We've said farewell to Workshop's awesome Kiawamururu, and Has Bean's Costa Rican Herbazu Honey Process. Feedback on both was excellent. Overall, by sales the Costa Rican was the most popular coffee, but it was on at a slightly lower price, and the fact that it was a more rounded, balanced coffee I think made it particularly popular. The Kiawamururu was a spectacular coffee, full of blackcurrants, and wine gums. A really good coffee to contrast against the Costa Rican. So on to new coffees.
Wote Yirgacheffe Country of origin: Ethiopia Region: Yirgacheffe Producer: Mr Mergya Washing station: Wote Varieties: Mixed heirloom Process: Washed Roaster: Square Mile Brewing method: Chemex
This coffee is grown by about 300 small holder producers who bring their coffees to the Wote washing station, owned by Mr Mergya.
We get exactly what Square Mile have on their tasting notes: juicy peaches, apricot jam and a bergamot finish. It's an incredibly light bodied coffee with an almost tea-like consistency. Find out more about this coffee here.
Nicaragua Limoncillo Pacamara Pulped Natural Country of origin: Nicaragua Region: Matagalpa Producer: Dr Erwin Mierisch Farm: Finca Limoncillo Varieties: Pacamara Process: Pulped natural Roaster: Has Bean Brewing method: Clever Dripper
One of the things we really like about this coffee is that Steve from Has Bean has a very close relationship with the farm. He knows Dr Mierisch and his sons well and buys directly from them. Last year when he found out that the importer was not going to bring this coffee in again, Has Bean ended up buying a years worth of coffee in one go to ensure they could have it. Their relationship went from buying through the cup of excellence scheme, to a long-term buying relationship, to a direct trading relationship. This means that we know that the farm pays their workers 30% more than minimum wage, provides them with free housing, electricity, water, food and much more. Steve has written a lot on the farm and the coffees that come from it here.
The coffee is a special pulped natural version of a coffee that is usually washed or natural and this adds to its complexity. The coffee has a wonderful sweetness and creamy mouth-feel with a mango-like acidity.
One very obvious difference between the two coffees we have on at the moment are the size of the beans. The Yirgacheffe berries are tiny, and the Pacamara beans are huge! The size of the Pacamara beans is mainly down to hybridisation. The beans are a hybrid of Pacas and Maragogype seeds that originated in El Salvador. The Maragogype beans are naturally very large - they're known as the giants of Arabica coffee. The plants are very large, the leaves are large, the cherries are large; however, the reasons behind this are beyond my knowledge of biology and coffee! There's an interesting article on coffee varieties here if you'd like to read more.