Tasting Notes: November 2021 Coffees

 Tasting Notes: November 2021 Coffees

HEX Coffee Friedhats Brander Girls Who Grind Coffee and Common Tasting Notes

HEX Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster that works with some of the most progressive coffee producers around the world to source some of the most unique, vibrant, and flavorful coffees available. HEX believes in coffee in its purest form: unashamedly bright, fruited and pointed towards its provenance. Home to a stylish espresso bar at their location, their coffees are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

HEX Coffees  |  USA

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Chelbesa, Ethiopia negusse Weldyes established SNAP Coffee over ten years ago to provide exporting opportunities as well as coffee washing and processing facilities for farmers across Gedeo, Guji and West Arsi. Through SNAP, Negusenis able to provide opportunities and education for farmers who might not have the same access without.

The Chelbesa washing station is directly supported by 486 smallholder farms, which grow their coffee either in semi-forest conditions (farmers pruning and tending to naturally growing coffee trees in forest areas) or garden conditions (coffee trees cultivated and tended near a farmer's residence). BY sourcing exclusively from these farms, SNAP is able to give farmers access to state of the art processing through their washing stations, creating value for farmers while building consistency and quality.
Yellow peach, honeydew and citrus blossom

Altitude: 1900 - 2200 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
La Muralla, Colombia Coming soon Baked apple, plum and almond frangipane

Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
FUNCTION, Colombia, Ethiopia The perfect complimentary piece to our portfolio staple “FORM”, “FUNCTION” serves as the other side of that coin. As FORM will constantly be in flux, dancing with the seasons, FUNCTION will stand strong in its permanence -- allowing you to know exactly what you’ll be getting every time. Within the parameters of seasonality and coffee, the components of FUNCTION will also change -- allowing this coffee to stay fresh year round, but “Form follows Function,” and each component will be replaced by a fresh harvest coffee that will play the same role in the blend. Expect a rich, decadent chocolate base, further deepened by baking spices, with warm fruit tones and a lasting sweetness. Berries, dark chocolate and baking spice

Process: washed, natural
Selected Mix, Blend / Darker

Sustainability is a process for Friedhats, rather than a buzz word without any substance. That means they are not perfect and they aren’t ashamed to admit it, but does mean they are always searching for better solutions to ensure their products have less impact on the environment and everything living in it. They want their packaging to be reused, refilled and at the very least recycled. They want their coffee to always taste great, no matter who makes it. But most of all, they want those that consume their coffees to get as much enjoyment from its flavour as they do!

Based in Amsterdam, Friedhats source and roast the best, most interesting coffee they can find. The result? Like Coffee Collective, Friedhtas are widely regarded as one of the very, very best.

Friedhats Coffees  |  Netherlands

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Las Penas, Guatemala Las Penas is named after the limestone rocks on Pedro Aguilar Mendez’s farm, which is located in the town of San Antonio Huista in Huehuetenango. His farm is located between 1550 and 1680 masl, where he also processes his coffee and this lot is a mix of the Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon and Mundo Novo varieties. Pedro’s focus has always been on quality, even when he began 30 years ago and you can taste that in the cup. This washed coffee is meticulously dried in the direct sun for 6 hours over 6 days between 9am and 2pm and is rotated every 20 minutes. Vanilla milkshake, creme brulee and peach. Sweet and milky

Altitude: 1550 - 1680 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Finca El Salvador 48, El Salvador Fresh harvest from Finca El Salvador has arrived! This harvest we are kicking off with the first of four lots that we have ordered - Finca El Salvador 48 hour natural process! This coffee is made up of mostly the Bourbon variety grown at between 1500 and 1670 masl on the slopes of the Cerro el aguila mountain, in Apaneca-Ilamatepec. Last year we had the 120 hour fermented version but to start things of we’ve gone with the 48 hour. As you would expect it’s funky, with dark chocolate bonbon and plum jam notes. Funky, dark chocolate bonbon and plum jam

Altitude: 1500 - 1670 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87, Rest of World
Tano Ndongo AB, Kenya Tana Ndongo (which translates as the small 5) is owned by 5 brothers - Francis, David, James, John and Joseph Muuru. Their farm and mill is located at 1820 masl in Gitwe village in Kiambu and they exclusively grow the SL28 variety for it’s outstanding flavour profile.What to expect in the cup? Thick body contrasting delicate notes of Hibiscus, rosehip and raspberry with a liquorice finish. Thick body, contrasting delicate notes of Hibiscus, rosehip and raspberry with a liquorice finish

Altitude: 1820 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Bombe, Ethiopia Bombe is one of three washing stations owned by the Daye Bensa group. The other two - Shantawene and Keramo are also famous for the quality and quantity of coffee they produce. As per last year its made up of local varieties setami, mikicho, 72/158, 74/110, but this lot is shade dried natural process, which makes for a slower more gentle drying period lasting 25 days, adding next level consistency to the coffee’s flavour. Sweet and funky, milk chocolate and strawberry

Process: natural
Single / Light, Plus 87, Rest of World
São Silvestre 005, Brazil Eduardo Andrade and his brother Ismael are the co-owners of Andrade Brothers, which has three farms located in Minas Gerais. This coffee, named 005 is produced on their farm São Silvestre, which was bought in the early 90’s in Serra do Salitre. It’s made up of Yellow icatu variety grown at around 1200 masl. Round buttery body, classic hazelnut and milk chocolate

Altitude: 1200 masl, Process: pulped natural
Plus 87, Rest of World
Deiro Garcia, Colombia This coffee is part of an experiment, with two very similar Colombian coffes, both produced in a very different way - one double Anaerobic washed, and the other single Aerobic Natural. Both coffee’s really showcase what processing does with the flavor of coffee. The washed version is crisp, clean, sweet and bright, and is a pink bourbon grown at 1800 masl in Pitalito, Huila. Deiro took a microbiology course and learnt that certain bacteria and yeast strains can help produce distinct coffee profiles. This coffee was first fermented in closed plastic tanks for 72 hours, then depulped and fermented for another 72 hours in a closed environment. Crisp, clean, sweet and bright

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: washed
Rest of World

A coffee roastery, canteen and concept store situated in the heart of the historic city of Halle near Brussels, Brander offer their guests experiences out of the ordinary. Against the backdrop of an accelerating society, Brander believe in slowing down, with the desire to reconnect with an authenticity that appears to be missing in modern lives.

Their open micro-roastery is the pivotal point for Brander. Passionate about quality, they source a small, fresh range of specialty coffees and roast them lightly to highlight all flavours that make them distinct. Within a space of simple and pure design, their coffees are equally as refreshing.

Brander Coffees  |  Belgium

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Finca El Refugio, Colombia Orlando Fierro inherited this picturesque small farm in the Andes region of Colombia from his parents, who in turn inherited the land from their parents. Specialty coffee production helped him preserve the farm where he grew up. He halted and reversed the on-going deforestation by focusing on shade grown coffee production and increasing coffee quality. Orlando himself selectively handpicks ripe, red cherry and lays it to sun dry. His care and attention results in an exciting, distinctive and unique cup profile. Plum, marzipan and dark chocolate

Altitude: 1800 masl, Process: natural
Selected Mix, Plus 87, Rest of World
Sasaba, Ethiopia While Ethiopia is famous as coffee’s birthplace, today it remains a specialty coffee industry darling for its incredible variety of flavors. While full traceability has been difficult in recent history, new regulations have made direct purchasing possible. Boji is a washing station located in the Kochere woreda. Kochere is a coffee growing area close to the town of Yirgacheffe, home to some of the most-loved coffees in the world. Natural processing at the station follows the traditional Ethiopian methods. First, cherry is floated and visually checked for underripes, overripes and damaged. After washing cherry in clean water, workers transfer them straight to the drying field. After a few days, cherry is adjusted so that it sits in a slightly thicker layer, which helps slow the drying process. Green tea, peach and gingerbread

Altitude: 2000 - 2150 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Tibebu Roba, Ethiopia Tibebu Roba Farm produces classic washed Yirgacheffe-1 coffees: clean, bright, and high-acidity profiles. The farm and washing station are managed by the three Roba brothers. They are one of the biggest and most quality driven in Gedeb. This season, we cupped through many Ethiopian coffees, but this particular natural Yirgacheffe lot stood out for its jammy fruit flavors -think mango and white grape- in combina- tion with a silky finish. It is high in sweetness, and as the cup cools, the fruit becomes even more distinct. We are pretty sure you'll agree that Tibebu Roba is exceptional. White grape, mango and smooth

Altitude: 2050 - 2150 masl, Process: natural
Rest of World
Gatina PB, Kenya Coming soon Black cherry, dark chocolate, bright and delicate

Process: washed
Plus 87
Primavera Decaf, Guatemala This is a Swiss Water® decaffeinated SHB EP grade coffee from Guatemala. Handpicked beans from Finca El Pacayalito and Beneficio Las Americas are decaffeinat- ed using the sustainable Swiss Water® Process. This technique uses only water to gently remove caffeine (without leaving the residue chemical solvents do). Surprisingly versatile, it performs well in just about all preparation methods. This coffee, to be enjoyed at any time, is sweet and fruity with a hint of chocolate to round it off. The chemical-free choice for coffee lovers. Decaf should never feel like a concession, right? Frangipane, gooseberry and brown sugar

Altitude: 1320 - 1600 masl, Process: fully washed, swiss water process
Decaf
Monkey Blend, Brazil, Colombia Brander’ s signature blend, rounded and sweet. Besides being super as espresso, our Monkey blend matches perfectly with milk. This season, we wanted to highlight coffee’s sunny and refreshing qualities. The blend of two great natural-processed coffees from Brazil and a washed Colombia hits all the right notes. Santa Clara is sweet, very fruity and full bodied, Fazenda Passeio brings a rich and creamy mouthfeel to the cup, while a gorgeous washed Colombia adds complexity and a crisp vibrancy. This coffee makes a mouth-coating, sweet espresso. A clean, flavoursome crowd pleaser. Pure bliss, to be enjoyed black or with milk! Rosehip, cacao and roasted hazelnut

Process: washed, natural
Selected Mix, Blend / Darker

Girls Who Grind Coffee is an all-female specialty coffee roastery owned by a New Yorker and Melbourner who both met and became friends in their now hometown of Frome, Somerset. Their humble story began as their kids played, often chatting about a love of coffee and their respective experiences within the industry, discovering that they both felt as though there was definitely room for change and improvement, in short - they wanted to see more equality!

As women, they had felt a little pushed out of an industry that they had loved so much and had so much to give to. Rather than simply complain about it, the duo thought they would make the change they wanted to see! Launching Girls Who Grind Coffee, they wanted to create an industry where women felt empowered and celebrated for everything they bring to the table and have their voices heard. As such, they both made the conscious decision to focus solely on buying coffee from female producers, sharing their stories to the world, giving these women the recognition they rightly deserve for the incredible work that they do. Now, Girls Who Grind Coffee are loved all over UK and Europe.

Girls Who Grind Coffee Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
AMACA Decaf, Colombia The AMACA (Asociacion de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca) is a group of all-women producers located in El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia that was formed in 1999 by 80 women from El Tambo, in Colombia’s Cauca department.Now AMACA is 140 smallholder members STRONG with all women farm owners and heads of household. All of the members support their families via the cultivation and production of coffee. In 2008, AMACA partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, the governor of Cauca, and the municipality of El Tambo to increase the production and quality of coffee on 80 members’ farms.

A premium is paid to AMACA above the value of the coffee itself to support their goals and aspirations as a group. Their mantra is simple: to improve the quality of life for their members and their members’ families. These premiums can help them to accomplish these goals and in turn, support this passionate and strong-willed group of women in their love for and livelihood of quality coffee.

The Sugarcane process uses ethyl acetate that has been naturally derived from locally grown sugarcane, which grows in abundance in Colombia. Unlike most other processes, The Sugarcane method has the ability to retain the exceptional flavour of the coffee bean. First, the coffee is sorted and steamed for 30 minutes under low pressure in order to open the coffee seeds’ pores and prepare them for decaffeination. The coffee is placed in a solution of both water and ethyl acetate, where the E.A. will begin to bond with the salts of chlorogenic acids inside the seeds. The tank will be drained and re-filled over the course of eight hours until the caffeine is no longer detected. The seeds are steamed once more to remove the ethyl acetate traces. The coffee is then dried and polished for export. We love this method because it’s a lot more gentle to the beans than other methods, resulting in a smooth, sweet and delicious cup that works particularly well with milk.
Hazelnut, caramel praline and orange zest

Altitude: 1750 masl, Process: washed EA sugar cane
Decaf
Gloria Henriquez, Honduras Gloria Henriquez is a 4th generation coffee producer and owner of FTO certified farm Los Nances. She has a wealth of experience working on coffee farms having first started by watching her grandparents work on their farm as a child. “The new generation of coffee growers laugh at me when I tell them about the way we worked in the old days, but I see my experience and wealth of knowledge, even if from another era, as an advantage” Gloria says.

In 2013, disaster struck when her farm was ruthlessly hit by rust. Gloria was close to despair. With no income and very little money for food, she went into debt. Little by little she pulled herself out of that deep hole and decided to diversify. Nowadays she holds over 100 free-range, chemical free chickens, which she sells to eateries and her local community. A small but reliable source of income to supplement her coffee production.

Finca Los Nances is only a small farm of just under a hectare, but this year, Gloria, with the help of Cafesmo, has produced high scoring microlots which has convinced her that this is the direction she wants to take, building relationships of trust and close collaboration with one or two roasteries. We are incredibly grateful to be one of them. Gloria is also part of the brand new Women’s Association being established by Cafesmo, we can’t wait to see what the women achieve together.
Pear, fudgy caramel and cacao

Altitude: 1220 masl, Process: washed
Selected Mix
Tizita Bizuneh, Ethiopia In Ethiopia it is incredibly rare for women to be in management positions of washing stations or to be running coffee operations full stop. Well, welcome to the stage, Tizita Bizuneh! Tizita manages the Bulessa Washing Station in Sidama which is entirely run by women, with 12 permanent washing station workers that ensure a smooth operation all year round and up to 70 additional workers once the coffee is harvested. Tizita started this project with the focus on educating women farmers, aiming to empower Ethiopian women working in coffee from production to station management. The world needs a lot more Tizitas! Lemongrass, blueberry, black tea and honey

Altitude: 1750 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87, Selected Mix
AMACA, Colombia The AMACA (Asociacion de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca) is a group of all-women producers located in El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia that was formed in 1999 by 80 women from El Tambo, in Colombia’s Cauca department.Now AMACA is 140 smallholder members STRONG with all women farm owners and heads of household. All of the members support their families via the cultivation and production of coffee. In 2008, AMACA partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, the governor of Cauca, and the municipality of El Tambo to increase the production and quality of coffee on 80 members’ farms.

A premium is paid to AMACA above the value of the coffee itself to support their goals and aspirations as a group. Their mantra is simple: to improve the quality of life for their members and their members’ families. These premiums can help them to accomplish these goals and in turn, support this passionate and strong-willed group of women in their love for and livelihood of quality coffee.
Dark chocolate, plum and cherry cola

Altitude: 1750 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Juseyleia Reis, Brazil In 2004 Juscyleia realised that her job as a seamstress would not be enough to cover all the costs of her two daughters’ college education. It was at this point that she delved into the world of coffee growing with no previous knowledge of coffee growing, but a willingness to work and a passion to learn about the whole process of planting, harvesting and drying. She spoke to others and searched for information and through this process fell in love with coffee.

In 2008 Juscyleia inherited a farm from her father, and planted her first crop of only 5,000 feet of Mundo Novo coffee. When everyone said that there, in that place, she would never be able to harvest coffee, Juscyleia refused to be discouraged and, instead persisted. In 2012 she planted another 3,000 feet, but this time it was from Yellow Bourbon. She fought hard and worked hard for this coffee, having to prove herself even more so for being a woman.

Juscyleia continued to grow and learn, constantly evolving and improving her planting and processes. In 2018 she participated in the Minasul quality contest and of the 400 participants she was classified and finished the contest in 12th place! Having her name among the best coffees was the reward of many years of hard work and one of her greatest joys.

Juscyleia says “I am very proud to look back and see all the effort and difficulties that I went through and see where I got to. It was from this contest that I had another big surprise and happiness to see my coffee take over the world through Girls who Grind Coffee. I am very happy with this partnership. I wish that we can continue this partnership for many years and I guarantee that I will always do my best to guarantee an even better coffee!”.
Rich cocoa, brown sugar, plum and hazelnut

Altitude: 1100 - 1250 masl, Process: natural
Selected Mix

Roasted for the common good, Common Coffee is a roastery founded in 2018, based in Edinburgh, with a small and passionate team dedicated to roasting damn good coffee while making a positive impact.

Common began with a love for coffee, but not just the taste, smell, or morning caffeine hit, it's founders particularly love the role that coffee plays in the lives of people across the globe: from the farmers who rely on it to make a living, to the roasters and baristas honing their craft (not to mention those of us who can only be coaxed out of bed by that sweet coffee aroma), and you, it's consumers. A Common community, Common love.

Common Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Bright, Rwanda The Kibirigwi Kiangai washing station was created in 1953. The same year a group of farmers decided to establish the Kibirigwi Farmers Coop Society. At this point in time, the Kibirigwi Coop has affiliated with Kyrinyaga County Coop Union and operates eight factories altogether. The water used for the processing comes from the Kibirigwi river, hence the name, which is 50m from the factory.

The cherries are sorted and floated before being pulped to separate any split, under and overripe from the individual deliveries. The parchment is then fermented overnight, before being washed and graded into P1, P2, P3, P lights and pods. After the grading, it is dried on the drying tables for 8-14 days.

In order to educate their members on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS), the society has employed an agronomist to work in the field and carry out one to one training as well as group session throughout the harvest and during the offseason. The Coop also produce over 200,000 seedlings to be distributed amongst members every year free of charge to promote crop regeneration as well as distribute manure to promote organic fertilisation techniques. All the fermentation tanks, as well as the washing channels, have been tiled to improve the overall quality of the coffees and the cleaning and maintenance of the facilities.
Dried apricot, rhubarb and lemon

Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Sweet, Brazil The Sweet roast should satisfy your sweet tooth, while bringing you a well-balanced brew. This Anaerobic Natural Mundo Novo, from the renowned Cerrado region of Brazil, is a sweet, fruity and slightly boozy choice that tastes like Chocolate and Rum and Raisin, balanced with a slight berry sharpness.

This coffee is produced by Jorge Barakat at Fazenda Paraíso in the Cerrado Region, and sourced through Kamba Coffee. Jorge Barakat found coffee culture 30 years ago and fell in love with it. He is constantly developing new agricultural practices, blazing the trail by growing ‘dense coffees’ in Brazil that take up less land to produce the same yield.
Milk chocolate, caramel, rum and raisin

Process: natural
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Complex, Colombia The Complex roast is an interesting cup, with surprisingly delicious flavour. This Anaerobic Washed Castillo varietal from Colombia is produced by its namesake, Huber Castillo. It makes for a brilliant pour-over and long black, with tasting notes of pineapple, mango and almonds. It’s basically the Mai Tai of coffee!

Huber grows and processes this coffee at his farm, El Paseo, in the Sumapaz village just outside Buesaco, Nariño, Colombia. We source the coffee through Ally Coffee. The Washing process for this coffee is very specific, and the temperature of the coffee never exceeds 15°C. Firstly, the cherries are washed, then sealed in oxygen-free tanks with a one-way valve. The coffee is pulped after 60 hours in this environment, and moved to vats of water and lacto-bacteria to ferment for another 60 hours. The final stage requires the cherries to be fully washed, then dried for 22 days.
Pineapple, almond and mango

Process: anaerobic
Single / Light
Decaf, Peru Decaf shouldn’t be boring. We know that sometimes you want to drink coffee without feeling the rush, and others you just want a brew before bed! This CO2-decaffeinated Caturra and Catuai from Peru tastes like brown sugar, dark chocolate and fresh apricots, and is great black or with milk or milk alternatives.

This coffee comes from high-altitude smallholders in Jaen, Cajamarca in Northern Peru. We source it through Falcon Coffee. Carbon dioxide decaffeination involves pumping CO2 through coffee to open its pores and allow the caffeine molecules to move freely. Pressurised water is then added to wash the caffeine away!
Brown sugar, chocolate and apricot

Process: carbon dioxide decaffination
Decaf
Strong Blend, Brazil, Guatemala The Strong roast is a punchy blend that satisfies new and old-world coffee drinkers alike. This 50% Brazil, 50% Guatemala blend is 100% delicious. It’s everything you need to get you going in the morning and pick you up in the afternoon.

‘Paubrasil’, a Natural Catuai, comes from the Cerrado Mineiros Designation of Origin in Brazil. ‘Ceiba’, made up of Washed mixed varietals, comes from Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Both of these coffees are sourced through Ally Coffee’s Coffee Core Programme and named after the national trees of their corresponding countries - a representation of the resilience and adaptability of coffee producers.
Toasted almonds, chocolate cherry

Process: washed
Blend / Darker

GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.

Chris WarnerNovember 03, 2021