This flight came early so instead of brewing last minute on Sunday, I did it last Thursday. I hate rushing through these brews and not being able to truly enjoy them. After brewing I like to look up the different roasters and read whatever information I can find on that particular coffee. It’s sort of late once I’ve already brewed it, but it’s still nice to see where each coffee comes from and learn whatever I can. Starting with this flight, I’m going to begin sharing the information that I’m reading and learning. Not only do I hope you learn some new stuff and gain a better appreciation for specialty coffee, I find that regurgitating stuff I learn helps me retain it better. So enjoy!
[All of the information I share, I’m giving each roaster/importer full credit.]
Also, the cards this week are freaking sweet.
Honduras, Finca el Tigre – Square One Coffee
The other day I broke out my old Chemex that hasn’t been used in at least 2 months. I intended on using it the other day, but when I decided to brew up this flight I thought why not do the entire flight with the Chemex this week??
It was really bright and clean (all thanks to the Chemex) and had a sort of citrus/melon taste. Kind of acidic, but tasty and enjoyable.
[Chocolate, Vanilla, Berry, Waffle Cone]
Wow, didn’t get that one right. As it cooled I could see a possible toffee like note, but other than that, nothing. After this I decided to go back to the trusty V60 for my tastings.
What I Learned
This coffee is made up of mostly Caturra – a variety that is a natural mutation of Bourbon (pronounced “burr-bone”). It’s a smaller tree with more secondary branches and closer spaced branch point. This leads to a higher yielding tree (more cherries in the same amount of space). However, it’s rather susceptible to coffee leaf rust, which causes some farmers to mingle or switch entirely to other varieties that are more resistant.
Yirgacheffe, Gedeb (Natural) – Lamplighter Coffee
First sip, natural Ethiopian all day long. Straight up berries. The beans were the first sign of it being an Ethiopian – they were tiny. Next, it being a berry bomb was the second sign.
That was easy. I love how the card describes naturally processed coffees – “And please share this coffee with friends because these blueberry bombs are gateway drugs into specialty coffee”. It’s so true. Natural Ethiopians are the ideal coffee for people new to specialty coffee. They provide the response of, “umm…coffee can taste like this??”. The other week I took a natural to work for people to try and every one of them enjoyed it black, score!
What I Learned
I’ve been browsing green beans on Sweet Maria’s lately (I promise I’m going to get more into the home roasting, life’s just been crazy and each week I’m playing catch up). But I keep seeing different GR (grades) on coffee. On Lamplighters website they mention the various grades of Ethiopian coffee and the way coffee is purchased from the country.
Ethiopia grades its coffee 1-5: washed coffees are 1-2 (1 for really few defects, 2 for a few more defects) and naturals make up 3-5 (on what I assume is the same scale of defects). Lamplight has a GR 1 Ethiopian right now, check it out!
Lastly, there are only two ways to get coffee out of the country:
- A government run exchange that stamps a regional name and GR on the coffee making the coffee untraceable.
- An organization that is big enough to buy directly from the co-cops and farms. This makes the coffee incredibly traceable.
Kenya Thageini – Kaldi’s Coffee
Kaldi’s Coffee – if you’re ever in Atlanta, check out one of their three popups around the city. Click HERE for their Atlanta locations.
Ahe beans were rather large and fragrant, leaned towards it possibly being a Kenyan. First sip, kind of dark – raisin, fig, but not tomatoes thankfully. Kind of sweet…cereal?
[Yellow Raisin, Cinnamon, Pear, Kiwi, Froot Loops]
Raisin – check. Cereal – CHECK?! Holy crap. I didn’t expect to get that right. Overall though, this was a very pleasing Kenyan.
What I Learned
Lately I’ve been reading up on the different acids that tasters always use to describe coffee – citric, malic, asetic, lactic, phosphoric. I won’t dive into that, but the big ones I’ve seen are citric (obvious) and malic. Malic was new to me, but apparently it’s something that we consume daily as it’s found in almost every fruit and is a food additive. Didn’t realize that.
Burundi Kiryama – Square One Coffee
This card and the Kenyan above said to compare each other. First sip, dang…another Kenyan. Really solid. It had the same vibe as the previous Kenyan (sweet and acidic).
[Peach, Ginger Snap, Lemon, Oolong Tea]
Flipped the card and bam, Burundi. I’ve been digging the Burundi Gitwe Mill I got from Honest earlier this month so it was nice to try another offering from there. This cup was SO similar to the Kenyan. Crazy.
What I Learned
While coffee is the major export and crop there, the conflict and turmoil in Burundi has been a pretty big factor in the production. Over the years coffee has went between being private and state controlled. Cafe Imports was one of the first to work towards making a market for specialty Burundi Coffee.
Speaking of Cafe Imports, this coffee was purchased through them. It’s from the Kanyanza Provence which features over 4,000 small farms in the area. They pay a quality premium for the coffee that goes straight to the farmers. Gotta love it.
Lastly, this bag features three different varietals – Bourbon, Jackson, and Mbirizi. Jackson and Mbirizi are new to me, but seem to be common among Burundi coffee.
[Also, I just ordered some green Burundi beans (at the time of writing this). I was researching the regions and came across what I’m assuming is 1lb increments of green beans. Curious to see what I’m being shipped now. Haha. Now it’s sparking me to place an order with Sweet Maria’s – yup, just order 2 pounds from there.]
What a flight, so many winners. Each one is always a learning experience, but this is first time I’ve shared this much of what I’m learning. I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and that you take something away from it. And if you’re still reading this…thank you. You’re awesome!
**Save 25% on your first flight by using the code “CoffeeHunter7245”.**
Mentioned in the Post
Angels Cup – WEBSITE // Instagram: @angelscup
Square One Coffee – WEBSITE // Instagram: @squareonecoffee
Lamplighter Coffee – WEBSITE // Instagram: @lamplightercoffee
Kaldi’s Coffee – WEBSITE // Instagram: @kaldis_coffee