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Current Single Origin List in Alphabetical Order
Brazil Estate Mundo Novo Microlot FTO
FTO, Dry Processed. We’ve been looking for a tasty specialty-quality Brazil natural for awhile that ticks all the boxes when it comes to that classic Brazilian profile we all remember. This one fits the bill, I think: nutty (more hazelnuts than walnut), buttery body, with an underlying dark chocolate base that emerges as the roast goes darker. There’s a hint of fruit, but it’s restrained. Dark roasts are smooth and make wonderfully classic but uncomplicated espresso shots.
Burundi Bourbon FTO
Fair Trade, Sustainable Practices
Burundi lies just south of Rwanda and shares the same terroir and capability to produce world class coffee. It also shares a sad history of the same ethnic violence as Rwanda without the worldwide attention. Nevertheless, important improvements in the coffee industry recently have yielded some hope for lifting its people from poverty and providing us with some really excellent coffee. In spite of the current political unrest, they produced some coffee that can stand proud next to the best Rwandans and Kenyans. I estimate the SCAA cupping score on this lot at 90 points with a profile similar to our Rwanda offering below: brown sugar, raisin, baking spices and mild citrus with a touch of black tea-like astringency. I recommend a medium roast to get the best range of flavors, but you can emphasize brightness at a lighter roast or mute it by going darker. It’s delicious as espresso, drip, or press. Beautiful coffee!
Classic Latin American Blend
Fair Trade, Sustainable Practices
Overwhelmed by choice in origins? Try the Classic Latin Blend. We blended it to taste like Americans think good coffee SHOULD taste: Smooth, nutty, chocolaty, a little fruit, a little honey sweetness with a touch of toffee in a medium-bodied, medium-finish profile with just enough acidity to keep it in balance. No drama, just easy drinking! Good however you brew it.
Colombia Supremo Tolima Region (Butter Toffee one)
Smallholders, sustainable practices
Especially recommended for those new to high-end custom coffee. This is why Colombian coffee has the reputation it has for top quality, big bodied coffee. This one has it all: sweet, intense aroma; big, buttery mouth feel; bright but not overwhelming acidity (liveliness) and lots of chocolate and toffee notes. Versatile at a full range of roasts, it emphasizes brown sugar, graham cracker, drying walnut and slight stone fruit at the lighter and medium roasts. Medium roast, of course, is a bit less bright than the light roast, but it retains all the butter toffee sweetness. Darker tones of chocolate and caramelizing sugar emerge at the darker roasts, perfect for a clean, sweet espresso. This one works well for drip, pour-over, french press and espresso. Available in a melange (a mix of roasts) that is especially nice, too. Nanoblog here.
Colombia Supremo Huila Region (with brighter fruit notes)
Smallholders, sustainable practices
Huila coffee has been gaining a reputation for stunning quality coffee in recent days. This one has the classic Colombian walnut and toffee notes and sweet, buttery mouth feel, but it also has a tart cherry note that livens the cup at light to medium roast levels. Overall, light roasts emphasize the tart cherry and stone fruit while Medium mutes the fruit somewhat in favor of more caramel and toffee. As the roast goes toward dark, semisweet chocolate and drying walnut overtakes the fruity aspects. It’s perfect for a clean, sweet espresso with some fruity or toffee notes. This one also works well for drip, pour-over and french press. Available in a melange (a mix of roasts) that is especially nice, too.
Costa Rica Tarrazu’ SHB – Natural Process
Shade Grown, Fair Trade
Sweet and fruity at the lighter end with heavier body due to natural processing. Stone fruit (peaches/plums) and sweet berry flavors reminiscent of a dry-process Ethiopian predominate the light roasts, while classic CR semi-sweet chocolate and toasted hazelnuts emerge at the medium-darker roast levels and fruit recedes. Very smooth, long finish. The natural processing method used (called “miel” processing though it doesn’t taste like honey) adds more body, complexity and fruitiness than we would normally see in a classic washed process Costa Rican coffee. It shines using drip and pour-over at light roasts, and it makes a standout espresso shot, too. Delicious!
Ethiopia Washed Guji/Sidama (the more citrusy/floral one)
Heirloom varietals, Co-op, sustainable practices
This classic Ethiopian has jasmine-floral-citrus and stone fruit up front, with a semi-sweet chocolate note in the background depending on roast level. Unlike dry process Ethiopians we have enjoyed from Yirgacheffe, this one’s fruit is more restrained and the body is lighter. Light roast is clean fruity/floral with a hint of chocolate and restrained lemonade/floral brightness; medium to dark roast becomes slightly less fruity and more chocolaty, the classic Ethiopian profile. A melange provides both fruity and roasty semi-sweet chocolate. A versatile brewer, it works nicely with pour-over, drip, french press (or SO espresso for the darker roast). If you are afraid of a little tang, I’d order this roasted a bit on the Medium to Medium-Dark side. This is elegant coffee that regularly cups at around 90 points or better. See our comparative review here.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Natural Process (the fruitier berrier one)
Heirloom varietals, Co-op, Sustainable practices
This is an elegant classic Yirgacheffe Natural coffee from southern Ethiopia, the home of coffee. The natural processing method of the heirloom varietals used yields more wild, sweet fruit and berry flavors with just a dash of lemon peel and a nice dark chocolate backbone. It has bigger body than the washed, but the texture is silky, creamy and smooth. This is a unique cup but rapidly becoming one of my favorites for its versatility, from press to cold brew. The consensus of our customers is that the Yirgacheffe Natural Process is best at lightest possible roasts where the berry/fruity flavors are most evident, but we also like it in a melange where a range of roast levels allow for balancing the berries with a bit more roasty chocolaty flavors to complement and add depth. At the medium roast level, the fruit is more strawberry lemonade than fruit punch. For dark roast, please choose the Ethiopia Washed. NanoReview still applicable to Yirgacheffe here and a comparative review here. Note: Some of our customers have asked for the lightest possible roast in order to enjoy the fullest of the origin flavors. FYI, It’s a City Roast level in coffee roaster lingo. Medium Roast is about Full City, and Medium Dark is Full City +.
Guatemala Antigua All-Caturra Varietal SHB
Classic Bold and Smooth
Guatemala produces some of the finest coffees in the world, famous for their bold, slightly spicy, malty, nutty smoothness. This lot has all the qualities that make high-grown Guatemalan coffees “the crown jewels of Central American coffee,” as one coffee expert put it. A touch of restrained juiciness with a big buttery body and incredible malty sweetness, it’s everything you crave in a cup of great coffee, without bitterness. I recommend a Light roast for most sweetness and the most fruit (apple, grape and plum), with Medium for that bold, dark chocolate and malty spicy classic Guatemala profile. A dark roast will lose much of the jazz and floral/fruity notes, but will emphasize spicy high-percentage dark chocolate and nut/malty notes. Body is buttery with a silky finish. A Medium-Dark roast makes a perfect espresso shot.
Honduras Organic RFA SHB
Classic Nutty, Chocolaty and Smooth
Honduras’ coffee industry has suffered in recent years due to civil unrest, coffee rust disease and weather-related reverses, but they may have turned a corner–at least in producing high-quality classic Latin profile coffee. Emphasis on sustainable farming methods and careful processing of the crop has made Honduran coffee very popular among high-end coffee drinkers. We offer two lots–one for dark roasts and one for light to medium roasts–both excellent examples of classic sweet, nutty Latin American profile coffee. This coffee shows rounded medium body, mild low acidity at the lighter roasts and smooth nutty dark roasts with a baker’s cocoa base. A Medium-Dark roast makes a classic, clean espresso shot.
Heart of Africa Blend
A Crowd-Pleaser for those who like East African Coffees
By popular demand, we are putting this proprietary blend of top-rated East African coffees on the list for your coffee-drinking pleasure. Hands down, this is the coffee I want in my cup in the morning. Sweet muscovado sugar, slight raisin/fig notes and a black tea astringency that is lively but not obnoxious. In short, it’s the best of the African profile. I recommend it at a lighter-medium roast for optimal sweetness and interest. We also do a melange roast of medium and darker elements for those who want roasty notes in addition to the unique origin flavors. Makes a lively but delicious espresso.
India Karnataka/Bangalore Region
Estate-grown, low-acid with some spice
India is known for tea, but southern India has been producing coffee for over 350 years as well. Americans get little of the Indian coffee crop every year, but when we do, it’s worth sampling. Our India Mysore region has much in common with the coffees of Indonesia as they use cultivars in the same family as those used in Java and Sumatra. Local practice has the coffee trees planted next to oranges, black pepper and spice trees, and some of those notes come through on the palate. Generally roasted darker to avoid a woody taste, Indian coffee is smooth, low acid and has slightly less rustic wildness than the Sumatran coffees we generally carry. Excellent as low-acid espresso.
India Monsooned Malabar
And Now For Something Completely Different…
Everyone knows how India swelters in dry heat every year until the monsoon comes–then the heat is moderated slightly from a LOT of humidity. Normally, this might pose a problem for storing a dry seed (coffee bean), but Indian coffee producers have used this annual phenomenon to make a coffee that is really different: Monsooned Malabar. Basically, the dried coffee is laid out on cement floors in covered warehouses and allowed to swell up with monsoon moisture. The “zombie bean” that results seems to incorporate all the funky, wild flavors and aromas of the locale (such as earth, ripe fruit, wet camel, ripe cheese?) in a coffee that has thick, creamy body and very low acid. It’s one order of magnitude more exotic than Yemeni coffee, I think. Most either love it or hate it. Are you adventurous and want to try some? For a limited time, we will offer 8 oz to limit your risk, and if you buy two items, you get free shipping.
Island Jamaican Blue Mountain Cultivar Blend
Move over, Jamaica and Kona!
“Island coffee” is known for being “soft”–mild and smooth, low-acid, slightly floral and fairly delicate even at darker roasts. However, many of the famous ones, Kona and Jamaica Blue Mountain in particular, have become outrageously expensive with unimpressive quality, IMHO. I’m really excited to offer this blend of JBM-cultivar, island-grown coffee that’s been meticulously prepared and truly meets the quality standards for specialty-grade coffee while not breaking the bank. There’s a great inspiring back story to this one, too. (see blog post) I recommend a medium roast to emphasize floral aspects or a medium-dark roast that mutes the floral tones a bit in favor of developing a light chocolate note. It’s also tasty on the lighter side of Medium roast, but more like a mild Panama in profile. Body is fairly light but silky on both with a clean finish.
Kenya Nyeri County AA/AB
Co-op Coffee, Some of Africa’s Best
With Ethiopia, Kenya produces some of the highest-rated coffees in the world. They are known for their clean, bright acidity (jazzy tang on the palate, not sourness), silky body, and lingering pleasant aftertaste. While most Kenyas are best (IMHO) at a lighter-to-medium roast, this coffee can take the heat to produce an elegant medium-dark roast as well. At the lighter end of the roast range, this classic Kenya has figs, brown sugar and just a touch of brightness that gives it almost a winey note. At the darker levels, acidity and citrusy notes are more restrained while dark and semisweet chocolate notes arise in harmony with the remaining fruit notes. This coffee is competition level goodness at all roast levels. For those wanting elements of both light and dark, or if you want all the nice Kenyan flavors with much lower acidity, try a melange roast. While it shines as a pour over, it makes a really nice jazzy espresso, too. I think french press too easily goes to uncomfortable acidity if allowed to steep for more than 3-4 minutes, so be forewarned.
Mexico Oaxaca Organic “Chocolate Bomb”
Co-op, Sustainable Practices, Smallholder
Actually, it’s from the mountains of Oaxaca near the border with Guatemala, grown at between 1500-1800 meters above sea level, high enough to produce dense, flavorful beans. A classic, mild, high-grown Mexican, presenting brown sugar sweetness, warm cocoa and slight nutty notes. Sweetness is most pronounced at a Lighter-Medium to Medium Roast, with pronounced dark chocolate at Dark Roast (still not bitter!) In fact, the medium to dark roasts are chocolate bombs whether brewed hot or cold brewed. This lot comes from an area where coffee is produced by small farmers, most with less than a hectare of land each. Growing specialty-grade coffee enables them to rise out of poverty and make a better life for themselves and their children.
Mocha Java–the Authentic Blend
A Classic done right
One of our crowd-pleasers at a medium-dark to dark-dark roast, this authentic Mocha Java has little to do with what coffee bars sell as “mocha” (hot chocolate and coffee). Mocha (or Mokkha) was a port on the Red Sea until it silted up a couple hundred years ago. Because of its location on a main trade route, it was possible to blend coffee from Java with those from the Horn of Africa and Yemen for a savory chocolate and rustic, wildish fruit profile. Our Mocha Java combines a definitely rustic fruitiness with the Oreo cookie chocolate base, big body and a silky finish that is memorable and delicious. Excellent for espresso shots or french press! Pairs wonderfully with milk, too.
Panama Boquete Organic Washed
Delicate, smooth, nutty
One of our favorites, sampling a lighter-medium Panama Boquete was what made me originally take an interest in high-end coffee. Slightly delicate and mild in taste profile and with medium body, Panama coffees are all brown sugar and toffee sweetness with a little toasted walnut dryness on the back end makes for a crystal clean Central American taste profile. We don’t roast this one past a Medium+ in order to preserve the best of the origin flavor. If you are a dark roast fan, please try the Honduras or Peru. This one is best for drip, pour over or vacuum methods of brewing to take advantage of the pristine flavor profile.
Peru Cajamarca Organic
Chocolaty, nutty, everyday drinker at any roast level
Peru has been working on its organic coffee industry lately, with some very flavorful eco-friendly coffee as the result. Our high-grown Peruvian is grown on the slopes of the Andes at enough altitude to enable some depth of flavor and density to support darker roasting without going bitter. Lighter-Medium roasts emphasize nuts, graham crackers and vanilla toffee notes. Darker roasts add definite baker’s cocoa to the mix. In fact, it will give the Mexican a decent challenge for title of biggest chocolate bomb at a dark roast. Works and plays well with milk. The flavor profile at all levels is very clean, that is, pristine and well-defined, lower-acid but not boring. This one is so versatile–drip, pourover, press or espresso are all excellent!
Rwanda Thousand Hills Bourbon
Co-op, Sustainable Practices, Smallholder / Women’s Empowerment Coffee
The co-op washing station (mill) where this coffee is processed sits in the mountains literally above Lake Kivu in East Africa at nearly 6,000 ft. The rich volcanic soil, abundant rain, and high altitudes team up to create elegant and brilliant coffees: Kenyan-like fig and raw brown sugar notes with just a touch of baking spices atop a dark chocolate backbone, silky smooth body and a clean finish. This Rwanda is similar to the best Kenyans in basic taste profile and stellar SCAA cupping scores (around 91 points by my reckoning) but its acidity is more restrained, like black tea. Light roasts are a little lively on the tongue, juicy and refreshing in a mouth-cleansing way. Medium roasts are more restrained–brown sugar, fig and raisin enhanced with just a touch of baking spice, citrus and a hint of dark chocolate. Darker-Medium roasts make exquisite dark caramelizing sweet espresso. Also great brewed drip or press, but don’t overextract it for best results (4 minutes tops, please.) NanoCrew review here.
Sulawesi Toraja Typica
Like our wet-hulled Sumatra Mandheling, this years’ Sulawesi is earthy, sweet and savory. Unlike our Mandheling, this one was hulled when moisture content was quite a bit higher. This results in a cleaner, less rustic profile and a bit of brightness to the flavor not normally associated with a Sumatra. It’s delicious! Reminiscent of a walk in the forest after rain, there are cedar notes, dark fruity sweetness, notes of licorice, tobacco and cloves at a medium-dark roast. Going darker, sweetness and brightness decreases while dark chocolate and a heavy, syrupy body increase. You can get the best of both worlds by ordering a melange roast. Brooding press and espresso shots as well as pretty tasty drip cups take advantage of the cleaner profile.
Sumatra Mandheling Rainforest Alliance
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