Central America and Ethiopia – July, 2007

Summertime is always the most gratifying time of year for the Green Coffee and Quality Control Departments here at the Stumptown. The tedious travel by land and air, along with the countless hours spent in cupping labs both home and abroad, finally pays off as new crop Central American and Ethiopian coffees begin to roll in. This particular summer has been nothing short of fulfilling. Let us tell you about it…..

Our new, washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from the Wondo Cooperative has been a revelation. It’s the classic Yirgacheffe cup profile with floral notes through the roof, succulent, ripe mango, and sweet citrus that meshes seamlessly together before it finishes with the same pleasant dryness we find in top quality black tea. Try it, I’m not lying.

You have to know the Yirga is stellar if I mention it first in a cupping room notes session before the Queens of Panama and Costa Rica and our #1 Colombian record-breaking CoE.

La Esmeralda Especial is back and turning heads yet again. Many coffees have up years and down years. Coffee is, after all, an agricultural product and Mother Nature continues doing her thing regardless of our conversations. Still, La Esmeralda stays pristine year after year. Her uber-clean citrus notes, big bergamot flavor and raw sugar cane sweetness are unmatched by any other Central American coffee we know. Go ahead and prove us wrong.

Yet again, I can’t believe a coffee of the caliber of El Quemado is in third place for any coffee discussion. I suppose we could look at it as if she’s batting third in a baseball lineup; just knockin’ in runs. Yes, El Quemado 100% geisha is feminine. There is no other way to explain her sensual style and grace. It takes some massaging to get her to unmask herself and show herself off but she does, she always does as she cools off. Ripe, almost overripe, peach sets the mood for chocolate covered strawberries and Sauvignon Blanc with flavors reminiscent of varietals from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

“And now batting cleanup for Stumptown Coffee Roasters…FIIIINCA LAAA ESPERAANZA.!” The crowds continue to go wild for this coffee at our daily Annex cuppings and we don’t blame them. We’re fairly certain it has something to do with the crisp, sweet honey notes, the rainier cherry acidity and heavy, luscious mouth feel. But you know, I could be wrong. Maybe it’s the intriguing fact that the price paid to producer Isaias Cantillo Osa is the highest documented price paid to a coffee producer in Colombian coffee history. We’ll let you guys decide. What we do know is that we would have paid double the price if necessary.