Blue Orchid is Huckleberry’s house espresso blend. We serve this coffee every day in our cafes, and it is designed to be approachable, both as espresso and as a brewed coffee, with and without milk. If you’ve ever had a great latte experience at one of Huckleberry’s cafes, Blue Orchid was the base.
While the Blue Orchid blend does change frequently, we try to maintain a sweet, full-bodied, chocolate and caramel flavor profile by using Central and South American coffees specifically chosen for those qualities. This is great tasting comfort coffee, and is a well-rounded crowd pleaser, especially if some of that crowd likes cream in their cup, or is still making the transition from darker roast profiles into specialty coffee. We love intense floral aromatics, but some mornings we just want the chocolate, toffee, and a bit of milk in our mug, and for those days, Blue Orchid is our go-to.
The current version of Blue Orchid is a blend of Brazil Fazenda Cachoera de Grama and a washed coffee grown by AProCafé El Grano in Guatemala.
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We love the balance of approachability and jaw-dropping flavors that great Colombian coffees can exhibit, and Las Brisas has been one of our favorite Colombians for the past few years running. Last August we had the chance to visit the group, and we're looking forward to not just roasting this year's harvest, but also many harvests ahead. In this crop we taste bright green grape and citrus, balanced by sweet flavors of stone fruit, cherry cobbler, and caramel. All of this makes this an exciting coffee for the nerds, and also a friendly coffee for less-seasoned specialty coffee drinkers, too.
Las Brisas is grown by growers in ASOQUEBRADON growers group, based around the town of Rioblanco, Tolima. This area sits near the juncture of Colombia's three mountain ranges, or cordilleras, and the name Las Brisas refers to the strong winds blowing through the region.
We roast quite a bit of coffee grown by small producers. Las Brisas and our other Colombian coffees are unique in that smallholder farmers mill, wash, and dry their coffee individually, at their farms, rather than at a centralized wet mill. Most of our other smallholder coffees, like Guatemala Atitlán el Grano, Ethiopia Adado, and Rwanda Kanzu, for example, are picked and delivered in its cherry to a centralized washing station, where it is processed collectively.
Individual processing can create challenges for consistency and quality, but luckily our export partner Caravela's regional team of Davier and Wilfer work together with the growers to improve farming and washing practices, to help ensure that the coffee is delicious. All of the farmers who make up Las Brisas are well-practiced in proper fermentation and washing, and dry their coffees on covered beds for slow, even drying and protection from Colombia's rains.
Careful growing, proven varieties, excellent terroir, and skilled processing help create an impeccable, dynamic coffee that we think you'll love. Las Brisas has sweetness that lovers of more basic, milk-friendly coffees will enjoy, but also packs a punch of stellar, fruity brightness and the juicy flavors that excite the roasting team here at Huckleberry.
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$ 18.00 $ 20.00
Guatemala Miel de Oro is our Coffee of the Month for December!
This is our second year roasting this sweet, creamy coffee from Acatenango, and we’re stoked to have Mario Alarcon’s black honey process back in the Huckleberry quiver. While the bulk of our Guatemalan coffee and our efforts in the country will remain centered around the smaller-scale growers in AProCafé, we’ve never closed off the idea of other Guatemalan coffees, especially with a personal connection.
Our coffee buyer Kevin’s friend Frosty (or Cristian, but he’s pale by Guatemalan standards and that’s what everyone calls him) introduced us to Mario Alarcón and Christian Starry, two slightly larger-scale growers in the Acatenango region who banded together with other growers in the region to export their own coffee under the name Truth Trading Company. When we first tasted coffee together, Mario’s coffee stood out, and that excitement holds true for year two.
This honey-processed coffee is picked ripe, like any other coffee in our lineup, but falls somewhere between a washed coffee and a natural. Washed coffees are depulped of their cherry skin, then have all the additional sticky fruity material (honey or mucilage) washed off prior to drying. Naturals are dried with the fruit intact. Honeys are depulped, but dried with varying levels of that mucilage still on the bean. White honeys dry with very little mucilage, black honeys dry with the most.
Mario takes the basics several steps further. He uses a brix meter to decide when to pick his coffee (22 Brix), then before depulping, keeps his coffee in its cherry for a day or two of anaerobic fermentation. Then he depulps his coffee, leaving a large amount of mucilage intact, and dries slowly on raised beds over the course of 2-3 weeks. With its in-cherry fermentation, Miel de Oro almost straddles the line between honey and full natural, and we have a feeling that’s part of the reason it’s a standout.
All said and done, we’re here to roast you coffee that tastes good and tastes interesting, and we’re pretty happy that Frosty put Miel de Oro in our playlist. This is a full-bodied, creamy, and deeply sweet coffee that will stand up great to milk and work great as an espresso. It also packs plenty of complexity, without the intensity of some full naturals and a tad less brightness than some full washed coffees. On the bag we say cashew butter, grape jelly, chocolate, and creamy. If you’re looking for a coffee with complexity but mellower acidity and full sweetness, Miel de Oro might be your pot of gold.
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Deri Kochoha picks up the fruit where Ardi left off. Our second Ethiopian natural of the season is fruit-forward, clean, and delicious.
Coffee is the seed of a fruit, and most of the coffee we roast and drink is washed - that is, the fruit is removed from the seed before drying. For Deri Kochoha and other natural-process coffees, the coffee is dried with the fruit still intact, and the dried cherry is removed during milling. This process imparts a uniquely fruity, jammy quality to the coffee, though improper and uneven drying carries a distinct risk of off, funky flavors and early fading. The best naturals, though, taste like a blend of coffee and fruit punch.
600 + smallholders in the woreda (village) of Hagere Mariam pick their ripe coffee cherry and deliver it to the Deri Kochoha washing station, where it is sorted for ripeness, laid out on raised beds, and further sorted over the course of several weeks’ drying time. We tasted dozens of naturals from throughout Ethiopia this year to follow up to Ardi, and this lot from the Guji Zone in Oromia was a standout for it’s clean, sweet juiciness.
Deri Kochoha should be an easy choice for all you fruit-forward coffee lovers out there. We’re tasting ripe strawberry, melon, and a deep sugary sweetness reminiscent of dark honey or brown sugar.
Yabitu Koba is high a.f., and it's bright, floral, and delicious.
This is the second time we’ve roasted from this village in Ethiopia’s South Guji zone, and its farms are the highest of any in our lineup, topping out at 2320 meters (7611 feet) above sea level.
While high altitude isn’t the only ingredient for great coffee, it certainly helps. The large difference between day and nighttime temperatures and extra effort the coffee plant puts in to produce ripe cherries tends to increase brightness and overall complexity, and when it’s combined with Ethiopia’s super floral indigenous coffee varieties, ripe picking and great washing station practices, the combination is magic.
We’ve been sourcing washed coffees from South Guji through Red Fox Coffee Merchants for the past 4 years, and have faith that Aleco Chigounis will always be able to help us find a gem from the region. Two years ago we roasted another coffee we called Yabitu Koba, from the cooperative of the same name, but this year’s coffee is a bit different. In this case, independent coffee producers delivered their coffee cherry to the Hana Asrat washing station, and washing station manager Feku Jebril oversaw its sorting, washing, and drying. It all works out to one of the highest scoring coffees on our cupping table this year.
We’re stoked on this coffee for its delicate complexity and refreshing sweetness. We’re tasting peach tea (like the last Snapple bottle you drank back in 1999), citrus candy, intense florals, and honeydew melon. While you might enjoy this coffee with milk, that dairy might cover up some of what makes this coffee so great, so we’d recommend it drunk on its own and brewed with a paper filter to highlight its bright, clean, juicy flavors. Break out that pourover cone and get high on Yabitu.
Guatemala is always on our minds here at Huckleberry, and even though the coffees from the AProCafé El Grano Growers Association might only be on our menu for a few months each year, these coffees represent year-round work and commitment from both Huck and the growers. After months of work and a bit of waiting, we’re always stoked to drop Atitlán el Grano back into the lineup.
Lake Atitlán is a truly stunning body of water, surrounded by mountains on all sides, and three volcanoes on its southern shore. The coffee growers of AProCafé are based on the southwest shore of the lake and the slope of Volcan San Pedro. Their rich volcanic soil, combined with well-managed organic growing practices and careful processing, contribute to a delicious coffee year after year. AProCafé farmers also consider themselves stewards of the environment, growing their coffee with only organic inputs and taking care to properly treat their processing water. Petrochemical fertilizers and improperly treated water from washing stations have contributed to various environmental problems in the area, including increased algae on the lake over the past decade. AProCafé is one of several grower groups around Atitlán working to improve the environment while also producing tasty coffee.
Huckleberry has been roasting coffee from AProCafé el Grano since 2015, and have been working hands-on with these growers since day one. Several years ago we worked with the group to develop their first single farmer microlot program, and have used a portion of proceeds from our holiday Sister Winter blend each year to help the group with a variety of projects. AProCafé has used Sister Winter funds to purchase and apply organic-approved leaf rust prevention treatments, to build raised drying beds to improve coffee processing, and a portion of funds from 2017-18 will help some of the more remote growers purchase a new depulper to further improved coffee processing.
While we’ve had special single farm microlots each year, this year’s main lot from AProCafé is equally special, and may be our best multi-farmer coffee from the group to date. While AProCafé does produce excellent coffees from all 40+ farmers, this year we worked with the group to take it a step further. Association head Pedro Izaias separated out Huckleberry’s lot from some of the group’s most experienced and dedicated growers (including familiar microlot producers Lucinda Puac Pérez and Pedro Trejo) and only from the peak period of harvest. The result is our cleanest and juiciest Atitlán el Grano yet.
This year’s Atitlán el Grano is balanced, deeply sweet, but also packs some pop - we’re tasting caramel, black cherry, pear, and cacao, and are looking forward to brewing it up as both a filter coffee and espresso over the next several months. We’ll also roast up some special single farm coffees from these growers, but don’t overlook the main lot - it’s tasty as hell.
Over the past several years, Huckleberry has been working to build a stronger relationship with the AProCafé El Grano growers association in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala. These growers produce our Atitlán El Grano coffee, which we love dearly, but we've also been working on some other projects with the cooperative so that we can grow together. We’ve helped the growers with their leaf rust prevention efforts, built raised beds for improved coffee drying, and this is our fourth year paying higher prices for exceptional single farm microlots. Don Manuel Tzic Saso has exceeded our expectations and made the cut every year.
Like all of the farmers in AProCafé, Don Mañuel has great terrain and altitude for coffee growing, plants his coffee trees under shade, and farms using organic, sustainable practices. We had the chance to visit Manuel last year though, and he's a special character. He's exceptionally kind and generous, and impressively detail-obsessed, able to point out each species of shade tree on his farm, tell you when he last pruned every parcel of his land, and clearly takes joy in sweating the small details that breed quality. With wild hair and some quirky nerdiness, he kinda reminds us of a Guatemalan version of Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future.
Unlike most other farmers in AProCafé who deliver their coffee cherry to a wetmill in Cerro de Oro, Don Manuel lives in the aldea (more or less a township) of Panyebar, above the town of San Juan la Laguna, and washes and dries his coffee on his farm, along with the coffee from a few of his neighbors. His farm is one of the highest amongst AProCafé's growers, almost 1000 feet above the shore of Lake Atitlán. High altitude, slow growing times, and Manuel's obsession with the small details all help contribute to his coffee's sweetness and complexity. This year we invested in raised beds to improve coffee drying, and purchased all of his raised bed coffee with Buddy Brew in Florida.
Don Manuel's coffee is both approachable and complex. It has a crowd-pleasing base of caramel, but packs so much sweet fruit. We taste tamarind and red berry, rounded out with almond pastry and deep caramel sweetness. We'll have to admit some personal bias towards Don Manuel, but his coffee is one of our favorites coming out of Guatemala, year after year.
Phantom Limb is the wilder of Huckleberry’s two blends. We designed the Phantom Limb to focus on fruit-forward flavors that one might not expect from a traditional espresso or drip blend.
Phantom Limb is an Ethiopian showcase, highlighting both natural and washed coffees from the country. Phantom Limb will taste great as espresso and drip, but is intended to showcase the unexpected, unique flavors of its components - jam and berries from the natural process and the lemonade, clean, floral goodness we love in washed Ethiopians - rather than adhere to anyone’s idea of a “traditional” espresso. If you want to think about it in terms of candy, Blue Orchid is your Tootsie Roll or Milky Way, Phantom is your bag of Jolly Ranchers or pack of Starbursts.
Even though we tend to use Phantom Limb as espresso in the two Huckleberry cafes, most often for straight shots and the smaller milk beverages, it’ll still taste great as a brewed coffee at home. Expect jammy, fruity sweetness, tangy brightness, and a syrupy body.
Current Blend: All from the Guji area of Sidama, Ethiopia: Sidama Guji Natural and Sidama Guji Gr 1 Washed.
Current Tasting Notes: raspberry and blackberry, lemon brightness, floral aromatics, subtle cocoa.
Many people suffer from phantom pain, limb loss or limb difference (including customers of ours) and therefore with every purchase of this blend we try to raise awareness and money by donating a portion of proceeds to local amputee support organizations. All of our coffee blends are named after songs that have significance for our company's history. Phantom Limb is a song by The Shins that was one of the first conversations that Koan and Mark ever had.
Here's a link to one of the three organizations that this blend supports.
Each year when the temperatures start to dip and we see snow in the mountains, Huckleberry celebrates with our Sister Winter blend. Among other things, winter is a time for gathering with friends and family, sharing good food and warm drinks.
We want to help you serve up something that pleases the whole crowd, from the more traditional coffee drinkers who love milk and sugar to your 22 year old cousin who's a bigger coffee nerd than you are. This year, we decided to go Guatemala, squared. Two Guatemalan coffees pairing to assist Guatemalan causes. Our washed coffees from the AProCafé Growers Association pair with a creamy black honey-processed caturra from Finca Monte de Oro to create a full, bodied, rich, and crowd-pleasing blend. We're tasting subtle dried fruit, milk chocolate, and sweet baked goods.
The holidays are also about giving for us, and each year, a portion of the proceeds from Sister Winter benefits a cause we care about. For the third year in a row, Sister Winter sales will help the AProCafé Growers Associationin its efforts to improve infrastructure and combat coffee leaf rust, a coffee disease that has wrecked havoc on Central American coffee farms for the last several years.
This year we're also donating a portion of sales to Global Giving's Guatemala Volcano Relief Fund. This past June Volcan de Fuego erupted in the Acatenango region of Guatemala, killing over 60 people, destroying hundreds of farms, and wreaking havoc on Guatemalans. Global Giving coordinates with local groups on the ground to provide relief and help rebuild.
Good coffee, helping good people continue to make a life growing good coffee.
Pictured: Lucinda Puac Pérez; Danilo, Carlos, Manuel and Pedro from AProCafé with one of the raised beds built with prior years' Sister Winter funds.
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We love coffee for a lot of reasons. We love the flavors of a cup that's been sourced, roasted, and brewed with care, and we love sitting down with friends and a few mugs. Most of the time, we love that subtle kick of caffeine, too.
Sometimes though, we like to have a bit of coffee when we're already way too wide awake, so offering a great decaffeinated coffee is important to us at Huckleberry. Skeleton Key is the same decaf coffee that we serve in both of our Huckleberry's cafes, and we're finally bagging it for you to bring home and enjoy after dinner, or whenever you're craving coffee without the jitters.
Skeleton Key is a seasonally-rotating coffee chosen for versatility, with chocolatey and nutty sweetness and a round body. It works well as espresso or drip, with or without milk, and we only use Swiss Water Processed or Mountain Water Processed beans.
The current version of Skeleton Key is a Mountain Water Processed coffee from Peru.
Who doesn’t like David Bowie? We like David Bowie.
Bowie's pretty much always the right choice. And while there are plenty of moments when we reach for that Misfits record and a cup of bright Kenyan coffee or some NSFW early 90's gangsta rap and a cup of slightly savory coffee from Sulawesi, we also value both music and coffee that's always the right choice, no matter the audience. Something that'll please both the classic rock fans and the hipsterest hipsters. In our blend lineup, that’s where Sound & Vision comes in. It’s not quite as poppy and in-your-face as Phantom Limb or many of our single origins, but we also wanted to give folks a bit more intrigue than tried-and-true Blue Orchid.
So, we’ve started out with a chocolatey, full-bodied Latin American base very similar to Blue Orchid, and kicked it up just a tiny bit with a small amount of natural-processed Ethiopian goodness. A tiny bit of fruit and brightness to keep the more discerning palates satisfied, but also plenty of comforting, traditional flavors for folks who want their coffee to taste “bold” or “like coffee, damnit.” Confident on its own, but also plays very well with milk.
Do you like cold brew, too? This also happens to be the blend that we use in our kegged cold brew, so if you’re too far away for us to deliver a keg, don’t have a tap system, or just want to do it yourself for any other reason, Sound & Vision is our go-to cold brew suggestion. What about espresso? We're pulling shots of S+V as our house espresso at our Dairy Block café in downtown Denver. Whether it's a shot, a cup full of ice, or a filter brew for a crowd, Sound and Vision is an easy choice.
Current Blend: 50% Brazil Fazenda Cachoera da Grama, 40% Guatemala AProCafé El Grano, 10% Ethiopia Ardi