NEXT ROAST THURSDAY 8/24/17
Anytime after 9AM
Santa Barbara Sundried
These beans are from a small co-op of farmers and are grown on the eastern slopes of the northern Andean Rain Forest at 5,000 feet above sea level. Certified Fair Trade Organic.
The purchase of this coffee supports the re-forestation of their Rain Forest, the growth of this co-op, improvements in processing equipment, and societal improvements such as roads, credit banks, and health projects.
This coffee shows off hints of cocoa with remarkable smooth, sweet, delicate flavor, a nice smooth, mellow, traditional morning brew. We roast it to Full City+, a few seconds into 2nd cracks, and sometimes as a delicious dark roast.
Reputed as one of the best coffees in the world, it scores as high as 95 at cuppings, beating out most Jamaican Blue Mountain and Konas and tasting more like an Island coffee than a Costa Rican. Only about 1,000 burlap bags a year are sold, and the beans branded as "La Minita" are only the top 18% of their total crop, after being sorted several times. This is the spring 2015 crop..
The farm is officially Rainforest Alliance Certified. They did not have to make the slightest change to their farm to receive certification — they were already exceeding all of the guidelines for wildlife habitat, soil erosion, shade trees, conservationism, water use, etc. The amazing things the farm does for its workers and the community are limitless. Educations, social programs, medical assistance. The workers are PASSIONATE about the coffee, knowing they are growing some of the best coffee anywhere in the world.
These beans are grown high enough that it can be roasted as dark as you like, but that would be a shame. It’s best when roasted slowly; the beans are dense and require more heat than most. The sweet spot is to give it about 30-40 seconds of slow heat past the ending of the 1st cracks, and that's where we find the subtle maple sweetness, slight sweet citrus, slight chocolate, slight floral notes, crisp clarity, and wonderful smoothness. It’s a coffee that you can brew and have sit there for an hour, and still not be bitter or astringent after it has cooled down. The beans really are that perfect. If you’ve not heard or tried La Minita before, you really need to give it a try.
Costa Rica El Conquistador
This Costa Rica is a little different from the other ones. It’s grown in the Dota micro-region of Tarrazu, which is a particularly high altitude region within the reputable Tarrazu. The La Minita farm oversees the quality and processing of this bean, puts its seal of approval on it, and exports it to the US. It’s a smaller bean size than some (15 screen size) and showcases a cocoa flavor, and a fuller body. This is at least partly due to processing techniques. The estate does all of the processing on site which gives them more control -- as opposed to taking it to a community mill. Their longer drying and washing times gives it the body, the high altitude gives it complexity and keeps the acidity at bay. The attributes are all “just right” making it a well-balanced coffee, which simply means, it has SOME brightness, SOME body, and SOME complexity, none of which are overpowering. It is not a particularly complex, but one which no one would dislike. It's a nice coffee for a gathering.
I take this one about 20 seconds past the end of the 1st cracks, or just before 2nd cracks in my drum roaster. It is good enough to deserve a light to medium roast. Once you’re into the 2nds, it might as well be any other central American coffee. A fine Costa Rican deserves more respect than that. This is 2016 crop.
Only organic coffees from high altitude farms (1600-2200 meters) are considered. Only the best tasting lots of Bourbon and Caturra varietals are selected. Then only the few super-large 18+ screensize beans are sorted out and sold as “Proprieter’s Reserve Colombian” — a cup with complex flavors of raisin, chocolate, cherry, and walnut. A creamy silky body, engaging mild acidity, and clean sweet aftertaste.
It’s sold by the La Minita guys — they know fine coffee, and only put their name on the best of the best of the best. And yeah, this is a great Colombian, no defects, no earthy-dirtyness in the taste, pleasant acidity, no bitterness, nice flavor with a hint of black cherry under tones and a buttery mouthfeel. It’s also worth noting that despite Colombia being the 2nd largest producer of arabica coffee in the world, it’s hard to find an organic Colombia, which just makes this all the better of a deal.
Sometimes we end the roast right before the 2nd cracks begin for a great medium roast and drink it straight. We also take it dark and enjoy it as a french roast. If you enjoy a cup of old fashioned plain Colombia, but know the difference between good coffee and cheap coffee, then this is your bean. This is the brand new 2016 crop. It arrived in the US in November 2016
Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend
Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend was developed pretty much by Annie and I liking different coffees. She leans towards a Medium Roasted Peru or Colombian and I lean towards a Darker Roasted Uganda or Sumatra. After many a morning of us rushing to make the coffee first to make what we liked, one day I decided to use 2 scoops of Peru Medium Roast and 1 scoop of Uganda Dark Roast in our French Press. Voila! Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend was born. We experimented with different ratios and different coffees. In the end Annie liked the 2 Peru & 1 Sumatra best, I like the 2 Peru & 1 Uganda. They both have the right amount of dark roast flavor that does not over power the nice floral and fruity notes of a medium roast. This blend is truly our favorite coffee to drink every day.
The Name Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend Comes from the fact the Annie takes our boat, the Saint Anne's Reel, to work many mornings from our dock on Sandwich Bay. She drinks her coffee as she putts along to RDC watching the mist rise off the lake.
Our Fresh Roasted Coffees
The Rwenzori Mountains are in Western Uganda, "the mountains of the moon", on the other side of the mountains is the Congo Kivu growing region. But the Ugandan side has the advantage of better infrastructure and technology and results in a higher quality export, so it's like a really, really nice Congo.
These are part of a fair trade and organic certified co-op and they meticulously hand pick, hand process, hand sort the beans. These Ugandan beans are similar to Bugisu in taste, but a little bit more fruity and a little bit more earthy. They roast the same and taste similar.
The starting point for this coffee would be a medium roast. Not quite into the 2nd cracks. At this level you will find a smooth sweet juicy coffee with slight raisin/chocolate tastes at the finish. We prefer it about 30 seconds into the 2nd cracks where it makes an awesome dark roast -- full body, smoothness, chocolate, dried fruit, and all-in-all deep flavor reminds us of an Indonesian coffee, but with its own sweeter African twist. At 60 seconds into the 2nd cracks, you can enjoy it as an Italian Roast, and it's a great choice because the big beans hold up very well to the high heat. This is the April 2016 arrival.
This coffee is grown by the villagers of San Pedro Costa Rica. It is a washed process microlot from the Tarrazu region. It is made up of Caturra and Catuai and grown at an altitude of 4000-5000 feet above sea level. This is part of a community initiative where the coffee farmers are paid and rewarded well for their crop, but also, money is used to build bridges, schools, and water holding tanks in the village. It's part of the Coopetarrazu Fair Trade co-op and everything this coffee stands for is worth supporting.
This bean is best at Full City. I take it maybe 10-15 seconds darker than most Costa Ricans. You're not QUITE to the 2nd cracks, but you're definitely heading that direction. Another 30 seconds and you'd be there. The sweet spot at Full City gets you a REALLY nice coffee: creamy, floral, perfect acidity.
I highly recommend this coffee, not just for those who want to experience something new, but for anyone who likes Central American coffees. Put it side by side with our other Costa Rica coffees, and they really are all so similar, but this one is brighter, less sweet, and more complex. This is the 2015 crop.
Ugandan coffee is not your “Typical African” mug of sweet fruity acidic tones. It is low acid, even mildly earthy and bold tasting in darker roasts. It’s our suppliers #1 best selling coffee, both roasted and unroasted. It's one of our favorite origins to support, and here's why:
The Bugisu co-op is the only organic certified coffee in Uganda, and it's also Rain Forest Alliance Certified. These beans are grown near a town called Sipi Falls, which is near Victorian Falls and several other waterfalls — one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Ugandan people need our support to improve their processing mills, afford certifications, and attract larger buyers so that their industry can continue to grow and get better reputations. Supporting this co-op’s efforts is essentially supporting all of Ugandan’s specialty coffee industry, and every year this crop tastes better and gets bigger. It’s a mug of coffee you can really be happy about.
We like to do this coffee as dark roast, 25-30 seconds into rolling second cracks, and it's a mug of coffee that tastes like a triple picked premium Sumatra Mandheling. We sometimes like it as a Full City Plus roast of 10 seconds into second cracks, and it's a rich mug of coffee with raisin cookie, figs, brown sugar, baker's cocoa. This is the 2016 crop.
Peruvian El Quillabomba
Peru coffees tend to be clean and smooth. And if you get the really good ones, they are VERY clean, and very low acid. Peru has also become my recommendation to customers who want a South American coffee, that's affordable and organic certified.
This Peru Quillabomba is the best Peruvian that's crossed through our shop this year, making it a great choice. At a light roast (full city, 407 degrees) it's smooth and sweet and clean like I expected, but it also has this definite milk chocolate flavor in it. So mellow, so drinkable. Could sip on a coffee like this all day. It doesn't have any citrus notes in it, just chocolate, and maybe a little walnut. Very nice. It can also go just into the 2nd cracks and it's mellow here too, and still interesting, still drinkable. I like it better lighter, but it's good either way.
Colombia is making great strides in traceability, quality, and responsible farming. This microlot comes from the Antioquia region which is from the northern part of the country up by Santander. It's the same region as the Santa Barbara Estate coffee, and much of the land is mountains and valleys since the Andes Mountains cut right through.
My favorite roast of this is just at verge of 2nd cracks, not quite yet there. It tastes sweet with chocolate, cherry, caramel and nut undertones, smooth, and a great Colombian. . This is how we're roasting it for our customers.These are Excelso beans, and the farm is Rain Forest Alliance certified.
This fresh 2016 crop of Grade 1 Sumatra Mandheling Fair Trade Organic has all the characteristics you would expect, low acid, bourbon-like complexity, herbal notes (think sasaparilla,), spice, (think clove), smooth, rich, not musty, great lingering aftertaste. We will be taking it dark, roasted about 40 seconds into second cracks (20 seconds into rolling 2nds) for a nice balance of complexity, body, and smoky characteristics. It's a rich dark dessert coffee that you can drink all day and not worry about heartburn — it’s very low acid.
For those of you who are concerned about the use of chemicals in the decaf process, Mountain Water Process Honduras is a crowd-pleasing choice. It’s sweet and flavorful and can pass for a non-decaf coffee. It is bird-friendly, certified organic, certified fair trade, and you can read all about the co-op here.
A nice clean sweet Central American coffee full of flavor, I roast it to a Full City+ about 5 seconds into the 2nd cracks. It’s a great cup of decaf.
The Santa Barbara Estate has a passion for quality. Because it is an estate, and not a co-op, it is not eligible for "fair trade" certification, but the workers and farmers are well-taken care of, and paid above-fair-trade standards. The estate has also chosen not to pay for organic certification, but their dedication to environmental sustainability and care includes a commitment to grow coffee in organic, traditional methods. The farmers are paid for QUALITY, not QUANTITY. This makes a huge difference. With the right incentives, only perfectly ripe coffee is picked, the cherries are sorted and processed carefully, so you end up with a Colombian that's sweet, creamy, and oh-so-drinkable without defects or off-tastes.
Colmbian Santa Barbara is Roasted to Full City+. Mild cherry notes, creamy milk chocolate, and mild acidity. Overall sweetness, no bitterness, and clean after taste. Sometimes we take it into the dark roast territory, 30 to 40 seconds into rolling 2nd cracks and still have a great cup of coffee.
Colombian Sundried: This is a natural processed coffee and we treat it delicately. We stop the roast when the first cracks are finished. This gives us a light roasted fruity sweet coffee. It has a thick body and low acidity. The flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and watermelon are the most prominent. This is the only natural processed Colombian I've seen on the marketplace. I would rank this as being on par with a nice microlot natural from Costa Rica or Honduras