Tasting Notes: April 2023 Coffees

 Tasting Notes: April 2023 Coffees

TOMA Manhattan Fuglen Milkshed Tasting Notes

Fuglenare another favourite roasters of ours who are rightly regarded as one of the world's very best. We're always rather humbled to be able to offer you Fuglen, testament to what GUSTATORY has become - because of you, our community - in which the roasters are one of Europe's finest who are very strict and selective with the third parties they partner with.

With six retro-design espresso bars in Oslo and Tokyo, Fuglen roast and source only the freshest coffee they can find, offering small lots as directly as possible from who they believe are the best coffee growers around the world. Roasting lightly in a true Nordic style to enhance all the good, natural flavours of coffee without adding any roasty tones, Fuglen showcases the vast difference of flavours and terroir uniqueness that the world of coffee has to offer.

Fuglen Coffees  |  Norway & Japan

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Gitesi, Rwanda Gitesi is a private washing station owned and run by a father and son team, Alexis and Aime Gahizi. The washing station was built in 2005 and began processing coffee in 2006, it is located in the Gitesi sector in the Western Province of Rwanda.

Alexis is originally from the Karongi District where Gitesi is located, and his family has been growing coffee in this region for generations. Gitesi has very strong relationships with the farmers in the local community with around 1,800 coffee farmers delivering cherry to Gitesi. The washing station has also implemented a bonus system for farmers based on performance.

Aime has a degree in engineering and has created a very comprehensive water purification system for the washing station, to such an extent that it is being used to model future water purification systems for washing stations.
Blueberry, yellow plum and redcurrant

Altitude: 1750 - 1800 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87, Rest of World, Single / Light
Illumination Geisha, Panama Finca Deborah is located at 1900 masl in the mountains of Volcán Chiriqui and is one of the most remote farms in Panama. The high elevation leads to lower temperatures during the nights which in turn allows the trees to push more sugars into the cherries. This gives a sweet and complex flavour profile in the coffee. Finca Deborah only uses natural organic fertilizers and organic weed control to maintain balance between the coffee trees and surrounding plants.

This Geisha is processed using the washed Carbonic Maceration method - a process that has been used in the wine industry for decades. The cherries are harvested at their sweetest using a Brix meter to measure the sugar content. The ripe cherries are then pulped leaving some fruit on the grain and packed in barrels which are filled with CO2. At this stage careful attention is paid to PH, Temperature and CO2 levels.

After the required time inside the CO2 tanks the coffee is placed on raised drying beds in shade and carefully dried to a moisture content of 11%. It is then packed in grainpro bags and stored in a cool/dry bodega allowing the coffee to absorb more flavour from the parchment before being hulled and exported.
Jasmine, black tea and cherry

Altitude: 1950 masl, Process: washed carbonic maceration
Stories Special Guest Coffee
Korokoro, Kenya Unavailable Tangerine, raspberry, white chocolate

Process: washed
Plus 87, Single / Light
Los Tongos, Honduras Israel Castillos family have been involved in coffee production for many years. His grandfather was a coffee producer and he passed on knowledge to the future generations. Israel became a broker in the coffee world and connected many local farmers with San Vicente - an exporter in the Santa Barbara region.

Benjamin Paz is a producer we buy directly from as well as working at San Vicente. He persuaded Israel to go back to producing coffee and together with Benjamin's cousin he bought a farm in the El Sauce region of Santa Barbara. The region gets its name from a type of tree that grows there.

Israel planted the coffee trees just 3 years ago and gave his two sons, Franklin and Carlos the responsibility for managing daily operations. This is the second year of production and we are excited to be able to work with a producer from such an early stage.
Hazelnut, pear and dark chocolate

Altitude: 1680 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Single / Light, Selected Mix
Los Cuarteles, Costa Rica Los Cuarteles is the name of the micro mill owned by producer Mario Araya Mora. He established the mill in 2014 as a way to ensure consistency in his coffee production. Marios whole family is involved in the production of their coffee and his children look set to follow in his footsteps. Mario produces his coffee in an artisanal way and focuses on the honey method of production which has become synonymous with coffee production in Costa Rica.

The Honey process is often described as a cross between Natural and Washed processing methods taking the best elements from both processes. After the coffee cherries are picked they are sorted and the skin is removed leaving behind a layer of sugar pulp called mucilage - this is what the “Honey” part of the process refers to. The coffee can be sub categorized depending on the amount of this mucilage left on the bean. Yellow honey has the least amount, Red honey lies in the middle and Black honey has the most. This coffee is produced using the Red Honey method, and as a result has a rounder sweeter flavour with a slightly reduced acidity.
Caramel, melon and pear

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: red honey
Plus 87, Rest of World, Selected Mix, Single / Light
Sheka, Ethiopia Sheka is in the Southwestern part of Ethiopia. Heleanna bought a 150 hectare farm there 4 years ago and has slowly developed the landscape which is steep and remote with a difficult access.

Initially there were mixed varieties planted here but Heleanna and her team have been trying to create plots of land with specific varieties suitable for the area. The land is rich and covered in dense indigenous forests which provide habitat for wildlife and perfect growing conditions for coffee. Coffee is floated and then dried on Elevated African Beds. During this time the coffee is monitored and defects are removed.
Wild strawberry, gooseberry and hazelnut

Altitude: 2100 - 2300 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87, Rest of World
Benjamin Paz, Honduras Benjamin Paz is an important figure in the coffee industry within Honduras. He comes from a family of coffee producers and owns his own farms as well as working at San Vicente which is a family-owned dry mill and export company.

Benjamin and San Vicente have done a lot for the coffee producers in their region, including contributing to the fame of Santa Barbara as a coffee region, and all this is shown by the number of finalists that place in the prestigious Cup of Excellence competition. Usually more than half of the finalists are from this beautiful region.

Benjamin decided to also get his own farm in 2015 and has been producing coffee there since. The farm is 3,5 hectares large, and Benjamin has planted Pacas, Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Parainema, and Geisha varieties.
Kiwifruit, toffee and almond

Process: washed
Plus 87
Augusto Borges, Brazil Augusto is a 5th generation coffee producer, and was raised on the farm amongst the coffee trees. His wife Patricia Fernanda Silveira also comes from a coffee producing family, and together they have high aspirations for their farms production. It was in 2008 Augusto became dedicated to the production of quality coffee, and he joined up with some friends to share their knowledge.

Augusto and Patricia’s farm is called Capadocia, it is in the South of Minas Gerais. Sul de Minas is a well-known area in Brazil for coffee production and accounts for approximately 30% of Brazil’s production. Capadocia covers 7 hectares in total, 4 of which are currently used for coffee production, and the farm is situated between 1100 and 1300 meters above sea level.

The cherries are harvested by hand and naturally processed. Coffee cherries are picked when evenly ripe, and hand sorted to remove defects, before being dried on a patio. Augusto believes that cherry maturation is a key factor in producing great quality coffees.
Brown sugar, chocolate and hazelnut

Process: natural
Blend / Darker
Clovelines, Colombia Unavailable Caramel, orange and lemon

Process: washed
Plus 87

With 3 cafes located across Madrid, simply titled TOMA 1,2 and 3, one of their third wave coffee bars is also home to '+ proper sound', that is, a relaxed environment in which they've a popular evening bar complete with a rather impressive vinyl sound system, natural wine offering and late night artist and event space setup. Complete with a wonderfully minimal interior, TOMA's cafes have really become part of their local communities since launching in 2016.

Let the music not detract from their quality of speciality coffee and with various funky coffees available at any one time, TOMA supply many leading cafes across Madrid and wider across Spain as they continue to be an important part of the country's growing speciality coffee scene. Although Madrid's roasters are perhaps lesser known than those in Barcelona, TOMA follows in the footsteps of Nomad, a recent feature with us in March. As TOMA's ethos goes, 'No Drama, Just Coffee', known for their relaxed environments, the perfect place you'd like to spend your Saturday mornings.

TOMA Coffees  |  Spain

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Chelchele, Ethiopia Unavailable Green tea, jasmine, raspberry and peach

Altitude: 2000 masl, Process: washed
Rest of World, Plus 87, Single / Light
El Encanto, Colombia This farm belongs to the Gomez family and is located in the Nariño region, in the village of Tambillo, Sandoná, where they started working and were able to buy their farm where they grow coffee, giving them enough to progress and give studies to their daughters who are now professionals. His youngest son Oscar is the one who now follows the tradition of his parents in coffee growing and also accompanies them at home. This microlot is a traditional washed process that consists of harvesting and selecting the coffee fruits by hand , then pulping the cherry and going to fermentation in tanks for 18 - 22 hours, then a full wash is done in a channel of correteo and later taken to the parabolic dryer to let it dry in the sun for approximately three weeks. Chocolate, almonds, tangerine and juicy

Altitude: 1740 masl, Process: washed, fermentation 20hrs
Plus 87, Single / Light, Selected Mix, Rest of World
Zen, Colombia Originally from Las Planadas in southern Tolima, Colombia. This coffee grows at a height where the clouds continually pass. This is an organic coffee that we have fallen in love with, it is harvested between 1600-2000 meters above sea level. From a washed and fermented process, the grain comes from old varieties such as Bourbon, Typica and Caturra, which are currently considered rare. Zen is our decaffeinated coffee that is obtained from a natural process that involves sugar cane. In Colombia, where sugarcane is produced in abundance, it makes logical economic sense to use this resource to decaffeinate coffee. Molasses is a derivative of sugar cane and when fermented produces ethanol. This alcohol when mixed with acetic acid produces ethyl acetate, a compound used to remove caffeine from the grain. Zen is a coffee that leaves us with sweet and acid notes that remind us of plums, honeydew and lime. Lime, blueberries, vanilla and caramel

Altitude: 1600 - 2000 masl, Process: washed

Manhattan Coffee Roasters are based in the harbour city of Rotterdam, run by long time coffee professionals and competitors. Focussing on exceptional coffees, unique and small lots with close co-operation with producers, Manhattan boast a combined experience of more than 30 years in the coffee industry and have many competition wins under their belt.

Manhattan are inspired by the history of Rotterdam's harbour, a place bearing the Holland America line that once sailed from Rotterdam to New York. Situated next to the river Maas and being the only modern city with a gorgeous skyline in The Netherlands, the area is locally named “Manhattan aan de Maas”. Wanting to celebrate their local history, but also strive towards their international aspirations, recent competition accolades include Dutch Latte Art champion, Dutch Barista Championships, Dutch Cup Tasters champion, World Latte Art (6th place), New York Coffee Masters champion, London Coffee Masters champion and more.

Manhattan Coffees  |  Netherlands

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Shoondhisa, Ethiopia We're thrilled to release another Ethiopian coffee by "The King of Guji" Ture Waji! Ture and his brother Assefa founded Sookoo coffee in late 2018. Located in Odo Shakiso within the Oromia region and Guji zone. The cherries are sourced from the surrounding Kebeles (neighborhoods) and the lots are named after the Kebele's from which the coffee is grown. This specific lot is from the Shoondhisa Kebele.

Most of the cherries being delivered to the Sookoo coffee station from Shoondhisa are a combination of Gibirinna 74110 and Serto 74112. Both of these are from the Metu Bishari selections made in the forest of the same name in the Illubabur Zone by the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) in 1974. They were specifically selected for their resistance to coffee berry disease.

This lot is dried as a traditional natural on raised beds and you can expect notes of blueberry compote, strawberry juice and white sugar.
Berry compote, white sugar and strawberry

Altitude: 2200 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87, Rest of World
Anilson Faria Ramos, Brazil Unavailable Rhubarb, peach and candy apple

Process: anaerobic natural
Plus 87, Rest of World, Single / Light
Cruz Loma, Ecuador Unavailable Fruit, caramel and ice tea

Process: honey
Plus 87, Rest of World, Single / Light, Selected Mix
Viani, Colombia Viani has a special place in our hearts here at MCR as it's a coffee that has been on our list since we started Manhattan Coffee Roasters. We've been working with DR Wakefield and Racafe to improve the coffee and in line with that also pay more for these improvements. First was the use of GrainPro bags and second an agreed better sorting which allows for less defects. So in time it has massively improved in quality and probably most important has increased income for these small farm holders.

Viani is a small town in Cundinamarca, which is not too far from Bogota, a literal drive down. The Viani coffee is made up from coffee from more than 400 small farm holders coming from 5 municipalities and delivered to 3 collection points. The biggest collection point where about 70% of the coffee for “Viani” comes from, is in Sierra town, ran by Joseel. He gets wet and dry parchment delivered and has a mechanical dryer on site. When the parchment gets delivered, he’ll check the quality, weight the bag and agrees a price. He’ll immediately pays the farmer in cash and gives them a new empty bag to refill.

Joseel has worked with Racafe for over 23 years and only sells to Luis Fernando the Bogota manager from Racafe and delivers around 10.000 – 13.000 kg per drive down. Due to climate change production has dropped massively over the last few years, making it even more important to increase revenue over lower harvest yields. The production in Viani is down 50% on what it was 2 years ago. The rain has almost doubled with it raining almost every day in the season. Even though rain is obviously important for the plants you need about 2 – 3 weeks of constant sun with no rain. This will create stress on the plant which will create the need to reproduce, and the tree will flower when it does rain after this period of drought.

Most farmers that contribute to Viani have multiple crops besides coffee, like plantaan and avocado. Avovado trees provide shade to the coffee trees as well as spread income risk. During the pandemic the price of avocado dropped a lot, so the income stream from coffee became even more important.
Juicy, stone fruit and cocoa

Altitude: 1300 - 1800 masl, Process: washed
Selected Mix
Inacio Soares, Brazil We are so proud to release this Brazilian coffee this year! Inacio is one of our first direct trade partners and he's doing some amazing work in Mata de Minas. São Sebastião do Anta the region Inacio's farm resides is not that well known for coffee growing, in fact Inacio's father primarily traded in conventional coffees during his youth. This was indoctrinated by green traders, who told Jairo he would never be able to produce specialty grade coffee on his farm period. Even Inacio himself was not intending on taking over the farm from his father, but when Jairo came down with a serious illness Inacio returned to the fazenda and his passion to continue his fathers legacy blossomed.

On his father passing, Inacio made it his mission to improve the farm from the ground up. He's a young ambitious farmer that is open to new ideas from soil management, processing to drying and the results in the cup really speak for themselves. The farm is small enough that no mechanical picking machines are used, which is generally uncommon in Brazil. The care and attention to detail on picking and processing is paramount to Inacio, he believes that by investing in the farm he can lift the entire community up. Even on his second harvest the community was benefiting immediately as the prices he had achieved had greatly increased from when the farm was focussed on high yield conventional production.

What's even more impressive is that these are in fact the same coffee plants that were sold as conventional coffee. In the past they were scoring sub 80 points for market sale but now with Inacio's fuel to change, he's already pushed this lot up to 86 points. We are so incredibly proud of the achievements of Fazenda Jairo Soares and think the best is still to come!
White flowers, praline and chocolate

Altitude: 700 masl, Process: anaerobic honey
Blend / Darker, PERCENT
Diego Bermudez, Colombia We are proud to release another coffee in our exceptional category. This Castillo comes by way of Diego Bermudez who is the owner of the El Paraiso farms in Cauca, Colombia. Diego is an absolute genius when it comes to advanced methodology in coffee processing. His standard model for products uses carefully selected local micro bio-organisms to influence the coffee during fermentation instead of relying on the random microbial load from the natural biome. Rather than using standard anaerobic fermentation tanks he uses precise bio reactors to ferment the product measuring everything from time, temp, ph, sugar content and microbial load.

The kind of influence you get from this kind of industrial level fermentation is definitely out there. You are not going to taste anything like the coffees that Diego produces and this Castillo is of course no exception when it comes to the absolute mind bending outcomes Diego achieves from each of his coffees. Expect notes of turkish delight, raspberry and lychee.
Raspberry, turkish delight and lychee

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: thermal shock anaerobic
Plus 87
Silvio Roberto, Brazil We are so excited to bring back some amazing Brazilian coffee from some fantastic producers – this one coming from Silvio Roberto! Silvio along with his wife and two sons all work together to produce the coffee. The harvest starts by running the coffee through screens to select only ripe cherries. The cherries are then floated and drained before heading off to the fermentation tanks where they are left to ferment anaerobically for 9 to 10 days. After the fermentation, the tanks remain in the forest where the temperature is more stable.

The coffee is then dried on raised beds for around 25 days and then kept at a humidity of 12% to rest. The result of all the hard work from Silvio, his family, and the rest of his team is special. You can expect notes of raspberry, rosehip, and plumb danish!
Raspberry, rosehip and plum danish

Altitude: 600 - 800 masl, Process: anaerobic natural
Plus 87
Panela Sticky, Colombia We're very excited to continue our partnership with José Giraldo! This specific coffee comes via a partnership between Cafe 1959 and Finca El Diamante. Cafe 1959 runs a program where they process cherries from different farms at their La Clarita drying station. They partnered up with El Diamante in order to make a collab where they wanted to create a product that was sweet, clean, bright, and easy to drink as their main focus.

This coffee is the Pink Bourbon variety and it is theorized that it is a cross mutation between native Ethiopian accession and Bourbon plants. The general characteristics of this varietal include good production, beautiful pink ripening, and the sweetest mucilage you have ever imagined.

For this lot, the cherries were collected and put into Grainpro bags in order to start the 13-hour nighttime trip from Huila to Quindio, where the 1959 fermentation and drying facility is located. Traveling during the night helps to control the temperature in the first stage of the fermentation that takes place in the truck.

After arriving in Quindio and completing the initial 24-hour fermentation, the cherries are pulped, then put into closed tanks in order to have another 24 hours of anaerobic fermentation. After this the coffee is washed and rinsed before it is put into a dry closed tank for another 24 hours of fermentation, then washed and rinsed again, followed by drying on raised beds. Here the coffee has a long slow dry that takes around 40 days under shade.
Cantaloupe, toffee and papaya

Altitude: 1750 masl, Process: anaerobic double fermentation
Plus 87
Sweet Valley, Colombia Beginning in 1930, Israel Correa and Carmen Rosa Vega arrived in Valle del Cauca seeking unoccupied land to start a farm, acquiring Potosi. Over the upcoming years, there weren’t major changes in their way of life, besides of raising a big family which was the Colombian tradition in those days. Following this and the lack of labor, the children had to help by doing farm work. In 1945, three different varieties were introduced to the existing Typica; Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon and Caturra.

Two of the eleven children, Rigoberto and Luis, showed special interest in coffee production and processing. They decided to give their crop a new direction, changing to organic in the late 90’s. Besides Potosí, another farm in the Trujillo region was acquired to enlarge the organic production, La Esperanza farm. In 2007 Don Rigoberto had the chance to lease and manage a coffee farm in the region of Boquette in Panama, called “La Carleida”, and a year later obtained first place in the 'Best coffee of Panama'. At this point he decided to bring some of the Geisha seeds to Colombia, starting a new era in the history of Granja La Esperanza.
Red apple, grape and bubblegum

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87
El Paraiso, Colombia We’re back with our second ever decaf, once again coming from Diego Bermudez! We were able to source this directly from Diego and El Paraiso and we could not be more excited to bring this on to you all! Diego is a true legend of processing so when this decaf project came along, we had to jump in on it!

This coffee is a decaf variation of the “Diego Bermudez” thermal shock Castillo currently on our offerlist. The thermal shock process used for this coffee is a beautiful display of what Diego and his team have been able to innovate and achieve in coffee processing. The use of carefully selected local micro bio-organisms brings forward mind-blowing characteristics in the coffee which leaves you with a real drinking experience in the cup!
Raspberry, white tea and caramel

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: decaffeinated thermal shock washed

Milkshed coffee roaster's building was once a dairy serving Brighton’s Royal Pavilion way back in the 1800’s. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and King George’s old dairy is now a centre of coffee roasting excellence with some of the city’s finest coffee experts gathered under one roof.

Milkshed source direct and roast with passion and respect. Though, as much as Milkshed love to roast coffee, they also don’t want to harm the planet while they do it and are therefore part of the 1% For The Planet programme. Globally, only 3% of philanthropic giving goes to environmental causes and that’s why 1% for the planet was established. Aiming to encourage businesses like Milkshed to donate a minimum of 1% of their gross sales to help environmental non-profits, this, as well as being committed to fair trade, direct relationships with producers and environmentally sound packaging, are all Milkshed's way of doing their bit for the planet.

A sentiment we're proud to echo, '...by using carefully selected coffee growers we can guarantee that 100% of profits go to those producers and not into the pockets of some faceless corporation,' Milkshed.

Milkshed Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Abakeno, Ethiopia Hailing from the home of arabica, we knew this coffee was something special when it landed on the sample cupping table. An exemplary washed Ethiopian coffee, full of floral notes, and bright sparkling acidity, this particular lot of coffee from Mustefa Abakeno hits all the right tones as a well-balanced and tasty cup. If you’re after something a little more delicate, yet alive with peach fruit and jasmine tea flavours, this is the one for you. Alongside farming 18 hectares in the Jimma Zone of Western Ethiopia at 2040 masl, Abakeno also operates two wet-mills for processing cherries; Beshasha where this washed lot comes from, as well as the Kabira wet-mill which processes almost-exclusively natural coffees from the surrounding area. Abakeno’s farm is planted with coffee varieties from the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre, a part of the EIRC, a group responsible for agricultural research across Ethiopia, including integrated soil fertility and crop production. This coffee highlights what we love about the region, and why we are so passionate about working closely with farmers and sourcers who feel the same way. Mango, white peach, jasmine and raspberry sherbet

Process: washed
Plus 87, Selected Mix
Santuario, Colombia Unavailable Dark chocolate, toasted nuts and vanilla

Altitude: 1300 - 1900 masl, Process: washed
Selected Mix, Blend / Darker, PERCENT
Shed Brew, Americas Shed Brew is our signature espresso roast blend, created with care and purpose, using changing, seasonally sourced coffees. A balanced, complex cup with a clean finish. Notes of roasted almond, chocolate and brown sugar. Almond, chocolate and sugar

Process: washed
Blend / Darker, PERCENT
Chilcon Flores, Peru We’ve sourced two coffees through Roger Chilcon Flores, our El Diamante espresso, and the Chilcon Flores filter. We visited Roger in September of 2022 in the village of El Diamante, San Jose de Lourdes, up near the border with Ecuador.

This incredibly beautiful valley is well known for its superb coffee growing conditions, with good altitude and a variety of flora and fauna native to the region. The biodiversity contributes to the richness and stability of the soils in the area, as well as providing a beautiful and thriving natural environment to grow coffee, Chilcon Flores farms 3 hectares of caturra, bourbon and pache trees. Once ripe, cherries are harvested and fermented for 24-36 hours, lending the cup a pronounced fruit profile which is complemented by a gentle acidity and rich, smooth mouthfeel.

This year’s harvest of Chilcon Flores’ caturra lot is juicy, elegant and well-structured. This coffee is roasted carefully for filter brewing and we’ve been getting sweet tomato on the dry aroma, stewed plum and fresh fig flavours, caramel sweetness and an orange marmalade acidity.
Plum, fig and marmalade

Process: washed
Selected Mix
Risaralda, Colombia Unavailable Dark chocolate, pecan and candied fruit

Altitude: 1400 - 2000 masl, Process: washed sugarcane

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GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.

GUSTATORY Curation TeamApril 07, 2023