples, tasted more like robusta with some overly earthy tones, reminded me of more European style espresso beans. We hooked up with Lanna coffee recently (awesome folks) to source some tastier feel good lots.
Tasting Notes: Tasty honey processed but reminds me more of a washed processed. Not much for a fruit forward cup profile, bigger bodied and darker toned, reminds me a bit of the Nicaraguan Selva Negra Honey Processed. Lighter roasts will show some nice clean lemony floral acidity but do not fully develop the nice robust chocolaty factor, interestingly enough, one gets a bit of African herbal/spice in the cup at the lighter roasts. Medium roasts are where we thought it shined, just a small hint of citric sweetness upfront with a good balance of spicy chocolate notes, unique spice, more like the Indian coffees. Darker roasts get more like the Dominican with strong bakers chocolate and smoky tones, a hefty cup with very low acidity.
Roasting Notes: A easier one to roast but has a little higher chaff than average, not a light roast coffee for most, so error a little darker than lighter. A solid medium to dark roast creates a nice and unique cup.
Lanna coffees first year of working in this area was in 2018 and they aimed to help develop the area and create growing infrastructure for years to come.
This is a pilot project for Lanna Coffee Co. The villages in this area are very small, with no processing equipment, so they are combining the production from multiple villages to produce enough for export. Some villages still use a mortar & pestle to manually pulp the cherries!