Tasting Notes: February 2022 Coffees

 Tasting Notes: February 2022 Coffees

Onyx Coffee Lab April 80PLus Foundation and PLOT Tasting Notes

A Northwest Arkansas roastery with 4 cafe locations, Onyx Coffee Lab are known as one of North America's leading roasters, roasting some the best specialty coffees in the world. Named 2020's champions of the US Brewers Cup and US Barista Championship, and placing second at the US Brewers Cup Championship, there really isn't much with speciality coffee that Onyx Coffee Lab can't do.

The story began years ago when they started telling each other to “Never Settle for Good Enough.” It perhaps felt more like a piece of branding or a slogan, but over the years this mentality has developed into a mantra of its own that permeates every thing that they do at Onyx Coffee Lab.

Onyx Coffee Lab Coffees  |  USA

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Negusse Nare Bombe, Ethiopia Hailing from the famous Bensa region, Negusse Nare's six-hectare farm is producing all the florals and sweetness that we love from Bensa coffees. By allowing the fruit to dry on the seed, Negusse has achieved a heavy-bodied, fruity sweetness that accompanies the delicate florals of the heirloom variety. This naturally processed coffee is versatile across many different extraction types.

In 2014, we began working with Asnake Bekele. Now, you might recognize Asnake because of his signature modest, gold-toothed grin—but you might not know that he is single-handedly responsible for us all having the privilege of drinking (importing, roasting, serving) quality natural-processed Sidama coffee! Many years ago, when Asnake worked as the manager of the prominent Sidama Coffee Farmer’s Cooperative Union, he presented the idea to the producers to add raised-bed natural processing to their washed processed coffee. At the time, he was laughed at! But luckily for us all, he persevered, and of course, now we all know the glory of natural-processed Sidama coffee.

While Asnake’s career in Ethiopian coffee has spanned many high points, we’ve had the privilege of partnering with him on a number of projects which included groundbreaking processing work in Kochere and Gelana Abaya (together we introduced honey processing) as well as on a researched article which directly resulted in over $8 million USD being invested by the Ethiopian government into the Gedeo Zone to repair dozens of washing stations damaged in the 2017 riots. He also helped us organize several producer groups in various parts of Ethiopia as well as served as an incredibly wise Ethiopian coffee expert and resource to us. When he began his latest endeavor—partnering with outstanding Sidama single producers such as Negusse Nare—we were on board from the first moment, and in fact, we have the privilege of being his very first collaborative partner and of building this program with him.
Honeysuckle, golden raisin, dried cherry and malt

Altitude: 1750 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87
Santa Rosa, El Salvador This deeply sweet washed coffee from the northern Chalatenango Mountains is one of our favorite annual offerings. Finca Santa Rosa is owned by our good friend, Jorge Rivera, whom we have been working with for six years. Date and rose are the most forward notes in the cup and starts the journey of this complex flavor profile.

Season after season, the coffees we purchase from Jorge Raul Rivera tend to be some of our top lots of the year. Raul has razor-sharp attention to detail, which is what it takes to produce award-winning coffees so consistently. That focus extends far beyond just processing and drying. Each season, we cup offerings from Santa Rosa that are separated down ‘day lots.’ We cup through these individual pickings to build a profile that we believe best reflects the terroir and processing of Santa Rosa. Usually, this selection is done at the cupping lab in El Salvador, but due to the pandemic, all this cupping was done over several shipments and within each person's home. Each season has its unique challenges, and it has been this way since we began to work with Jorge Raul Rivera. The one thing that has been consistent since we first met him at a Roasters Guild retreat nearly six years ago is Jorge’s willingness to work extremely hard with the highest level of hospitality. From our first visit to Santa Rosa where he showed us around his favorite spots in El Salvador, to this season when we could only communicate via WhatsApp, his attention to detail and penchant for quality is what shines the brightest.
Rose, sugar cane, dates and black tea

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Las Lajas, Costa Rica Over the course of three harvest we've dialed in our honey selection from the famed Las Lajas farm. This season we've honed in on the yellow diamond process, which exudes tropical fruit notes while maintaining a structured body akin to thick honey.

The Las Lajas micromill is located in the Sabanilla de Alajuela region of Costa Rica. Francisca and Oscar Chacon greet you in the driveway with huge smiles and a willingness to show you their stunning farms. Their pride is evident as they show you each immaculate step the coffee goes through. It all starts with their farming practices; Las Lajas is a certified organic farm. These third-generation producers focus on preserving the environment while maintaining the highest quality coffee. Their micromill is immaculately clean, keeping the processing standards they are well known for; the Chacons were some of the first to do high-quality naturals and honeys in Central America. Going into the 2020 harvest, they completed a renovation of their mill, complete with a corkscrew conveyor belt that transports depulped coffee to a custom trailer, which transports it to their drying facility. Strict size and density separation happen at the mills, even the naturals are passed through the mill to separate the less ripe and small size cherries after selective harvesting.

The last step of quality and care takes place on the drying patios and beds. This is where we believe Las Lajas is truly advancing coffee. Oscar told us that he strives to focus on drying the green coffee the same as a roaster focuses on roasting by paying close attention to curves and data. They have become so precise in their processing that they have been able to produce several offerings under various monikers; this particular coffee is their Yellow-Honey Diamond. This is a honey-process coffee by which coffee is depulped, then added to the drying patios in a large pile to increase activity in fermentation. As the coffee dries, it is piled up, and then flattened out to slow the process.
Raspberry, raw honey, papaya and vanilla

Altitude: 1450 masl, Process: natural
Rest of World
Monarch Monarch is our most developed roast that conveys a flavor profile that we intentionally designed to work well with milk. Cream and plant based beverages mix with ease, creating a rich, decadent flavor. It involves a natural, sugar-dense coffee that binds to the fats and creates multiple complex caramelized notes during the roasting process. Look for dark chocolate and undertones of thick winey berries. Enjoy as drip or espresso.

Monarch is one of two blends we recreate year-round specifically designed for espresso. This is the darker roasted, more chocolatey counterpart to Geometry Blend. We wanted an espresso that intentionally worked with higher amounts of milk and would represent a more traditional style of espresso. Monarch is bold and defiant and tends to stand out in beverages of milk that have a volume of 12oz or more. When tasted as pure espresso or in large amounts of milk this coffee shows sugar caramelization in coffee roasting to the fullest. Roasting and human-made flavors in coffee are what Monarch represents. It’s a beautiful image of what traditional espresso truly is even when we are sourcing at a modern level. It’s higher in sweetness and developed in the roast to take fruit flavors to caramels, brown sugars, and chocolates. For this blend, we use a combination of seasonal natural processed coffee from Ethiopia and a washed coffee from Latin America to showcase sugar and complexity. When tasting find bittersweet dark chocolate, a mulled wine acidic sweetness, molasses, and a hint of dried berries on the finish. The coffee is extremely heavy and dense with a velvety-like mouthfeel.
Dark chocolate, molasses, red wine, dried berries, thick and syrupy

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: natural, washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Geometry Geometry has been defined as "describing spaces that lie beyond the normal range of human experience." Soon it will also be defined as "that coffee from Onyx that I am in love with and completely redefined my relationship with coffee." It's our answer for everything and has two of our favorite coffees—a washed processed Ethiopian and Colombian. This blend has become one of our favorite coffees. We love it as a filter coffee, and we love it as espresso. And not only does is it taste great as either but it's easy to dial in as espresso or filter.

Admit it—when you were a kid, you didn't think you would be thinking of Geometry as an adult. But we have turned the tables on you, like a Lazy Susan. But don't worry, our Geometry will not stress you out like middle school. Great as a filter coffee or an espresso, this blend has become our answer for everything. Don't believe us? Here are some examples:

Q: Which coffee do you want for filter coffee? A: Geometry

Q: What coffee should we have as an espresso? A: Geometry

Q: The Pythagorean theorem is a formula used in which form of mathematics? A: Geometry

This coffee is ridiculously good and approachable while also remaining complex. It will convert even the most skeptical towards Specialty.
Berries, sweet lemon, Earl Grey, honey, silky and round

Altitude: 1950 - 2100 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Southern Weather Southern Weather embodies everything we love about specialty coffee and has evolved into a foundational blend. We brew this in our own cafes as a “House” filter option and love how it balances the relationship between modern citric acidity flavors with full bodied chocolates. This comfortable, yet surprisingly complex and sophisticated coffee is approachable to all. It performs well on its own for the purist or with fats such as dairy or plant based beverages, making it a true answer for all coffee needs.

Southern Weather was the first blend we ever created, and the plan was simple. We wanted something sweet, comfortable, and approachable in a world of polarizing Specialty Coffee. Something anyone would like and would be easy to control during extraction. We sell more of this coffee than anything else, and I think it’s our commitment to keeping the flavor profile intact. Sweet caramelized sugars, round full body, and a bright, citrusy finish that leaves a clean, refreshing aftertaste. It pairs with any meal and works well with dairy and non-dairy milk. For us, Southern Weather embodies the excellent relationships between a citric acidity, balance, and wonderful, full-bodied chocolates. This is considered our house blend and we think it could be yours as well.
Milk chocolate, plum, candied walnuts, juicy and a citrus finish

Altitude: 1850 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Worka Chelbesa, Ethiopia We have been purchasing coffee from Snap specialty for three years now. This season they produced a small run of anaerobically fermented naturals, which boasts complex notes of ripe strawberry layered with delicate florals like jasmine.

This coffee’s journey began in an unlikely place: Minnesota. Negusse Debela visited a specialty coffee cafe and had a revelation over how diverse and sweet a cup of coffee can be. From this moment, Negusse began to explore coffee back home in the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. He experienced the tradition of growing and processing coffee, and understood how to improve and move coffee forward in his home. From this journey, SNAP specialty coffee was established in 2008, aiming to supply high-end specialty coffee, facilitating a similar experience that Neguesse had in Minnesota years ago.

From its wetmill in Gedeb, SNAP works with 486 smallholder producers to produce complex and floral coffees that are outstanding examples of what Yirgacheffe coffees can be. SNAP operates in Gedeb with their vertically integrated Veer Trading Company. The work that is put into processing these coffees is upheld by their dry mill in Addis Ababa. After each harvest these coffees are sorted by screen size, as well as density. This focus on processing and milling produces extremely stable and delicious coffee each season.
Ripe strawberry, black tea, jasmine and brown sugar

Altitude: 1850 masl, Process: anaerobic natural
Plus 87

April believe that where you are matters, in which it shapes you as a person and a company. The location of April is not a coincidence; April is an extension of their interpretation of Copenhagen. April is the result of seven years of experience in the specialty coffee industry, in which every impression and experience their team have collected during those years are now being summed up into one final project, April Coffee Roasters. As Patrik Rolf, founder explains, "...at April, we aim to learn, improve, and share our products with quality-focused partners around the world. We always strive to become better at what we do, roasting coffee."

Currently home to the "Danish Roasting Champion 2019" and the World Brewers Cup Silver Medal 2019", whilst April don't define themselves with titles, such honours illustrate April as, like Onyx Coffee Lab, being one of the very best in their geography, this time Europe.

April Coffees  |  Denmark

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Obata Volcan Azul, Costa Rica A Red Honey Anaerobic processed Obata coffee from our partner farmer Alejo Castro at the Volcan Azul Farm. Brown sugar, floral and red fruit

Altitude: 1500 masl, Process: red honey anaerobic
Plus 87
Arsosala, Ethiopia A lovely washed processed heirloom coffee from the Arsosala washing station. Candied citrus, bergamot and jasmine

Altitude: 2000 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Volcan Azul H1, Costa Rica A yellow honey anaerobic processed H1 coffee from the Volcan Azul in Costa Rica. Stone fruit, florals and citrus

Altitude: 1500 masl, Process: yellow honey
Plus 87, Rest of World
Zewde, Ethiopia A naturally processed Krume 74142 coffee from the Zewde Estate in Ethiopia Tropical fruit, jasmine and raspberry

Altitude: 2100 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87
Volcan Azul Milk Espresso, Costa Rica This coffee comes from our partner farmer in Costa Rica, Alejo Castro. Milk chocolate and stone fruit

Altitude: 1500 masl, Process: washed
Rest of World
Capsules Part of the Sustainable Profile project by April Coffee Roasters Hazelnut, red fruit and dark chocolate

Process: washed

80Plus has been roasting specialty coffee in Barcelona since 2016 and are inspired by the world of gastronomy, in which Catalonia is the perfect place to find this fusion of traditional, contemporary and innovative nuances. 80Plus' goal is to open the world of specialty coffee to people who love gastronomy, who love good food and wine and are curious to discover new horizons of flavour, wanting to give it a new cultural and gastronomic meaning. With a core coffee offering built on classic flavours and origins, that are each clean and balanced, these are complemented with some more daring and bright, a bit like the avant-garde cuisine.

80Plus Coffees  |  Spain

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Cafe Des Mamas, Rwanda This is the second year we have this fantastic coffee, we are absolutely in love with it! Since 2013 the Nova Washing Station is run by Agnes together with her husband, she is dedicated to producing the best possible coffee and using it to transform her community. With Agnes as the leader, Nova Coffee took all the right steps to increase quality first and then volume. They have invested into the operations of the wet mill and the farms in the community. Following the 2015 season, they were able to install a new pulping machine, new fermentation tanks with sorting and floating areas, new drying beds, and a high quality warehouse for storage. The station sits at around 1450m in elevation, however the farms are as high as 1750m.

The high altitudes and rich volcanic soil are ideal growing conditions, and they produce mainly supreme quality in Rwandan coffees. Normally coffees here are produced as washed with bright acidity and distinct red fruit flavours. In recent years, the number of washing stations in Rwanda has increased dramatically. Specialty coffee now comprises nearly one-quarter of production. The harvest period is from April throughout September.
Juicy, papaya, pineapple and chocolate

Altitude: 1450 - 1500 masl, Process: natural
Selected Mix, Single / Light, Plus 87
Ibutiti, Kenya This coffee has been handpicked and processed with a washed method and dried on raised African beds to guarantee uniform drying and the best flavours. It’s SCA score is 87,5 points and it will surprise you with the mix of tartaric and citric acidity.

Murang’a is located in Central Kenya. The fertile volcanic soil brings a lot of nutrients for growing coffee trees in this region. A mix of warm daytime and cooler nighttime temperatures create the best environment to slowly ripen the beans and develop the most complex aromas and acidity. This terroir creates the well-known Kenyan coffee profile with a bright acidity.
Papaya, honey and bright acidity

Altitude: 1850 masl, Process: washed
Selected Mix, Plus 87, Rest of World
La Plata, Colombia This is the second year that we have bought the coffee directly from Café Osito, who works with a group of young farmers located in La Plata (central / western Huila). The producers are working with “biologically” grown coffee, which means that all producers are either fully organic or in the process of transitioning to being organic. We love this coffee for its aroma and its versatility, because it is spectacular in espresso and in filter preparations.

Huila is known for its mild climate, with good cloud coverage during the day, that helps the coffee cherries to mature more evenly. This gives a nice, mild acidity to the coffees and a lot of sweetness.
Citrus, hibiscus and cocoa powder

Altitude: 1500 - 1800 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Gold Mountain, Nicaragua Coming soon Chocolate fondue, honey and pecan

Process: washed
Selected Mix, Plus 87
Santa Rosa, El Salvador Mauricio Escalon was born in a coffee producing family who began their coffee story in the third quarter of 1800th. The family business has 10 farms and 2 Mills. Mauricio is Managing Director of Cafescal specialty Coffee exporting company. He is responsible for administration and management of agricultural processes. He has a Degree in Architecture and working experience in building society but his passion for coffee brought him back to family business.

The farm has been cultivated with coffee since the 1930’s. In this farm the owner also has a Mill which is usually used for Natural process drying because of climate conditions. One of the most important facts of this farm is that it is in the middle of Geothermal Park. El Carmen Estate farm is located in the Ilamatepec Mountain Range, in Canton Santa Rosa de Acacalco, near the city of Ahuachapán. Its clayish soils give a peculiar Coffee quality.
Cacao nibs and a creamy body

Process: natural
Single / Light, Plus 87, Rest of World
Decaf, Mexico This coffee from Chiapas has been treated without chemicals to extract caffeine from the beans in a more delicate and natural way with mountain water. The water solution is saturated with all coffee components except for caffeine, so caffeine is extracted by osmosis without affecting the flavours. Citric, milk chocolate and cookies

Process: mountain water decaf
Nazareth's Formula II, Brazil We are happy to say that once again we are able to offer you this beautiful coffee from Carmo de Minas, Brasil. This Yellow Bourbon is produced by Nazareth Pereira from the Fazenda Sertão, it is a fantastic example of how the Brazilian coffee producers are always more capable of growing interesting coffees for the specialty coffee world. This natural process coffee surprises with its extreme sweetness and a very clean low acidity, able to give you a very elegant and velvety cup of espresso.

Carmo de Minas is a part of the region of Sul de Minas that historically has been dominated by smaller coffee producers. The town of Carmo has a high number of specialty coffee producers.The harvest period is from late May until September.
Cacao, cookie and creamy body

Altitude: 1100 - 1450 masl, Process: natural
Blend / Darker

A PLOT is the area of land where coffee is grown, one of the most important contributing factors to its unique characteristics. Altitude, soil composition, nutrition and climactic conditions all converge to form the first part of the story in your cup of coffee. Widely recognised amongst UK's speciality coffee scene, PLOT Roasting are always searching for those exceptional coffees that tell the story of the ground they were grown in and the care of the people, all the way along the chain, who have played a part in shaping them. Ethical sourcing is of the utmost importance to PLOT and they are building a network of producers and cooperatives who we know and trust. All their purchasing decisions are made as a team, based on a balance between cup quality and impact on social and environmental sustainability.

PLOT Roasting  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Archetype, Gitwe, Rwanda Our fourth lot from the fabulous Gitwe washing station. Another exemplary coffee which we think tastes like apricot jam with a fudge sweetness and a touch of nutmeg. Our ARCHETYPE espresso aims to showcase coffees which are shining examples of a particular region or origin.

Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soil with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million with parcels of land often not much larger than just one hectare per family. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu and in the southern province. Rwandan smallholders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet-mills – or washing stations as they are known locally.

Gitwe is a newly constructed washing station, located in Nyamasheke district, one of the regions with high concentration of coffee trees and washing stations. At a very high altitude, Gitwe is surrounded by hills covered by green coffee trees, and benefits from volcanic soil off the shores of Lake Kivu. There are 800 farmers in total who are delivering to the station where the cherries are pulped right away, fermented for 8-12 hours, and then sundried on raised beds for 10-15 days.
Apricot jam, fudge and nutmeg

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Pena Colorada, Mexico This is our second year we have bought this small community lot. This year we taste blood orange, raisin and chocolate. Really well balanced and deliciously juicy. Blood orange, raisin and chocolate

Altitude: 1600 - 1800 masl, Process: washed
Selected Mix, Single / Light
Connect, La Palma, Peru Our house espresso which embodies our transparent sourcing programme. Tastes like crisp green apple with rich toffee and dark chocolate.

La Palma is a village in the Colasay district of the Jaén Province of Cajamarca in the north of Peru. Most of the coffee producers in this area have farms between 1,700 and 2,000 masl and grow Caturra, Costa Rica 95 and Castillo varieties. The area has a huge amount of potential, due to the growing conditions and varieties and it seems that there is an abundance of Costa Rica 95 in this area, which has adapted well and has a very unique, floral profile. Coffee is generally picked and processed by the producers themselves, fermented for 24 to 36 hours and then dried on tarpaulin mats.

The area is fairly remote and isolated, which has meant that very few buyers have worked directly with producers making it easier for them to sell to aggregators. These are often a local buyer who lives in the same area who will come to the farm or house of a producer and buy their coffee for cash before selling it on; in some cases, directly to an exporter or more often to other traders and middlemen. This results in the producer being paid very little for their coffee and a lot of quality coffee is lost. Purchasing directly from the community has allowed Falcon to forge long term relationships directly with farmers, improve the coffee quality they can offer from these areas and increase producer household income through access to quality premiums.
Apple, toffee and dark chocolate

Altitude: 1700 - 2000 masl, Process: washed
Blend / Darker, Selected Mix
Morales Family, Guatemala The Morales family purchased Los Aguacatones in 2009 to use for picnicking and growing avocados. Due to the high altitude they also began experimenting with growing coffee at 2,000 masl. The experiment was really successful so the family concentrated on improving soil health and reforesting the area with suitable shade trees for the coffee plants.

After placing in the top 10 of the Cup of Excellence, the family decided to plant more coffee, using seeds from their original farm. Water availability proved to be a significant challenge, so they installed rain water catchment tanks and implemented an irrigation system throughout the entire farm. Each plant is hydrated one drop of water at a time!

After harvesting, the coffee is floated to remove over and under-ripe cherries. The seeds are then de-pulped and at this point they decide whether to process as either honey or washed. If the coffee is to be washed then it is fermented for 24-30 hours and then washed in the fermentation tank rather than using traditional washing channels. After washing the coffee is dried on raised beds in their greenhouse.

Huehuetenango is the highest and driest region of Guatemala with altitudes over 2,000 meters. It is one of only three regions without volcanic soil. Historically, it has been one of the more remote areas of the country and accessibility has been challenging. In the past, many farmers used oxen or carried their coffees on their back. Huehuetenango typically enjoys easy access to water sources, enabling many producers to process their own coffee.
Blackberry, apple and demerara sugar

Altitude: 2000 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
La Meridiano Decaf, Colombia A totally delicious and unique decaf, El Meridiano has a round and approachable body with notes of red grape and orange, balanced with a toffee like sweetness. A small town called Herrera, located in the department of Tolima, is home to 58 members of the Association of Specialty Coffee Growers of Alto Saldana. The average farm size here is only 4.5 hectares and they consistently fetch good cup scores and prices for their coffees. This regions proximity to the equator, matched with a diverse range of microclimates allows for almost continual harvest throughout the year, offering fresh flavours and character every time. This coffee is fully washed and sun-dried before being meticulously sorted.

After processing the coffee is decaffeinated in Colombia using the Ethyl Acetate – or Sugarcane – process. The decaffeination process uses ethyl acetate derived 100% from sugar cane mixed with mountain water, together removing 99.7% of the caffeine present. The beauty of the Natural EA process is that it helps preserve most of the original flavours of the coffee while adding fruity notes and some complexity to the cup.

Unlike the majority of decafs, this lot was specifically selected and decaffeinated at origin. This means more stimulation of the local economy and also a lower carbon footprint than coffees which are shipped across Europe for processing.
Red grape, orange, balanced and toffee

Altitude: 1500 - 1900 masl, Process: washed
Maria Escobar, Guatemala Finca La Senda, now run by Arnoldo Pérez Melendez and his wife Maria Eugenia Escobar, dates back to the 1940’s, when Arnoldo’s father pioneered the plantation of coffee in the surroundings of the Aldea El Socorro in Acatenango. The Finca extends from the borders of the village up to mount Balàm, the hill of the Jaguar in the native language. Coffee is planted at an altitude between 1,550 and 1,970 masl across an area spanning around 27 hectares. Above these altitudes nature is left to take its own course, respecting the unique biosphere.

Until 2017, Arnoldo had been delivering coffee to the local cooperative but after meeting a specialty coffee consultant has realised the potential of the finca’s cherries and has shifted his focus to producing specialty micro-lots. Work on building processing facilities (beneficio) began in April 2017 and were completed over the course of six months, just in time for the 2018 harvest.

Arnoldo took advantage of his deep knowledge of agriculture, while Maria Eugenia leveraged her skills as a talented cook to learn and refine best practices in coffee fermentation and processing. In its first year of processing, Finca la Senda focused its efforts on consistent cherry selection, long and controlled fermentations as well as slow shade-drying.

This lot comprises 80% Bourbon with 20% Caturra from the Chualax parcel of Finca la Senda. The whole cherries underwent a carbonic maceration before being de-pulped and macerated again. The whole fermentation lasted for approximately 270hrs and was followed by a manual semi-wash to leave a small amount of the fruit before being dried on raised beds for 25 days.
Raspberry jam, peach, nougat and floral

Altitude: 1500 - 1950 masl, Process: carbonic maceration, washed
Single / Light, Plus 87

Foundation are an independent coffee roaster, good vibes provider and equipment supplier based in St Ives, Cornwall. The team are passionate ocean advocates and adventurers who love where they live. Right from the start, their mission was to create speciality coffee using the best possible ethical practices with minimal environmental impact. Now, after a lot of hard work, Foundation are finally making that dream a reality.

Foundation Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Kinini AA, Rwanda A solid Rwandan, tastes as good as it sounds. The AA Microlot lot is a separation from the 633 farmers that are currently using the Kinini washing station, chosen from trees at altitudes of 2000masl and above, and with screen size 16+. The terroir is provably excellent for producing coffee, with neighbouring areas producing Cup of Excellence winning coffees.

Coffee is picked and brought to the Kinini washing station (newly built in May, 2016) where it is separated from the other lots to be treated depulped using a four disc McKinnon pulper and fermented from between 5 to 20 hours, depending on the decision of the quality manager monitoring the fermentation. The coffee is then sun dried for an average of 15 days, depending on the intensity of the sun.
Mango, juicy cherry, cane sugar and chocolate

Altitude: 2000 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Kamandu, Kenya Situated within the cool Limuru zone, the Kamundu Estate is located in the Central Highlands of Kenya sharing a border with Nakuru and Kajiado to the West, Murang’a and Nyandarua to the North and Nairobi to the South. The Estate was established in 1954 producing roughly 1,600 MT of cherries each year. Kiambu is known for its coffee estates, which were started by British colonists in the early 20th century, now being run by local Kenyans after independence in the 1960s. The harvest generally occurs between October and December. In some cases, early crop can be harvested between April and July.

Only the ripest cherries are selected, they are loaded into the hopper above the pulping station, they are fed into the pulping house using water. Here, the outer pulp is removed thanks to the work of two rotating abrasive slabs. The de-pulped coffee is then through water filled channel towards a fermentation tank. Along the way, floaters, or lower quality coffee beans, are removed to ensure only the highest quality continues along the process. The denser beans are directed to the fermentation tank to rest for the evening.

The following morning, workers assess the feel of the sticky mucilage remaining on the coffee. If it has reached the ideal level, water is placed over the beans to give them a final wash. From here, sluice gates open to move the coffee into washing channels where the coffee slides down a gently sloping tiled channel. Wooden shunts used by workers are manually placed into the coffee to separate the denser beans from the lighter beans. Then finally the coffee is evenly dispersed onto raised tables, under careful surveillance. If it is too sunny, or rain is in the forecast, the parchment is covered.
Sugarcane, jammy dates, chocolate and orange

Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Hafursa Haru, Ethiopia The Hafursa Haru washing station is located close to Yirgacheffe town, not far from the boundary with the Oromia zone. The area itself has a population of just over 195 thousand, of which only 8% are urban dwellers. There are 12 standardized fermentation tanks at the washing station, and over 160 drying beds. This allows for fast turnaround whilst keeping traceability of the lots, something that is becoming more and more a part of processing in Ethiopia as trade opens up.

The varieties themselves are often referred to as heirloom, though, having high genetic diversity means that what is heirloom in one area is not a guarantee of the same characteristics as an heirloom from another region. Kumie (kurume, kudhume) is often labelled as Yirgacheffe or Yirgacheffe type, and is quite a small bean, whilst Dega is more widely spread and Wolisho typical in the highlands.

Coffee is brought to the washing station by the many smallholders that live locally. The cherry is handpicked to remove any noticeable defects before being taken to the raised drying beds and dried for around 21 days. Once dried, it is hulled to remove the husk, then stored before being taken to Addis Ababa for sorting, grading and export.
Juicy, funky and fruity. Hints of citrus, apricot and caramel

Altitude: 1950 - 2050 masl, Process: natural
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Las Capucas, Honduras Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (Cocafcal) or Capucas as they are better known, is situated on and around the Celaque mountain, which is the highest peak in Honduras. Celaque means ‘box of water’ in the local Lenca language, and the mountain is the source for many rivers and streams. Capucas was founded in 1999 by Jose Omar Rodriguez and takes its name from the local town of Las Capucas. In 2004 Omar was chosen to become the general manager, a role he continues today.

The coffee is harvested at its optimum ripeness and handed in at the cooperative. It is then washed, dried in a solar dryer, and stored in parchment before being trucked to the port of Puerto Cortés. Capucas were the first in the country to build a facility to dry microlots in a large scale with solar dryers.

Coffee trees are pruned to a low height so it is easier to pick the cherries, however if its cut too short too soon they fall over. Therefore, the pruning is staggered: in the first year they prune to 180cm, 170cm in the second year, 160cm third year and 150cm in the fourth year; then when the tree is cut down to the bottom, the trunk is strong enough to support the new growth.

The cooperative has many initiatives to improve the lives of workers and the local community, for example; they pay for a GP to treat workers for free in their health centre which is in the centre of Las Capucas. In 2016 Capucas partnered with the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) to provide a university education, the virtual classroom was opened in the community of Capucas in a rural part of San Pedro Copan, UNAH provide the technical support, teachers and subject matter for the students. They also have a football academy which is free to join and a virtual library for members, children and partners of Capucas.
Red berries, cocoa, rich body and balanced sweetness

Altitude: 1450 - 1600 masl, Process: swiss water
Halcyon Blend, Americas From Peru Frontera, Brazil Aracacu and Guatemala Tecuamburro, a bold and characterful blend. Expect to taste notes of dark chocolate, black cherries and vanilla. All rounded off pleasantly with a syrupy body. Exceptional as espresso and black, where you will experience the full balanced body. Equally sublime through milk, the true development of the roast lingers with each mouthful. Vanilla, black cherries and dark chocolate

Process: washed
Blend / Darker, Selected Mix
Beacon Blend, Americas From El Salvador El Ingenio, Colombia Sol Bohemio and Guatemala Todosantarita, a naturally sweet and smooth blend. Expect to taste notes of stone fruits, cocoa and cinder toffee all backed by a full body. Perfectly at home in Flatwhites and Cortados. Milk promotes the inherent sweet flavours. A vibrant, full bodied espresso or long black. Cocoa, honeycomb and stone fruits

Process: washed
Blend / Darker, Selected Mix

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GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.

GUSTATORY Curation TeamFebruary 03, 2022