Familia Reyes is in-your-face, fruity, and tropical - easily one of the wilder Colombias we've roasted at Huck! If you're looking for a coffee that's classic or traditional, you might want to look at other Latin American coffees in our lineup, but if you want to go for a ride, read on.
At it's most basic level, washed coffee goes through the following steps:
1. Harvest the coffee.
2. Depulp the cherry skin from the seed, usually the same day that the coffee is picked.
3. Allow the remaining fruit (called mucilage or honey) to ferment and break down over 12-48 hours.
4. Wash off the mucilage using clean water.
5. Dry the coffee in its final protective layer, called parchment.
6. Mill the parchment off of the coffee just before export.
That's admittedly a gross oversimplification, and there have always been variations on this process, from country to country and from farm to farm. But that's the basic idea. And over the past few years, we've seen producers push the fermentation step in novel ways, removing oxygen or sealing off the coffee during fermentation, keeping the coffee in its cherry for longer before depulping, inoculating fermentation tanks with yeast, using fancy-but-largely-inaccurate scientific buzzwords to attach a label to the process, etc.
Some of these experiments are gross. But with a bit of luck and calculated approach to experimentation, more and more of these processing variations are tasting great, rather than simply interesting. And while we're never put the word "anaerobic" on our bags (because it seems to mean something completely different on every farm) more and more of our coffees are washed, but with some deviation from the norm in fermentation.
In this case, the Familia Reyes - a family Nariño who farm and process their coffee together - stretched fermentation both before and after depulping. After picking, they keep their coffee in-cherry for three days, depulp, then ferment for another 3 days prior to washing. It's risky, but the cool temperatures in Nariño help keep the process in check, and the result is a coffee that's definitely fruity, definitely funky, but keeps those flavors in balance.
This will be Huck's second coffee from La Union de Nariño, an association in Southern Colombia. It follows Segundo Grijalba from a few years back, and comes our way through La Real Expedición Botánica. LaREB is a collective of coffee growers who have banded together to export their coffee and keep more of the value at the farm level, and we've been impressed with their experimental - but actually good! - coffees from the get-go. Keep an eye out for more LaREB at Huck, including a coffee from Marisela Sanchez in Huila and our Skeleton Key Decaf, produced by Ana Mustafa.
For Familia Reyes, expect the unexpected. We're tasting tropical fruit candy (we would've put Sweet Tarts on the bag if we weren't worried about a cease-and-desist), honey, and grape soda in our mugs. It's out there for sure, but it's the good kind of wild.
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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 Peru Aldea Laurel.
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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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Santa Maria is back, and we're excited to have both Cooperativa de Caficultores de Dota (CoopeDota) specifically, and Central American coffees generally, back in the roastery! Global shipping is a mess, we've been waiting far too long for this coffee!
2021 is our fifth harvest roasting up tasty goodness from CoopeDota, and the village of Santa Maria, and this is the more comforting of the two coffees we'll roast up from the cooperative. Keep an eye out for El Cedral, a big, delicious natural from the group, too.
Each year we refine our offerings from Dota a bit, and 2021 is no different. CoopeDota washes all of its coffees using an Eco-Pulper - a machine that uses significantly less water to remove the coffee's fruit and mucilage from the bean. While it's not necessary with this machine, the cooperative does give its microlots a chance to ferment before washing, which tends to boost complexity. But, the cooperative does dry the majority of its coffee on patio, occasionally resorting to mechanical dryers when there's less room on the drying patios.
Last year we asked (and paid a premium for) the cooperative to dry our coffee on raised beds, because in our limited experience, coffees dried slowly, on raised beds, tend to taste better, for longer, than coffee dried more quickly on patios or in mechanical dryers. This year we stayed that course, but the cooperative also separated out our lot from an area called El Vapor, the highest hillside in the Santa Maria area.
Beyond their willingness to try something new for us, we're also excited to work with CoopeDota because the group has always been a sustainability leader in Costa Rica. In 2011 the cooperative produced the world's first certified carbon-neutral coffee, and is known for its work to reduce both its carbon and water footprints.
2021 Santa Maria has a lot going for it - milk-friendly chocolate and hazelnut flavors, creamy body and depth, with subtle pear and vanilla. It's a crowd-pleaser, perfect for kicking off the long-awaited Central season here at Huck!
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