Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
Coffee Cupping
Review Archive
A - F
Coffee Cupping
Review Archive
G - K
Coffee Cupping
Review Archive
L - P
Coffee Cupping
Review Archive
R - S
Coffee Cupping
Review Archive
T - Z
2001-2002
Reviews
Pre-2000
Reviews
(603k file!)

Sweet Maria's Coffee Cupping Reviews Archive: 2001-2002 Archive A to F

Main Page: 2001-2002 Archive
2001-2001 Archive A to F
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Colombia
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican
  • Ethiopia
  • French Chicory
2001-2001 Archive G to L
  • Guatemala
  • Hawaii
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Java
  • Kenya
2001-2001 Archive M to Z
    • Mexico
    • Myanmar
    • Nicaragua
    • Panama
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Peru
    • Puerto Rico
    • Saint Helena
    • Salvador (EL)

 

M to Z
  • Sulawesi
  • Sumatra
  • Tanzania
  • Timor
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Bolivia

Brazil

Brazil Mogiana 17/18 SS FC
Country: Brazil Grade: 2s,SS/FC Region: Mogian, Minas Gerais Mark: São José
Processing: Dry-processed, 100% sun-dried Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon
        Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: We have been searching for a high-quality dry-processed Brazil to use for our espresso blends and everyone kept telling me that the best were not the Cerrado coffees, but rather the Mogiana from Minas Gerias. We were finding a bit too much fermented flavors in some lots of the Cerrado, and occasional whitish beans (over fermented or water-soaked) in the samples of those coffees. Not to say there aren't good lots of Cerrado coffees: I cup the different lots to find the ones I can stock. But the lesser quality lots mean that overall quality is not being pursued, especially in processing. The grade on this coffee, according to the very complex and rigorous Brazilian system, is 17/18 screen, Strictly Soft (SS-top grade), Fine Cup -(FC -top grade too).The Mogiani is a 100% sun-dried coffee which allows the coffee to lose moisture slowly and evenly, without risk of taints from mechanical dryers (namely, smoke or gas emissions that leak from the hot air manifold of the equipment: a bad thing!). It is grown in the natural method of Brazilian coffee farming, which means once the coffee cherries are handpicked when ripe and dried only in the sun. This is an excellent choice for premium espresso blends and is more meticulously prepared and sorted than any other Brazils, more on par with the Auction Lot Sao Jao than the Cerrado coffees like Monte Carmelo or Oberon.
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 81
Body- Movement: 90
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: For drip coffee roast Full City, a little into second crack. For espresso roast to your preference: North Italian (full city to Vienna) or South Italian style (French roast). Use up in espresso blends, from 40-100% (well, that wouldn’t a blend, but you should try it straight before blending with it anyway.)
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 84.0 Compare to: The Brazil Auction winners that we had earlier this year.

Brazil Auction Lot - Vargem Grande
Country: Brasil Grade: SS,2,FC Region:   Mark: Vargem Grande
Processing: Pulped Natural Crop: 01/'02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Mundo Novo, Catuai
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3.0 Notes: As an auction lot coffee from the Cup Of Excellence competition, there is a lot of information about the farm: The Fazenda Vargem Grande is located in the southern region of the State of Minas Gerais, and is close to the southeastern region of the State of São Paulo, at the skirts of the Mantiqueira Mountains in a slightly undulated plateau with higher slopes. It is owned by the family of An�sio Contini. The altitude of the plantation area varies from 1100 to 1200 meters, and the rainfall distribution at the farm greatly benefits coffee quality; between 1200 and 1600 mm. During the harvest period (winter), temperatures are relatively low (almost zero!) and tere is little rain, which naturally inhibits the activities of fungi and bacteria. In terms of conservation of resources, the property possesses almost 11 hectares of native and untouched Atlantic Rain Forest, in which animals, plants and water sources are obstinately preserved.The selected lot was prepared according to normal procedures used in the farm, with special care, harvesting techniques and processing, always taking into consideration the quality of the coffee. All the coffee was hand picked on special pieces of cloth, thus avoiding contact with the soil and mixing the beans with those already on the soil which could contaminate and spoil the main lot. Immediately after, the coffee is sent to the processing unit. Coffee picked up in the morning arrives at the processing unit shortly after noon, and coffee picked in the afternoon, up to 5 p.m., is processed as soon as it arrives at the mill hopper. The process used is based on the pulped natural method, which consists of washing, reception, separation from the green beans, pulping and direct mucilage removal. After processing, the pulped natural coffee, green beans and the dry beans are immediately forwarded to the terraces, or as soon as the excess water has been drained, to the rotary dryers - which expose them to heat in a more uniform manner, not causing mechanical damage to the pergamino. The cup is what you would expect from a premium Brazil (and what makes them so good as a base for espresso blends -creamy body, nice bittersweet roast taste. It has an interesting , slightly rooty flavor with some cups being more clove-like than others (we prepare 3 cups of each sample in this cupping session). Roasted a little darker the coffee becomes carbony which can give it better pungency for espresso.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3.0
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 7.0
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.0
Body - Movement (1-5) 4.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 7.5
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0.0 Roast: Full City (a few snaps into 2nd crack) is preferred over the lighter City roast.
add 50 50 Compare to: Interesting and unique pungency develops at the medium-dark roast settings, similar to some Nicaraguan coffees.
Score (Max. 100) 83.0

Aerial View of Fazenda Vargem Grande

The Contini Family

Brazil Santos Swiss Water Process (SWP) Decaf
Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2/3 strictly soft, fine cup
Region:
Santos: Sul de Minas
Mark:
Cooxupe Coopertiva
Processing:
Dry-processed
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
1d/300gr
15/16scr
Varietal:
Bourbon
 
Frag/Aroma:
75/ 77
Notes: We stock this especially for use in espresso blending. Use for a lo-caf espresso blend base. Produces great crema, and a great neutral roast taste as a backdrop for your caffeinated grace note coffees in the blend (Yemeni, Harar, Etc). The shots I have pulled with 100% Brazil SWP decaf were very nice too, but would not cut through milk in cappuccino etc very well. Of course, if you make your cap correctly (1.5 oz espresso and a maximum of 4 oz milk) it will do fine. If you need an all-decaf espresso I would recommend 60% Brazil decaf, 20% of an Indonesian decaf like Sumatra, and 20% of a Central American decaf or Mexican decaf.
Acidity:
65
Body:
79
Flavor:
76
Aftertaste:
75
Roast: Full City, Continental, French. Remember, SWPs are dark in color, so roasting is best done by listening to the cracks, smell and time.
Overall:
74.5
Compare to: hmmmm... incomparable in decafs...

Brazil Organic Minas -Fazenda Cachoeira
Country: Brazil Grade: SS/FC Region: Minas Gerais Mark: Cachoeira Farm
Processing: Sun-dry processed Crop: 01/'02 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen Varietal: 100% Bourbon
        Dry Fragrance: 81 Notes: This coffee is from the Fazenda (Farm) Cachoeira and is a sun-dried, certified Organic coffee from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It is grown in the natural method of Brazilian coffee farming, which means once the coffee cherries are ripened and dried on the trees in the sun, they are picked by hand, de-husked then laid on terraces to dry. This is an excellent choice for super-premium espresso blends and is more meticulously prepared and sorted than other Brazils such as Monte Carmelo or Oberon. For espresso, This coffee has no negative/fermenty notes that can emerge in a Santos type coffee, and as a straight "Nothern Italian" (medium espresso roast) cup you can detect a nice rooty/aromatic bark flavor. I find a very distinct flavor emerge in the aftertaste of a infusion brewed (in this case, French Press) cup: fennel seed. But true to the Brazil character, it is very mild and has great body: excellent for a base in a top quality espreso blend, and with good mild qualitities, medium-high body and soem intertesting "soft flavors (rootiness, bark, fennel) that emerges as the cup cools... I know that if I had this sample to cup against the Brazil Auction Lots of earlier this year, I would have chosen it over ALL of those!
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 79
Body- Movement: 85
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: City to Full City: (see review).
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 82.8 Compare to: Excellent complexity/depth and a unique origin flavors that shift greatly depending on roast...

Brazil Mogiani Sun-dried Var. Bourbon
Country: Brazil Grade: 2s,SS/FC Region: Mogian, Minas Gerais Mark: São José
Processing: Dry-processed, 100% sun-dried Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon
        Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: We have been searching for a high-quality dry-processed Brazil to use for our espresso blends and everyone kept telling me that the best were not the Cerrado coffees, but rather the Mogiani from Minas Gerias. We were finding a bit too much fermented flavors in some lots of the Cerrado, and occasional whitish beans (over fermented or water-soaked) in the samples of those coffees. Not to say there aren't good lots of Cerrado coffees: I cup the different lots to find the ones I can stock. But the lesser quality lots mean that overall quality is not being pursued, especially in processing. The Mogiani is a 100% sun-dried coffee which allows the coffee to lose moisture slowly and evenly, without risk of taints from mechanical dryers (namely, smoke or gas emissions that leak from the hot air manifold of the equipment: a bad thing!). It is grown in the natural method of Brazilian coffee farming, which means once the coffee cherries are handpicked when ripe and dried only in the sun. This is an excellent choice for premium espresso blends and is more meticulously prepared and sorted than any other Brazils, more on par with the Auction Lot Sao Jao than the Cerrado coffees like Monte Carmelo or Oberon.
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 81
Body- Movement: 90
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: For drip coffee roast Full City, a little into second crack. For espresso roast to your preference: North Italian (full city to Vienna) or South Italian style (French roast). Use up in espresso blends, from 40-100% (well, that wouldn’t a blend, but you should try it straight before blending with it anyway.)
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 84.0 Compare to: The Brazil Auction winners that we had earlier this year.

Brazil Cerrado -Monte Carmelo
Country:
Brazil
Grade:
2/3, SS,FC
Region:
Cerrado
Mark:
Monte Carmelo
Processing:
Dry
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17 scr
Varietal:
Mostly Bourbon
 
Acidity:
78
Notes: Our Monte Carmelo is a nice dry-processed Brazil that is mostly the Bourbon varietal. It has a pleasant earthiness, and is an excellent coffee for those who want to escape the high acidity of Central Americans. I like good Brazils ...and don't like how they are derided by me of the snobbier coffee gurus who espouse the "gran cru" estates (whose coffees they probably distribute). My friend, a fellow roaster, swears that this nutty, smooth (sounds like Jiffy) coffee is exactly like Jamaica Blue Mountain in the cup. This infers that Brazils can be very pleasant and JBM is, well, overrated. Roasted right, it's one of my favorite cups. It's the perfect basis for espresso blends. Brazil Grading is confusing: this is 2/3s, Strictly Soft, Fine Cup,basically the highest grade available (2 would be higher but you never see them) ...buy All About Coffee from us for the whole chart.
Body:
86
Flavor:
80
Aftertaste:
80
Roast: Full City to Viennese
Overall:
80.33
Compare to: other Dry-Processed Brazils, mid-high grade

Brazil Auction Winner -Sitio Sao Joao
  Country: Brazil Grade: 16th Place, Brazil Auct. Region: Tejupá - São Paulo Mark: Sao Joao
  Processing: Pulped-Natural Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17 screen Varietal: Red Catuaí / Mundo Novo
          Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: As an auction-winning coffee we have a nice description of the farm: Sítio São João is located in the city of Tejupá, State of São Paulo, at an average altitude of 780 meters. The property has a total area of 130 hectares, of which 25 hectares are of coffee plantations of the varieties Mundo Novo and Red Catuaí. The property is located in the mountain ridge of the Serra de Fartura, in an area of environmental protection, which means that all natural resources are preserved. The coffee planting fields are encrusted between the long strips of natural wooden lands (restingas) of natural woods where both animals and vegetation are preserved. All the water sources of the property are protected by ciliary woods, which guarantee a continuous and healthy supply, providing an excellent quality of life for the resident employees and for the owner who resides in the farm. Sítio São João has transportation to the local school and to the health center in the Taquaras neighborhood. The equipment for preparing the coffees includes washer, pulpers, 1700 m2 of bricked terraces, intermittent dryers and one processing machine. Amazingly, all the award winning coffees this year were pulped-natural coffees, which means that the coffee cherry pulp is forcibly removed from the seed, rather than traditional fermentation wet-mill methods. The cup has great body, is mildly pungent and delicate. A great crowd pleaser as a straight roast or a coffee for super-premium espresso blending.
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 81
Body- Movement: 94
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: City - Full City or darker. Like the Bom Jardim it has a great range.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 84.8 Compare to: Creamy body, smooth, mild, just a little earthy …rather incomparable

View of Sao Joao interplanted with preserved forestland

Brazil Organic "Blue de Brasil"
Country: Brazil Grade: SS/FC Region: Minas Gerais Mark: Blue de Brasil,
Finca Ipiranga
Processing: Dry-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen Varietal: Mundo Novo, Bourbon
        Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: Blue de Brasil is a sun-dried, certified Organic coffee from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It is grown at elevations between 2700 and 3700 feet on Finca Ipiranga, quite high compared to other Brazil growing regions. It is grown in the natural method of Brazilian coffee farming, which means once the coffee cherries are ripened and dried on the trees in the sun, they are picked by hand, de-husked then laid on terraces to dry. Blue de Brasil is stored for up to three months to rest before being bagged and transported to port for shipping. This is an excellent choice for super-premium espresso blends and is more meticulously prepared and sorted than other Brazils such as Monte Carmelo or Oberon. It is also unique from the Brazil Auction winners we had, which were all aqua-pulped process coffees: Blue de Brasil is traditionally sun-dried, without the aid of mechanical dryers like many other coffees. It has a very clean cup for a Brazil, and as a drip coffee there is a good acidity and slight fruitiness that emerges ...not in your first sip but it is something to discover as the cup cools...
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 83
Body- Movement: 90
Flavor- Depth: 83 Roast: For drip coffee roast Full City, a little into second crack. You can get some fruitiness out of the coffee if roasted a little lighter but I like the bittersweet roast tastes at this stage. For espresso roast to your preference: North Italian (full city to vienna) or South Italian style (french roast).
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 83.8 Compare to: Super-premium Brazil coffees …this certainly cups in the league of the Brazil Auction winners that we had earlier this year.

Brazil Auction Winner -Fazenda Bom Jardim
Country: Brazil Grade: 9th Place, Brazil Auct. Region: Manhuaçu - Minas Gerais Mark: Bom Jardim Farm
Processing: Pulped-Natural Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17 screen Varietal: Red Catuai
      
Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes: Bom Jardim is a small producer in southern Minas province of Brazil. Located in the municipality of Bom Sucesso, southern Minas at an altitude between 900 to 1,100 meters. Because of the high profile of the auction winners, we have great details of the Fazenda: Coffee production is integrated to environment preservation and with the employees' quality of life. The owners maintain a permanent reserve of native woods of 40 hectares. Wild animals are preserved. Animals live in total freedom in their natural habitat, including maned wolf, paca (Cuniculus paca), sauá monkey, bush dog, armadillo, and several species of birds. The Figueiredo family also preserves the water sources and natural springs. The employees live in houses with complete infrastructure and are registered according to the Brazilian labor laws. In addition, the farm offers transportation to take the children and teenagers to school and transportation for the employees who live in the city. To process the coffee, Fazenda Bom Jardim has two washers, two pulpers, four cemented terraces, four dryers, one processing machine and a wooden bin for storage. The cup is mild, and sweet. It has an extremely creamy full body. Incredibly smooth, there is also a very interesting spicy flavor with an almost rootbeer twist to it...
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 82
Body- Movement: 94
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City - Full City or darker. Great range in this coffee to accommodate a different roasts. Let it rest 48 hours if you chose to roast it to a light City…
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 85.8 Compare to: Creamy body, smooth, mild, just a little earthy …rather incomparable

Two views of Fazenda Bom Jardim from the high mountains above.

Burundi

Burundi Buyendi AA, FWS (Fully Washed Super grade)
Country:
Burundi
Grade:
AA, FWS
Region:
Buyendi, Central Plateau
Mark:
Buyendi
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
2001
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16-18scr
Varietal:
Jackson Bourbon
      
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
80/82
Notes: Burundi has been unavailable for several years in the US while the ethnic problems divided the country. You can read the presence of this coffee as a sign that those problems are reconciled to the point that the small-holder farmers can get their cash crop to market, and hopefully the economic benefit of this will shore up stability. But the most interesting aspect is that the preparation and cup quality of this lot of Burundi is really excellent. It is a milder coffee, not as edgy as an abided Kenya, but with great balance. And yet it has that distinctive "wild" note in the finish to keep the cup character interesting ... a similar flavor as you will find in Zambian and Zimbabwe coffees. It is not a sweet cup, more pungent than fruity, and roasted to a Full City + it has great bittersweet roast tastes without the loss of body (as can happen as some coffees are roasted darker. A very nice cup, an encouraging sign, and a hope that we see this nice coffee with the 2002/3 crop too!
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
86
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
82
Roast: Full City. I like this with a darker roast on it as it maintains the body, but develops some nice pungency and bittersweetness. It is also neat as a straight-roast espresso when roasted to Full City + or beyond
Score:
83.1
Compare to: A Kenyan with much less refinement

Colombia

Colombian Santa Isabella WP Decaf
Country: Colombia Grade: Estate Grade Region: San Augustin, Cundinamarca Mark: Santa Isabella
Processing: Wet-processed, then decaf by Water Process Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-18 scr Varietal: all Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 2 Notes: Santa Isabella is a co-op coffee from 3 towns: Guaduas, Viani, Chaguani; Altitude : 1600-1800 meters, Climate between 15 and 20 Celsius degree. It is a micro-regional coffee sold by cup character, not seed size ... in fact it is a combination of 16 to 18 screen plus peaberry! The regions is not too far from Bogata and boasts some of the oldest Colombian coffee plantations. This coffee is only comprised of traditional arabica tipica variety , produced under Shade Grown canopy and fully sun dried. All the properties are owned and run by small farmers. This is actually the case with much Colombian coffee, although the tradition has been to pool all these small farm coffees into huge generic "Supremo" or "Excelso" lots. This cup has medium to heavy body, soft-balanced cup character, with a malty roast taste. The cup character does seem to be a bit softer because of the WP (Water Process) decaffeination but it remains true to the original cup, more so than other Colombian decafs with the exception of the MC process. But WP has the advantage of being chemical free processing. There's a touch of pungency depending on the degree of roast. It's a crowd-pleasing coffee and best use is as a straight roast, "Full City +" decaf (a few snaps into the 2nd crack) although there is espresso base potential here that I have not fully explored yet.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8
Body - Movement (1-5) 4
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 7.5 Roast: A straight roast, "Full City +" seems to bring out the best balance between origin and roast flavors.
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1 Compare to: Mild Colombians, balanced and with good body.
Add 50 50
Score (Max. 100) 83.5

Colombia Organic Quindio
Country: Colombia Grade: Estate Mix Region: Armenia Mark: Quindio Dept.
Processing: Wet Process Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Typicas, Caturra
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: Quindio is a district in the department (state) of Armenia, Colombia. This organic coffee is pooled from multiple small-farm lots and as a whole it represents the higher-elevation of the Quindio micro-region. The coffees from Quindio are not separated into the larger bean Supremo, medium Excelso or Peaberry preparations: rather, all are represented in this coffee, and that's the way it should be! I have always had more faith that cup quality is maximized in the all-inclusive Estate grade Colombian rather than the arbitrary cup that comes from bean size separations. While the overall green coffee appearance isn't stellar, this is indeed a very recent arrival shipment and the cup quality is impressive. It's a cup with great bittersweet chocolate, a medium-heavy bodied cup and a great balance between brightness (not sharply bright) and a resinating winey-fruitiness. I get alternating raisin and plum from the cup, but hidden behind this strong chocolate; lighter roasts make the fruits more vibrant and fresh, but it reverberates with a true Full City roast (slightest hint of 2nd crack).
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.5
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: City+ to Full City. The coffee can be a bit sour at City roast, so take it just a little darker.
add 50 50 Compare to: Deeply balanced "classic"cup profile with a bit of winey-fruitiness in the cup.
Score (Max. 100) 85

Colombian Narino Vintage
Country: Colombia Grade: Estate Grade Region: Narino Mark: Holland "Vintage"
Processing: Wet Process Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen Varietal: Typica, Colombiana
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: Narino is probably the best Colombian growing region in terms of a "classic" clean cup: good body, sweet, without ferment. It makes sense that coffees like the respected Reserva Del Patron and Narino del Abuelo from La Minita are selected entirely from Narino coffee. Narino coffees are not the boldest Colombians, but they definitely beat all Huila coffees from this crop year, and most Popayan. What does the name Vintage mean (it's on the bag, and on the brokers sheet)? Nothing ...I really should just omit it, as I don't like names that have no significance but to make the coffee sound fancy. This is a recent arrival of the current 2002 crop, so "Vintage" does not refer to age. Anyway, in a standard air roast of 6.5 minutes to City+ roast, we had a very sweet cup with medium body and a mild, clean fresh-fruitiness in the aftertaste. Roasted in a drum for 13 minutes we loose a bit of the fruitiness but pick up a lot of body after a proper 1 day rest after roasting. Brewed in a Cona Vac Brewer we had one of the nicest cups (I think the vacuum brewers are especially effective at highlighting character in milder coffees.)
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8
Body - Movement (1-5) 4.25
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 7.75
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: City roast (through first crack and nearing, but not entering the 2nd crack) underscores this coffees fruity-bright notes. Darker roasts result in a very balanced cup good mildly-vanilla roast taste ---body seems not to be diminished by darker roasts.
add 50 50 Compare to: Sweet, clean Colombians like the Narino del Abuelo or Narino Peaberry from earlier this year.
Score (Max. 100) 84

Colombian Narino Del Abuelo '01
Country: Colombian Grade: Excelso Region: Narino Mark: Hacienda La Minita - German KVW Decaf
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17 Screen Varietal: Var. Typica
     Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes:From Hacienda La Minita: The Nariño del Abuelo originates with the same coffee as the large bean Reserva Del Patron that we have carried in the past. As the coffee is separated, the large 18+ screen coffee goes to the Reserva, and the 16-17 screen seeds, goes to the Narino Del Abuelo. I had heard rumors that the smaller seed preparation actually out-cupped the large bean Reserva due to the botanical variations of all the seeds in the coffee. There's a good case that can be made for variety of screen sizes, including peaberry. Just as a vinter blends grapes from different elevations and exposures within the vineyard, the varied seed sizes represent a wider spread of coffee in their physical and chemical qualities. Is it possible this draws out more dimension in the cup? From judging the Reserva vs. the Abuelo, I would say "yes!" As with the reserva it is "heart of the crop" coffee from selected Narino estates. This means that certain areas of certain top smallholder farms are harvested to comprise this coffee. This is the German-processed (at the famed KVW plant) using the MC -Methylene Chloride- process. It is processed under the strict EU environmental guidelines (4x as strict as USDA and OSHA guidelines). To read about the pluses and minuses of the different decaffeination methods, please check out our Health and Ecology web page.
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 83
Body- Movement: 85
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: Full City, although this coffee takes a wide lattitude of roasts.
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 82.6 Compare to: Like really good Colombians with a little more brightness. Tolima Colombians, San Augustin Colombian, ones with heavier body.

Colombian C0-2 Decaf
 
Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Excelso
Region:
Pooled
Decaf Process:
CO2
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
01/02
Appearance:
1d/300gr
17+ scr
Varietal:
Varied
 
Frag/Aroma:
80/ 82
Notes: Carbon Dioxide decaf is an expensive but completely non-chemical method in the vein of the Swiss Water Process. CO-2 in a unique, direct-contact decaf process that involves no solvent chemicals. It is also unique in that the coffee is 99.9% decaffeinated ...compared to the average 95 to 98% with other processes. Customers who are VERY caffeine intolerant but can't do without the taste of coffee have verified that they feel little to no effect from this coffee. Here is a more detailed description of the CO-2 Process. Flavor -wise, it's medium bodied with good mild flavors and comparable to the Natural process method. I rank it higher in cup quality than SWP for the same coffees. If you like Colombian in regular coffee, you'l enjoy this too.
Acidity:
83
Body:
82
Flavor:
85
Aftertaste:
82
Roast: Full City+, or Darker is best! Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Overall:
82.33
Compare to: other milder, low-acid decafs, swiss waters.
 
Colombian Mesa de los Santos
Country: Colombian Grade: Estate Grade Region: Santander, Burcaramanga Pi� de Cuesta y Los Santos Mark: Mesa de los Santos, Organic-Shade Grown
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Typica/Caturra

   

Dry Fragrance: 84

Notes: Mesa de los Santos is a pioneer in sustainable coffee agriculture: it is also the first farm in Colombia to produce and export specialty organic coffee. But the farm predates it's Organic certification by many years: it was founded in 1872! While a traditional Hacienda layout in all respects, Mesa de los Santos has also been agressive in improving their ability to grow, mill and esport the best quality, caturra varietal Colombian coffee. In fact they recently won a competitive World Resources Institute venture capital award for bio-deiverse business, an effort coordinated by manager Oswaldo Acevedo.

The coffee is what great Colombian was 20 years ago: caturra cultivar is used rathar than the inferior, high-yield, diseasew resistent Variedad Colombian. The farm altitude is a repectable 1650-1750 meters. And rather than following the typical Colombian sorting regimen of Supremo and Excelso preparations (which average out good coffees pooled with mediocre coffees into the lowest common denominator) this is a single farm, "Estate" preparation, wet-milled on the farm instead of a third-party beneficio. The cup reverberates with subtle spicey and fruity notes, excellent medium-heavy body, and in the darker Full City+ roast there are great bittersweet flavors. Along with the Santa Isabella coffee, this represents the high-end of what Colombia can produce!

Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City, but this coffee takes a wide lattitude of roasts. It cups well throught the roast spectrum
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 85.5 Compare to: Like really good Colombians with a little more brightness. Tolima Colombians, San Augustin Colombian, ones with heavier body.

Colombian FNC Antioquia Peaberry
Country: Colombia Grade: PB- Peaberry Region: Antioquia Mark: FNC
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Typica
       
Dry Fragrance: 84

Notes: This Caracol (the Spanish for "peaberry") coffee is from the new Federacion Nacional de Cafeterias program to offer distinct super-premium coffees as special lots. Historically, a good micro-regional Colombian would be blended with other perhaps inferior coffees to create an export-sized lot. This was effective for big business, but bad for cup quality. Realizing that they might have strayed from the path of Specialty Coffee, the Federacion started this new program 2 years ago and the results have been pretty good. We cupped previous lots and while they were nice, they didn't make me scream "eureka". But this Peaberry "Caracol Paisa" was really impressive. It has great depth and balance, and will impress your relatives without making them think you have gone completely nuts about coffee: it's a crowd-pleaser. There is a suprisingly full acidity to balance out the deep reverberant flavors, a milky chocolate-butterscotch, and a hint of aromatic woodiness in the finish. The aftertaste is moderately long, and the coffee can take a very wide variety of roasts that emphasize a different dimension of the cup: brighter and fruitier in the lighter City roast, chocolaty at Full City, Pungent at Vienna. In any roast the flavors are beautifully rounded and the mouthfeel is thick. Simply a great cup...

Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 89
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: Full City or more- develops intense pungency at Vienna roast. Remenber that Peaberry tends to roast faster than corresponding "flat bean" coffee
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 86.17 Compare to: The Caracol del Abuelo we had earlier this year, but brighter .

Colombian Organic Bucaramanga Bourbon
Country: Colombian Grade: Estate Grade Region: Santander, Burcaramanga Mark: Mesa de los Santos, Organic
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001/
2002
Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: 100% Bourbon

   

Dry Fragrance: 82

Notes: This coffee is from the traditional arabica cultivar, Bourbon, and is also certified Organic. The coffee is part of a limited lot grown at the Mesa de los Santos farm, a pioneer in sustainable coffee agriculture. The farm predates it's Organic certification by many years: it was founded in 1872. While a traditional Hacienda layout in all respects, Mesa de los Santos has also been agressive in improving their ability to grow, mill and esport the best quality Colombian coffee. The coffee is what great Colombian was 20 years ago: 100% Bourbon arabica cultivar is used rathar than the inferior, high-yield, disease resistent Variedad Colombian. The farm altitude is a repectable 1650-1750 meters. And rather than following the typical Colombian sorting regimen of Supremo and Excelso preparations (which average out good coffees pooled with mediocre coffees into the lowest common denominator) this is a single farm, "Estate" preparation, wet-milled on the farm instead of a third-party beneficio. The cup is a little different from the Mesa de los Santos brand: it is less fruity, and with great traditional "classic" cup qualitites: balance and bittersweetness. The cup reverberates with subtle spicey notes, excellent medium-heavy body, and in the darker Full City+ roast there are great bittersweet flavors.

Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 85
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: City, but this coffee takes a wide lattitude of roasts. It cups well throught the roast spectrum
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 85.0 Compare to: Like really good Colombians with a little more brightness. Tolima Colombians, San Augustin Colombian, ones with heavier body.
 

Colombian Maragogype -Alto Gigante
Country: Colombia Grade: n/a Region: Medellin Mark: Alto Gigante
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: '02 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 20+ scr Varietal: Maragogype
      Dry Fragrance: 80 Notes: Maragogype is a large bean, low-yield coffee varietal. It appeared spontaneously in Brazil in the early 1920's. The large bean size means little in terms of cup quality in and of itself. But the fact that the coffee is low-yield …that each tree produces half the coffee cherry and therefore hald the seeds as a high-yeild coffea arabica hybrid ...it probably the basis for championing this coffee. Of all coffee diginitaries, Phillip Jobin is probably the greatest champion of the Maragogype cultivar, and constantly bemoans the fact that coffee farms rip out the Maragogype trees whenever they pass their peak, and replace it with a modern hybrid. I am not sure that there is such a decline in quality as Jobin believes, nor that we should moan the Maragogype lament. They are heavy beans, and in an air roaster you need to back off a bit on the volume and weight of the batch. Also expect some mottled appearance to the roast color, but this has no bearing on roast quality. The Maragogype cup always strikes me as having much more body than its hybrid varietal counterparts. This is an extremely lush, pleasant cup, not acidic, and laden with pleasant coffee cherry fruitiness. It's certainly a great coffee to share with people who dont want anything too extreme, but is in no way wimpy either!
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 80
Body- Movement: 88
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: City to Full City: Wide latitude of roast but remember to roast a bit less by weight of volume in an air roaster, because these big heavy beans take more air to agitate in the roast chamber.
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 83.2 Compare to: Plush, full-bodied lower-acid Central American coffee
 

Colombian Narino Del Abuelo '01
Country: Colombian Grade: Excelso Region: Narino Mark: Hacienda La Minita
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17 Screen Varietal: Var. Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: Also from Hacienda La Minita: The Nariño del Abuelo originates with the same coffee as the large bean Reserva Del Patron that we have carried in the past. As the coffee is separated, the large 18+ screen coffee goes to the Reserva, and the 16-17 screen seeds, goes to the Narino Del Abuelo. I had heard rumors that the smaller seed preparation actually out-cupped the large bean Reserva due to the botanical variations of all the seeds in the coffee. There's a good case that can be made for variety of screen sizes, including peaberry. Just as a vinter blends grapes from different elevations and exposures within the vineyard, the varied seed sizes represent a wider spread of coffee in their physical and chemical qualities. Is it possible this draws out more dimension in the cup? From judging the Reserva vs. the Abuelo, I would say "yes!" As with the reserva it is "heart of the crop" coffee from selected Narino estates. This means that certain areas of certain top smallholder farms are harvested to comprise this coffee. It is an extremely limited production, and the cup has great body and depth. There is a modicum of acidity to balance out the deep, milk-chocolate flavors and a hint of aromatic woodiness. The aftertaste is moderately long, and the coffee can take a very wide variety of roasts that emphasize a different dimension of the cup: brighter and fruitier in the lighter City roast, choclatey at Full City, Pungent at Vienna. 
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: Full City, although this coffee takes a wide lattitude of roasts.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 84.6 Compare to: Like really good Colombians with a little more brightness. Tolima Colombians, San Augustin Colombian, ones with heavier body.

Colombian San Augustin -Santa Isabella 100% Typica
Country: Colombia Grade: Excelso Region: San Augustin, Cundinamarca Mark: Santa Isabella
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen, including peaberry Varietal: 100% Arabica Typica

The following is information about this coffee we received in an email from the producer: This coffee is from 3 towns: Guaduas, Viani, Chaguani; Altitude : 1600-1800 meters, Climate between 15 and 20 Celsius degree. The coffee of this area have been produced from the beginning of Colombian coffee plantations. This coffee just takes the tipica variety , this is produced under Shade Grown and fully sun dried, the properties are small farmers and they are worked by the owners family in the three towns.

Dry Fragrance: 80 Notes: Colombian coffees have been sold by seed size for many years. Excelso is a 16/17 screen preparation. Supremo is an 18 screen preparation. (Screen size is USDA in 64ths of an inch so 18 screen =18/64ths). The logic behind this is lacking: larger bean size means nothing but a better roasted coffee appearance. It has no bearing on cup quality. The coffee is often pooled to form an exportable quantity and in the worst cases the pooled coffees are not of equivalent quality, so the entire lot suffers. But they are all the same size, as if that mattered more than cup character. Anyway, there's a trend to get back to the principles that truly determine the unique character of a coffee, and put appearances second. The Colombian coffee federation introduced FNC lots that they export from specific farms/microregions. We didn't find one from the FNC offerings that stood out, but this lot from the San Augustin area (near Bogota) was the winner in our opinion. It is a micro-regional coffee sold by cup character, not seed size ... in fact it is a combination of 16 to 18 screen plus peaberry! More importantly, it is not the new Variedad Colombiana, but pure arabica typica, the traditional varietal. This cup has great body, lush, soft cup character, with a malty roast taste. The acidity is mild and provides balance, and theres a touch of pungency depending on the degree of roast. It's a crowd-pleasing coffee for sure, and is exactly what I wish local coffeehouses would serve as a "house coffee": a "classic" cup!
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: City to Full City: this is a lush, soft cup that can take a wider latitude of roast to bring out different cup qualities (see review).
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 83.7 Compare to: Balanced coffees, "classic" cup character: the best Colombians.
 

 
Colombian Caracol Del Abuelo '01 -Peaberry
Country: Colombian Grade: Excelso Region: Narino Mark: Hacienda La Minita
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: Peaberry Varietal: Var. Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: You'll notice simlarities in this review to the Narino del Abuelo: that's because this is the Peaberry screening of the same coffee as the Narino (and the Reserva too). This is a new selection that is brokered by the La Minita folks, and the coffee is prepared according to their exacting milling standards. It originates with the same coffee as the large bean Reserva Del Patron that we have carried in the past. As the coffee is separated, the large 18+ screen coffee goes to the Reserva, and the 16-17 screen seeds, goes to the Narino Del Abuelo. This is the Peaberry (Caracol means peaberry)screening of the coffee. As with the Reserva it is "heart of the crop" coffee from selected Narino estates. This means that certain areas of certain top smallholder farms are harvested to comprise this coffee. It is an extremely limited production, and the cup has great body and depth. There is a modicum of acidity to balance out the deep, milk-chocolate flavors and a hint of aromatic woodiness. The aftertaste is moderately long, and the coffee can take a very wide variety of roasts that emphasize a different dimension of the cup: brighter and fruitier in the lighter City roast, choclatey at Full City, Pungent at Vienna. 
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: Full City, although this coffee takes a wide lattitude of roasts. ***Remember that Peaberry tends to roast a little faster due to its shape and slightly greater density.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 85.5 Compare to: Like really good Colombians with a little more brightness. Tolima Colombians, San Augustin Colombian, ones with heavier body.

Colombian Mesa de los Santos
Country: Colombian Grade: Estate Grade Region: Santander, Burcaramanga Pi� de Cuesta y Los Santos Mark: Mesa de los Santos, Organic-Shade Grown
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Caturra

   

Dry Fragrance: 84

Notes: Mesa de los Santos is a pioneer in sustainable coffee agriculture: it is also the first farm in Colombia to produce and export specialty organic coffee. But the farm predates it's Organic certification by many years: it was founded in 1872! While a traditional Hacienda layout in all respects, Mesa de los Santos has also been agressive in improving their ability to grow, mill and esport the best quality, caturra varietal Colombian coffee. In fact they recently won a competitive World Resources Institute venture capital award for bio-deiverse business, an effort coordinated by manager Oswaldo Acevedo.

The coffee is what great Colombian was 20 years ago: caturra cultivar is used rathar than the inferior, high-yield, diseasew resistent Variedad Colombian. The farm altitude is a repectable 1650-1750 meters. And rather than following the typical Colombian sorting regimen of Supremo and Excelso preparations (which average out good coffees pooled with mediocre coffees into the lowest common denominator) this is a single farm, "Estate" preparation, wet-milled on the farm instead of a third-party beneficio. The cup reverberates with subtle spicey and fruity notes, excellent medium-heavy body, and in the darker Full City+ roast there are great bittersweet flavors. Along with the Santa Isabella coffee, this represents the high-end of what Colombia can produce!

Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City, but this coffee takes a wide lattitude of roasts. It cups well throught the roast spectrum
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 85.5 Compare to: Like really good Colombians with a little more brightness. Tolima Colombians, San Augustin Colombian, ones with heavier body.
 

Colombian Popayan Supremo Lot 1406
Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Supremo
Region:
Popayan, Cauca
 
Mark:
Exporter: Carcafe Lot 1406
Processing:
pulped, washed (wet processed)
Crop:
2001
Appearance:
0d/300gr
18 screen
Varietal:
---
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/84
Notes: Popayan is a particular "Departmento" (growing district) in Colombia. The coffees tend to have more body and balance than the Huila coffees, which are a bit brighter and lighter. But both can be mild to the point of being...well, insipid. But here is a Popayan that is anything but insipid. This Popayan is exported under a particular "marca" of Carcafe exports. The exporter and those who determine which coffees to pool really have a great bearing on the cup. In a regional market where US brokers can't deal with farmers (they're too small in Colombia -average farms produce 40-60 bags per year!) it is the exporter than determines quality mostly. So once again this year a Colombian jumps out at me at the cupping table, with remarkable body, fruitiness. Some of this may be due to rumors that the coffee uses the new aqua-pulping process that forces the skin and muscilage off the parchement and seed, rather than fermenting it off. And while I prefer traditional coffee methods, this cup is very fruity and I find it attractive. Perhaps it is not exactly what a Popayan is supposed to be, but for better or worse, I really like it. It is excellent roasted dark, or if you like the strong winey-fruitiness, keep it lighter.
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
Body- Movement:
85
Flavor- Depth:
84
Finish- Conclusion:
82
Roast: Has a wide latitiude: City or Full City both have a distinctly nice cup...
Score:
82.66
Compare to: Fruitiness of a Narino , nice body of a Popayan, and a touch of wineyness.
 

Colombian Medellin Excelso Bolivar
Country: Colombia Grade: Excelso Region: Medellin Mark: Bolivar Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 17 scr Varietal: Bourbon, Typica
Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes: Here's the story this offering, proving that you can't choose good coffees by name or reputation: I had no intention of buying this coffee when I received the sample. Medellin is one of the three large growing areas in Colombia responsible for the majority of Colombian coffee that is pooled by bean size grade (eg Excelso). Medellins are usually not as fruity as the Popayans, and have a lighter body. Even the Huila/Caucas can be brighter in acidity, and hence more lively in the cup. I roasted a sample and let it sit there. And as I walked past that sample all day, I picked up a bean and munched on it from time to time (I call it "caveman cupping" ...not reliable, not recommended). And each time I did that, I had a little burst of spicy flavor and a neat almond-cherry flavor. Since I had unceremoniously dumped the sample in a tray, not even bothering to mark it, I really was not sure what it was, but I knew it had great cup potential, and was a special coffee. The next day it dawned on me that it was the lowly Medellin Excelso sample, so I re-roasted it and cupped it. I am not saying this is a penultament coffee, but this is excellent Colombian with a warm spice pungency and great body. And it's always fun to find a good cup from a simple undecorated pooled coffee lot. (When the coffee arrived I found it was a farm-specific coffee). It may seen to fly in the face of espresso-blending laws, but try an espresso made with 100% of this coffee ...it is excellent roasted just a bit into 2nd crack. 
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City to Full City: Wide latitude of roast but I like it light, and rested 1-2 days.
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 84.7 Compare to: very good Colombian

Colombian MC Decaf
Country: Colombia Grade: Excelso Region: Huila/Popayan pooled Mark: German MC Decaf
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 1 d/300gr,16-18 Screen Varietal: Typica, Variedad Colombian
        Dry Fragrance: 81 Notes: The Colombian MC Decaf is another German-processed Methylene Chloride coffee in our line-up, and not suprisingly it is the best Colombian Decaf we offer in terms of cup quality. While not always true, some MC decafs do less damage to the cup quality of the coffee in the decaffeinating process. This coffee retains the medium-bodied, balanced character of a good Colombian Huila coffee with a bit of fruity brightness. Methylene Cholride was a replacement for previous chemical processes starting in the early 1970's. While still a potent chemical, its use in coffee is so discriminate and carefully managed that health or ecological concerns are easily placated. (in fact, it is really in plastics manufacturing and dry cleaning where the concerns arise). This coffee is processed in Germany by the highly-regarded company KVW under the strict EU environmental guidelines (4x as strict as USDA and OSHA guidelines). To read about the pluses and minuses of the different decaffeination methods, please check out our Health and Ecology web page.
Wet Aroma: 81
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 82 Roast: Wide roast range from City to darker roasts. Fruity brightness is at its peak in the light roast while good pungency develops in the darker stages.
Finish- Conclusion: 82
Score: 82.2 Compare to: A non-decaf Huila, or medium bodied, mildly broght and mildly fruity Colombian

 
 
Colombian Popayan Supremo
Country:
Colombia
Grade:
Supremo
Region:
Popayan, Cauca
 
Mark:
Exporter: Colsuaves
Processing:
washed (wet processed)
Crop:
2000
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr plus peaberry
Varietal:
---
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
86/85
Notes: Popayan is a particular "Departmento" (growing district) in Colombia. The coffees tend to have more body and balance than the Huila coffees, which are a bit brighter and lighter. But both can be mild to the point of being...well, insipid. But here is a Popayan that is anything but insipid. This Popayan is exported under a particular "marca" of Colsuaves, an insider's secret I suppose. I ran into this name last year when a particular Colombian lot out-performed every other coffee on the table, and it turned out to be a generic pooled lot of Popayan from Colsuaves. The exporter and those who determine which coffees to pool really have a great bearing on the cup. In a regional market where US brokers can't deal with farmers (they're too small in Colombia -average farms produce 40-60 bags per year!) it is the exporter than determines quality mostly, and finding one like Colsuaves has made me rethink the possibilities of Colombian coffee. So once again this year a Colombian jumps out at me at the cupping table, with remarkable body, fruitiness, winey aromatics ...and it turns out to be another Colsuaves lot. It is different than the Tuluni and San Augustin. it has less agreesiveness in terms of bitterweet flavors, but is equally as defined in its fruitiness.
Brightness- Liveliness:
87
Body- Movement:
87
Flavor- Depth:
86
Finish- Conclusion:
85
Roast: Has a wide latitiude: City or Full City both have a distinctly nice cup...
Score:
86
Compare to: Fruitiness of a Narino , nice body of a Popayan, and a touch of wineyness.
 
 

 
Colombian Maragogype -Alto Gigante
Country: Colombia Grade: n/a Region: Medellin Mark: Alto Gigante
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 20+ scr Varietal: Maragogype
        Dry Fragrance: 80 Notes: Maragogype is a large bean, low-yield coffee varietal. It appeared spontaneously in Brazil in the early 1920's. The large bean size means little in terms of cup quality in and of itself. But the fact that the coffee is low-yield …that each tree produces half the coffee cherry and therefore hald the seeds as a high-yeild coffea arabica hybrid ...it probably the basis for championing this coffee. Of all coffee diginitaries, Phillip Jobin is probably the greatest champion of the Maragogype cultivar, and constantly bemoans the fact that coffee farms rip out the Maragogype trees whenever they pass their peak, and replace it with a modern hybrid. I am not sure that there is such a decline in quality as Jobin believes, nor that we should moan the Maragogype lament. They are heavy beans, and in an air roaster you need to back off a bit on the volume and weight of the batch. Also expect some mottled appearance to the roast color, but this has no bearing on roast quality. The Maragogype cup always strikes me as having much more body than its hybrid varietal counterparts. This is an extremely lush, pleasant cup, not acidic or fruity/fermented. It's certainly a great coffee to share with people who dont want anything too extreme, but is in no way wimpy either!
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 80
Body- Movement: 88
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: City to Full City: Wide latitude of roast but remember to roast a bit less by weight of volume in an air roaster, because these big heavy beans take more air to agitate in the roast chamber.
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 83.2 Compare to: Plush, full-bodied lower-acid Central American coffee

Congo

Congo Kivu
Country:
Rep. Of Congo
Grade:
AA
Region:
Kivu
Mark:
 
Processing:
washed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/18scr
Varietal:
-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
77/82
Notes: I like this coffee a lot ...despite what other cuppers say! Some found it powerful but too harsh, with a possible rubbery taste in the background. But brokers often cup a coffee without letting it rest 12 hours or more after roasting. I cupped this at 4 hours and identified a wild note but at 12 and 24 hours it was gone and the coffee had developed into a very powerful cup that I think many of you will like. And the price is great too. This is a powerhouse like a Kenya with less refinement but there is fruit and vanilla flavors too. Its bright and acidy, not like Ugandan. It takes a darker roast very well! Great aromatics
Brightness- Liveliness:
83
Body- Movement:
82
Flavor- Depth:
79
Finish- Conclusion:
76
Roast: Full City. I like this with a darker roast on it.
Score:
79.8
Compare to: A Kenyan with much less refinement

Costa Rica

Costa Rican Tres Rios -La Magnolia
Country: Costa Rica Grade: SHB Region: Tres Rios Mark: Hacienda La Minita, La Magnolia Beneficio
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Catuaí, Caturra
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: This is going to sound ridiculous, but this coffee has a lot of "coffee flavor". I just don’t know how else to descibe the incredible, balanced cup profile in the La Magnolia. What the heck is coffee flavor??? Well, it is bittersweet like chocolate, but not like chocolate. It is nutty, but not like a particluar nut I can think of ...perhaps hazelnut is the closest. It is sweet, not sour, nor bitter, nor fruity. It is in fact incredibly smooth, delicious, light-bodied and very clean. The roast taste passes from nutty to milk chocolate. The aftertaste is not too long, nor too short. Its a real stumper as a coffee cupper, because I want to describe a great cup of coffee to you but the remarkable way the La Magnolia is so balanced between so many things is impossible to describe clearly. But I knew immediately when this coffee came up in a blind-cupping that I had to stock it, and I recommend it heartily. Perhaps you can try it, and lend me a few adjectives! Cupping the La Magnolia versus the Tarrazu coffees I find it the epitome of sweetness and delicacy, with floral flavors and eromatics. It is a lighthearted coffee, it's really wonderful.
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 86 Roast: City Roast: You lose the delicate bright flavors if you roast this too dark. But if you want a tangy dark roast with a light body …go for it.
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 84.5 Compare to: Tarrazu of past years… more complex than the Tarrazu-Tres Rios we had earlier this year. If you are a fan of Costa Rican coffees, try this!

Costa Rican Auction Lot -Diamante Tarrazu
Country: Costa Rica Grade: SHB, EP Region: Tarrazu, Dota Mark: Cosecha De Oro Auction Lot, Diamante Tarrazu
Processing: Wet processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Caturra
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: This particular lot was purchased by Sweet Maria's in the competitive Cosecha De Oro (Golden Crop)auction sponsored by the Costa Rican grower's association. There were three lots from the auction samples we received that I thought were really noteworthy, but this coffee from the Meseta farms was my favorite. (The other two included another Meseta coffee and one called "La Luisa"). Dota is a subregion of Tarrazu, more remote lands up the valley than where most Tarrazu is produced. Since Tarrazu is really the Costa Rican region that produces the coffee with the most "regional character" , that makes Dota all the more special. In the online auction, there was surprising less competition for these excellent coffees than there should have been, and for what reason I am still not sure. Whether technical snafu, or a time zone problem for European bidders, we faced little opposition and can offer this coffee to you all at a price far, far lower than it should be. It certainly should be priced as the La Minita is, although I find La Minita holds up well against it with considerable complexity and perhaps a little more body. But the Diamante Tarrazu has a wonderful bright, clean fruity snap to the cup, and a soft milk chocolatiness that rounds out a cup both delicate and sophisticated. The finish has hints of hazelnut in the lighter roasts, pre-2nd crack. Like other Costa Ricans, the cup is under-whelming when extremely hot but truly blooms as it cools! It falls into the category of the "Classic Cup": sweet, clean, and apparently shorter on the aftertaste until you realize 20 minutes later that it has left a lingering, pleasant tang on your palate. There is a +2 correction to express the attractiveness of the cup as it cools, and in the aftertaste.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.3
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.5
Body - Movement (1-5) 3
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 2 Roast: A lighter roast and a longer rest highlights the delicate flavors but the body seems thin. Keep it light for the nutty roast taste. I suppose I prefer to let this coffee go into 2nd crack for about 10 seconds because I like the roasty flavors
add 50 50 Compare to: Mild clean Centrals - the good Costa Ricans are a delicate cup, and flavors emerge as the cup cools. See La Minita
Score (Max. 100) 86.8

Costa Rican Dota Tarrazu
Country: Costa Rica Grade: SHB, EP Region: Tarrazu, Dota Mark: RB Dota Beneficio
Processing: Wet processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Caturra
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: Dota is a subregion of Tarrazu, more remote lands up the valley than where most Tarrazu is produced. Since Tarrazu is really the Costa Rican region that produces the coffee with the most "regional character" (Tres Rios coffees can be fine too), that makes Dota all the more special. It is known as the most powerful of the Tarrazus. It also seems to be a buzzword, and one broker I deal with nullified several contracts for "Dota" when the samples did not match the legendary cup. This one is excellent, and it comes from lands adjacent to the Auction Lot Tarrazu Diamante that we stock. Interestingly, the difference between the two is that the Diamante is fruitier and a bit brighter. This Dota is more bittersweet in its chocolatiness, and develops a more pungent roast taste as the roast progresses. I would call this a Baker's chocolate taste, tangy and bitter but in a good way! It also has that astringency particular to bittersweet chocolate, but I found this emerges mostly when brewed to a fairly hefty strength. Overall, a very very attractive cup and the numbers seem to cheat it out of its deserving score, hence a +1 cupper's correction. This is a coffee from the RB Beneficio (wet-mill), and is graded as the highest SHB -Strictly Hard Bean - for altitude, and EP -European Preparation - for the extra levels of hand preparation in removal of bad seeds after the coffee is machine gravity sorted and colormetricly sorted.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8
Body - Movement (1-5) 3
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 7
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1 Roast: That clean, classic cup with light body is a result of a Full City roast that is stopped in anticipation of 2nd crack's first audible snap, but no further. You can roast this coffee darker and produce very nice sharply pungent notes too, but the body will remain light.
add 50 50 Compare to: Classic Costa Rican cup profile, bright, sharp and crisp, light-bodied.
Score (Max. 100) 84

Costa Rica Finca Santa Elena Tarrazu "Miel"
Country: Costa Rican Grade: SHB Region: Tarrazu Mark: Finca Santa Elena Taparto, "Miel"
Processing: Semi-wet process, sun dried Crop: 02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen Varietal: Caturra, Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4.0 Notes: The Santa Elena farm is actually fairly large, about 700 acres and encompasses 3 hillsides, with its own beneficio mill. The efficiencies of producing a greater amount of coffee cherry and milling it on-site means that the truly top 10% of the harvest -from the highest elevations, at the peak periods of ripeness, is more substantial. The unique coffee from this unique farm (footnote: it is the only woman-owned Tarrazu farm I know of) is sold as "Taparto", and is brokered by Erna Knutsen, the grand damme of Specialty Coffee, who actually coined that term! Now, at Erna's request, Santa Elena conducted a little experiment a while back, and set aside a small portion of the exclusive Taparto coffee. Processing it separately, they removed the skin off the coffee cherry and then, instead of fermenting off the fruity pulp (called mucilage) they let it remain on the outer parchment hull of the seed, and laid it out to sun-dry. This is called a semi-natural (or semi-washed -depending on which way you look at it) process and is done in Brasil and, in a crude way, in Sumatra. But it is unheard of in Central America. The result is a distinct winey-fruitiness in the cup, deeper tonality overall, and increased body. Not surprisingly, the character of the fruitiness reminds me of the aroma of the coffee flower and the fruity-winey smells of the coffee cherry itself, as you would experience them walking around a farm in the cherry harvest time. While still consistent with the sweetness and aromatics of the Tarrazu appellation, the "Miel" (honey in Spanish) is truly a different and exciting treatment of this coffee, and cups with great distinction against any other Tarrazu coffee!
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4.0
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.0
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.0
Body - Movement (1-5) 4.0
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.0
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 2.0 Roast: City to Full City: City roast accentuates the fruitiness, while Full City underscores depth and chocolate roast tastes.
add 50 50 Compare to: Like the finest Tarrazu coffees of Costa Rica, but with greater body and unique fruitiness
Score (Max. 100) 88.0

Country: Costa Rica Grade: SHB Region: Pooled Mark: Coffein Natural Decaf
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: -
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: Natural Decafs are a newer 'chemical' process that use a safe fruit-derived type of Ethyl Acetate to extract the caffeine from the green coffee. The Ethyl Acetate process is this case performed in Germany by the decaffeinator Coffein who brands their own process …presumably because they think they do a better job than others. One thing for sure, any decaffeination performed in Germany is done under the strictest regulations in the world ...in terms of environmental impact, plant safety and highest standards for the coffee itself. The cup on this retains that fine Costa Rican cup: clean, mild acidity, good balance and light body. This coffee originates with a top-grade high grown SHG (Strictly Hard Bean) coffee. The Natural decaf process is one of the best for Costa Ricans, in my past cupping experience... More on decaffeination.
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 83
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: City. You can roast it into the second crack but you will loose the light, fruity brightness in the coffee. Remember, decafs roast faster, color is darker since the bean starts out darker, and you usually get more oils outside the bean for the equivalent roast in a non-decaf
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 82.7 Compare to: Very very good CR decafs or regular, milder Costa Ricans, but with a molasses-like flavor overlay.

Costa Rican La Pastora Tarrazu
Country:
Costa Rica
Grade:
SHB EP
Region:
Tarrazu
Mark:
La Pastora Beneficio
Processing:
Wet Processed
Crop:
'01
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Caturra Catuai
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
82/82
Notes: La Pastora is the first quality European Prep (E.P.) coffee from the cooperative Tarrazu coffee beneficio (mill) by the same name. Euro Prep requires extra stages of hand-sorting to remove defective seeds. The result is not always a prettier green coffee, but a clean cup without distracting off flavors. The result with the La Pastora is an exceptional mild coffee. Mild does not mean without character! It means that the complexity and depth in the cup needs a little time to develop on your pallete. The La Pastora comes accross as a simple sweet cup on the first sip, when it is still very hot. As the cup cools there is a really neat nutty (almond, in my opinion) flavor that emerges, a light, buttery body, and a sweet, delicate acidity. It's not coffee that will make all your die-hard dark-roast friends mend their ways, but it is a great sophisticated cup, and your grandmother will love you for it!
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
Body- Movement:
80
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast: City toward Full City. Delicate and complex flavors are best discovered after a good 24 hours of resting, and at the City stage. Let the cup cool a bit and the character will grow on you. Use milk/cream and forget about tasting anything! Sure, you can dark roast a Costa but ...Are you nuts? They'll be no origin character AND no body to boot.
Score:
82.5
Compare to: Very very nice, sweet Centrals, like the Panama Lerida of 18 months ago.

Costa Rican Tarrazu-Tres Rios '01
Country: Costa Rica Grade: SHB Region: Tarrazu and Tres Rios Mark: "Holland Especial"
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 Screen Varietal: Catuai Caturra
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: It's not often that we offer a coffee that is not "single-origin", meaning it comes from more than one region. It happens most with Colombian, where growing areas are micro-regional and coffees are commonly blended as an "apellation" and not strictly by geography. (There is talk in the coffee trade of creating the equivalent of "apellation controlee" to assure the verity of certain varietals and the geographic origin). But when a coffee of blended origin out-cups all the single-origin coffees in the same class, what should I do? Offer the inferior single-origin coffee? Well, this is the first time the problem presented itself and I decided to offer the coffee with the better cup. Here it is, sold as Holland Especial but since that brand doest refer to anything specifc to the coffee we have chosen to call it Tres-Rios-Tarrazu, an accurate name. The coffee is prepared to European Standard (EP) and is large screen for a Costa Rican: 17/18. The cup is not as mild as many of last year's CR coffees. It has a bright acidity with sharp, pleasant fruitiness, and a slightly herbaceous flavor that I find attactive, maybe a little like fresh-cut grass but somehow it comes off very well in the cup. As most CR coffees, it is medium to light-bodied. We have cross-ciupped it against a range of CR coffees from past and present crop and it is more potent than almost all of the 99/00 coffees, and holds its own with the best of 00/01. Its definitely a lively cup!
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 80
Flavor- Depth: 83 Roast: City Roast: You lose the delicate bright flavors if you roast this too dark. But if you want a tangy dark roast with a light body …go for it.
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 83.7 Compare to: Tarrazu of past years, but it is superior to all most of the other SHB Costa Rican samples we have received from the 2001 crop!


Costa Rica Dota "Conquistador"
 
Country:
Costa Rica
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Tarrazu, Dota
Mark:
Dota, "Conquistador" Beneficio
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
'00/01
Appearance:
0 d/300gr
17/18scr
Varietal:
Catuaí, Caturra
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
86/86
Notes: Dota is a subregion of Tarrazu, more remote lands up the valley than where most Tarrazu is produced. Since Tarrazu is really the Costa Rican region that produces the coffee with the most "regional character", that makes Dota all the more special. It is known as the most powerful of the Tarrazus. It also seems to be a buzzword, and one broker I deal with nullified several contracts for "Dota" when the samples did not match the legendary cup. This coffee comes from another green coffee source who has locked up most Dota contracts for years. There is no question its the real thing. The acidity is clean, citrusy, and dominating. Excellent Dutch chocolate flavors follow the acidy burst, making the flavors have a very long "sustain" (like holding a note and having it reverberate on the guitar!) in the mouth. While it is best at lighter roasts, there is certainly enough power here to take a more aggressive roast too. Its a strong coffee that perhaps might be clean and focused to a fault (as some Costas can be) but it is a must buy for lovers of premium washed, acidy coffees like powerful Guats, or even Kenyans. This coffee farm is overseen, milled and brokered by the famed Hacienda La Minita
Brightness- Liveliness:
91
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
90
Finish- Conclusion:
88
Roast: Optimal just before 2nd crack, but can take the darker roasts too. In fact, you can blunt the citrusy acidity by taking it a bit darker, where acidity turns to sharp roast notes.
Score:
86.8
Compare to: powerful, bright, acidy coffees: Guats, Kenyas, brightness of some Panamas

Costa Rican Organic La Amistad
Country: Costa Rica Grade: SHB Region: Southern Mark: Hacienda
La Amistad
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: varied
        Dry Fragrance: 80 Notes: La Amistad Estate is located out there in coffee farm lonsome town near the border of Panama, not in any coffee growing regions such as Tarrazu or Tres Rios. (Click here for a map -red dot is farm.) The La Amistad farm is located above 1200 meters next to the border between Costa Rica and Panama. This farm has been a family farm for generations and the family has kept much of it as natural forest. It is now a "National Private Protected Area" called Las Tablas, which forbids people from hunting, extracting wood or doing any damage to the area. The reserve is located next to the National Park, La Amistad, one of the few National Parks between two countries and is the largest reserve area in Costa Rica. La Amistad is an excellent, light-bodied mild cup It is a great breakfast coffee with a clean taste and mild brightness. We have passed on this coffee historically because I thought it was just too mild, but this lot was a late 2000 picking and was balanced without being dull! You'll like it, family will like it, grandma will like it. And it brews verry nice in a vacuum brewer too.
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 78
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: City. Let it go all the way through the first crack, wait for that silence between the forst and second cracks, smell the roast smoke turn from toasty to pungent and stop it there…
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 82.0 Compare to: Juan Vinas Costa Rican, or other Atlantic, milder, balanced, light-bodied CR

Costa Rican HGA Orosi
Country: Costa Rica Grade: HGA Region: Orosi Mark: Pooled
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 scr Varietal: varied
        Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: You see a lot of coffees we sell listed as SHB, which means Strictly Hard Bean. That is the highest grade coffee from the Pacific-side of Costa Rica … but the highest grade from the regions on the Atlantic-side is HGA, High Grown Atlantic. That's what we have here, an excellent new 2001 crop coffee from the Atlantic growing region of Orosi. It is rare for us to buy a new crop coffee in January as we did with this one: early coffees are often from lower-altitude regions (HG or HB grade), are picked a bit prematurely, or rushed through processing using mechanical drying techniques. But with this high altitude Orosi we have a very large mature bean coffee that has great Costa Rican character and shows no sign of being rushed to market. The aroma is excellent. It has a light body that typifies CR coffee, and excellent bright snappy acidity. The aftertaste is interesting in that it fades quickly right after it leaves your mouth, but then is surprisingly long when you find yourself still enjoying it 5 minutes later! Perhaps this is a function of the light body...
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 80
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: City. It can taste a little gassy if roasted too light and not rested the recommended 12-24 hours. I like it roasted to Full City, and this is also a CR coffee that can go darker too. But the darker you go, the more you lose in body (as well as the origin-character of the coffee, or course...)
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 83.2 Compare to: Has the punch of Tarrazu or other high grown CR coffees. A coffee for those who like a high-toned, bright, clean cup.

Costa Rican Tarrazu -Los Frailes Estate
Country: Costa Rica Grade: SHB Region: "Tarrazu" Mark: Los Frailes
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: varied
        Dry Fragrance: 87 Notes: Los Frailes is sold as Tarrazu but is really a subregion of its own on the outskirts. It is accepted that the coffee has the Tarrazu character and so the Costa Rican coffee association labels it a Tarrazu. Clean, balanced, mild and delicious. This coffee is not going to conk you on the head with acidity, but win you over as the cup cools and the complexity and almondy flavors emerge. It has incredibly attractive aromatics. Just great "drinkin' coffee"! And a crowd-pleasers to be sure...
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 82
Flavor- Depth: 86 Roast: City. Let it go all the way through the first crack, wait for that silence between the forst and second cracks, smell the roast smoke turn from toasty to pungent and BAM (as my least-favority TV chef says) stop it. At this point you have maximized the great flavors and complexity without allowing roasty tastes to dominate them too much...
Finish- Conclusion: 87
Score: 85.3 Compare to: La Minita, really.

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic -Montana Verde Estate
Country: Dominican Rebublic Grade: HB Region:  Bani Mark: Montana Verde Estate
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/18scr Varietal:  
  Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: Overall the coffee is mild and soft. It is clear it is an island coffee and not from a super high altitude. That said, there is a lot going on in this cup ...even without a huge aftertaste I get a lot of different flavors here. The main flavor is linked to the acidity: grapes and apples , not fully fermented or fresh --somewhere in between. That may bug some people; I like it. Typical Central Am. acidity is judged for clarity, like ringing a bell: here the bell is rung but with your other hand on it the sound is muted. (Sounds corny, but this analogy really describes the taste in this coffee for me). Theres also hints of vanilla and spice (allspice) that lurk behind the fruit. Haitian coffee is the original new world coffee, I imagine this Dominican is what the folks woke up to in the Americas circa 1700!
  Wet Aroma: 84
  Brightness- Liveliness: 85
  Body- Movement: 84
  Flavor- Depth: 82 Roast: Full City - Vienna -French . I like the caramel-apple flavors I get from the lighter roast of this coffee, but there is a sourness in the acidity that some might not like. It turns to a very nice sharp pungency in the darker roasts though, which makes this a popular choice for those with Vienna / French Roast tendencies.
  Finish- Conclusion: 80
  Score: 83 Compare to: Fruity like some Central Americans, mild and simple like Island coffees

Ethiopia

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe WP Decaf
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 5 Region: Yirgacheffe
(subregion of Sidamo)
Mark: MAO
Processing: Wet-process coffee, Water Process Decaf Crop: late July . 2004 arrival Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Arabica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: Here is another superb decaf coffee originating with a great lot of MAO Horse Yirgacheffe. I can't tell you how pleased I am with these new water process decafs; it's truly a breakthrough in cup quality. But the secret is the coffee sent down to the plant is really, really good lots of green coffee, and not whatever doesn't sell, or whatever the plant has laying around. That's the old way of thinking in decafs: they have usually been the lowest priced green lots, or the overstock. Here we have a lot of great Yirgacheffe, sent to the plant in Mexico for the non-chemical, natural, water process method of caffeine extraction. This is a totally remarkable cup, with all the top-end bright notes and floral-fruit flavors found in an excellent non-decaf Yirg. The body is a bit light but even that is the case with the Yirg compared to the dry-process Ethiopian coffees. It is floral and fruity in the aromatics, with just a hint of honey wine. It has a particular sweetness in the cup that is floral/rose-like in character, and a bit of a barley sweetness in the cup at a lighter City roast. I prefer it taken to a Full City though, where the flavors are intensified and the roastiness more pronounced, without overwelming the floral notes at all.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.5
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.7
Body - Movement (1-5) 2.9
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.8
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: City to Full City. At the City Stage (first crack has completed and second has not yet begun) it is especially fruity, and at Full City (at the verge of 2nd crack or a few snaps into it) it develops a nice chocolate roast taste. Remember to roast by sound and smell, since the deeper roast color of decafs can be deceiving. Note that there are some small beans and broken beans in this, which is NO reason not to buy it, but could pose a problem for Alpenrost users.
add 50 50 Compare to: Much like a really good Yirgacheffe, floral, fruited, a bit cleaner in the cup.
Score (Max. 100) 86.9 Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium / clean and fruited

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Lot 7449
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 2 Region: Yirgacheffe (in Sidamo) Mark: M.A.O. "Horse" Lot 7449
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: June 2004 Arrival Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopian Cultivar
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4.0 Notes: Wow. Yirgacheffe will beat you with a flower: it is truly a seductive coffee! Yirgacheffe is a town in Sidamo region, a high plateau north of Harar ...Yirg. should mean "highest quality, most fruity acidity" compared to washed Limmu and washed Sidamo --or else the name doesn't mean anything at all! I cupped Yirgacheffes hard this season, with so many *blah* samples arriving. Many were less impressive than even the 2 year old samples that are getting a bit "baggy" by now, even lots from the exact same exporter as this one, which underscores the importance to cup each and every distinct lot. All-in-all, there are great Ethiopian coffees out there this year, but you have to do a lot of cupping of individual lots to find them, and it's a lot of work. And all of this years Yirgacheffes have a flavor profile shift: they are not as acidic and citrusy as previous years. But the flavors can be intriguing, and this particular lot leaped out in the cupping because of it's truly unique character. The dry fragrance from the grounds is sweet and caramelly; the aroma from the brewed cup has great sharp peppery notes when taken a bit darker in the roast, a few snaps into 2nd crack. At that roast the flavors in the cup are a dark raisiny sweetness, behind pungent black pepper ... but I really prefer the Yirgacheffe at it's peak roast, which is between City to Full City, and not into 2nd crack at all. Even at the verge of 2nd crack the cup has remarkable high notes, and a dry zest in the finish, with hints of plum. With a City to City+ roast the cup is more citrusy, especially as it cools, with complex with tangy bittersweets. Not surprisingly, this cup character reminds me of the Saint Helena coffee we have stocked ... which makes sense since they share the same heirloom seedstock. We have passed on a lot of Yirgacheffe and wet-processed Sidamo samples (even from the same exporter as this lot) in this season, but this particular lot is awesome and I couldn't avoid buying it!
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3.5
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 9.1
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9.4
Body - Movement (1-5) 2.9
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9.0
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1.0 Roast: See notes above - flavors shift a lot before 1st crack versus after 2nd crack. If roasted dark this coffee becomes sharply pungent but since it has very light body it becomes very thin, and all the flowery and fruity notes are gone. I HIGHLY recommend stopping the roast on this before you hear too much 2nd crack - it really excels as a City-Full City roasted coffee.
add 50 50.0 Compare to: Remember, Washed Ethiopians have a much different cup character than Dry-Processed Ethiopians… this is a high-toned coffee, clean coffee, more like wet-processed Central Americans and certain Kenyas.
Score (Max. 100) 88.9 Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium / bright and lively

Ethiopian Ghimbi Lot 5025
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 5 Region: Ghimbi Mark: MAO Horse Lot 5025
Processing: Dry-processed Crop: 2003 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopian Cultivar
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3.4 Notes: We don't buy coffees from every Ethiopian origin every year. Sure, Harar and Yirgacheffe are the premium Ethiopians and we always find outstanding lots of those (with A LOT of cupping mind you!). But there are the black sheep regions too: Limmu to some degree, but definitely Ghimbi and Djimmah. Yet every so often, if you pay attention and keep cupping, something really good comes down the pipe. This year its an amazing Ghimbi lot ... it is not as husky and earthy as I would expect from a Ghimbi. In fact, it is a relatively clean cup, especially when I put it alongside the Organic DP Sidamo we have. It's just so attractively aromatic with cinnamon spice notes, and develops this wonderful brown sugar roast taste after a few days of rest, with hints of rustic chocolate. The fruit in it is a little peach-strawberry, and a little apple-cidery, dependent on roast and rest. And it's also true that the dry-process Ethiopians vary from cup to cup more than any other coffee. This is because the hand-sorted, no-water method of laying coffee cherry out in the sun to dry and visually picking out defects allows wider range of seeds to get through the process, some for the betterment of the cup, a few with funky, odd flavors of over-ripe cherry (or under-ripe). But the incredible aromatics of a cup like this, with such distinct character make it hard to resist, even with some variability in the roast results. It benefits so much from 48 hours resting after the roast. Of course, I usually can't wait that long. It smells so incredible when I grind it 12 hours after roasting! Roasted 30 seconds into 2nd crack, this makes an espresso that is especially colorful; chocolate and raisin with spice. Note: like the DP Sidamo, there are a few funky beans in here, and you will have variation in cups, with an occasional cup that is earthier in tone than others.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3.5
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.0
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9.0
Body - Movement (1-5) 2.8
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.5
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1.0 Roast: I like this a few snaps into 2nd crack, a Full City + roast. You can definitely go darker with it though.
add 50 50.0 Compare to: Full flavor dry-processed Ethiopians like Harar.
Score (Max. 100) 86.2 Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium to Bold / earthy and fruity

Ethiopian Organic Harar Grade 5
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 5 Region: Hararghe Mark: Oromia Co-op
Certified Organic
 
Processing: Dry-processed Crop: Late 2003 arrival Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Harar
Moka seedstock
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4.5 Notes: This lot of Harar Organic was a surprise late-crop arrival: we usually find the best Harars come from MAO Horse, although we must cup many lots to find them. Nonetheless, I always cup the other Harar sources. And it shouldn't be a surprise that this lot from the Oromia Co-op is so nice: we bought Organic Dry-Process Sidamo and a lot of Wet-Process Organic Yirgacheffe from them earlier in the season. But what really hooked me was the incredible fragrance of berry and apricot when I ground the sample. This has one of the best dry fragrances of a Harar that I have had the pleasure of smelling. It follows through into the wet aromatics where I find less blueberry and more apricot and a little mango. Now I must admit, this coffee smells so fine that the cup flavors are perhaps a notch below. But this is a typical experience with a really good Harar ... and hey, the aroma is an incredibly important part of the total cup experience. While the cup has more muted fruits, it has more intense, exotic notes; jasmine, wine and that typical pungent touch that you find in Yemeni dry-process coffees. I hate to be a sap, but to me these flavors always form an image of an Ethiopian marketplace; spices, dried fruits, handmade leather goods! Compared to the earlier lot of Harar we had this year, this coffee has lower acidity, and more bass note pungency: clove, black pepper.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4.2
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.1
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.6
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.2
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.5
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: Full City + roast is best: I like a more developed roast taste which aids some bittersweetness to the cup and compliments the fruit notes
add 50 50 Compare to: Classic Dry-process coffees of Ethiopia and Yemen.
Score (Max. 100) 87.1 Intensity/Prime Attribute: Medium to Bold / fruit (dried), spice

Ethiopian Organic Sidamo -Dry Processed
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 4 Region: Sidamo Mark: Oromia Co-op, Organic
Processing: Dry-processed Crop: 2003 Appearance: 1.2 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopian Cultivar
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3.4 Notes: This dry-processed coffee from the Sidamo region has a husky character, more of the typical flavors that are inherent to natural dry-processed coffees: earthy, a little hidey, pungent, fruity, and with a very long aftertaste. Only in the past few years have Organic and Fair Trade coffees come from Ethiopia, and all are from a single huge cooperative called the Oromia co-op. They represent many small farms in many regions, and while the regions are certainly kept distinct (Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Etc) the individual farms are too small to sell each coffee as discrete lots. So some of these pooled co-op lots can be pretty good, and a few are excellent. It takes cupping to sort through all the offerings, and this year I found 2 lots that were really nice, one dry-processed coffee from Sidamo and one wet-processed coffee from Yirgacheffe (although both are totally different in the cup). My warning about this Sidamo, some cups are a little too funky for me, earthy, hidey and a touch musty. Others cups are pleasurably potent, with that touch of wildness but not too much. All cups are heavily fruited, like dried unsulphered natural apricot. There's everything else in here too; exotic spice (cardamom allspice). It's intense stuff... As far as variable cups goes, this is true with all dry-processed coffees, and always true with the Ethiopian dry-processed. It's just part of the sun-dried coffee process where whole cherry is patio-dried, then the whole husk and parchment is removed in one step, and all defective coffee seeds are removed by visual sorting. That means a few decent-looking seeds will make it through the process that are indeed a bit over-ripe or under-ripe. Cull out any really, really light-colored seeds after roasting. I had to score this coffee low for flavor and aftertaste and then add points back in a cupper's correction ... this because some cuppers will hate this (ones who like clean, polite coffees) and me, I love it for its muscular earthiness and heavyweight character.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3.5
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.7
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.0
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.0
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.0
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 2.0 Roast: This can take a heavier roast, in fact I like it best a bit into 2nd crack, and also at a Vienna/Light French roast.
add 50 50.0 Compare to: Potent, funky, dry-processed coffees … heavily fruited with natural-dry character.
Score (Max. 100) 86.6 Intensity/Prime Attribute: Bold / earth and fruit

Ethiopian DP Harar Horse -Lot 4603
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 5 Region: Hararghe Mark: M.A.O Horse
Lot 4603
Processing: Dry Processed Crop: 2003 Appearance: .5 d/300gr, 16- 17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopian Arabica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: Harar is intense. A really good Harar is a coffee that is fruity (blueberry to apricot) and with flowery enzymatic aromas, jasmine tea, maple woodiness, exotic hide or fresh leather, mulling spice... in other words, good Harar is like the fragrance of an open-air arabic market! Harars have pungent rustic chocolate roast flavors and a range of winey to fermented fruitiness. But this is a highly variable coffee, not just year-to-year, but lot-to-lot and sometimes even bag-to-bag! Some years might contains the covented Blueberry character and another year it can be completely absent from all lots. Some years are cleaner and more tea-like and others are heavier, more wild and earthy. Harars are wild, natural coffees; two euphemisms for natural dry-processed. The reason MAO is included here in the title is that this importer (Mohammed Abdullahi Ogsadey -see his certificate found in each bag) is a really good source for Ethiopian coffees, often having the 1 or 2 really exceptional lots. But exporter's mark is still not enough, you have to choose from lot to lot. I love good Harar and cup many lots of Harar Horse from 2 sources, and from 3 other exporters. For 2003, the earlies samples (6 from Horse too) were not promising. The fruit just wasn't there. I thought we might be facing a down year for Harar across the board. Then we received this mid-crop samples and, when I ran them through my cupping grinder, I got really excited. This lot 4603 is almost identical to the previous lot 4338 (which in turn had slighlty more blueberry sweetness than 4333 earlier this year): complex, sweet and honey-like in the fragrance, accented with Blueberry aromatics. In fact the difference between these most recent 2 lots is perhaps slightly more berry in the 4603. The cup has sweet fruit, jasmine, sweet basil, apricot and blueberry, finishing with a mild leathery-earthiness. It's the kind of cup that makes me want to drink a gallon of coffee ... watch out!
Wet Aroma (1-5) 5
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.3
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9.8
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9.5
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: Harar is most fruity in a lighter City roast (completely through 1st crack, before 2nd crack), and turns deeply pungent in French roasts. Between the two, a Vienna roast can possess the best of both. I prefer Full City. Harar will roast unevenly! This is not a bad thing, but if there are extremely pale beans in the roast you might want to cull them (at the risk of removing some of the extreme (earthy-husky) flavors in the cup.
add 50 50 Compare to: Harar is an extreme coffee, aggressively flavored and with some natural earthy-leathery flavors that some people adore and others despise.
Score (Max. 100) 90.1

Ethiopian Harar Horse WP Decaf
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 5 Region: Hararghe Mark: MAO
Processing: Natural Dry Process, Water Process Decaf Crop: 2003 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Arabica Longberry
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: Here is another fantastic decaf coffee. I can't tell you how pleased I am with these new water process decafs; it's truly a breakthrough in cup quality. But the secret is the coffee sent down to the plant is really, really good lots of green coffee, and not whatever doesn't sell, or whatever the plant has laying around. That's the old way of thinking in decafs: they have usually been the lowest priced green lots, or the overstock. Here we have a lot of the MAO Harar Horse, our favorite Ethiopian exporter, sent to the plant in Mexico for the non-chemical, natural, water process method of caffeine extraction. Along with the Ethiopian WP Sidamo Decaf, this is a totally remarkable cup, with all the top-end bright notes and floral-fruit flavors endemic to a really good Harar. It does taste less earthy and wild than a really good non-decaf Harar, but in all other respects, the true Harar character is preserved: it has medium-light bodied, incredible aromatics of fruit, wild-honeyed roast tastes, with a long finish. If I cupped this blind I would never ever suspect it was decaffeinated.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.3
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.7
Body - Movement (1-5) 2.8
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.8
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1 Roast: City to Full City. At the City Stage (first crack has completed and second has not yet begun) it is especially fruity, and at Full City (at the verge of 2nd crack or a few snaps into it) it develops a nice chocolate roast taste. Remember to roast by sound and smell, since the deeper roast color of decafs can be deceiving. Note that there are some small beans and broken beans in this, which is NO reason not to buy it, but could pose a problem for Alpenrost users.
add 50 50 Compare to: Much like a really good Harar, a bit cleaner in the cup.
Score (Max. 100) 87.6

Ethiopian Organic/ FT Yirgacheffe
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 2 Region: Yirgacheffe (in Sidamo) Mark: Oromia Co-op, Fair Trade, Organic
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2003 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopian Cultivar
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4.0 Notes: Only in the past few years have Organic and Fair Trade coffees come from Ethiopia, and all are from a single huge cooperative called the Oromia co-op. They represent many small farms in many regions, and while the regions are certainly kept distinct (Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Etc) the individual farms are too small to sell each coffee as discrete lots. So some of these pooled co-op lots can be pretty good, and a few are excellent. It takes cupping to sort through all the offerings, and this year I found 2 lots that were really nice, one dry-processed coffee from Sidamo and one wet-processed coffee from Yirgacheffe (although both are totally different in the cup). This Yirgacheffe is bright, slightly winey, heavily fruited with a floral and flame grape flavor finishing in soft clove spice. Of course, I bought this lot because of the outstanding cup quality, but it's pretty cool to know that Ethiopian farmers are assured by contract fair trade wages for this (although quality has its own premiums too ... the other Ethiopians we carry are all top dollar coffees). This cup has that honey-lemon zest to it, not outrageously bright or acidic, it's more the flavor of a honey-sweetened lemonade.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4.0
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 9.2
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9.0
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.0
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9.0
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1.0 Roast: Keep this out of 2nd crack as much as you can - I think Yirgs get weird if roasted into 2nd crack too much, although others like that. It's delicate notes are at their prime just before the coffee has any indication of 2nd crack.
add 50 50.0 Compare to: Remember, Washed Ethiopians have a much different cup character than Dry-Processed Ethiopians… this is a high-toned coffee, clean coffee, more like wet-processed Central Americans and certain Kenyas.
Score (Max. 100) 89.2

Ethiopian Sidamo Wet-Process
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 4 Region: Sidamo Mark: Bashanfer Highland  
Processing: Wet Process Coffee, not our Sidamo D.P. Crop: 2002-2003 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16 Screen Varietal: Ethiopian Arabica, Shortberry and Longberry
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: This is a coffee we usually don't stock: it is similar to the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, another wet-process coffee. It's too similar, usually. And its quite different from the Dry-Process Sidamo we usually stock. But we were told about a really unique lot of Wet Process Sidamo that arrived, not from a usual source, and encouraged to try a sample if just for the hell of it. We roasted it a bit light, and the cup was very sour ... but it was clear by the aromatics and flavors in the cup that this coffee was special. So we did two more roasts at slightly darker stages (City+ and Full City) and the cup was impressive. It really shimmers with bright citrusy flavors, and in my first sips it was so effervescent that it seemed to float across the palate. With the roast flavors lightly caramelized, there's a perfect match between the altitude of these high notes and the middle tones of the roast. The body is light. This is a coffee for those who like the Yirgacheffe and the bright Kenyas, the nippy, fruity acids that give effervescence to the cup.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 9.5
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.5
Body - Movement (1-5) 2
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: City+ to Full City. Roast this too light and the cup is too sour, the roast taste like baked grain. Too dark and the pungent roast tastes are a mismatch with the bright notes. Try to keep this right at or just before 2nd crack: not less, not much more.
Add 50 50 Compare to: Bright, delicate coffees with light body: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. This coffee is NOT like the Dry-Process Sidamo (or Harar)
Score (Max. 100) 87


Ethiopian Sidamo Grade 4 Dry-Process (natural)
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
4
Region:
Sidamo
Mark:
M.A.O Horse, '02 crop
Processing:
Dry-process
Crop:
2002
Appearance:
2d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
Longberry
 
Fragrance:
Aroma:
88
90
Notes: Much of the Sidamo sold in the U.S. is wet processed and cups like a lesser form of the Yirgacheffe. But this is a dry-processed (DP) Sidamo and these coffees have more body, more wild earthy flavors, and oftentimes more "regional character." The prep is excellent for a hand-picked, natural process; its very Longberry Varietal. The body is medium. The fruitiness is there; dried apricot flavors, and its zested with a bit of citrus too. It's not a sweet cup: its pungent and sometimes herby (sage). So why all this variation in the description? Because this coffee seems to produce a slightly different cup each time you roast it and each time you brew it. This is the nature of hand-picked, dry-processed coffees. But the fantastic thing is that each and every cup of the Sidamo is remarkably good! Sometimes it is more fruity, sometimes less (pay attention to the first sip you take of it, before your palate "acclimates" to the flavor). Did you know that Yirgacheffe is a town in the Sidamo region? Sidamo is a high plateau (6000 ft) north of Harar. This is in our Moka Kadir blend, and is an excellent espresso constituent. See roast recommendation below! Also, expect uneven color in the final roast, and don't worry about that! Its the nature of DP Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees but has no reflection on the cup quality . A neat use for Sidamo is to increase the pleasant pungency of a dark roast. Try 25% in a French roast blend ...it is excellent!
Acidity:
85
Body:
84
Flavor:
90
Aftertaste:
90
Roast: There are delicate apricot fruit notes lost as the coffee approaches 2nd crack or passes into it. Roast it as light as possible, just through first crack OR go ahead and roast dark just for chocolatey and spicy notes.
Overall:
87.83
Compare to: other great DP Ethiopians, akin to Harar but a little less "bright"

Ethiopian Harar DP "Bagersh" '02-'03
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 4 Region: Harar Mark: Bagersh
Processing: Dry Processed Crop: late 2002 picking Appearance: .5 d/300gr, 16- 17 Screen Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopian Arabica, Shortberry and Longberry
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4.0 Notes: We cup a lot of Ethiopian coffees but it seems we always end up buying one lot or other from Mohammed Ogsadey (Horse Mark). It's not that everything exported through their Dire Dawa warehouse is the best, but there's always one lot that is superior to anything else. But now we are at the tail end of the shipments for the season and I am cross-cupping the Harar exporters looking for one with the apricot fruitiness that I like so much. And I happen to find it in a non-Horse harar this time, but rather in a lot of shortberry varietal. This coffee is a real treat for the nose! The dry fragrance is both sweet andlaced with exotic leather and spice smells, the wet aroma is decidley fruity (dried apricot) and spicey. The roast is caramelly (Full City) and the finish is laced with sassafras and fennel. If you are not used to a Dry-Process Ethiopian coffee (or Yemeni) you might find the latent earthiness and "fresh oiled leather" flavors a bit distracting. But a good lot of Harar is a must-try coffee: not many have a cup character with this level of power throughout the range, from deep pungency to the fruity and floral accents. Only in body is the cup rated a little low.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4.5
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.3
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9.5
Body - Movement (1-5) 2.9
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9.5
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1.0 Roast: Harar is most fruity in a lighter City roast (completely through 1st crack, before 2nd crack), and turns deeply pungent in French roasts. Between the two, a Vienna roast can possess the best of both. I prefer Full City. Harar will roast unevenly! This is not a bad thing, but if there are extremely pale beans in the roast you might want to cull them (at the risk of removing some of the extreme (earthy-husky) flavors in the cup.
add 50 50 Compare to: Harar is an extreme coffee, aggressively flavored and with some natural earthy-leathery flavors that some people adore and others despise.
Score (Max. 100) 89.7

Ethiopian Ghimbi MC Decaf (Coffein)
Country: Ethiopian Grade: 4 Region: Ghimbi Mark: MAO Horse, Coffein
Processing: Dry-processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-19 Screen Varietal: Longberry Moka
        Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: An incredible Decaf! The MC decaffeination process seems to produce the best African coffees; we have never seen these kind of results from the Swiss Water Process performed on African coffee. This is processed in Germany under the strict EU environmental guidleines at the Coffein plant (along with KVW, these are the premier quality European decaffeinators. They cost a little more than other plants, but are well worth it.) Even the unroasted "green" coffee has a remarkable aroma. It tends to darken up a bit more in the roast process than the resulting roast flavors. And like all decafs there is almost no chaff released in the roast process. This coffee originates with an excellent lot of Ghimbi, and that is part of the great results in its decaffeinated form. The cup in unlike regular Ghimbi in so much as it has lighter body, and more of a wet-processed Ethiopian (Yirgachefe, Limmu) character: aromatic, fruity, honeyed, delicious!
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City to Full City. You can take this darker and you can also use 10-15% in a decaf espresso blend. Remember that decafs have special roast characteristics; this coffee has a loud first crack sound, and appears darker in color than it truly is...
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 85.5 Compare to: Regular Ethiopian in terms of aromatics and cup character …the body is a little lighter.

Ethiopian Harar Longberry '02 Lot 1928 Grade 5 Dry-process 
 
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
5
Region:
Hararghe
Mark:
M.A.O Horse, Lot 3174, late '02 crop
Processing:
Dry-process
Crop:
2002
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Longberry
Dry Fragrance: 90 Notes: The Harar imported under the M.A.O. mark has a lighter body, and more fruity (blueberry to apricot) and flowery enzymatic aromas than most other Harar coffees. Harars are wild, natural coffees; two euphamisms for dry-processed. These coffees have strong chocolate roast tastes, and also can have winey-fermented flavors and tobaccoy-hidey-earthy flavors. Intensity is the correct adjective to describe the Harar cup. The fruitiness ranges from dried apricot to peach, or have a more flowery (jasmine) flavor. Early in the season the cup is fruiter, and later in the season other flavors come to the forefront. The reason MAO is included here in the title is that this importer (Mohammed Abdullahi Ogsadey -see his certificate found in each bag above) is a good source for Ethiopian coffees. But exporters mark is still not enough, you have to choose from lot to lot. We cup many containe- lots of Harar Horse from 2 sources, and chose this as the best. The aromatics are more vivid than any other. The dried apricot fruitiness is there but varies from cup to cup (as is true with all natural dry-processed coffees from Africa-Arabia). It finishes with a light chocolate flavor. There's even a bit of jasmine in there. But this lot (3174) is mostly about a raw honey flavor. The aromas as you grind the coffee are downright addictive. It can literally fill a house! Harar is a great addition to Espresso blends and French Roast blends too because of the chocolate pungency it adds to the cup, and the way it extends the aftertaste. But I prefer it roasted to a City stage where the full force of its distinct character is underscored.
Wet Aroma: 92
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 87
Finish- Conclusion: 88
Roast: I prefer a light roast to highlight all the berry - fruit notes. Roast City, through first crack and stop before 2nd crack. But Harar is really excellent darker too, as it develops a dark chocolate roast flavor. As with other DP Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees, expect uneven roast colors within a batch. DO NOT cull out light beans.
Score: 87
Compare to: other XLNT DP Ethiopians, great Yemeni coffees from 4 years ago.

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Grade 2 Lot 10-024-35
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
2
Region:
Yirgacheffe
Mark:
M.A.O. Horse, Lot 957
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
01/02
Appearance:
1d/300gr
14/16scr
Varietal:
Traditional
 
Frag/Aroma:
87/87
Notes: Wow. Yirgacheffe will beat you with a flower. It's delicate and mild, and is so amazing and impressive at the same time. I cupped Yirgs hard this season, with so many blah samples arriving. Many were less than washed Sidamos. (Yirgacheffe is a town in Sidamo region, a high plateau north of Harar ...Yirg. should mean "highest quality, most fruity acidity" compared to washed Limmu and washed Sidamo --or else the name doesn't mean anything at all!) But his stuff changed my mind. Even in roasting and grinding you can smell that sublime citrus. Let it cool to room temp. to get a full sense of the "tangerine peel" notes in the acidity. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is the acme of the coffee spectrum defined as bright, lighter-body, clean, and citrusy! It is dramatically different from the earthy, wile Harar coffees, although both are Ethiopian. I love Yirgacheffe because it exemplifies the taste term "honeyed", where the citrusy sourness gives way to a sweet honey-like flavor that reminds me of coffee-tree flowers themselves... This is a late-crop lot of Yirgacheffe that is not as citrusy as the earlier lots. While a bit milder it still has great Jasmine, tea-like qualities.
Acidity:
88
Body:
85
Flavor:
89
Aftertaste:
87
Roast: Don't you dare roast this too much into second crack! If roasted dark this coffee becomes sharply pungent but since it has very light body it becomes very thin, and all the flowery and fruity notes are gone
Overall:
87.16
Compare to: Bright citrusy coffees, you will like this if you like high-toned Central Americans and Kenyas, lighter body, great complexity. Remember, Washed Ethiopians have a much different cup character than Dry-Processed Ethiopians...

Ethiopian Organic Limmu -Oromia Farm/Co-op
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
Not Graded
Region:
Limmu
Mark:
Organic certified, Oromia Co-op Farm
Processing:
Wet-processed
Crop:
'01
Appearance:
1d/300gr
14/16scr
Varietal:
Traditional
 
Frag/Aroma:
85/87
Notes: Only the second certified Organic coffee we have ever seen from the African continent (the other is our Uganda Bugisu) and the first lot of Organic coffee from Ethiopia! And what a great coffee it is ... a sweet, light-bodied cup with a bit of citrus, nice milk-chocolate roast taste, and Jasmine in the finish. This is a wet-processed Ethiopian so expect a similar cup as the Yirgacheffe (but this has less acidity/citrus). It is light-bodied, clean with a light aftertaste. The fragrance from the ground coffee and from the aromatics from the cup are incredibly delicious. The farm this coffee comes from is the Oromia cooperative farm in the Limmu region, all the more reason to give this coffee a try. But it is not for those who like a heavy roast ---see the roast notes below.
Acidity:
85
Body:
83
Flavor:
88
Aftertaste:
86
Roast: Like Yirgacheffe, roasted dark this coffee becomes sharply pungent but since it has very light body it becomes very thin, and all the flowery and fruity notes are gone. I do not like the darker roast flavors from this coffee (or Yirgacheffe) and recommend a City roast.
Overall:
85.66
Compare to: Wet-processed Ethiopian like Yirgacheffe and Wet=Processed Sidamo. This is not like the dry-processed Harars, Ghimbi etc.

Ethiopian Ghimbi DP
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 5 Region: Ghimbi/Lekempti Mark: Mohammed Ogadessy
Processing: Natural Dry-processed Crop: mid2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Traditional Moka
        Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: Ghimbi is the wild cousin of Harar: it is a dry-processed coffee with great fruity and chocolate flavors, and it is more "natural" and less sophisticated in the cup. It makes Harar seem bright, sweet and clean (none of which is especially true of Harar in a broader context). Ghimbi is to the south and west of the high plateau where Harar is grown, and it is said that sometimes the same coffee is called Lekempti. It is a traditionally-grown and sun-dried coffee, as with the Harars and Djimmahs. So it has great body and deep chocolate flavors, with dried apricot fruitiness and spice. And what I mean by wild is that there's a bit of ferment/wine, earth, and mustiness in the cup. It has great potential as to add body, fruitiness and a wild note to espresso blends, and will realy punch up the pungency of dark roasts. A note on the scores: although I really love wildness in the coffee, I have to take a couple academic points off for mustiness. If you like clean, wet-processed coffees, then try Yirgacheffe or hop over to the Central American selections. If you like deep, pungent, low-acid coffees... powerful and with long aftertaste ... then Ghimbi is for you.
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 80
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: Full City to French: this is a potent wild coffee that has more fruitiness in the light roasts and turns deeply pungent in the dark roasts. For light roast, allow the coffee to rest 2 days to reach equillibrium in the cup: its very unbalanced rested less than that (I cupped it once at 6 hrs: the aroma incredible but the cup wasn't developed yet.)
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 84.8 Compare to: Very intense, fruity-chocolatey-earthy coffees. If you like pungent Sumatras, Harar and Yemen then get Ghimbi

Ethiopian Harar Horse '01 Lot 1900 Grade 5 Dry-process
 
Country:
Ethiopia
Grade:
5
Region:
Hararghe
Mark:
M.A.O Horse, Lot 1900, '02 crop
Processing:
Dry-process
Crop:
2002
Appearance:
1d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Longberry
Dry Fragrance: 90 Notes: The Harar imported under the Horse mark has a lighter body, and more fruity (dried apricot) and flowery enzymatic aromas than most other Harar coffees. Harars are wild, natural coffees; two euphamisms for dry-processed. These coffees have strong chocolate roast tastes, and also can have winey-fermented flavors and tobaccoy-hidey-earthy flavors. The only reason Horse is included here in the title is that this importer (Mohammed Abdullahi Ogsadey -see his certificate found in each bag above) is a good source for Ethiopian coffees. But exporters mark is still not enough, you have to choose from lot to lot. We cupped four container lots of Horse, and chose this as the best. The aromatics are more vivid than any other. It has excellent amaretto-tabaccoy flavors in the aftertaste, and chocolate/ dried apricot up front. Theres even a bit of jasmine in there. This years lots do not have the berry flavors of some past Harars, but it would not be wise to pass them up on that basis ...try it and you will see why. What ...You don't use Harar in your espresso blend --are you nuts?
Wet Aroma: 92
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 88
Flavor- Depth: 87
Finish- Conclusion: 88
Roast: I prefer a light roast to highlight all the fruit notes. Roast City, through first crack and stop before 2nd crack. But Harar is really excellent darker too, as it develops a dark chocolate roast flavor. As with other DP Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees, expect uneven roast colors within a batch. DO NOT cull out light beans.
Score: 88
Compare to: other XLNT DP Ethiopians, good Yemeni coffees.

Ethiopian Ghimbi Natural Decaf
Country: Ethiopian Grade: 4 Region: Ghimbi Mark: MAO, Coffein Natural Process
Processing: Dry-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-19 Screen Varietal: Longberry Moka
        Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: An incredible Decaf! This is a German-processed Natural decaf. Natural is a chemical "direct contact" process, but the chemical is the mild, naturall-derived Ethyl Acetate, a product of fruit fermentation. Check out our article on decaffeination. for more information. Even the unroasted "green" coffee has a remarkable aroma. It tends to darken up a bit more in the roast process than the resulting roast flavors. And like all decafs there is almost no chaff released in the roast process. This coffee originates with an excellent lot of Ghimbi, and that is part of the great results in its decaffeinated form. The cup in unlike regular Ghimbi in so much as it has lighter body, and more of a wet-processed Ethiopian (Yirgachefe, Limmu) character: aromatic, fruity, honeyed, delicious!
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City to Full City. You can take this darker and you can also use 10-15% in a decaf espresso blend. Remember that decafs have special roast characteristics; this coffee has a loud first crack sound, and appears darker in color than it truly is...
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 85.5 Compare to: Regular Ethiopian in terms of aromatics and cup character …the body is a little lighter.

Ethiopian Ghimbi MC Decaf (Coffein)
Country: Ethiopian Grade: 4 Region: Ghimbi Mark: MAO Horse, Coffein
Processing: Dry-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-19 Screen Varietal: Longberry Moka
        Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: An incredible Decaf! The MC decaffeination process seems to produce the best African coffees; we have never seen these kind of results from the Swiss Water Process performed on African coffee. This is processed in Germany under the strict EU environmental guidleines at the Coffein plant (along with KVW, these are the premier quality European decaffeinators. They cost a little more than other plants, but are well worth it.) Even the unroasted "green" coffee has a remarkable aroma. It tends to darken up a bit more in the roast process than the resulting roast flavors. And like all decafs there is almost no chaff released in the roast process. This coffee originates with an excellent lot of Ghimbi, and that is part of the great results in its decaffeinated form. The cup in unlike regular Ghimbi in so much as it has lighter body, and more of a wet-processed Ethiopian (Yirgachefe, Limmu) character: aromatic, fruity, honeyed, delicious!
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City to Full City. You can take this darker and you can also use 10-15% in a decaf espresso blend. Remember that decafs have special roast characteristics; this coffee has a loud first crack sound, and appears darker in color than it truly is...
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 85.5 Compare to: Regular Ethiopian in terms of aromatics and cup character …the body is a little lighter.

Ethiopian Harar Longberry Grade 4
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 4 Region:  Hararghe Mark: ACB Harar
Processing: Natural Dry Process Crop: 2000 Appearance: 2 d/300gr, 16/18scr Varietal: Longeberry Moka
        Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: Harars are wild, natural coffees; two euphamisms for dry-processed. These coffees have strong chocolate roast tastes, and also can have winey-fermented flavors and tobaccoy-hidey-earthy flavors. This Longeberry cultivar is the original arabica coffee since arabica is native to Harar! This is where it all started and this is the same coffee cultivated since at least 1200 AD in Harar, if not earlier. This particular Harar is less fruity/berry-like than other lots we have had but has interesting spice nuances and develops a great bittersweet roast taste. In a way it cups more like a Yemen from the Bani Matar area than fruitier Harars ...and sadly there is known to be much smuggling of coffee INTO Yemen since it commands a higher price. But here it is, true Harar, and much less than its Yemeni counterparts. What ...You don't use Harar in your espresso blend --are you nuts?
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 85
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: Roast: I prefer a light roast to highlight all the fruit notes. Roast City, through first crack and stop before 2nd crack. As with other DP Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees, expect uneven roast colors within a batch. DO NOT cull out light beans. Alpenrost owners: these elongated beans can jam in the holes of the Alp and burn ...you can roast this in the Alp but expect some trouble.
Finish- Conclusion: 87
Score: 86 Compare to: Exotic dry-process coffees like Yemen, wild flavors. NOT like the citrusy wet-processed Yirgacheffe

Ethiopian MC Yirgacheffe Decaf
Country: Ethiopia Grade: 2 Region: Yirgacheffe/ Sidamo Mark: German MC Decaf
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: Moka
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: This is our first foray into Methylene Chloride processed decaf, and we do it because this has the most remarkable cup character of any decaf I have ever encountered. It's one of those "I can't believe its not regular" type coffees, and DARN GOOD regular at that! The coffee hails from the Sidamo region and is mostly Yirgacheffe -and that's the cup character it possesses ...that honeyed sweetness with a twist of citrus in it. This MC coffee is processed in Germany under the strict EU environmental guidelines (4x as strict as USDA and OSHA guidelines). To read about the pluses and minuses of the different decaffeination methods, please check out our Health and Ecology web page, or refer to Home Coffee Roasting by Ken Davids
Wet Aroma: 85
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City. At this point you have maximized the great flavors and complexity without allowing roasty tastes to dominate them too much...
Finish- Conclusion: 88
Score: 86 Compare to: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe regular, or a really good wet-processed Sidamo. If you are not familiar with Yirgacheffe, it could easily be your favorite coffee ever or perhaps the opposite. It is very citrusy and bright (acidy). It has a very clean cup compared to the earthy Dry-process Ethiopians like Harar. Keep in mind this Decaf has LOTS of that Yirgacheffe character.

French Chicory

French Chicory, Imported: Roasted and Cut
Country: France! Grade: Imported Region: n/a Mark: None
Processing: Roasted / Cut Crop: 0 Appearance: Roasted / Cut Varietal: It's a root!
        Dry Fragrance: n/a Notes: You can't make New Orleans Style coffee without French Chicory, and you can't make good New Orleans coffee unless you use a FRESH roast of good coffee roasted to the French stage, and good imported French Chicory. That Cafe DuMonde coffee-chicory stuff from the can is atrocious! This the real deal. Chicory is a root, related to the radish,difficult to roast because of odd shape. What you do is take a French roast and combine 2/3 ground coffee with 1/3 chicory. Brew any way to like ...an automatic drip is fine, but I like it in a French Press best. at do you get? Incredibly strong pungent coffee with enough body to stand a fork up in the cup. Serve with cream or drink it straight if you want more hair on your chest! As a side note: technically the Chicory is cut, not ground. It's is also roasted much differently than coffee because of its unusual root shape: it is roasted on a conveyor-type roaster much as peanuts are often roasted in these times ...
Wet Aroma: n/a
Brightness- Liveliness: n/a
Body- Movement: n/a
Flavor- Depth: n/a Roast: Already roasted! You can't roast chicory using coffee roasting methods anyway… Freshness? This stuff keeps its character forever. Keep it in a sealed container o it doesn't absorb other food odors though.
Finish- Conclusion: n/a
Score: n/a Compare to: Hmmmmm…

 
 
 
 
2001-2002
Reviews

Sweet Maria's Coffee Cupping Reviews Archive: 2001-2002 Archive A to F

Main Page: 2001-2002 Archive
2001-2001 Archive A to F
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Colombia
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican
  • Ethiopia
  • French Chicory
2001-2001 Archive G to L
  • Guatemala
  • Hawaii
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Java
  • Kenya
2001-2001 Archive M to Z
    • Mexico
    • Myanmar
    • Nicaragua
    • Panama
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Peru
    • Puerto Rico
    • Saint Helena
    • Salvador (EL)

 

M to Z
  • Sulawesi
  • Sumatra
  • Tanzania
  • Timor
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe