Cupping Room June 2011

[portfolio_slideshow include=”5934,5935,5936,5933,5932,5937,5938”]

Summer is in its early stages here in the Pacific Northwest. For those of us in the lab, that means a slow shift away from lot construction (this is when we cup multiple lots from a single source and select only the best). We turn now to focus on some amazing micro lots and smaller offerings that are slowly making their way to us. Some of these coffees are seeing their way into the United States for the first time in history.

Here in the lab, Ethiopia has always brought us some of the most complex and desirable characteristics. The Duromina and Nano Challa are the very definition of heirloom. Before this year these coffees had never been washed and had traditionally been lost in bulk regional blends. We are privileged to be the first to carry these coffees. And these are just the first; more are coming that we’ll tell you about as they arrive. Fresh blueberry, creme brûlée, and champagne grape are just a few of the complex flavors that find themselves integrated seamlessly in these exceptionally balanced and elegant coffees. They are truly an incredible pleasure to cup, and unlike anything I have ever tasted.

More coffee from our friend Luis Pedro Zelaya in Guatemala has landed and is on its way here. These coffees jumped off our cupping table this week.  Antigua Buenavista with its flavors of meyer lemon, toasted almond, and bittersweet cocoa in the finish is sure to be a lovely offering. A personal favorite of mine, Guatemala Antigua Semillero, is back and better than ever. This coffee is a Tekisic varietal, a relative of the heirloom Bourbon varietal that is known for its incredible balance and clarity. This cup is no different. Honeysuckle, caramel, fresh butter, and peach are dominant in the Semillero this year.

And if that isn’t exciting enough, the new Kenyan offerings are due to land in our warehouse any day now for our evaluation.  We look forward to more Grand Cru this summer from our friends at Ngunguru and Gaturiri. It’s shaping up to be an amazing summer!