Tasting Notes: March 2023 Coffees

 Tasting Notes: March 2023 Coffees

Nomad Kawa 15grams Uncommon Tasting Notes

Nomad are regarded as one of Europe's most popular and best speciality coffee roasters, for good reason. As much today as in 2011, when it was a simple coffee cart stationed at markets around the busy city of London, Nomad's values and goals remain the same: proximity, respect for the producer and careful attention to detail throughout the production chain.

Nomad later moved to Barcelona to open its first shop and help cultivate a taste for speciality coffee in the Catalan capital. Soon after, they opened their own open roastery and, still guided by the premise of bringing coffee closer to the public, they began to distribute their product and create a collaborative network of cafés, helping the project to grow on an international scale. Since 2020 Nomad decided to make a transparency report of all the coffees they buy each year, and as soon as 2021 they have managed to make 100% of their menu transparent. Nomad consistently pays way above average for their coffees, and such a trait is parallel to GUSTATORY's sustainability priorities.

Nomad Coffees  |  Spain

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Nemba, Burundi Nemba washing station lies in the northern province of Kayanza and more than 3.100 producers bring their coffee there during the harvest season. All producers are smallholders who own less than 250 trees. Each tree produces an average of 1.5kg of coffee per year, meaning they end up selling up to 200-300 kg each year. Most of the coffee in Burundi is Red Bourbon. This way all the families can deliver their coffee to the washing station to be processed together.

Each washing station is managed and led by an agronomist. This agronomist collaborates with the producers determining and implementing the practices best suited to the specific growing conditions of their farming plots and give the producers organic fertilizers.

During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. The cherry is wet-processed under constant supervision and the whole process is closely monitored. All cherry is floated in small buckets (the unripe cherries are sold as B-quality cherry), and then the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove all damaged, underripe and overripe cherries. After sorting, the cherry is pulped within 6 hours of delivery. The coffee is dry fermented for up to 12 hours and then washed in clean mountain water for 12 to 24 hours. Parchment is then soaked for an additional 12 to 18 hours before being dried on raised beds for 2 to 3 weeks.
Brown sugar, khaki and strawberries

Altitude: 1700 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Ireme, Rwanda Gasharu washing station is located on the shores of Lake Kivu and a stone’s throw from Nyungwe National Park which is one of the largest montane and most preserved montane rainforests in Central Africa.This region’s elevation, soil, and climate are what coffee trees love best.

The story of Gasharu Coffee goes back to 1976 when Celestin Rumenerangabo planted his first coffee trees in Nyamasheke. A farmer and buyer of cherries, he grew the business to what it is today: 2 washing stations, Gasharu and Muhororo, that export beans from nearly 1650 farmers directly.

Gasharu Coffee promotes high quality coffee and good living standards of coffee farmers in the community, working with around 1650 farms from 12 main coffee village farms, involving them throughout all stages of coffee processing. Every year they employ around 320 local workers from the community during the peak of the crop with 70% of the workers being women. Gasharu Coffee integrates good production practices with environmental preservation, community sensitivity and long-term coffee viability on their farmer philosophy.
Brownie, plum and watermelon

Altitude: 1600 - 2100 masl, Process: natural anaerobic
Plus 87, Rest of World, Single / Light
Brisas, El Salvador Carlos Pola is a fifth generation producer we got to meet this year during his trip to Barcelona. Carlos worked in the textile industry for twenty years before dedicating himself fully to coffee in 2012. Today, he manages Finca Las Brisas and two other of his family’s farms, investing in technology and sustainability.

Carlos describes his approach to farming as something new and sustainable. He doesn’t produce washed lots because the process results in the contamination of water sources. He is a big believer in the power of Mycorrhizal fungi, a type of fungi that forms a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with the coffee plants: this fungi colonize the plant through their roots and establish a network of structures through which they exchange sugars and nutrients with the tree. It may sound new, but it’s just a natural technique that was used fifty years ago and has been replaced by chemical fertilizers.

When the leaf rust hit Central America in 2012-2013, Carlos’ farm was badly affected as were most farms in the area. He decided to renovate his farm with more resistant varieties, such as Pacamara, Pacas and other hybrids that have been farmed for decades (while other producers kept using Bourbon due to its good reputation for cup quality). It made him spend 6 years at 15% capacity. Instead of just replanting using the structure the farm already had, he decided to change the architecture, like they do in Brazil. Carlos uses contour farming, a practice which consists in planting trees along a line of the same elevation to conserve rainwater and prevent erosion.
Almendra, apricot and toffee

Altitude: 1200 - 1500 masl, Process: honey
Plus 87, Rest of World, Single / Light, Selected Mix
Omar Arango, Colombia The environmental conservation work that Omar does on his farm is incredible. His farm is a forest with coffee inside. What he achieves with the shade of the forest is that his browns ripen slowly and have great nutrition thanks to the leaves that fall from the trees. In the soil, many fungi help improve their quality. All this is then reflected in an intense and complex cup, full of tropical, citrus and sweet notes.

Omar not only cares for the biodiversity of his farm but also cares for the people who work on it. He takes care of them as if he were his family and recognizes them daily for the effort they make.
Honey, peach and yellow plum

Altitude: 1800 - 1950 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Chambaku, Colombia Finca Chambakú is the Restrepo family’s new project. It is a 12-hectare farm located in Villamaría, Caldas, and is one of the 17 farms that make up Hacienda el Jardín. Historically, this Hacienda has been focused on the cultivation of traditional coffee, but in recent years they have adapted and created an ideal agro-industrial system to make the most of the productive potential with differentiated coffees. The Restrepo family saw great potential for production of specialty coffees in this land thanks to the optimal conditions of the environment and the proximity to its facilities to maintain exhaustive control and guarantee the quality of the coffee.

Juan Felipe, Q Processor, and partner at the farm is the architect of the protocols and processes on the farm. Among the objectives, it is worth highlighting the new protocols for fertilizing with organic matter and extreme post-harvest care. Also, greenhouses with 3-level canopies were built to carry out a better drying process, perfecting the final cup. This batch is a coffee exclusively prepared under NOMAD COFFEE standards.
Honey, milk chocolate and pear

Altitude: 1450 - 1600 masl, Process: washed
Blend / Darker, Selected Mix
Gahahe, Burundi Gahahe washing station is located in the Kayanza region. The washing station is equipped with 10 fermentation tanks, 4 cherry selection tables, 2 soaking tanks and a drying field with 180 drying tables, which allow the station to process up to 750 metric tons of cherry per season. All producers are smallholders who own less than 250 trees. Each tree produces an average of 1.5kg of coffee per year, meaning they end up selling up to 200-300kg each year. Most of the coffee in Burundi is Red Bourbon. This way all the families can deliver their coffee to the washing station to be processed together. Honey, yellow melon and hazelnut

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Single / Light
Bombe, Ethiopia We’re happy to bring back this washed lot from the Bombe station to our menú. The Bombe washing station, also known as Abore, is named after Bombe mountains in the Sidama region, located south from the washing station. Sidama is located in the south of the country and coffee there grows between 1920 and 2020 meters above sea level. It translates into a slow ripening of the cherries, which helps to interesting aromas and acidities. Lots of fruits and floral hints are found in these coffees.

Bombe producers are part of a member organization consisting of 667 producers. After harvesting their cherries, they deliver their coffee to the Bombe washing station for it to be processed.
Blackberries, melon and pear

Altitude: 1920 - 2020 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Santa Isabel, Guatemala Santa Isabel is the second farm from the Hernández family and has belonged to them for 25 years. It ‘s located in Antigua, a Guatemalan region known for its volcanic soil, rich in minerals. The farm is managed by Karen and her brother José. Their father, Adolfo, founded Café Kapeu, a company that supports producers in processing and selling their coffees. Karen is a Q grader and head of quality control in the company. It is her job to tell them if there are any practices that can be improved based on the quality of their cup.

It began with strict harvesting of fully ripe cherries that met the requirements of a special coffee, which are: healthy cherries, optimum ripeness state, and measurement of brix degrees. Having the desired coffee quality, the cherries are passed through a washing area to eliminate any type of contamination that could affect the quality we are looking for.
Apricot, blood orange and caramel

Altitude: 1400 - 1560 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Chambaku Decaf, Colombia Finca Chambakú is one of the farms that NOMAD works with every year. Juan Felipe Restrepo (Pipe to his friends) brings us a new batch, this time a decaffeinated coffee with the “sugar cane process” method. Pipe decided to go a step further and decaffeinate one of his natural processes, its pronounced acidity, with fruitier notes, compensates for the characteristic sweetness that the decaffeination process generates, thus creating a much more complex cup.

The process is carried out through an ethyl acetate from sugar cane. It is a selective solvent for caffeine that is present in nature. It is obtained through the fermentation of sugar cane. The coffee is then submerged four times in a mixture of water with this acetate, which absorbs almost completely the caffeine from the coffee. Once this process has been completed, the coffee is dried until reaching 12.5% moisture and covered with a layer of organic wax to protect it so that it will stay at its best for longer.
Cocoa powder, honey and maple syrup

Altitude: 1400 - 1800 masl, Process: sugar cane

Exceptional coffee roasted with passion in Paris, the soul of Kawa is found in their renown workshop. This space, unique in Paris, is where really pioneering coffees are tried and tested - their magic. Purists to speciality coffee, Kawa are big advocates against coffee capsules, '...if it's practicality was unquestionably a factor in its success, we believe that the era of the capsule is over. Too expensive, polluting, very little recycled and above all, we know seldom what we drink.' Since their opening, Kawa coffee roasters decided to focus entirely on roasting, with ever owning their own cafes subsidiary to this. Their motto is to offer the best roast with the greatest consistency, but, what is a good roast for Kawa? It is the one that will awaken your taste buds and sublimate the terroir of origin. Each coffee has its own story, and they feel they have the heavy responsibility of sublimating the work of their coffee-growing partners and making it easier for you to extract it, all for your enjoyment.

Kawa Coffees  |  France

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Dilla Zuria, Ethiopia Coming soon Cherry, lemon and floral

Process: natural
Selected Mix, Plus 87, Single / Light
Spikes, Kenya A gorgeous Kenyan coffee with sweet and fruity notes of brown sugar, blackberries and dates! It is in the hilly region of Kiambu in Kenya that Manasse Kibochi grows its coffee trees. The farm he runs enjoys a beautiful altitude, 1800m for this specific lot, and rich clay soil. The botanical varieties SL28 and SL34 that make up this coffee are two emblematic varieties of Kenyan coffee growing. They are particularly appreciated for their organoleptic qualities, generally offering juicy notes and beautiful vibrant acidities. They take their name from an agronomy laboratory, Scott Agricultural Laboratories, the equivalent of our CIRAD, founded in 1903 by the Kenyan colonial government. Sugar, blackberries and dates

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Single / Light
Bombe, Ethopia The local villages of Bombe and Shantawane in the Bensa district of Sidamo are known for growing spectacular cafes. Thanks to the anaerobic processing method, the beans have a wonderful aroma of orange, banana and passion fruit. This coffee is the result of an anaerobic-natural treatment and an experience shared for generations. Bombe growers have a long tradition of growing coffee that you can taste. We hope you enjoy this unique nano-lot Citrus, melon, and molasses

Altitude: 1950 masl, Process: washed
Selected Mix, Single / Light, Plus 87
Chorro Alto, Colombia An intense and fruity coffee, with notes of rum, cocoa and grapes. It is in collaboration with her father that Angela Rojas, from the 3rd generation of coffee producers in her family, owns the Chorro Alto farm. Before it, Chorro Alto mainly produced traditional washed coffees with SCA scores ranging between +82 and +84. It is from the meeting, in 2021, with Aroma Nativo that the idea of thinking about new post-harvest methods will be born, in particular through experimental and controlled fermentations.

On the 11 hectares of the farm there are today varieties such as Castillo and Caturra, but, in the future, pink Bourbons, Pacamaras and Geshas may also emerge.
Cocoa, rum and grape

Altitude: 1650 masl, Process: carbonic maceration
Plus 87, Rest of World
Buena Esperanza, Guatemala A delicious Guatemalan espresso coffee with hints of caramel and chocolate. Buena Esperanza means “Good Hope” in Spanish, it's an internal feeling that owners had when they bought the farm on prosperity.

Nohelio says he lived a dream where coffee was his motivation, he inherited knowledge from his mother Maria and he had to work very hard in the United States to save money so he could afford the closes to the memory of his mentor, his own mother who also worked very hard in the coffee fields to maintain Nohelio during his youth.
Caramel and chocolate

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Selected Mix
San Francisco, El Salvador A juicy coffee from Salvador, with notes of pineapple and banana bread to offer a fruity and sweet filtered cup. Finca San Francisco is located on the west side of the Santa Ana volcano in the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range. The wide range of growing areas means that the tablóns range as low as 1300m above sea level and as high as 1665m, where Finca San Francisco largely produces Bourbon and Hybrido San Francisco; the Hybrido being a still mysterious natural hybrid found on the mountain.

Finca San Francisco is able to ensure high levels of control and separation thanks to the fact that JASAL, the factory run by Finca San Francisco brothers, José Antonio and Andres Salaverria, is simultaneously a place for agriculture coffee, a wet and dry miller for the various processes, but also a place for the export of coffee. This level of involvement is relatively unique in coffee producing countries.
Banana bread and pineapple

Altitude: 1500 masl, Process: natural anaerobic
Plus 87

15grams is a small batch coffee roaster based in London, roasting and brewing high-quality, specialty coffee that has been sourced sustainably with a focus on creating a positive impact.

15grams feel that when they choose to buy and source their coffee, it should have a positive impact on people's lives. As such, not only is their coffee of the highest quality, but they pay particular attention to the farmer and their story. This results in a higher return per kilogram for their farmers by ensuring that all of their coffee is purchased for at least 2.5x above the minimum fair-trade price.

15grams Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
U Sai Wan, Myanmar Coming soon Grapefruit, caramel and honey

Process: natural
Plus 87, Single / Light
Genji Challa, Ethiopia Genii Challa is the newest addition to the Nano Challa Cooperative, an organization founded by a group of small holders in Jimma, Ethiopia. Under a cooperative model focused on reinvestment of profit and fair distribution of funds to members, Nano Challa has been able to consistently produce outstanding coffee under fair and equitable conditions.

This coffee is grown in small lots among old-growth forests in the Ethiopian Highlands, at around 2000m above sea level. This is a cool, tropical climate, where coffee has been cultivated for hundreds of years. In contrast to more common monocultural practices, these naturally indigenous heirloom varietals are grown together in mixed lots. The produce of multiple varietals and local conditions produces a blend of beans that is highly specific to one plot. Processed together, this produces a coffee we call heirloom.

This is a washed coffee, which is soaked and skin-dried briefly before being sorted and left to dry naturally for 10 days. This makes for a bright and zesty filter coffee with a range of citrus notes.
Clementine, grape and lemon

Process: washed
Plus 87, Single / Light, Selected Mix
Fine Blend, Americas Blends are simply coffees that use beans from more than one place. We’ve combined beans from two small farms in Brazil and Colombia to make ‘A Damn Fine Blend’. Blends tend to be more forgiving and easier to work with, so they’re ideal for brewing at home.

The Colombian beans are grown by women belonging to a coffee farmers’ collective focused on small-scale sustainable farming. Collectives like this one share resources so that small farms can operate independently with the same efficiency as larger growers. Members can rely on fixed pricing, and their profits are around 75% higher per kg of coffee than they would be on the commodity market.
Chocolate, caramel and vanilla

Process: washed
Selected Mix, Blend / Darker, PERCENT
Decaf, Colombia Our decaf coffee is produced by small hold farmers in Huila, Colombia. The growing, processing, and full decaffeination process all happens at source.

The beans have gone through a natural process that maintains the integrity of green coffee flavour. The decaffeination process uses a natural by-product of fermented sugarcane to create a solvent. The beans are soaked and drained repeatedly until all the caffeine has been removed.
Chocolate, peanut and pecan

Process: sugarcane decaf

Uncommon coffee roasters's ethos is building close relationships with the people who produce their coffee. In their quest to learn more about their producers and their land, Uncommon have witnessed countless instances of crop disease, unpredictable rainfall and price fluctuations. More importantly, they've seen the exceptional accomplishments, bravery and creativity that their producers and their communities show in the face of such complex environmental and socio-economic challenges.

Uncommon have the privilege to share these untold stories with you; stories that are as rich and diverse as the terrain from which the coffee cherries grow. Uncommon are excited for you to be part of this ongoing journey - each cup is a homage to the legends behind these remarkable and uncommon coffees.

In their Amsterdam cafe, such a place is that of vibrance and friendliness in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the exciting city. The aesthetically calming interior of Uncommon's space in the heart of Amsterdam invites you to take a moment out of your busy day to highten different senses.

Uncommon Coffees  |  Netherlands

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
La Primavera, Colombia Coming soon Raspberry, honey and green apple

Process: experimental washed
Plus 87, Selected Mix
Kambarare, Kenya Gerald Njagi pathing the way for the few young Kenyan farmers. A unique microlot, fully processed on the estate. With Kenya’s coffee market in decline, Kambarare Estate stands as a beacon of hope. Gerald Njagi, a 28-year-old coffee farmer, is the producer who helms the small estate found on the slopes of Mount Kenya. He’s an anomaly because most farmers within Kiringyaga and the surrounding counties age 50+ or even 60+ and have no successors. This is because most youths who grow up within coffee-growing families move on to more profitable markets, like taxi driving. Although this is an ongoing trend, Gerald has hope for the future revival of coffee in his country. And he’s even keen to play a key role in promoting the industry, “I want to set standards for the Kenyan youths and show them unending possibilities in the coffee sector”, he says.

Community: "Gerald now controls the entire process on the farm; from fermentation, washing to drying the coffees." Gerald Senior attained a great feat in 1998: 5000 trees on his 13-acre plot. When owning more than 5000 plants, coffee farmers can apply for a pulping licence. And that is exactly what Gerald did.

Sustainability: "I now see coffee farming as the most profitable business." In Gerarld's first year working with Trabocca he brought in a record price per kg of cherry. And when Gerald talks about the families’ future ambitions, he says “I want to see Kambarare producing the cleanest cup that Kenyan volcanic soil can produce."
Blood orange, rhubarb and blackcurrant

Altitude: 1700 - 1950 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World, Single / Light
Suke Quto, Ethiopia This funky, organic Ethiopian is blockchain-based and finances new schools for surrounding villages. Refined, juicy natural with raspberry jam notes finishing with a crisp acidity. Suke Quto is a progressive washing station made up of 171 small holders. Over the years we have always loved the profile of Suke Quto and this year's harvest is no exception! This refined, balanced natural is super jammy and has a beautifully crisp acidity. Owner Tesafye is focused on environmentally friendly coffee and on the economic growth of the community. He keeps the soil in shape by organic recycling through litterfall, root residue from coffee and shade trees. Suke Quto coffees are all Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified.

Community: The goal is to build fully equipped schools for the children of the Kurume and Suke villages. Tesfaye works together with 171 outgrowers that deliver cherries to the Suke Quto Washing and Drying Station. Suke Quto is a progressive and large coffee growing farm where many of the inhabitants of Kumure and Suke villages work. The livelihoods of many people who work here rely on coffee production, therefore the future of this wonderful coffee lies with them. Trabocca have set up the Suke Quto School Project together with Tesfaye Bekele, founder of the Suke Quto farm. The goal is to build fully equipped schools for the children of the Kurume and Suke villages.

Sustainability: Suke Quto coffees are all Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. Suke Quto Farm is stretched out over the highlands and valleys of the Odo Shakisso Woreda. The volcanic soil found on the farm is very fertile. Tesfaye keeps the soil in shape by organic recycling through litterfall, root residue from coffee and shade trees.
Raspberry, sweet and clean

Altitude: 1700 - 2100 masl, Process: natural
Selected Mix
El Vergel, Colombia "A Timeless washed Colombia with a sweet, balanced profile. A conscious washed process where water is recycled and treated." We had been looking for the right washed Colombian for a long time. When our friends at El Vergel and Forest Green sent us samples for this delicious caturra it hit all the notes we were after. This coffee has red fruit, honey sweetness and a mellow acidity that will appeal to those who promote it and those who reject it alike. Their facilities in Fresno, Tolima, count with a water treatment facility that allows them to reuse the water for other washed coffees and irrigation. But that’s not all, as the Bayter family is also involved in social causes like furnishing the local school. Combine this epicurean coffee with sustainable practices and a social project behind it and you get exactly what we stand for.

Community: Not only have they invested in their equipment and technology, the Bayters have also tried to help the community around them. Alongside one of their buying partners, they’ve furnished the local school in Fresno, Tolima, which serves as a good example of the capability and scope of partnerships in the coffee industry. The Bayters also employ around 50 people in their estate, providing opportunities to the local community.

Sustainability: "To reduce water waste in washed coffees, the Bayter family has invested in a water treatment plant that allows them to reuse most of the water." Back in the 90s, El Vergel Estate would sustain itself by growing and harvesting avocados, which proved to me quite harmful to the soil. Today, they are investing in efforts to regenerate the soil. The results thus far are quite significant and they’ve already witnessed a significant growth in native flora and fauna.
Toffee, apple and silky

Altitude: 1450 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World, Single / Light
El Palto, Peru This sweet organic coffee supports women's equity in the Amazon. Peru, in our opinion, is one of the most exciting origins at the moment; boasting high elevation, great washing stations, heaps of organic coffees and increasing cup scores year after year. Last year this coffee was already great - sweet and syrupy - but this year it is extra juicy, vibrant and more refined; expect tasting notes of dark chocolate, orange zest and molasses. We are very excited to work with El Palto another year in a row. This coffee is organic, rainforest alliance certified and supports women's equity and agricultural projects to protect indigenous forests. The Mujeres program helps women develop their skills in decision making, leadership, entrepreneurial management and teamwork.

Reforestation: Jumarp is a member of the Café Selva Norte (CSN) Project, developed and implemented in partnership with Ecotierra. This agroforestry project aims to double the income of coffee producers by increasing their yields whilst promoting sustainable farming practices. Through CSN, Ecotierra funds Jumarp so the cooperative can provide microcredit at low-interest rates to farmers, technical assistance and seedlings. The CSN project is a huge effort to tackle deforestation and land degradation in the country.
Dark chocolate, orange zess and molasses

Altitude: 1300 - 1800 masl, Process: washed
Selected Mix, Blend / Darker
Cafe Del Micay, Colombia An unbelievably sweet, caffeine-like decaf using a revolutionary Sugar Cane decaf process. The recent arrival of sugarcane decaf coffees really shook our opinion on decaf. This natural process avoids excessive temperatures and leaves a coffee with enhanced sweetness which roasts and tastes much more like the original, caffeinated coffee. Gone is the bizarre twang of old school decaf as now it is far more sweet, balanced and delicate. This decaf process is completed in the country of origin, which leaves a larger share of the profits in Colombia itself and is substantially more sustainable. The Popayan Reserve Program involves 67 selected farms in the department of Cauca and gives work directly to at least 400 people in harvest times. The commitment of this program is to offer coffees that are sweet and balanced with a min score of 83.5 Points, and encourages farmers to get better as they get even better premiums once they achieve a cup above 85 points. Expect a caffeine-like, sweet coffee with tasting notes of dark cacao, toffee apple and panela.

Origin: Sugarcane processing has changed the game of decaffeinated coffees. This process avoids excessive temperatures seen in other decaffeination processes and leaves a coffee with enhanced sweetness which roasts and tastes much more like the original, caffeinated coffee. The big advantage of this process, outside of the flavour profile, is that it was developed and is completed in Colombia. This allows for progression through the supply chain without the extra costs and miles of shipping the coffee to decaffeination plants in Mexico, Canada or Germany and the profits stay within the country of origin.
Chocolate, sugar and apple

Altitude: 1400 - 2000 masl, Process: decaf

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GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.

GUSTATORY Curation TeamMarch 07, 2023