Three New Coffees...

Helen has let me have a go at blogging, and as we took delivery of three new coffees last Friday, I have taken it upon myself to be your cupping representative for the day. 

First up, and one of my all time favourites, I give you… drum roll….

Cuban Alto Sierra Maestra

 The last time we had this, it came to us through an Italian shipper who had no intention of paying attention to the illegal and immoral blockade of Cuba, it was then called Extra Special Turquino.

 I feel that Cuban coffee can definitely give Jamaican Blue Mountain a run for its money and, talking of money, at a fraction of the cost.

 Anyway back to the cupping, I will endeavour to describe using the three main categories; Body, Aroma, Acidity or Sweetness. First up two of the three of the coffees I am cupping today have been medium roasted, this generally gives them a rounded body, although I personally enjoy an oily darker roasted coffee with greater body, I realise that the majority of coffee drinkers want to taste the nuances rather than take a ‘hit’.

 So a rounded body, then; Aroma: this has to be an 11 on the scale of 10, proper chocolatey aroma. A freshly roasted coffee should always have this fantastic bouquet, and this Cuban has not let us down.

 Acidity is desirably sharp with a pleasing tang. As I stated before I prefer a more slightly bitter, oily taste but then taste is personal. All in all a rather pleasant, enjoyable cup of Caribbean coffee.

 Next up is… trumpet call… actually I am sitting here writing this listening to Chet Baker playing a very laid back ‘My Funny Valentine’, courtesy of YouTube & the Jazz n’ Blues Experience , fantastic and not a single advert interspersing it. I suppose I should be smoking a light Honduran cigar whilst supping, totally against the rules but what the heck…

 Honduras Juan Carlos Flores Dias Micro-lot Project 121

 A friend of mine, sorry, “a friend of ours”, bought the entire Micro-lot, half a tonne. Jim has roasted this one like the Cuban before to a nice even medium roast.

 The body is very similar to the Cuban, in fact this one has a similar roundness and I would imagine liked by most connoisseur coffee drinkers.

 Aroma is up there with the Cuban, round about an eight or a nine in smell. The acidity is slightly less with still a pleasing sharpness to it and definitely no unpleasant bitterness. It does have quite a fruity taste that is quite refreshing.

  Juan Carlos is pictured here standing next to one of the coffee bushes making up Lot Project 121. As you can see, the bushes are out of the flowering and fruiting season so actually not an overly exciting picture but Mr Carlos seems happy…

 Finally on to… Drum solo…. (As is actually happening: we are in the middle of Blue Bossa) Chet’s timing has been fantastic. As always.

Tanzanian Ngorongoro Blue  

 Ngorongoro, pronounced Gorron Gorro - a darker roasted coffee from the edge of Kilimanjaro. Now interesting non-coffee facts about Ngorongoro, it is a massive crater or more accurately a massive caldera. A caldera is a sunken bowl shaped depression caused when a volcano emitting millions of tonnes of ash and pumice, leaves behind a space deep in the ground. The weight of the overlying land falls back into this space creating this deep-sided crater, exactly the same way that the some of moon craters were created.

 The darker roasting has given more body to this African coffee, which can sometimes come across as a bit thin. Great aroma again, the freshly roasted smell, is best maintained by keeping your coffee in the fridge or indeed in the freezer, don’t worry, you can put it straight in to your coffee machine/Cafetiere/coffee pot, the boiling water will wake it up.

 The blue refers to the alleged colour of the beans, they are supposedly blue rather than green but to be honest they are all quite a drab sort of khaki colour with slight variations, not dissimilar in fact to Helen’s choice of wools she has picked out for her next project. (A cardigan if you are interested)

 As with most African coffee, there is a slight tendency to more acidity, which can be good, as in this case, but the body works with it giving a fuller flavour. So enough of my poncey first blog I am off to have a cup of my favourite coffee, Cuban, and will ‘speak’ again soon, adiós. Incredible timing Chet has just finished with, ‘You go to my head’…