Mmmm...jelly donuts. That's what we thought when we tasted our second roast of this year's El Cedral. The first roast was pretty good, too, but there's a reason we don't sell the first roast. Now that we're in full swing, El Cedral is the coffee of the month for September.
El Cedral was Huckleberry's first non-African natural-processed single origin coffee last year, and we've been looking forward to 2018 ever since. Before David Fasman tasted El Cedral on a visit to Costa Rica two years ago, we were waiting for a Central American natural that met the same standards we've come to expect from Ethiopia and Burundi. Luckily El Cedral was a stunner on that visit, and is a banger this year, too.
El Cedral is one of two coffees we'll roast this year from CoopeDota, a cooperative of growers based in the Dota cantón of Costa Rica's Central Valley. This cooperative is a leader in Costa Rica's push for sustainable coffee, and was the first carbon neutral coffee producer on the planet. Our other CoopeDota coffee, Santa Maria, is grown on multiple smallholder farms, and is a more predictable, though equally delicious cup. In contrast, El Cedral is a single farm, collectively owned by all of CoopeDota, that operates as an experimental model farm to help individual farmers learn better growing and processing practices.
If you've loved our other naturals like Ardi, Beriti, and Gitwe Natural, we'd suggest brewing up a bit of this gem. El Cedral's got the clean berry flavors we've come to expect from the best African naturals, plus some of the richer pastry-like and chocolaty backbone we love in washed Central American coffees. We're calling that combo of flavors jelly donut, tangerine, berries, and generally delicious.
$ 21.00 $ 23.50
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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We're almost at the point where we're losing track, but this is the sixth year roasting Ardi! This is our favorite natural year after year, and our 2018 lot is loaded with the in-your-face fruit and subtle chocolate we've come to expect, and also packs some lovely florality. We're stoked to have one of our all time favorites back in the quiver!
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 Ardi 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.
Our importer, Samuel Demisse of Keffa Coffee, works directly with Israel Degefa's washing station in the town of Kilenso Mokonisa, Sidama to ensure that Ardi is picked and processed to the most exacting standards. Approximately 1500 farmers contributed to Ardi, and 200 women carefully manage the coffee’s drying process, removing over- or under-ripe cherries and constantly rotating the cherries to ensure evenness. Ardi is dried on raised beds to start, but unlike most Ethiopian coffees, finished on concrete patios for the final few days of drying.
This year's crop has all of the juicy mixed berries and milk chocolate we've come to expect from Ardi, but is one of the most complex versions of this coffee we've had yet. We're also tasting lavender and guava, and we're not complaining about it. Juicy, fruity, and jammy, and one of our all-time favorites!View full product details
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.
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