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 Sitio Santo Antonio and a washed coffee from longterm partners Aprocafé el Grano in Guatemala.
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Don't call it a dark roast! Okay, okay...we won't.
How about we call it Civitas and say it's "a slightly darker roast with slightly longer development"? Yea, that sounds cool!
In either case, we're excited about this one! Huck has long believed that we should (or could) be just as proud of our darker & more developed coffees, as we are of our lighter offerings.
It just took us a while to find a roast profile that still checked all the boxes for us!
Our Civitas blend is meant for the fan of a full bodied coffee with notes of dark sugars, chocolate, toffee, and a great nuttiness -- not unlike our Blue Orchid Blend, but a hair darker than that.
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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 favorites for the past few years running.
2020 marks Huck's sixth harvest roasting Las Brisas, and each winter we can look forward to a great combination of zippy brightness and deep, balanced sweetness. It's been a few years since we've had the chance to visit the farmers behind this coffee, and to be honest, who knows when travel will be a possibility again, but in the meantime, we're excited for another delicious crop from the town of Rioblanco and the ASOQUEBRADON and ASCAFUR associations.
We've come to have pretty high expectations for this coffee, and 2020's crop delivers in spades. Las Brisas packs plenty of approachable caramel sweetness if you want to put a bit of cream in your cup, but also pops with green grape and candied citrus flavors for those of us who seek out a brighter, more exotic cup. Truly a crowd-pleaser!
And, if you're looking for something extra-special, keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming Gesha release from Israel Hernandez, one of the farmers behind Las Brisas.
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We're closing out 2020 and kicking off 2021 with our first two single origins from Western Ethiopia. While we've traditionally found most of our Ethiopian coffees from Guji and Yirgacheffe, the coffees we've tasted from the west have been increasingly hard to ignore, and Mustefa Natural joins Nano Challa as the fruitier of our first two single origins from Jimma!
Mustefa Abalulessa might have one of the most unique coffee origin stories in Ethiopia, with farm roots in revolution. Abalulessa, Mustefa's father, spent the 1970s as a guerilla leader, fighting against the Derg, Ethiopia's brutal dictatorship at the time, and hid out in the mountains and forests around Jimma. When the Derg finally fell, the family was granted some of the forest Abalulessa called home, as a form of reparations and reconciliation.
Mustefa first made a name for himself as a seed producer, selecting and preparing new seed stock for farmers in the area. He only recently began processing his own coffee for sale, but the meticulous detail required for seed preparation has clearly paid off in the coffee we get to roast.
Mustefa Natural is big-bodied, fruit-forward, and subtly boozy, with notes of blackberry, raspberry, orange liqueur, and brown sugar.
We're heading west for our third and final washed Ethiopia of the 2020 harvest. While most of our Ethiopian coffees come from Yirgacheffe and Guji in the southern part of the country, coffees from Nano Challa - alongside its sister cooperatives in the Kata Muduga Cooperative Union, Yukro, Biftu Gudina, and Duromina - have become some of the most sought-after coffees in Ethiopia over the past few years.
Our friends at Osito Coffee Importers - who we also work with for coffees from Burundi and Mexico - sent us a set of samples from Kata Muduga earlier this year, and this particular lot from Nano Challa was lights out. Alongside Mustefa Natural, this was one of two great reasons to branch westward in our Ethiopian offerings this year.
The Kata Muduga is one of the newest cooperative unions (a cooperative of cooperatives) in Ethiopia, born out of a joint development project from USAID and Technoserve in the early 2000s. With coffee fairly well-developed (or at least well-known) in Southern Ethiopia. USAID and Technoserve built several washing stations in Western Ethiopia, with the hopes of building up the coffee industry in different parts of the country.
Cooperatives, including Nano Challa, Yukro, and Duromina, among others, formed around these washing stations, and quickly began producing coffees that rivaled the best from Yirgacheffe. While these co-ops started as part of the Oromia Union, a few years ago a handful of them branched out to form Kata Muduga. We've featured lots from Yukro in Phantom Limb the past few years, but this our first time offering one of the Kata Muduga coffees on its own.
This lot from Nano Challa pops. We're tasting juicy clementine and bright red berries, balanced with delicate florals and sweet honey. A great endcap to our 2020 washed Ethiopias, and a great reason to roast up some delicious coffee from Jimma.
Phantom Limb is the wildest of Huckleberry’s blends. We conceived Phantom Limb to focus on fruit-forward flavors that one might not expect from a traditional espresso or drip blend.
Phantom Limb is an East African showcase, highlighting both natural and washed coffees. 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 Africans - 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 floral undertones, tangy brightness, and jammy, fruity sweetness, .
Current Blend: Ethiopia Worka Sakaro and Benti Nenka Washed, Kenya Njuriga Washed, Ethiopia Guji Uraga Natural
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.
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.
This year, before coronavirus turned our world upside-down, we traveled to Guatemala with a crew of Huckleberry baristas for the first time ever. Keep your eyes peeled for some fresh video content! As always, it's a pleasure to spend time with the team at AProCafé, and sharing that experience with our own team made it even more special. Every time we visit we're blown away by AProCafé's hard work, dedication to organic farming and preserving the environment, and the farmers' eagerness to both welcome us and work towards improving their coffee.
We've 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 each year, have used a portion of proceeds from our holiday Sister Winter blend 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 this year we purchased Brix meters for the group, to help picking coffee cherries at their optimal ripeness.
While we’ll have special single farm microlots from a few farmers in the group, the main lots from AProCafé are equally special. We're tasting red apple, hazelnut (we would've put Nutella on the bags if we legally could), plum, and caramel in this year's crop - Atitlán el Grano is back for year six, and as always, is dependably sweet and delicious!
It's been a few years, but it's wonderful to welcome Doña Lucinda back into the Huckleberry lineup.
Back in 2015, Lucinda Puac Perez was the first farmer Huck featured in our AproCafe microlot program. Her coffee has been solid in years since, but hasn't quite made it into the top 3 lots we highlight on their own. This year though, Lucinda's coffee was our favorite among the full group - it's deeply sweet, lush, and fruity, and we're stoked to have her back in full force.
The Huck crew visited AProCafé in early January 2020, just before the mid-point of the Guatemalan harvest, and just before coronavirus put travel on indefinite hold. When we visited Lucinda, we noticed a few things that seemed to have slipped a bit - slightly uneven ripeness in the harvested coffee, and some coffee staying in cherry a bit too long before depulping and washing. While we tend to visit either before or just after harvest, coming in the middle gave us an opportunity to see and talk about things that might be improved, at a time when farmers could actually make changes.
Lucinda's coffee from the second half of harvest is our top-scoring AProCafé coffee of this year. We're tasting pie crust, mixed berries, and stone fruit in our mugs, and while it's been lovely to use her coffee as part of our main Atitlán el Grano lot the past few years, we couldn't be happier to have Lucinda back on her own.
Pictured: Lucinda Puac Pérez and her husband, Bacilio Alescio.View full product details
For our fourth year working with Mario Alarcón and Finca Monte de Oro, we decided to kick things up a notch.
The past three years, we’ve roasted Mario’s black honey-processed caturra, and called it Miel de Oro (miel is Spanish for honey, get it?). But when we visited the farm in early 2020, before coronavirus effectively halted origin travel, we tasted all of Mario’s coffees and were inspired to try something unique.
This year we’re calling Mario’s coffee by the farm name, and it’s actually a single origin blend. We’re mixing Mario’s creamy and sweet black honey with his jammy and berry-forward natural to create a blend that we think is the best of both worlds. Big body, big sweetness, and fruit that’s plenty present, but not quite as overpowering as it can be in a full natural.
A big shoutout to Mario for not only encouraging us to experiment with his coffees at the roastery, but also for experimenting and sharing knowledge with us on his farm. Mario and his team at Monte de Oro sweat all the details when it comes to picking, fermenting, and drying his coffee, and they’ve been happy to share the details with us. We in turn have shared some of that knowledge with other partners like AProCafé, so Mario’s coffee isn’t just excellent, but it helps create a rising tide for all the coffee we buy and roast from Guatemala.
So 2020 Monte de Oro is a bit different than years past, but we think it’s the best, and most interesting yet. We’re tasting grape jam, honey, chocolate, and blueberry muffins in this two process blend. We’ve enjoyed the chance to experiment a bit with Mario and with single origin blending at the roastery, and are certainly enjoying the coffee in our mugs.
Sergio Enamorado is back at Huck, and this year we’ll have two coffees from his farms. This lot - the more adventurous of the two - comes from Sergio’s original farm, Finca Las Robles. La Plantilla, from a new plot Sergio bought this past year, will be a bit more traditional, but this lot from the Las Robles is the bomb.
Over the past few years, Sergio has been experimenting with his processing techniques, adding some carefully-controlled in-cherry fermentation before depulping and washing his coffee, and it’s pulled some delicious, tangy fruit into the cup now that he has that process dialed. It's a more controlled version of a technique used by some farmers we buy from in Huila, Colombia, and there's a certain similarity in that tangy complexity.
Sergio’s coffees have always been sweet - we’re still tasting the brown sugar and hazelnut we loved last year. But the pre-wash in-cherry fermentation adds some delicious, bright fruit - we get lime zest and tamarind in our mugs. If tamarind’s an obscure reference, next time you're at your Latin American grocery store or getting tacos, Tamarindo is the best Jarritos soda flavor. Potentially-obscure flavor calls aside, the coffee is just super tasty.
This past November, Honduras was hit hard by Hurricanes Eta and Iota. While Sergio’s original farm was mostly spared, a large part of his new farm, La Plantilla, was wiped out by flooding and wind damage. So this year we’re sending Sergio an additional $1 for every pound of his coffee we sell, from both farms. We’ve already sent an advance payment, and are planning to send the rest once we finish roasting his coffee.
Together, let’s drink some tasty coffee, and help Sergio recover from 2020’s hurricanes. Keep your eyes peeled for a more straightforward coffee called La Plantilla, but if you want a bit of adventure in your brew, snag a bit of this coffee.
Pictured: Sergio delivering coffee to Beneficio San Vicente, courtesy Benjamin Paz.View full product details
Winter and spring are a time for Southern Hemisphere coffees to shine, and this season, our first Africa from south of the equator is Ejo Heza from Rwanda, back for its second run at Huck.
In Kinyarwanda - Rwanda's official language - Ejo Heza means a brighter future, and it comes to us from female members of the KOPAKAMA cooperative. KOPAKAMA is a 774 farmer cooperative, and in 2011, the female farmers organized themselves into a new group: Ejo Heza. Ejo Heza focuses on helping its members produce better coffee and attain higher pricing, and re-invests its premiums into women’s health and education initiatives, agronomy support, and microcredit loans for its members.
One of the reasons we love Rwandan coffee is that the Lake Kivu area is planted almost entirely in Bourbon, a coffee variety that lends a deep, sugary, syrupy sweetness. Beyond variety, rich red clay soil, meticulous picking and sorting, careful processing all work together to layer that sweetness with sparkling acidity complexity. At KOPAKAMA, coffees undergo a special step - a post-wash soak before drying that is most common in Kenya - that adds to the coffee’s complexity. We worked with Ruth Ann Church of Artisan Coffee Importers to build our coffee from two of several day lots from Ejo Heza, and we're tasting bright cranberry, sweet spicecake, and juicy pink grapefruit in this year's crop.
We’re excited to showcase and support the women of Ejo Heza, and the coffee’s delicious. Year one was great, and year two is even better!
Ejo Heza photos courtesy Ruth Ann Church of Artisan Coffee Importers.View full product details
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, roasted to work with or without milk, as espresso or brewed coffee.
In the past we’ve always roastedSwiss Water Processed or Mountain Water Processed beans for Skeleton Key, but over the past few years a new process, using sugarcane-derived ethyl acetate, has become an increasingly prevalent and chemically-safe alternative. And while water process can only occur at two plants in the world, in large batches, Colombian producers can produce sugarcane decafs in-country, in smaller batches.
The current version of Skeleton Key was grown by the Mustafa family in Risaralda, Colombia, and sugarcane-processed by La Real Expedición Botánica, a collective of farmers we work with for a few choice microlots. It has just a tiny bit more fruit than our usual decafs - we pick up some subtle raisin and dried cherry - but packs all the chocolate, caramel, and sweet nuttiness we always highlight in Skeleton Key.
The current version of Skeleton Key is a sugarcane-decaffeinated coffee from Finca Mustafa in Risaralda, Colombia.
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 East African 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 Sitio Santo Antonio, 40% Guatemala Aprocafé el Grano, 10% Ethiopia Guji Uraga Natural