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Sweet Maria's Coffee Cupping Reviews Archive: 2001-2002 Archive G to L

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

Guatemala

Guatemala Coban "Tanchi"
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Coban Mark: Tanchi
Processing: Wet Process Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Typica, Bourbon
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: Coffees from Coban are increasingly rare in the United States, perhaps because the Coban region is more remote than others, or that European brokers have deep relationships with the farmers in this region, and snare most of the coffee before any newcomers can have at it. But I have been determined to get my hands on a good Coban since I cupped it over 4 years ago at the SCAA Conference in Denver. That cup was mystifying, spicy and smokey -not from the roast but from the origin character of the coffee. Of course, the problem with cup samples at a conference is that the coffees do not exist: they are show samples, not from actual lots of coffee that folks like me can buy. So you can pick the best 50 cherries from your best tree, process it, brew it, have a great cup, and never reproduce it again. But I digress. This Coban is the only sample from this region of "cloud forests" -mountains permanently engulfed in mist - and while I get a hickory-smokiness from the cup as a secondary flavor in the aftertaste, it is primarily a richly fruited cup with a raisiny flavor accented by a bright acidy snap. The fruits fade into bittersweet quickly, with a surrounding spiceyness (allspice) to the cup from start to finish. The finish is more bittersweet than sweet. It is unique among the Guatemalans: deep like an Antigua, fruited like a Huehuetenango, but not exactly like those or any other region.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3.5
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) 1 Roast: A wide latitude of roasts for this coffee: City to Full City ... or even darker and the origin character of the cup still comes through. I prefer it a few snaps into the 2nd crack myself. This coffee is rustic compared to Antiguas and Huehue's, so expect a few light-colored beans in the roast. They are not necessarily bad, so I would recommend culling only mottled-color ones, not all lighter ones.
add 50 50 Compare to: Has qualities of other Guatemalan coffees, but is unique, see above.
Score (Max. 100) 85.3

Guatemala El Injertal Estate WP Decaf
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Huehuetenango Mark: Finca El Injertal
Processing: Wet Process Coffee, Water Process Decaf Crop: 2001/2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: The advantage of knowing exactly what coffee goes into your decaf is great, and surprisingly rare because a lot of decafs are sold simply with an origin name, and not even a regional designation to boot. But with this Guatemalan we know the exact region (Huehuetenango) and farm (El Injertal) and crop (mid-2002) ... and in fact I cupped this coffee before decaffeinating and it was great. More remarkable is the cup after decaffeinating. It's still great! I am astounded and a little bewildered by this: I regularly cupped the Central American coffees that had undergone the SWP process in Vancouver, Canada. They had little to no brightness of the original coffee in the cup, and since that's what Centrals are about, no brightness means to origin character. But here we have a cup with remarkable brightness, almost Kenya-like brightness. And it has a backdrop of almond in the roast taste to balance out the cup. It is a lighter-bodied cup with short, pleasant aftertaste. Simply incredible decaf for an indirect-contact, non-chemical decaf method.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 9
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8
Body - Movement (1-5) 2.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 7.5
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1 Roast: City+ to Full City. I prefer this coffee in a lighter roast stage to heighten the brightness in the cup, ut too light will result in a sour character.
Add 50 50 Compare to: On par with really nice non-decaf, bright Centrals.
Score (Max. 100) 84

Guatemalan -Arte Maya de Café
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Antigua and Huehuetenango Mark: Hacienda La Minita
Processing: Wet Process Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Typica, Bourbon, Caturra
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: It's not very often that we offer a coffee blended from two regions; but when the blenders are Hacienda La Minita -the renowned Costa Rican farm and importer- I can make an exception. The Arte Maya de Café is from Antigua and Huehuetenango growing regions, and borrows from the former a nice body and depth, from the later a mild fruitiness. It's not a "first sip" cup like a Kenya -meaning that its a bit underwhelming right off the bat. But as it cools and as you get it thoroughly circulated around your palate and up into your nasal cavity, the sweetness, mildness and delicacy of this cup really grows on you (and it has a +1 cuppers correction for that). The acidity is piquant, clean; the body is medium, roast tastes are like slightly candied sugars (not heavily caramelized), and there's a bit of lemon-rind zest in the finish. The aftertaste is suprisingly long. In this window of time before new crop Guatemalas arrive (good ones come in April and later usually), this late '02 crop picking is really a nice companion.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.4
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.6
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.4
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1 Roast: I like the delicacy of this coffee best at City, but if roasted really light it has a bad baked flavor.
add 50 50 Compare to: Classic, refined Guatemala: A delicate, subtle cup with flavors that really emerge as it cools ...
Score (Max. 100) 85.9

Guatemalan Organic Huehuetenango FT -Asobagri Coop
Country: Guatemala Grade: HB Region: Barillas, Huehuetenango Mark: Asobagri Co-op, OCIA Organic/Fair Trade Cert.
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: You can see by the numbers that I think this coffee is excellent. If follows through with the recent cupping history of Guatemalan coffees: if you want outstanding, fruity, bright Central American you are probably going to find it in Huehuetenango. It is medium-bodied, with outstanding aromatics, delicate floral notes in the acidity and fruitiness, and a good aftertaste. But please don't let anyone add cream to this coffee or you will just kill it! This coffee comes from the 500 member/farmers of the Asobagri Co-op in Barillas, Huehuetenango. Each farmer belongs to a micro-coop of 10-25 members and they collectively wet-mill their own coffee to exacting standards taught by the co-op via technical volunteers. The organization is very sophisticated and successful to take the place of technified-centralized wet-milling, and result in such an excellent top-quality cup! The coffee is a fruitier Huehuetenango than the others we offer this year -the Huixoc and the El Injerto. I would recommend trying 2 of these coffees against eachother to see the range of coffees from this region, which I consider the rising star among Guatemala coffee producing areas.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.4
Body - Movement (1-5) 3
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1 Roast: City Roast: You lose the delicate bright flavors if you roast this too dark. In the extreme light roast there is a malty/barley roast taste.
add 50 50 Compare to: The bright and delicate acidity and strong aromatics remind me of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, but this is truly a fruity, bright Central
Score (Max. 100) 85.4

Guatemalan Huixoc Huehuetenango
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Huehuetenango Mark: Huixoc
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: There are some incredible Huehuetenango coffees this year, and the Asobagri Fair Trade lot we had earlier this year and the Huixoc represent the bright, sweetly floral end of the spectrum when they are treated to a lighter City roast. As the roast progresses, I am so impressed with the tangy bittersweet of the Huixoc, especially a few snaps into 2nd crack. As with the Asobagri, you can see by the numbers that I think this coffee is excellent. If follows through with the recent cupping history of Guatemalan coffees: if you want outstanding, fruity, bright Central American you are probably going to find it in Huehuetenango. It is medium-bodied, with outstanding aromatics, delicate floral notes in the acidity and fruitiness, and a good aftertaste. It has qualities almost like Yirgacheffe in terms of a honeyed fruitiness, lighter body, and great aroma.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9
Body - Movement (1-5) 3
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: City Roast: You lose the delicate bright flavors if you roast this too dark.
add 50 50 Compare to: The bright and delicate acidity of a lighter roast reminds of this coffee from last year, but at Full City it is more sharply chocolatey and bittersweet, like certain high-altitude Antiguas.
Score (Max. 100) 87

Guatemalan Huehuetenango - El Injerto Estate
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Huehuetenango Mark: Finca El Injerto
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17 scr Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí (mostly Bourbon)
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: As mentioned, Huehuetenango (pronounced Waywaytenango) had the best coffees to offer this year. While I cant speak for Coban (because so little of it is offered), the Antiguas were mild and some samples were downright flat. So here we have a Huehue that doesn't cup like one. It really has the chocolate and spicy flavors of a true Antigua ...and a very good one at that. Ironic that a very nice Antigua doesn't come from there ...but then again brokers are talking about mass coffee fraud in the high-priced Antigua region anyway. Last year we stocked the 100% Bourbon coffee from the farm, meaning that all the trees are of the coffea arabica var. bourbon that was a spontaneous mutation of the arabica species first brought to the New World. (Incidentally, it was brought by the French to Reunion Island which was then called Bourbon). The seed is small and rounded, the trees grow in a way that is great for quality but not as sun-tolerant or easy to pick as other modern hybrids. This year you will see about 40% Bourbon. Why? Because the coffee of mixed cultivars cupped better! Just as a vineyard will blend grapes grown from different parts of the farm, a coffee Finca that grows each cultivar separately can then blend the different arabica types in a controlled way to produce the best cup. I know of few farms that grow in this way ...only El Injerto and the respected Panama Lerida Estate come to mind. This is because the third generation owner, Sr. Aguirre, is an agronomist, performs every act of coffee processing from the nursery to the wet milling and dry milling, to the composting and vermiculture right on the farm! The pride is great, and justified: his grandfather started the farm in 1902. The cup is moderately bright with a grape-raisin fruitiness that is not overbearing. The finish is not heavy-handed but the aftertaste definitely returns as you work your way through a cup or two. Its spicy and develops a good milk chocolate roast taste.
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 82
Flavor- Depth: 86 Roast: City. At this point you have maximized the great flavors and complexity without allowing roasty tastes to dominate them too much...
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 84.0 Compare to: This coffee rates more with the Antiguas, not with the other Huehuetenangos. It shares the spicy / chocolatey character of an Antigua.

Guatemala Finca La Laguna -100% Bourbon
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Fraijanes Mark: Finca La Laguna
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001/2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: 100% Bourbon
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: The La Laguna is an early shipment of the new 2001/2002 crop (crop years always include the year the coffee was on the tree-2001 and the year it was picked and processed-2002). It arrived at a time of year that is much earlier than we normally buy new crop Centrals: most arriving in early March are lower grown and without pronounced cup character. The fact La Laguna arrived so early at all caught my attention: its known as an outstanding farm, located in the Fraijanes region to the South and East of the capitol, Guatemala City. But the sample arrived and it was clearly a beautifully prepared and milled coffee. Fraijanes are not usually fruity, and true-to-form, the La Laguna is not ... it is a "classic cup" profile and bears greater resemblance to the Guatemala Antigua than the flowery-sweet Huehuetenango coffees. Adding to the traditional bearing of the cup character is the fact that the coffee is grown from 100% old-time Bourbon arabica cultivar. The brightness in the cup is paired with an almost briny piquant quality, and allowing the coffee to rest 12-24 hours after roasting brings great balance to the cup, diminishing this saltiness. Properly rested, I feel a bit at a loss of words to describe the excellent, reverberant balance (that word again!) of the La Laguna. It has a bittersweet roast taste at Full City stage, it is bright but not sour, it makes me want to drink more. It is simply a very attractive cup, a crowd-pleaser for sure ... can we leave it at that?
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 83
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 89 Roast: City (let it rest longer if roasted to City) or Full City: (see review).
Finish- Conclusion: 88
Score: 85.7 Compare to: Comparable to Antigua, the great balanced Guatemala

Guatemalan Antigua SHB -Los Volcanes
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Antigua Mark: Los Volcanes Beneficio
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2002 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 16-17 scr Varietal: Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4.0 Notes: Once again it's been hard to find a good Antigua this year. While the most high profile region from Guatemala, the anticipated quality seems a little lower in general. That doesnt mean there isn't great Antigua coffee out there, it just means you have search harder to find it. Ironically, I cupped 3 different Chop Marks (these are the lot markings on the bag that have 2 forward slashes in the format and have been called "chops" in the coffee trade since antiquity) from the Los Volcanes Beneficio and found that this one: 11/13/45 has a bit more on the top end of the cup and has better overall roast results. This Los Volcanes is a mid-crop picking and these are the highest altitude coffees from this origin, and the last coffee cherry to ripen is the highest altitude. So what we get here is a slow-maturing, dense coffee seed. That said, the best Antiguas this year are not the caliber of other years. They have great balance and good complexity but really lack power. The Los Volcanes has really nice acidity and a good chocolate note to back it up; this is the Antigua cup character, different from the fruitier Huehuetenango cup profile. Its strong suit is balance, and it is certainly a crowd pleaser in that respect!
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4.0
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 7.0
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.5
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.0 Roast: City. At this point you have maximized the great flavors and complexity without allowing roasty tastes to dominate them too much... This coffee has a nice milk chocolate taste that is part of the carmelization/browning roast reactions (Malliard), so you can get this flavor in the lighter City roast.
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0.0
add 50 50 Compare to: Other Antiguas, which are in general not fruity like Huehuetenango, and not as sweet as other Guatemalan appellations but have that nice chocolate note and great balance.
Score (Max. 100) 84.0

Guatemala Antigua - La Tacita Estate
Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Antigua Mark: La Tacita Estate
Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr Varietal: Bourbon, Typica
16/17scr


Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:

84/84
Notes: Guatemalan coffees are very highly regarded, often rated better than all other Central American coffee. Antigua is the oldest coffee growing region in Guatemala, located around the original capital city by the same name. Antigua is the most recognized name for Guatemalan coffee but in recent years other regions have out-cupped the Antiguas... and the presumption that a coffee is good just because it is an Antigua should be dumped with the dirty dishwater. Yes its good, but not just because it has Antigua in the name (and there is quite possibly a lot of "Antiguas" out there that are not Antigua at all). True Antiguas can be very good. Grown at altitudes between 5200 and 6500 feet, the La Tacita estate produces one of the higher grown coffees on the market. This Guatemala coffee is known for their traditional growing methods using old arabica varieties rather than new hybrids. La Tacita has only Bourbon, and Typica arabica trees. Rich flavors and a big, complex, spicy cup character distinguish La Tacita's excellent cup quality. In the lighter roasts it has wonderful Lavender flavors, darker brings out sharp Dutch Chocolate notes. Many people are suprised to find that Antiguas are not fruity coffees: get a Huehuetenango for that. Rated #1 Guatemalan over other well-known estates by a panel of cuppers for The Tea and Coffee Trade Journal and The Coffee Review. The Peaberry won the Nov. 99 Coffee cupping too. For this reason, it sells at a slightly higher price than other Antiguas. This is new crop 2001 purchased from the family that owns the farm, the Fallas
Brightness- Liveliness:
85
Body- Movement:
85
Flavor- Depth:
88
Finish- Conclusion:
87 Roast: City or Full City. While roasting this Guatemalan into 2nd crack produces nice chocolate roast tastes and mute acidity, you will be missing out on the flowery flavors of this coffee
Score:
86.5
Compare to: Other high-grown Centrals that have complexity and balance: best quality Panama and Costa Rican

Guatemala SHB Atitlan SWP Decaf -Organic, Fair Trade, Songbird
Country: Guatemalan Grade: SHB Island: Atitlán Mark: Organic, FairTrade, and Songbird Cert.
Processing: washed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0d/300gr 16/17scr Varietal: Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: This is the SWP decaf version of the exact same coffee we have non-defcaffeinated. It retained a remarkable amount of charachter through the rigorous SWP process, and its fun to cup against is caffeinated lot to see exactly wat decaffeinating does to a coffee. While it has a mollases taste it picks up in the process, this is not a bad thing in the cup. And plenty of the Guat character is there too! I usually avoid SWP in Centrals ...the acidity is the first thing diminished by the swiss water method. But this coffee proves an exception; perhaps becase it is fresh and originates in reat Guat coffee! In the cup I thought it was sweet, malty, fruity, lush, ...all good stuff!. Also, this is a cup that really strikes you in terms of its power as it cools. Your opinion of it will definitely change as it becomes tepid and you can really sense the brightness.
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 81
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: Keep this at City roast if you want to get the best sense of the fruity character in the cup.
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 82.7 Compare to: A very nice non-decaf Guatemala. This coffee owes its quality as a decaf to the incredibly high quality of the coffee it originates with!

Guatemalan Huixoc Huehuetenango
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Huehuetenango Mark:

Huixoc

Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: There are some incredible Huehuetenango coffees this year, and the Asobagri Fair Trade lot we had earlier this year and the Huixoc represent the bright, sweetly floral end of the spectrum. As with the Asobagri, you can see by the numbers that I think this coffee is excellent. If follows through with the recent cupping history of Guatemalan coffees: if you want outstanding, fruity, bright Central American you are probably going to find it in Huehuetenango. It is medium-bodied, with outstanding aromatics, delicate floral notes in the acidity and fruitiness, and a good aftertaste. It has qualitites almost like Yirgacheffe in terms of a honeyed fruitiness, lighter body, and great aroma.
Wet Aroma: 88
Brightness- Liveliness: 88
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 89 Roast: City Roast: You lose the delicate bright flavors if you roast this too dark.
Finish- Conclusion: 87
Score: 87.1 Compare to: The bright and delicate acidity and strong aromatics remind me of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, but this is truly a fruity, bright Central

Guatemalan Atitlan Organic/Shade -La Voz Co-op FT
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Lake Atitlan Mark:

La Voz Co-op, OCIA Organic Cert., Fair Trade Cert.

Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí
        Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: The fragrance from the dry ground coffee is lush. The La Voz has a cleary fruity aromatics with a fullness that borders on sweetly winey (as opposed to citrusy). But in the cup the flavor is more of fresh raspberry, passing into a slightly winey aftertaste. The body is medium to light and the cup has an overall clean character with apparantly moderate aftertaste ... but an uncanny way of staying around a lot longer than you expect it to! I have had this before where an aftertaste fades, then seems to return ...particularily after you have had quite a few sips. Maybe its just a symptom of "coffee drunkenness" or something...
Wet Aroma: 87
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 82
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: 84
Score: 85.2 Compare to: Fruity Guatemalan coffes, such as Huehuetenango. This coffee was excellent last year too, and we sold out of it very quickly

Guatemala Antigua -Finca Bella Carmona
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB, EP Region: Antigua Mark: Finca Bella Carmona
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0.2 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 84

Notes: Antigua is the well-known premier growing region in Guatemala, but I have always found this a bit confusing. You can't say Antigua is better than Huehuetenango, Atitlan, or any other region; only that it is different. While other Guatemalan coffees are fruitier, the Antigua character is moderate acidity, and hints of chocolate and spice. The Bella Carmona had some problems last year, and I thought it was due to evidence of slight frost damage I saw in out green coffee samples from the 99/00 season. But this year it is incredibly good, a superior example of the Antigua cup character. It has such great balance between moderate acidity (with no discernable fruitiness, neither citrusy nor winey), and milk chocolate flavors developing at the City stage and turning more bittersweet as the coffee enters the Full City stage. Roasted a few snaps into second crack it also develops excellent pungency and its long aftertaste. You might need to wait until the cup cools to reveal the quality of this coffee, but that's the fun of discovery with an excellent coffee: the changes that occur over time, both in the cup and on your palate. Try this coffee a bit lighter, and a bit darker ...I think you will agree that both roasts are excellent!

For every lb. of this coffee sold, we are donating .20 to Coffee Kids projects in Guatemalan farming communities

Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 90 Roast: City to Full City . The cup is buttery and milk chocolate at the City stage. The bittersweet develop at Full City, right at the verge of 2nd crack.
Finish- Conclusion: 87
Score: 86.2 Compare to: Truly great Antigua character

Guatemala Acatenango -Naranjo Kikiya
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB, EP Region: Naranjo, Acatenango Mark: Kikiya Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0.2 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 85

Notes: Acatenango is adjacent to Antigua, to the East, and is often sold as "Antigua-like" coffee. That is not really accurate because the Acatenago is fruitier than most Antigua coffees. But as with Tarrazu in Costar Rica, exporters are trying to attach the familiar name of one region on coffees grown outside of it. The problem with their efforts is that many coffees from these "name brand" regions are not as good as coffees grown adjacent to it! (Of course, there are some great Antiguas this year -- Bella Carmona is excellent and San Nicholas is good ...but everything from Antigua is not great coffee, such as the Apollo.) This cup is truly excellent; medium bodied, with a great package of fruitiness and chocolate bittersweet. Considering that is not heavy-bodied (no Guatemalan is...), it has an amazing long aftertaste. In this case by "aftertaste" I don't mean the finish of the first sip you take, after the coffee leaves your mouth. But rather the flavors that persist after your palate has been really saturated with the coffee after a few sips..

For every lb. of this coffee sold, we are donating .20 to Coffee Kids projects in Guatemalan farming communities

Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 88
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City, Full City . I prefer the flavors at City stage, before any sounds of second crack are heard.
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 85.5 Compare to: More like Huehuetenago (fruity) than Antigua.

Guatemalan Organic Huehuetenango FT
Country: Guatemala Grade: HB Region: Barillas,
Huehuetenango
Mark:

Asobagri Co-op
OCIA Organic/
Fair Trade Cert.

Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: You can see by the numbers that I think this coffee is excellent. If follows through with the recent cupping history of Guatemalan coffees: if you want outstanding, fruity, bright Central American you are probably going to find it in Huehuetenango. It is medium-bodied, with outstanding aromatics, delicate floral notes in the acidity and fruitiness, and a good aftertaste. But please don't let anyone add cream to this coffee or you will just kill it! This coffee comes from the 500 member/farmers of the Asobagri Co-op in Barillas, Huehuetenango. Each farmer belongs to a micro-coop of 10-25 members and they collectively wet-mill their own coffee to exacting standards taught by the co-op via technical volunteers. The organization is very sophisticated and successful to take the place of technified-centralized wet-milling, and result in such an excellent top-quality cup!
Wet Aroma: 88
Brightness- Liveliness: 88
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 89 Roast: City Roast: You lose the delicate bright flavors if you roast this too dark. In the extreme light roast there is a malty/barley roast taste.
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 86.7 Compare to: The bright and delicate acidity and strong aromatics remind me of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, but this is truly a fruity, bright Central

Guatemalan SHB Natural Decaf
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Pooled Mark: Coffein Natural Decaf
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: ?
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: This is an excellent central American Decaf that retains its distinctive Guatemalan character despite being decaffeinated. Its pooled from various regions, but all are SHB (Strictly Hard Bean ---high altitude) coffees. 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.
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 78
Flavor- Depth: 82 Roast: City to Full City: Roast it to your preference.
Finish- Conclusion: 80
Score: 81.8 Compare to: Costa Rican Natural Decaf

Guatemalan Organic SHB Finca San Rafael
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Fraijanes Mark: San Rafael Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: varied
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: This is an early new 2001 new crop Guatemalan. You have to be careful about buying early crop coffees. The earliest coffees offered from Central American origins are most often lower-grown (coffee cherry matures earlier in lower altitude regions, such as HB grade coffees.) They can also be rushed through processing in the pergamino (parchment) stage using mechanical drying rather than patio drying. Mechanical drying isnt necessarily bad when done properly, but there's a telltale smokey scent to the green coffee when it is botched. Anyway, this estate coffee shows no sign of being lower-grown or rushed to markey. It's an SHB (Strictly Hard Bean, highest altitude) coffee that cups like an Antigua by gum, and a very very good one at that. While not a sweet or fruity coffee, it has a sharp pleasant bittersweet flavor with a twist of hazelnut in it, and a long aftertaste. It is medium-bodied as most Guats are, and medium in terms of acidity too. ***We're having a little debate over this: the answer is coming soon!
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 83
Body- Movement: 82
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City. Let it go all the way through the first crack, wait for that silence between the first and second cracks, smell the roast smoke turn from toasty to pungent and stop it there…
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 84.0 Compare to: Antigua really.

Guatemalan Organic Fraijanes -La Montana Estate
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Fraijanes Mark: La Montana Estate
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: This is a suberb, clean cup that isn't going to rock your world, bring down the wall or make you fluent in Latin. It will quietly and methodically make you a believer in the notion that the "other" Guatemalan growing regions deserve a lot more attention, and that perhaps Antiguas are not the only Guatemalan coffee worht paying an extra nickel for... Raisin flavors are dominant here (I know, raisin is not really a fruit flavor we talk about much in coffee, but thats really what I get from the La Montana) and undoubtedly great balance. This is a crowd-pleasers for sure, not so long in the aftertaste to make it obtrusive, but with a very refined mild acidity and complexity that will make you wish it DID have a long aftertaste! Not to worry, as long as there's more in the cup...
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 85
Body- Movement: 85
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: 85
Score: 85.7 Compare to:

Guatemalan Antigua SHB -Los Volcanes
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Antigua Mark: Los Volcanes Estate
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: Late 2000 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 16 scr Varietal: Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: It's been hard to find a good Antigua this year besides the always-excellent La Tacita estate coffee. This Los Volcanes is a mid- to late- picking and that bodes well for Antiguas: these are the highest altitude coffees from this origin, and the last coffee cherry to ripen is the highest altitude. So what we get here is a slow-maturing, dense coffee seed. That said, the best Antiguas this year are not the caliber of other years. They have great balance and good complexity but really lack power. The Los Volcanes has really nice acidity and a good chocolate note to back it up. Its strong suit is balance, and it is certainly a crowd pleaser in that respect!
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 83 Roast: City. At this point you have maximized the great flavors and complexity without allowing roasty tastes to dominate them too much...
Finish- Conclusion: 83
Score: 84.2 Compare to: Other Antiguas, which are in general not fruity like Huehuetenango, and not as sweet as other Guatemalan appellations but have that nice chocolate note and great balance.

Guatemalan Huehuetenango - El Injerto Estate Bourbon
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Huehuetenango Mark: El Injerto Estate
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16 scr Varietal: 100% Bourbon
        Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: As mentioned, Huehuetenango (pronounced Waywaytenango) had the best coffees to offer this year. While I cant speak for Coban (because so little of it is offered), the Antiguas were mild and some samples were downright flat. SO here we have a Huehue that doesn't cup like one. It really has the chocolate and spicy flavors of a true Antigua ...and a very good one at that. Ironic that a very nice Antigua doesn't come from there ...but then again brokers are talking about mass coffee fraud in the high-priced Antigua region anyway. It is also interesting because it is 100% Bourbon coffee, meaning that all the trees on the El Injerto estate are of the coffea arabica var. bourbon that was a spontaneous mutation of the arabica species first brought to the New World. (Incidentally, it was brought by the French to Reunion Island which was then called Bourbon). The seed is small and rounded, the trees grow in a way that is great for quality but not as sun-tolerant or easy to pick as other modern hybrids.
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 82
Flavor- Depth: 86 Roast: City. At this point you have maximized the great flavors and complexity without allowing roasty tastes to dominate them too much... Alpenrost owners: this small bean coffee will be difficult to roast in the ALP drum!
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 83.7 Compare to: This coffee rates more with the Antiguas, not with the other Huehuetenangos. It shares the spicy / chocolatey character of an Antigua, not the fruitiness of a Huehue.

Guatemala SHB Huehuetenango - Maragogype
Country:
Guatemala
Grade:
SHB
Region:
Huehuetenango
Mark:
"Desola Superior"
Processing:
Washed (wet-processed)
Crop:
'00
Appearance:
2d/300gr
18 to 21 sceen
Varietal:
Maragogype
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
84/86
Notes: Maragogype is a distinct cultivar of Arabica coffee, more specifically it is a subtype of Typica. It is called the "elephant bean" for its large size. The argument for Maragogype is that the tree produces fewer cherries and flavor is more concentrated. I have tasted some very bland Maragogype, so this isnt always true. And hey, once you grind it up it all looks the same. On the other hand I have had some coffees that had outstanding cup qualities, surpassed all the rival samples in bling cupping, and just happened to be Maragogype. That is the case with this Huehuetenango (say "way-way") that outcupped 4 other Guatemalans that all happened to be Antiguas. I think that is partially because many coffees sold as Antigua are over-rated, and its a good year for Huehue to boot. This coffee has a medium body and a bright fruity acidity that tastes much like the coffee cherry itself, a honeyed sweetness. You tastes this more as the coffee cools down. What struck me was that when I cupped it, and upon brewing it in a French Press several times after, there was a very fleeting but clear anise / licorice taste in the cup! Very nice... As is often the case with a Maragogype, about 75% of the coffee is truly extra large, some is just average large.
Brightness- Liveliness:
87
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
87
Finish- Conclusion:
86
Roast: Beware, Maragogype takes a little longer to roast. It is easy to underroast it. Also, cut down on the size of the batch slightly if you are using an air roaster. These suckers are heavy and it takes more air flow to move them around the roast chamber. I like to hear a few snaps of second crack when I stop this. It tastes a little underdeveloped at City roast ---go with Full City
Score:
85.6
Compare to: Fruity fine Guatemalas

Guatemalan Huehuetenango -Organic, Fair Trade
Country: Guatemala Grade: SHB Region: Huehuetenango Mark: Certified Organic, Fair Trade
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17scr Varietal: Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes: I think technically I am not supposed to advertise a coffee as Fair Trade until we at Sweet Maria's are Fair Trade certified. Well, that’s a very laborious process and we are in the midst of it, so I will bend the rule a bit. The coffee is indeed Fair Trade certified and OCIA Organic certified and most importantly its a very nice, fruity cup that you would expect from a high quality Huehuetenango.
Wet Aroma: 85
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 82
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: Fruity coffees are best roasted through first crack, wait a bit, and stop before you hear any second crack. Why? Because if you roast darker that nice fruity brightness is gone!
Finish- Conclusion: 84
Score: 83.8 Compare to: Good Huehue!

Hawaii

Hawaiian Kauai Estate Peaberry No. 1
Country: USA Grade: No.1 Peaberry Island: Kauai Mark: Kauai Estate
Processing: Wet Process Crop: Late 2002 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 16 Screen Varietal: Yellow Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: Historically, I have avoided coffees from outside the Kona growing region on the big island. The exceptions have been the Moka seedstock grown on Maui. The Kauai coffees have always tasted low-grown to me and lacked acidity to give some life to the cup. The mechanical harvesting techniques employed at this large farm also are a concern: they are usually employed in operations that emphasize quantity over quality: Each coffee branch has a mix of ripe and unripe coffee cherry and hand-picking is the only way to chose only the ripe cherry. The mechanical technique picks less discriminately and then resorts to high tech color sorting to correct the errors and remove unripe coffee cherry. All that said, a broker called my attention to a lot of the Kauai Peaberry that seemed to be an exception, or perhaps (hopefully) a new level of cup quality for this coffee. With a specific degree of roast (not too light) the roast taste and mild brightness reach a really attractive balance and create a nice, medium bodied cup with attractive nuttiness. Of course, the price of Kauai coffees is much more in-line with other origins, and that's a plus for those who find the Konas a bit spendy.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 7.75
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8
Body - Movement (1-5) 3
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1 Roast: Full City+. It's easy to overroast a peaberry: it roast faster. But in this case, you don’t want a lighter city roast: the coffee really comes into its cup character by letting it enter 2nd crack briefly, 10 seconds, or less. This "thorough" Full City roast brings out the best roast tastes in this coffee.
Add 50 50 Compare to: More like a really nice Mexican Oaxaca than anything else.
Score (Max. 100) 83.75

Hawaiian Kona - Purple Mountain Farm
Country: US, Hawaii Grade: Estate Grade: 1/F/XF Region: Kona Mark: Purple Mountain Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: '02 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 18-19 screen Varietal: Kona Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3.0 Notes: This is a coffee that is uniquely Kona, distinct from any other coffee origin in the world. There are flavors very specific to Kona coffees grown on the handful of farms that actually have the right altitude and the right soils to grow coffee that demands the premium Kona price. The biggest problem with Hawaiian island coffee is not that these few small-farm Konas command a high price, it's that alot of poor quality coffees and non-Kona coffees are priced according to the reputation of the deserving ones. Some excellent Konas are sold directly by the mills in Kona and they can be quite good too, but they vary to a greater degree than actual farm specific lots. Judging by the cup, Purple Mountain immediately struck me as the kind of coffee that is first tier Kona, where the coffee is clearly farmed for quality and not quantity, and the altitude is clearly there. In fact, at 2000 feet in the well-drained volcanic soils of Honaunau region of Kona, and the farm has certainly hit its stride in this their 25th year. The coffee is pesticide-free (not organic certified but all by all measures they practice organic farming), hand-picked and totally sun-dried. The farm is limited to 8 acres, and the Stiles family that own and farm it are active participants in the Kona cupping competitions. The coffee is expertly milled by the well-known Tom Greenwell of Greenwell Farms. Note that this is the late-crop picking from 2002 and there is a more variegated color to the coffee, and even an occasional dark bean (remove it before roasting if you have one). This coffee was stored in parchment on the farm until it was milled, the day before it shipped! This is an ideal way to preserve cup quality for later shipments, and the color of green coffee says nothing about cup quality in this case. This cup is consistent with the excellent Purple Mountain from last year, 2001. In a very light City roast, the acidity and piney flavors are at full strength. Some may find it too bright at this stage, but not to fear because this coffee takes a wide latitude of roasts. At Full City the piney acidity is diminished and nutty roast flavors are underscored. And in fact this Kona is still unique at the Vienna stage where a stronger pungency emerges that is bittersweet and long-lived on the palate.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4.0
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 7.5
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.0
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8.0
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0.0 Roast: See notes above. This coffee has a wide latitude of roasts that produce excellent results, and I suggest you try to roast it differently each time to find where you like it best. A very light City roast is my favorite but may require resting the coffee 2 days in a sealed glass jar to allow the body to develop and other flavors to settle.
add 50 50 Compare to: First tier Kona, small-farm estate Kona coffee. Other islands need not apply!
Score (Max. 100) 84.0


Maui Kaanapali Moka
Country: USA, Hawaii Grade: N/A Island: Maui Mark: Kaanapali Estate
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 14/15 Screen Varietal: Yemen Moka
        Dry Fragrance: 80 Notes: From the perfect little (miniscule!) seeds to the fruity acidity in the cup, this coffee is like a Yemen without the edges. Its a refined cup, and delicate. It shows no signs of sourness when roasted light, which is how this coffee begs to be roasted. I think it is best in an air type roaster between Agtron 70 ( I said Light!) and Agtron 55. That means you roast it through first crack and stop. Best when rested 2 days... nice after 12 hours too. Kaanapali Estate is Maui's largest commercial coffee plantation at 500 acres. The elevation is 350 to 1,800 feet above sea level with volcanic soil conditions The harvest begins in September and goes through January. This coffee doesnt score high in the numbers but is an intriguing cup not to miss! The cup is mildly sweet with just a hint of Yemen wildness, light-bodied cup with definite Maple Syrup flavors. You can certianly detect hints of the Yemen seedstock, but so greatly muted by the island growing environment that I don’t believe I could trace the lineage of the Moka cultivar only by cupping ...without knowing in advance that the a Yemen Moka and a Maui-grown Moka are botanical brothers. The coffee is mechanically harvested so it requires extra attention in the wet-milling process. There is a lot of time and equipment investment in the flotation-separation process where the underripe sours and overripe cherries are removed from the ripe coffee.
Wet Aroma: 80
Brightness- Liveliness: 84
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: I prefer it very light (through first crack, then stop!) and rested 24 hours. Alpenrost alert: This coffee is too small to roast in the Alpenrost drum!
Finish- Conclusion: 82
Score: 82.2 Compare to: More intriguing than the other non-Kona Hawaii coffees! Don’t expect it to taste like a Yemen …its more Hawaiian than Yemeni.

Hawaiian Kona -Kowali Blue Mountain
Country:
US
Grade:
Extra Fancy
Region:
Kona
Mark:
Kowali Farm
Processing:
washed
Crop:
2001
Appearance:
.5 d/300gr
18+ scr
Varietal:
100% Jamaica Blue Mountian Seed Stock
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
86/86
Notes: Kowali (which means Morning Glory in Hawaiian) is a smaller, more remote Kona farm with the right kind of altitude to produce exceptional Kona coffee. There is a lot of interest in Hawaii now with experimental planting of non-Kona varietal seed stock. Some create coffees that would best be called "coffee grown in Hawaii" because the influence of the cultivar has more influence on the cup than the origin. This is the case with the Moka seed stock grown in Maui. The University of Hawaii assisted the Kowali farm in planting 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain seedstock and the results have been suprising: in my opinion the seedstock is not determining the cup here (as with the Moka) but this truly cups like excellent Kona Coffee. In fact, I would call this cup more typically Kona than the Kowali Extra Fancy: it is sweeter and fruitier than the later. I would also say the cup far exceeds standard cup quality from true Jamaica Blue Mountain coffees such as Wallenford and Mavis Bank. Its not suprising. Kona coffees are grown with great care and meticulously prepped and processed. Despite its proximity, we have seen Jamaicas arrive here, selling at $5-$8 lb more than the Koawali green and probably $15+ more per lb roasted, that have berry-boring insect damage and appear very "past crop" in appearance. Here we have farm-specific coffee (Wallenford and Mavis Bank are mills) grown in ideal soils and tendered with great care. The cup is true to island profile: mild, sweet, clean. The pleasant suprise is that the coffee flavors are enhanced as the cup cools, and the aftertaste is quite long for a mild coffee!
Brightness- Liveliness:
85
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
84
Roast: I prefer this lighter, City roast stopped before 2nd crack. I found the cup greatly enhnaced after a full 48 hours of resting after roasting.
Score:
84.6
Compare to: Good mild coffees, top grade small-farm Kona

Hawaiian Molokai Malulani No. 1
Country: US, Hawaii Grade: No. 1 Region: Molokai Mark: Malulani Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 Screen Varietal: Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 78 Notes: Molokai clearly qualifies as one of those "other" Hawaiian coffees, other than Kona. While Kona is the queen of Hawaiian coffees, most of the islands are capable of decent coffee production but not often is the cup quality high, and never can it compare to the best Kona farm or mill coffees. Some coffees gain distinction by exploring the array of Arabia varietals, such as the Maui Moka we had 2 years ago. Kauai does a lot of experiments in varietals but as a mechanically picked, technofied operation they have a lot to overcome in terms of quality (not in terms of volume.) The island of Molokai has promising coffee lands in the hills of Kualapu'u. Molokai is a traditional-processed coffee, both wet-process and dry. The Malulani No.1 is wet-processed, mild medium-bodied cup with moderate acidity and (depending on the degree of roast) nice nutty flavors with a bit of astringency that makes the flavors seem "dry". It reminds me of some Mexican Oaxaca Plumas but when I put them side-by-side I found distinct differences, and in blind cupping I preferred the Malulani over any Pluma in the lineup.
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 82
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 82 Roast: This can take a wide range of roasts, from City to Vienna. Allow it to rest 1 day, and I find that the flavors are more predominate when the cup cools…
Finish- Conclusion: 81
Score: 81.3 Compare to: Mexican Oaxaca Pluma, mild Island coffees

Hawaiian Kona -Purple Mountain Farm Peaberry
Country: US, Hawaii Grade: Peaberry Region: Kona Mark: Purple Mountain Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 1 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, large peaberry Varietal: Kona Typica
        Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes: Please forgive me that much of this review repeats the Purple Mountain review above: this is after all from the same crop/same farm. Peaberries are the rounded seeds that result when one of the two seeds in the coffee cherry fails to grow, and the remaining seed develops in a ovoid form. It is sorted out from the other coffee and sold at a premium. This is a coffee that is uniquely Kona, distinct from any other coffee origin in the world. There are flavors very specific to Kona coffees grown on the handful of farms that actually have the right altitude and the right soils to grow coffee that demands the premium Kona price. The biggest problem with Hawaiian island coffee is not that these few small-farm Konas command a high price, it's that alot of poor quality coffees and non-Kona coffees are priced according to the reputation of the deserving ones. Some excellent Konas are sold directly by the mills in Kona and they can be quite good too, but they vary to a greater degree than actual farm specific lots. Judging by the cup, Purple Mountain immediately struck me as the kind of coffee that is first tier Kona, where the coffee is clearly farmed for quality and not quantity, and the altitude is clearly there. In fact, at 2000 feet in the well-drained volcanic soils of Honaunau region of Kona, and the farm has certainly hit its stride in this their 25th year. The coffee is pesticide-free (not organic certified but all by all measures they practice organic farming), hand-picked and totally sun-dried. The farm is limited to 8 acres, and the Stiles family that own and farm it are active participants in the Kona cupping competitions. The coffee is expertly milled by the well-known Tom Greenwell of Greenwell Farms. In a City roast this coffee has a more citrusy acidity than the flatbean. I don't get the piney and nutty flavors from the Peaberry as much as the flatbean. It has a more Central American character in general but still cups as a Kona for sure. As a peaberry it is easier to have this roast get away from you in the process, and get into a dark roast stage before you expect it too. So keep it on the light side, and watch the roaster to stop the process before it gets into the second crack!
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 88
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: See notes above. This coffee has a wide latitude of roasts that produce excellent results, and I suggest you try to roast it differently each time to find where you like it best. A very light City roast is my favorite.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 85.0 Compare to: First tier Kona, small-farm estate Kona coffee.

Hawaii Kona -Captain Cook Extra Fancy
Country: USA: Hawaii Grade: Extra Fancy Region: Kona Mark: Captain Cook Mill
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance:

0d/300gr 18 Screen

Varietal: Kona
        Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes: New crop Kona for the new year. This coffee is from the Captain Cook Mill: many of the top Kona coffees are sold under the mill name, pooled from the best small farms that would not have enough coffee to offer commercially on their own. Its all up the mill, and the relationships they have with the farmers that produces the outstanding top-grade Konas under the mill name: Greenwell Farms and Honaunau are both top-notch mill "brands" as well as Captain Cook. So you evaluate them cup by cup to find who has the best offerings at any given time. They don't have the rarity of a limited smallfarm lot but can be as good, or better. Last year we bought Greenwell, but I think this Captain Cook lot really has the Kona character I look for: it is a particular piney flavor in the acidity and an almost almondy flavor in the aftertaste that I enjoy in great Konas.
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 85
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City. Do not go into second crack with these, but don’t underroast it either. In fact, with a large-bean coffee like this that has higher moisture content, its easy to underroast: it might need a little more time in the roaster than your average batch.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 84.5 Compare to: Excellent Kona, what else?

Honduras

Honduras SHG Organic Marcala
Country: Honduras Grade: SHG Region: Marcala District Mark: OCIA Cert. Organic
Processing: Wet processed Crop: '02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Caturra, Agaaro
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3.0 Notes: We haven't stocked Honduran coffee for 3 years now because so little of it arrives in the U.S. that is truly Specialty Grade, and possessing a unique cup profile. This Organic lot from Marcala is distinct for its brightness, and unique peppery (green) note in the background. At a very light City roast I found this flavor to be a little annoying: it is definitely out of character for a wet-processed, high-grown (bright) Central American coffee. What I really like is the Full City + roast (into second crack slightly) when this distinct flavor turns to an unsweetened chocolate flavor laced with anise/licorice. In fact, the pungency of this cup might qualify it as a Central American for those who prefer Indonesian or pungent African coffees. While other Centrals are high-toned in the palate (with the exception of some Nicaraguan and Colombian coffees) this is medium to deep in its tonal range and reverberates toward the anterior of the palate rather than frontally, or on the tongue.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3.0
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 7.5
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8.0
Body - Movement (1-5) 3.5
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 7.0
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 1.0 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

India

Country:
India
Grade:
AA
Region:
S. India
Mark:
Monsooned!
Processing:
dry-processed
Crop:
98/99
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16scr
Varietal:
Coffea Canephora-
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
n/a
Notes: This coffee starts with a top-grade AA dry-processed Robusta., which is referred to as Cherry Robusta in Indian grading methods (washed is called Parchment Robusta). The coffee is processed as usual after harvesting, but then a portion is held in the dry regions awaiting the monsoon season when it is moved to the West Coast of India. The bags are opened and spread on coastal warehouse floors 4-6 inches thick. The sides of the warehouse are opened the moisture-laden monsoon winds are allowed to circulate around the coffee. The coffee absorbs moisture, swells in size and mellows significantly. This is wonderful for Robusta because it takes the hard edge off the coffee, and adds unique peppery flavors too.
Brightness- Livliness:
n/a
Body- Movement:
n/a
Flavor- Depth:
n/a
Finish- Conclusion:
n/a
Roast: Northern Italian Espresso is roasted to the darker side of Full City. Southern italian Espresso is basically in the French stage.
Score:
n/a
 

Indian Plantation A -Pearl Mountain Estate
Country: India Grade: A Region: Chikmagalor Mark: Pearl Mountain Estate
Processing: Wet-processed (Plantation) Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Kents Varietal, Cauwery
   Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: Coffees like this can convince you that India is overlooked as a growing origin, and those who like Indonesian coffees of cleaner cup character should try Indian coffee. We have consistenly found the Indian coffees fromk the Pearl Mountain Estate of Chikmagalur to be the best Plantation (Indian grade designation for wet-processed arabica) to be the best in the cup. In fact, coffee was introduced to India in the Chikmagalur District of the Karnakata State by Muslim pilgrim Bababudan Sahib in the year 1610! In the past we have stocked the Peaberry from this estate, but found this particular lot of "flatbean" to be excellent. The cup is very pleasant: It is a mild coffee overall, full-bodied, with low acidity, but enough to provide balance in the cup. The flavors are well-defined: a tad earthy and a bit of parchment/paper and spice. There's a nice nutty roast taste that develops in the Full City stage. My favorite roast for this is a few snaps into 2nd crack, so keep your ears open.
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 82
Body- Movement: 87
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: Full City, see above. This coffee is also excellent in espresso! For this use, roast it to a Vienna stage.
Finish- Conclusion: 84 Compare to: Indians, maybe some wet-processed Indonesians like Timor and Papua New Guinea.     
Score: 84.3

Blend:
Malabar Gold Espresso Blend
Grade:
AA Arabica, AB Robusta
Region:
Indian Coffees
Mark:
 
Processing:
Wet and Dry processes
Crop:
00/01
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16 to 19scr
Varietal:
Arabica and Robusta
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
-
Notes: Malabar Gold espresso blend is entirely comprised of coffees from India. It includes Washed and Dry-processed coffees, Monsooned coffees and arabica coffees too. It also includes premium Robusta which has specific function in the blend to add crema and body, and a positive organoleptic feature: a biting flavor thats a bit hard and earthy but properly employed in a blend such as this results in a distinctly Italian character. Robusta also averages about 2.2% caffeine to arabicas 1.2% to 1.4%. So expect a little more from this one. It is that note that helps it "cut through" milk in espresso based milk beverages. ince it is cupped as espresso only, traditional cupping mbers are not provided.This blend is not a Sweet Maria's creation ... it is blended by the importer. The blend includes AA Monsooned Arabica, non-Monsooned Arabica from Mysore, and Indian Robusta.
 
Brightness- Livliness:
-
Body- Movement:
-
Flavor- Depth:
-
Finish- Conclusion:
-
Roast: Your favorite espresso roast. or Full City +, not quite Vienna Roast. This works well at French too. In other words, I like N. Italian espresso, but you may like S. Italian Espresso (Scuro, dark) Allow this blend to rest 48 hours after roasting for better results: I have excellent results after resting 4+ days!
Score:
-
Compare to: Potent espresso. It cuts through milk in Cappuccino and Latte very well. It produces a lot of crema.

Indonesia (for each specific island, see that section e.g. Sumatra, Sulawesi, Timor, etc.)

Indonesian Organic Komodo Blend Swiss Water Decaf
Country:
Indonesia: Timor, Sumatra,
Papua New Guinea
Grade:
1, A
Region:
see below
Mark:
Swiss Water Process Decaf, Organic
Processing:
Washed/Semi
Crop:
2001
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16/17scr
Varietal:
Varies
Frag/Aroma:
81/83
Notes: This is a Indonesian Komodo Blend of coffees in 3 equal parts: Organic Timor Maubese, Organic Sumatra Gayo Mountain, and Organic Papua New Guinea A. All are Certified and Swiss Water Process decaffeinated. You can see that I buy mostly Indonesia SWPs, because I think this process is very damaging to the cup quality of acidy coffees (Central Americans, etc) but quite nice with low-acid Indonesians. So blending these three was just another way to bring our more dimension in the cup. All share deep flavors, full body and minimal acidity, but compliment eachother well too. Also, they can take a variety of roasts from City through French! The Komodo Blend is also great for decaf espresso! You could use it 100%, or use it as the base of a low-caf espresso or filter coffee. As with the decaf Sumatra, the blending strategy is to have your decaf provide body and depth (which the Sumatran and Indonesian Komodo do well) and then have your non-decaf coffees add the high, bright notes ...something many decafs cannot do well! (with the exception of MC decafs like the Kenya or Yirgacheffe)
Acidity:
81
Body:
87
Flavor:
85
Aftertaste:
84
Roast: City, Full City, Continental, French. Remember, SWPs are dark in color, so roasting is best done by listening to the cracks, smell and time.
Overall:
83.5
Compare to: Straight Indonesians: this cup is unique but will bear more resemblance to straight Timor than to straight Sumatra ..its more balanced.

Jamaica

Jamaica Blue Mountain Mavis Bank Estate #1
Country:
Jamaica
Grade:
1
Region:
Blue Mountain
Mark:
Mavis Bank
Processing:
Washed
Crop:
2002
Appearance:
1d/300gr
18scr
Varietal:
Jamaica

Mavis Bank barrel
Dry Fragrance
81
Notes: Well ... I have to eat my words because here is a really nice lot of coffee from the Mavis Bank farms! True Blue Mountain is an unusual coffee; it has good body, and some very interesting mild nutty flavors with interesting herbal falvors that remind me sometimes of chamomile, sometimes of spice. There are only 4 trade names that can legally call their product Blue Mountain coffee: Wallenford, Mavis Bank, Old Tavern and one other I can never remember. So beware of imposters. Its fun to roast Blue Mountain and find out what this highly touted coffee is all about when it is fresh ... and why it ranks among the better Mexican coffees in terms of cup quality. But remember, this is an "island profile" coffee; smooth, mild, balanced ...and oh so so so expensive. Not huge fireworks here... I think this lot of Jamaican is the best I have ever had in terms of up quality and preparation of the green coffee. Personally, I will not consider offering any other Jamaican coffee, especially Wallenford. I have seen too many insect-damaged coffees from that source, and cabbage-like flavors in the cupping samples.
Wet Aroma:
81
Brightness- Livliness:
82
Body- Movement:
84
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
83
Roast: This has a lot of body, and I am suprised that it can take a real Full City roast; a few pops into 2nd crack. No darker though...
Score:
82.2
Compare to: Island coffee profile --mild but with depth and complexity.

Jamaica Blue Mountain -Moy Hall Estate
Country: Jamaica Grade: One Region: Blue Mountain Mark: Moy Hall
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 01/'02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Blue Mountain
        Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes: Moy Hall is the coffee of the Blue Mountain Coffee Cooperative, a co-op of smaller farmers who mill their coffee collectively. Moy Hall wasn't always a co-op coffee. The name itself implies Scottish roots, and the 1898-99 census of Jamaican coffee farms over 50 acres listed the owner as Capt. G. G. Taylor. The farm land is located at the end of the Cedar Valley, a lush green valley lined by verdant, terraced hills. The co-op revitalized the Moy Hall name, one of just 4 original Blue Mountain brands accredited under the 1951 organization of the Jamaican Coffee Board. The co-op is interested in overall economic improvement of the surrounding communities and minimizing environmental impact of coffee farming. Many of our faithful customers will know of our avoidance of Jamaica for several years now. We just think it is overpriced for a mild cup, and in fact we have found many Jamaican coffees to be consistently poor in the cup, with cabbagey defective flavors. But we swore that if we found a Jamaican with the "right" cup character, true to its origin as a unique cultivar that was used to plant coffee throughout Africa and Indonesia, we would stock it. This is it. We feel Moy Hall is better than any Wallenford or Mavis Bank samples we have seen for the past 2 years. It has no insect damage that the others have, has excellent preparation (JBM always has a very light green, pale opaque color) and the screening of the size is very good. It is more expensive than other true JBM. Jamaican is expensive! It is 5x the price of other excellent green coffees. Is it 5x as good in the cup. No! Is the Moy Hall unique? Yes. Is it a waste of money? Well, that is up to you, but if you can afford a Jamaican, I feel that you might completely waste your money on another one, and probably spend more (even though the Moy Hall costs us more than other JBM). So if you want to experience this coffee, I would recommend that you take this opportunity to do it.
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 85
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: The coffee resist the roast a bit and may require more time in the roast cycle that comparable-sized seeds. It requires 24 hours of resting to develop its body. But we also note a drop-off in cup quality after 7 days. Full City develops more intense pungency.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 84.3 Compare to: Good Jamaican like the Moy Hall is a very mild coffee, not sweet, not fruity, not delicate either. It has medium body, spicey background secondary flavors, and just a touch of a wild note in the aftertaste.

Jamaica Blue Mountain -Moy Hall Estate
Country: Jamaica Grade: One Region: Blue Mountain Mark: Moy Hall
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 01/'02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Blue Mountain
        Dry Fragrance: 83 Notes: Moy Hall is the coffee of the Blue Mountain Coffee Cooperative, a co-op of smaller farmers who mill their coffee collectively. Moy Hall wasn't always a co-op coffee. The name itself implies Scottish roots, and the 1898-99 census of Jamaican coffee farms over 50 acres listed the owner as Capt. G. G. Taylor. The farm land is located at the end of the Cedar Valley, a lush green valley lined by verdant, terraced hills. The co-op revitalized the Moy Hall name, one of just 4 original Blue Mountain brands accredited under the 1951 organization of the Jamaican Coffee Board. The co-op is interested in overall economic improvement of the surrounding communities and minimizing environmental impact of coffee farming. Many of our faithful customers will know of our avoidance of Jamaica for several years now. We just think it is overpriced for a mild cup, and in fact we have found many Jamaican coffees to be consistently poor in the cup, with cabbagey defective flavors. But we swore that if we found a Jamaican with the "right" cup character, true to its origin as a unique cultivar that was used to plant coffee throughout Africa and Indonesia, we would stock it. This is it. We feel Moy Hall is better than any Wallenford or Mavis Bank samples we have seen for the past 2 years. It has no insect damage that the others have, has excellent preparation (JBM always has a very light green, pale opaque color) and the screening of the size is very good. It is more expensive than other true JBM. Jamaican is expensive! It is 5x the price of other excellent green coffees. Is it 5x as good in the cup. No! Is the Moy Hall unique? Yes. Is it a waste of money? Well, that is up to you, but if you can afford a Jamaican, I feel that you might completely waste your money on another one, and probably spend more (even though the Moy Hall costs us more than other JBM). So if you want to experience this coffee, I would recommend that you take this opportunity to do it.
Wet Aroma: 82
Brightness- Liveliness: 85
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 85 Roast: The coffee resist the roast a bit and may require more time in the roast cycle that comparable-sized seeds. It requires 24 hours of resting to develop its body. But we also note a drop-off in cup quality after 7 days. Full City develops more intense pungency.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 84.3 Compare to: Good Jamaican like the Moy Hall is a very mild coffee, not sweet, not fruity, not delicate either. It has medium body, spicey background secondary flavors, and just a touch of a wild note in the aftertaste.

Java

Java Government Estate Jampit '01 Crop
Country:
Indonesia
Grade:
1
Island:
Java
Mark:
Jampit (Government)
Estate
Processing:
washed
Crop:
'01/'02
Appearance:
0d/300gr
16-18scr
Varietal:
Sumatra
 
Dry Frag./ Wet Aroma:
78/82
Notes: I have avoided buying Java for 2 seasons now based on outrageous prices and extremely poor, no ... absolutely crappy, quality. Not having Java came to symbolize the fact that I wouldn't bow to pressures to stock a major origin if I didn't think it was good; quality would reign supreme! But here I am upping a very nice crop year 2001 government estate Java sample. It has all the oily body that you would want from a Java -which is ALL about body, but the lighter sample roasts have great brightness balancing out the cup. This works as a straight roast, not just as a Mokha-Java blender and I suggest trying it a bit lighter than you might usually roast a Java. By the way, there is "Government Estate" Java, from the 6 old farms that date back to Dutch colonialism, and "Private Estate" Java. Government Estate is invariably preferred as they higher quality coffee although there are occasional exceptions.
 
We recently switched from Kayumas Estate to Jampit for the new 200-2002 crop year, based on the samples from both. I usually prefer Kayumas but you have to cup all the samples from the Government estates (Kayumas, Blawan, Jampit Etc) to find the best. But all in all, the cup quality at its best is nearly identical between them: it is not as if Blawan at its best has a remarkably different cup character than Kayumas at its best. Anyway, that's why I cup ...Because you never know which coffee in a blind, unbiased cupping will prove to be the best!
Brightness- Liveliness:
84
 
Body- Movement:
95
Flavor- Depth:
83
Finish- Conclusion:
81
Roast: Typically this is a Full City coffee, but try it lighter and be amazed!
Score:
84.3
Compare to: Sulawesi without earthiness, Sumatra without without mustiness, flowers without tears (just kidding about those first two)!

Country:
Indonesian Java
Grade:
1
Island:
Java
Mark:
AGED!
Processing:
Semi-Washed, Aged
Crop:
96/97
Appearance:
2d/300gr
18/19scr
Varietal:
?
Frag/Aroma:
76 /76
Notes: oh my, this is really what I expect from Aged coffee. It is powerful, pungent, smokey and complex. I have roasted it and noticed acidity! But then the next time I brew it it seems to have changed its character, and the strong smokey aged tastes prevail. I chose this coffee for its complexity, alternating tastes that form a twisty narritive when you try to tell someone what this cup is about. Its aged at least three years now, and is definitely enlarged from the process and lighter (like our monsooned malabar). But its moisture still tests at 10.8% so it has very normal behavior in the roaster in terms of crack times and temperatures.
Acidity:
70
Body:
90
Flavor:
78
Aftertaste:
74
Roast: I like it best at "an aggressive Full City Roast" stage ...let it go a few snaps into 2nd crack. Allow this coffee to rest 2-3 days (if you can wait!) for fully developed flavors in the cup.
Overall:
77.3
Compare to: This is a powerful, smokey, earthy coffee with low acidity and lots of body. It is not for everyone!

Java Washed Robusta
Country: Java Grade: - Region: ? Mark: -
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: '00 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 17 Screen Varietal: Coffea Canefora
        Dry Fragrance: n/a

Notes: This is a premium Robusta that is on par with Indian Kaapi Royale. I say that only based on my experience: I can't tell the difference between 12.5% of this in my espresso blend and 12.5% of that. It is extremely well prepared and has almost no chaff.

Remember, we offer Robusta only for use in espresso! I do not recommend ever using robusta in filter coffee (it also has at least double the caffeine as coffea arabica) ...and I barely recommend it for espresso. I prefer most of my espresso without robusta. But I do find that 10-15% of this added the to our Espresso Monkey Blend adds that certain bite to the cup.

Wet Aroma: n/a
Brightness- Liveliness: n/a
Body- Movement: n/a
Flavor- Depth: n/a Roast: For espresso blends: roast to your personal preference.
Finish- Conclusion: n/a
Score: n/a Compare to: Premium washed Robusta

Kenya

Kenya MC Decaf -German KVW
Country: Kenya Grade: AB Region: Pooled Mark: KVW Decaf
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16 screen Varietal: Typica /Riuri
        Dry Fragrance: 84 Notes: This Kenya is the second incredible decaf we have found after the Ethiopian 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 originates with a pooled lot of Kenya AB. It 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. It is truly remarkable decaf that has the character near the non-decaf Kenya coffees.
Wet Aroma: 83
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 78
Flavor- Depth: 83 Roast: City - Full City. I prefer the lighter roasts on this to highlight the bright notes
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 83.2 Compare to: Regular Kenya; light body but excellent brightness. Be sure you like bright coffee before buying this!

Kenya AA Top
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Region: Mt Kenya Mark: None
Processing: Wet processed Crop: mid - 02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Not Known
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3.5 Notes: The Kenya Auctions start in early January, but the coffees don't arrive in the U.S. until late March or April. So December thru the arrival of new Auction Lots is slim pickings for really good Kenyas. In fact all of 2002 was slim pickings: there were some really nice lots that we stocked, but there weren't any that are going to get etched on my mind for reference in the 2003 auction cuppings. So I was resigned to the fact that we would be out of stock on a decent Kenya during the December-April window, once the Kiawamururu sold out. But lo and behold a really nice sample came in, under the guise of a generic Kenya AA. This was not an auction lot coffee; it's only name disitinction is the redundant marking "Top" on the reference sample, and that simply means its a top AA grade. I immiediately noticed that the cup lacked the highly elevated notes that the really good Auction Lot Kenyas will have -acidity is not subtle in a Kenya and the best of them are markedly citrusy. But it is indeed bright and balanced, with a really attractive caramelly roast flavor developing at Full City, and (if you don't roast too dark) a blackberry finish to the cup. There's a creamy-buttery flavor I get early in the cup too, that compliments the balckberyy very nicely! In fact, it occurred to me that the really nice Kenya origin-character in this cup and the lower acidity might appeal to people who find the puckering Auction Lot examples to be over-the-top. So here it is, a Kenya without the pedigree but with a fair amount of punch. Enjoy!
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3.0
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8.2
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: Full City: the cup can be a bit sour at the light end of city, and definitely holds up to a heavier roast. In fact, this cup is excellent well into the Light French stages.
add 50 50 Compare to: A subtle low-toned Kenya, not harshly acidic or citrusy. PS: there's no better way to get to know these Kenya coffees than to get a Lb. of each and cup them for yourself!
Score (Max. 100) 86.7

Kenya AA Kiawamururu Auction Lot '02
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Region: Aberdare Mark: Kiawamururu
Processing: Wet processed Crop: 2002 Main crop Auctions Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: Ok … this must be the longest, most difficult name for a Kenya Auction Lots we have ever had. It's so difficult that the broker who offered the coffee laughs at me when I actually try to say it (Kee-ah-wa-mu-ru-ru) because nobody over at their brokerage even tries. They just get to Kee-ah ... and they quit. But I didn't pick this lot for the name -I picked it because the cup is powerful, and develops a very attractive caramel-butterscotch roast taste as the roast enters the 2nd crack. That's right where I stop the roast -2nd crack. You will notice a remarkably dark roast color at this point, and roast color that corresponds to a roast about 5 to 10 Agtron points darker than the roast actually is. (This is due to higher concentrations of the proteins and other constituents that react to form the chlorogenic acids and are part of the browning of the Maillard reaction). I don't find the Kiawamururu to be exceptionally fruity (fresh fruit -raspberry, currant, etc) , nor dried or roasty fruit as Kenyas sometimes can be. It is most reminiscent of the 2001 "Lot 82" we offered -balanced but potent, and most striking when roasted a bit heavier than other Kenyas, slightly into 2nd crack. It's a bullish cup, not subtle.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 5
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 8
Body - Movement (1-5) 4
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 8
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: This coffee develops a very dark roast color as 1st crack finishes. So you need to pay attention to the sounds and smells if you are trying to keep control of the degree of roast. I like it a little into 2nd crack, because it develops a strong caramelly roast taste. With the preshipment sample we did brew a few bitter cups when roasted lighter - so go a bit longer with this coffee, and if you see any noticeably light seeds after roasting, cull them out (a possible source of the bitter cup we had).
add 50 50 Compare to: Deep Kenyas; not subtle, not citrusy, not overwhelmingly fruity.
Score (Max. 100) 87

Kenya AA Kii - Auction Lot '02
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Region: Aberdare Zone Mark: Kii Auction Lot '02
Processing: Wet Process Crop: 2002 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Typica
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: I feel so conflicted to think, on the one hand, that it’s an off year for Kenyas in general, and the really good, super-complex, black currant or blackberry Kenyas a are not to be found. And on the other hand I have the incredible, everlasting aftertaste of the Kenya Kii Auction Lot in my mouth, straight-out, full-throttle potent cup with a sweetly pungent grip on my taste buds. With the exception of the Karumandi, the 4 Kenyas we have had this year have made up in sheer force what they might lack in nuance. And the Kii is perhaps the definitive potent Kenya ... bright enough to light up all your taste buds from front to back like lights on a drag strip. OK, I'll cut it with the metaphors, but I have often said that for those who want an abundance of flavor and don't mind a bright cup, great Kenyas are brutally unfair to their competition on the cupping table. An off year for Kenya -well, maybe in that 80% of the cupping samples I received were downright dull compared to 2001 Auction Lots. But I don't think you'll find any lack among our offerings, and certainly not with the Kii.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 3
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 10
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 10
Body - Movement (1-5) 3
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 10
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 0 Roast: Full City+ : roast it too light and it will make you pucker.
Add 50 50 Compare to: Potent, straight ahead Kenya with great roast flavors that compliment the pronounced brightness
Score (Max. 100) 90

Kenya AA Karumandi Auction Lot '02
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Region: Mt Kenya Mark: Karumandi
Processing: Wet processed Crop: 2002 Main crop Auctions Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon Typica,
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3 Notes: Kenya rules. There's no question that in the category of wet-processed coffees brewed by drip/infusion, nothing can hold a candle to a really, really good Auction Lot Kenya. The Karumandi is in league with the very few 2002 Main Crop auction samples we have received that had the depth and complexity (not all about brightness and citrusy) of old arabica cultivars. You can always tell the new cultivars, especially the dreaded Riuri 11, because of the metallic quality to the acidity. With the Karumandi we have a deep, lush, softly sweet cup that is overwhelmingly floral in character. There is no way else I can put it, it is like a bouquet of fresh-cut roses, extremely fragrant from start to finish. The aftertaste is shorter than some Kenya samples but with such an incredibly attractive aroma, this coffee is truly a winner.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9.5
Body - Movement (1-5) 4
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9.5
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 2 Roast: Like the Karani and other great Kenyas with high CGA concentrations, the Karumandi coffee develops a very dark roast colors first crack concludes despite the actual degree of roast. So you need to pay attention to the sounds and smells if you are trying to keep it light. I roasted our preshipment samples trying to stop it right after First Crack had concluded but kept ending up with a dark color. Anyway, a cup like this is fabulous anywhere from City to Full City to Vienna in terms of the cup; it is hard to go wrong. It develops a heavily fruited pungency the darker you go, and I preferred the lightest City roast I could manage to get, plus a full 24 hour rest period.
add 50 50 Compare to: Softly sweet (not citrusy) Kenyas, aromatic rose-pedal flavors.
Score (Max. 100) 90

Kenya AA Karani Auction Lot '02
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Region: Mount Kenya Mark: Karani
Processing: Wet processed Crop: 2002 Main crop Auctions Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon Typica,
Dry Fragrance (1-5) 4 Notes: The Auction Lot Kenya samples from the 2002 Main Crop have been strikingly different from brighter, more citrusy lots we had last year. But what we are seeing in the best-of-the-best samples is a depth and complexity in the cup, and in the finish, that is sometimes absent in the really over-the-top bright Kenyas. The Karani was the first sample that really blew us away: it begins with sweet aromatics, moderately fruity. In the cup, I am surprised to find that it is not as sweet as the aroma suggests, but spicy and with an intriguing butterscotch-bittersweet roast taste (at Full City stage) and then floral hints emerging again in the finish. The fruitiness comes back as the cup cools too, in the key of a black currant/raisiny note. These sort of alternations in flavor and aroma are the very definition of complexity in the cup character. The coffee takes on a very dark roast color, even when roasted just to the City (medium) roast stage. This suggests higher concentrations of the aroma and flavor-producing set of chlorogenic acids (CGA), natural organic acids that have been the subject of recent labwork attempting to find empirical reasons for the superior volatile aromatics and flavor in traditional Kenya varietals. Well, you don't need to put on your lab coat to enjoy the incredible Karani cup character, yet another example of how Kenya coffees are so good its simply unfair to the adjacent coffee-producing countries.
Wet Aroma (1-5) 4
Brightness - Acidity (1-10) 8
Flavor - Depth (1-10) 9.5
Body - Movement (1-5) 4
Finish - Aftertaste (1-10) 9
Cupper's Correction (1-5) 2 Roast: This coffee develops a very dark roast color first crack concludes despite the actual degree of roast. So you need to pay attention to the sounds and smells if you are trying to keep it light. I roasted our preshipment samples trying to stop it right after First Crack had concluded but kept ending up with a dark color. Anyway, a cup like this is fabulous anywhere from City to Full City to Vienna in terms of the cup; it is hard to go wrong. It develops a heavily fruited pungency the darker you go, and I preferred the lightest City roast I could manage to get, plus a full 24 hour rest period.
add 50 50 Compare to: Deep (not citrusy) Kenyas, definitely worth cupping against the Karani. I don’t think there's any way to pick a favorite between the two … that would just be unfair because they are both in the same category of Kenyas and they both rock!
Score (Max. 100) 90.5

Kenya AA -Auction Lot No. 82
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Auction Lot Region: Kiricho Mark: Lot 82
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: Late 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen Varietal: Bourbon
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: Kenyan coffees range from citrusy to winey, from mild to intense, and from straightfoward to complex. Our auction lot No. 82 is intoxicating and intense … sounds like I am writing marketing languuage but I am not. Lot 82 has a bright and powerful acidity, and there is no subtlety in the first sip: this is incredibly flavorful coffee by any standard. But it is no one-note wonder: Lot 82 has dimension in the sweet cream-soda flavors and rather thick mouthfeel (body) for a wet-processed coffee. This rich creamy body is a perfect counterpoint to the alto notes of the citrusy brightness. Roasted a bit darker and this coffee becomes minty and pungent ... interesting but not really the kind of roast that highlights what is so special about great Auction Lot Kenyas. Ironically, this excellent lot has no other designation than its Auction Lot number . Usually the name of the "Society" (micro-group of small farmers-neighbors that bring their coffee to the Auction pooled as one lot) is the name given to each lot. Well, it is of no matter because this coffee is great with or without a fancy name on the bag!
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 89
Body- Movement: 85
Flavor- Depth: 89 Roast: City to Full City: (see review).
Finish- Conclusion: 88
Score: 87.0 Compare to: Excellent complexity/depth and a unique origin flavors that shift greatly depending on roast...

Kenya AA Kirigara Farm -Auction Lot '01
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Auction Lot Region: Kirinyaga subregion Mark: Kirigara Society
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: Late 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Bourbon caturra
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: Why so many Kenyas? ...The reason we stock multiple coffees from Kenya is that each has a very different character. With the lower grown, non-Auction Lot coffees they all cup nearly the same, but these top auction coffees have greatly varied personality. With the Kirigara we have a light-bodied, spicey, not too sour, not citrusy. It is a litte astringent and when roasted to Full City it develops a very interesting puncency: a bit peppery. Like most Kenya, it has fruty aromatics but the finish is not so fruity in the cup. Allow the coffee to rest 24-48 hours after roasting and there is an incredibly pleasant aftertaste to the cup, not overpowering but very nice. Expect more fruitiness and brighter acidity at a lighter, City roast (all the way through 1st crack, but not into 2nd crack). Roasted a bit darker, the fruitiness gives way to sharply pungent, spicey, almost minty flavors. Overall, it is a little milder than the Gakui Auction Lot, and akin to the Gichugu we had earlier this year (which is why the review is based on that one).
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 83
Body- Movement: 78
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City to Full City ...see the review above...
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 84.2 Compare to: Spicey, peppery at a Full City + roast, and Brighter and fruitier at a City roast: either way it is very aromatic and milder than the Gakui Auction Lot.

Kenya AB -Gakui Farm -Auction Lot '01
Country: Kenya Grade: AB Auction Lot Region: Mt Kenya Plateau Mark: Gakui Society
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: Late 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Bourbon Caturra
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: A remarkable Kenya that is truly a chameleon in terms of the flavors in the cup! I think of it as a completely "customizable" coffee because it has very different character that emerges and different "degrees of roast." A lighter roast (City) is bright, with high-toned acidity. It's almost effervescent and very lively! But you can get a very different cup character out of the Gakui by roasting it to a "Full City +" roast - allowing it to enter 2nd crack just a little bit. The Gakui becomes pungent, the citrusy character is gone, and fruity hints are only found in the background as the coffee cools. The main flavors that emerge are intriguing: a piney-resinous quality laced by a piquant peppery flavor. After a few days resting after roasting, the cup had a clear sassafras flavor. So do what you will with Gakui, but nomatter what roast you lay on it, you are going to get great character in the cup.
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 89 Roast: City to Full City+: (see review).
Finish- Conclusion: 88
Score: 86.2 Compare to: Excellent complexity/depth and a unique origin flavors that shift greatly depending on roast...

Kenya AB -Gichugu Farm -Auction Lot '01
Country: Kenya Grade: AB Auction Lot Region: Mt Kenya Mark: Gichugu Society
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: Late 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Mt Kenya Plateau
        Dry Fragrance: 85 Notes: The reason we stock multiple coffees from Kenya is that each has a very different character. With the lower grown, non-Auction Lot coffees they all cup nearly the same, but these top auction coffees have greatly varied personality. With the Gichugu we have a light-bodied, fruity Kenya, not citrusy but more like fresh Peach. It is very lively and has a bit of astringency in the aftertaste. It is bright, which some people find a little sour. But a bad acidy coffee is harshly sour and a great, high-quality bright coffee is piquant, effervescent, nippy. And that is what you can expect from the Gichugu cup. Allow the coffee to rest 24-48 hours after roasting and there is an incredibly pleasant cream finish to the cup. Peaches and cream ... seriously! Expect this fruity-peachy cup at a City roast (all the way through 1st crack, but not into 2nd crack). Roasted a bit darker, the fruitiness gives way to sharply pungent, almost minty flavors. Overall, it is a little milder than the Gakui Auction Lot, which I consider to be a highly potent Kenya.
Wet Aroma: 85
Brightness- Liveliness: 83
Body- Movement: 83
Flavor- Depth: 89 Roast: City to Full City ...see the review above...
Finish- Conclusion: 86
Score: 85.2 Compare to: Fruity Kenyas, peachy (literally), milder than the Gakui Auction Lot.

Kenya AA -Gaturiri Co-op -Auction Lot '01
Country: Kenya Grade: AB Auction Lot Region: Mt Kenya Mark: Gaturiri Society
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/17 Screen Varietal: Mt Kenya Plateau
        Dry Fragrance: 87 Notes: Its not often we stock a Kenyan coffee from the same farm/co-op 2 years in a row. This is due to the shift in cup character from year to year, but mostly due to the caveats of the Auction process and where on the globe these small lots end up. In this case we have the Gaturiri for the 2nd year, both times it was the smaller AB preparation that impressed us so much, and the reason is clear: it is once again a powerful Kenyan cup! This is intense, bright coffee with fresh berry/citrusy acidity (not winey) and a long, bright aftertaste that turns to a sweet, marshmallowy flavor right at the end. In the long aftertaste it will also turn to a raspberry flavor on the palate. There is quite a bit of astringency, so the cup doesnt finish in mild sweetness as other Kenyas do ...but this is not like milder Kenyas: it's a real pit bull of a coffee. If you are not familiar with top quality Kenyan coffees, or aren't sure if bright coffees are your favorite ...don't try the Gaturiri right off the bat. It might be too much. Of course, if you get it and think it's just too much, try roasting it a little darker (a few snaps into 2nd crack or a bit more) and make sure you are resting it 2 days. If you can handle it full bore, keep it lighter (City). In either case, the coffee is phenomenal, and about as bright and charactered as a Kenya can get before it becomes totally imbalanced in the cup (in fact, we did cup a coffee this year that was unbalanced and sour: Kathangariri)
Wet Aroma: 88
Brightness- Liveliness: 98
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 92 Roast: City to Full City: this is a very intense coffee. It is exceptional coffee at any degree of roast. If it is just too citrusy at a City roast, allow it to rest longer, and roast it a little into second crack.
Finish- Conclusion: 92
Score: 90.2 Compare to: Very bright, powerful Kenyas.

 


Kenya AA -Tinganga Farm -Auction Lot '01
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Auction Lot Region: Mt Kenya Mark: Tinganga Society
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal:  
        Dry Fragrance: 88 Notes: Kenyan coffees range from citrusy to winey, from mild to intense, and from straightfoward to complex. Because the cup has the possiblity to be so powerful, this range from the top coffees to the so-so ones seems greatly exagerated in Kenya. The top coffees are extremely small lots sold in the auctions, each remarkably distinct. All are interesting and some intense -bordering on too sour. So often the really great find is the balanced cup, not the most outrageous ones. The Tinganga lot is one of those. Incredibly balanced between acidity, distinct and alternating (complex) flavors, body and aftertaste. That makes it both a great introductory Kenya, and an advanced Kenya to explore the relationship between flavors and roast. We cupped it at several degrees of roast and I was amazed at the differing cup qualities I could detect. And with each cup, after varying resting periods after roasting, I felt that there was a subtly different cup in front of me. Winey fruitiness was always there, and a well rounded, balanced cup. But when the coffee was roasted Full City and rested just 6 hours, there was a wonderful clove flavor in the finish. The next day the cup was softer, lush, but I couldn't find the clove. Not to be disappointed though, because it seemed spicier, and the fruitiness seemed more blackberry. Roasted lighter it was citrusy, but after 24 hours of resting it was berry, and the body/mouthfeel was much greater.
Wet Aroma: 88
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 87 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: 88
Score: 87.3 Compare to: Very bright, powerful Kenyas.

Kenya Peaberry '00
Country: Kenya Grade: PB Region: Mt Kenya Mark: None
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: Peaberry 17 screen Varietal: varied
        Dry Fragrance: 82 Notes: Peaberry represents just 2% of the total Kenya coffee production and rates with AA as the highest grade. A peaberry results when one of the two seeds in the coffee cherry aborts, and the other fills out into the rounded form normally take by two "flat beans". Peaberries are fun to look at, and fun to roast (they roast a little faster, be warned!) but they don't necessarily have greater or lesser qualities than the corresponding lot of flat beans they were sorted our from. After all, you grind them and drink the liquid percolated through it ...who would know what the shape of the bean originally was? In this case, the cup was impressive. It has great body for a Kenya, balance, strength, and is a good choice for those who like to roast Kenyas a little heavy -Full City or light Vienna. This is from the 200 Main Crop--- we don't normally buy from the second picking, called the Fly Crop in Kenya. It just never produces the intense quality Kenyas we are looking for...
Wet Aroma: 84
Brightness- Liveliness: 86
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: City. I like Kenyas roasted light, and very bright. But this Peaberry is a good candidate for those who like to take Kenya a bit into 2nd crack. It has great body and develops intense, liquory roast tastes…
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 84.5 Compare to: Strong, straightforward Kenyas, a bright acidy coffee in general.

Kenya AA -Eaagads Co-op -Auction Lot '01
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Auction Lot Region: Mt Kenya Mark: Eaagads Society
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 18 Screen Varietal:  
        Dry Fragrance: 88 Notes: The Eaagads is our first Auction Lot purchase from the 2001 Main Crop. It is a powerhouse Kenya, perhaps the most heavy-hitting Kenya in the last 2 years. It’s not a winey Kenya; it's lively, straight ahead, stunningly bright and nippy in the lighter roasts, with fresh fruit flavors that are between berry and citrus. The coffee might be too sour for some roasted light though . It has incredible depth at Full City when the roast taste bittersweet comes into play and the fruit flavors are a bit more moderate. And in the dark roast it develops sharp minty roast flavors. I like it best light, but it needs to rest 24-48 hours after roasting to staiblize a bit. See the note about the relative roast color of this coffee, below. And please note that this coffee is for those who like lively, bright, acidy coffee! An odd side note: if you see a coffee seed with a pink mark, don't worry: it's chalk and it will roast offduring the process. Kenya Auction Lots are bagged before the highest bidder is determined, so instead of using ink they use a harmless chalk to mark the bags with the high bidder's name. In this case, it was pink and someone was a little overzealous with the marking ...
Wet Aroma: 88
Brightness- Liveliness: 95
Body- Movement: 84
Flavor- Depth: 90 Roast: Full City: this is a very intense coffee and the cup qualities hinge closely on the roast. It is intense and citrusy at the City roast stage; it has great depth and range at Full City stage; it becomes sharply pungent in the darker roasts. It is exceptional coffee at any degree of roast. The roast color is also a bit darker than you might expect for your target degree of roast compared to other coffees...
Finish- Conclusion: 92
Score: 89.5 Compare to: Very bright, powerful Kenyas.

Kenya AA Auction Lot - Kiungu Farm
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Region:   Mark: Kiungu Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 16/18scr Varietal: Bourbon, Kents
        Dry Fragrance: 87 Notes: While the Kiungu isn't going to assault you with sharp citrusy acidity, the prized flavor in this coffee is fresh berry. Its my favorite Kenya of the year and I (hopefully) bought enough of it to last through March '01 ...when new crop sampels start to drift in. We had a big, big "discussion" at the shop about the particular character of this berry flavor. I feel strongly that is between red raspberry and black raspberry. Others claim there is no such thing as black raspberry. Anyway, you get the idea ... its a great flavor. Some Kenyas have thise cherished berry flavor but it is more winey: the Kiungu has a distinctly fresh berry taste. Remarkably, the flavor softened after 5 days resting and was more peach, with vanilla. Really! Either way it was a great cup and we even cupped a sample at 2 weeks and it was amazing! It is a powerful coffee, and its real height of power is at a lighter City roast. You can actually make the cup milder by roasting it just a bit into second, noting that this has profound effect on the character of the cup as bittersweet roast tastes start to dominate over the bright fruitiness.
Wet Aroma: 86
Brightness- Liveliness: 89
Body- Movement: 85
Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City. Keep it light. If you like the sharp dark roast tastes or wineyness of Kenyas, chose a different one than this. You will see quite a few pieces of parchment (the outer husk of the coffee seed) in the green coffee. It really has no bearing on the quality. You can remove it before or after roasting.
Finish- Conclusion: 90
Score: 87.3 Compare to: Powerful citrusy coffees.

Kenya AA Auction Lot - Mweiga Farm
Country: Kenya Grade: AA Region:   Mark: Mweiga Farm
Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Main Crop Appearance: 1 d/300gr, 16/18scr Varietal:  
        Dry Fragrance: 87 Notes: Mweiga is one of the few coffees we have had in previous crop years. You really can't buy Kenyas from year to year by farm name. The chances you will even see the same farm name offered is rare. Mostly this is a result of the incredibly small lots of coffee from each farm (10-40 bags is common) and the restrictions of the highly competitive Kenya auction-lot bidding system. Anyway, it was a suprise to see Mweiga again, and our past experience with it was so good we put in a little furtures contract (which you are allowed to reneg on if the coffee isnt up to snuff). The arrival sample was though ...it was really good! Mweiga is more of a balanced and winey Kenya, not a full-on citrusy/bright like Kathangariri. It has more subtle blackberry flavors, and wont bite your tongue off with acidity. It is a little milder than the Mweiga from last year but a stellar cup ...and still has very much of the same cup character than made it a hit in our 1999 main crop auction lot offerings.
Wet Aroma: 85
Brightness- Liveliness: 87
Body- Movement: 86
Flavor- Depth: 84 Roast: City. Keep it light. If you like the sharp dark roast tastes or wineyness of Kenyas, chose a different one than this.
Finish- Conclusion: 85
Score: 86 Compare to: Winey Kenyas, not so citrusy
 

 
 
 
 
2001-2002
Reviews

Sweet Maria's Coffee Cupping Reviews Archive: 2001-2002 Archive G to L

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