Tasting Notes: September 2021 Coffees

 Tasting Notes: September 2021 Coffees

September 2021's Subscription Coffee Tasting Notes And Information

We return to Berlin once more following our recent features of Roststatte and Five Elephant, and this time say hello to Bonanza. Their coffee is not average; it’s not standard; or normal. From the moment coffee is planted until it is served, their coffee has gone through the hands of countless individuals who are all remarkable within their field. All critical efforts along the journey result in coffees that are a sum of choices made with the single goal in mind: how does the final product taste in your cup.

Established in 2006, Bonanza could be deemed as one of the 'originals' in popularising speciality coffee. Bonanza coffee doesn't have to taste the way it does, but it does. It's not your typical, it's unnecessarily good. But, maybe that's because they're unnecessarily driven...

Bonanza Coffees  |  Germany

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Sasaba, Ethiopia This is Bonanza's 4th year buying from Sasaba and as always, it is one of the most eagerly anticipated arrivals of the year for us. Tsegay Hagos Tesfeye runs the washing station at Sasaba, supporting around 500 local producers who deliver their coffees throughout the harvest. These small-holder farmers, situated above 2000masl are the best in the region. Working closely with the Washing station has consistently resulted in higher quality coffees.

The Sasaba washing station is equipped with a large pulper as well as over 600 African drying beds. The Sasaba washing station receives coffees from over 500 local smallholders in the local area and are mostly situated at over 2000masl. Tsegay Hagos understands the success of the Sasaba mill is closely tied to that of the smallholders. He believes in supporting the farmers with training so that they can one day export their own coffee.
Milk chocolate, strawberry cream and biscuit

Altitude: 2000 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87, Single / Light
Finca Miramar 48hrs, El Salvador One of Bonanza's all time favorite coffees has returned! For the fourth year in a row, we are excited to offer this lot from Finca Miramar, located at the foot of the Santa Ana Volcano. This particular lot goes through a 48 hour, whole cherry fermentation, creating a vibrant and fruit forward cup with a balanced and sweet lactic quality, making it a perfect coffee for both espresso and filter. Raspberry cream, apricot and chocolate wafer

Process: 48 hours anaerobic fermentation
Rest of World
Juan Pablo Garcia, Guatemala Juan Pablo Garcia is a first generation coffee producer that lives and works together with his family in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. After the cherries are picked and depulped, they are left to ferment in Anaerobic conditions for 38 hours before being washed to remove any excess mucilage. The parchment is then submerged once again for 5 hours. This meticulous balance of fermentation and soaking leads to an incredibly clean and crisp profile, full of delicate florals and ripe fruits. Pink lemonade, guava and toffee

Process: washed
Rest of World
El Carmen Decaf, Colombia After the success of our last Sugarcane Decaf, Bonanza are excited to be able to work with the decaffeinated version of our long standing coffee, El Carmen. This particular coffee comes from Pitalito, Huila in Colombia, and is decaffeinated using a method that soaks the green beans in a solvent produced by fermented sugarcane. Bonanza are again amazed by how incredibly clean, sweet and complex this Decaf coffee is, and they are excited to continue our work with the El Carmen association. Honeycomb, pear and plum.

Process: sugarcane decaf, washed
Decaf
Bonanza Blend Bonanza are always looking to improve our Blend with each new season, using more sustainable and traceable components. The latest version of our blend is our proudest one yet. Our new relationship with Sitio Santa Clara in Brazil gives us a coffee with high quality sweetness and a rich, creamy body. This is balanced out with our favourite Colombian coffee, El Carmen. The result is a well rounded cup, with notes of dark chocolate, shortbread and berry jam. Chocolate truffle and dark cherry

Process: washed
Blend / Darker
Fernando Trujillo, Colombia To showcase our admiration for the coffees produced in Timor Leste we are proud to offer this Naturally Processed lot from the Atsabe Wetmill this year. This coffee not only stood out to us on the cupping table but is also the highest scoring coffee to ever be produced in Timor Leste. The Atsabe Wetmill is a newly designed project by our partners there, built from experience working in other producing countries, and the effort is paying off in high quality coffees. The resulting cup is buttery and floral with notes of berries and caramel. Vanilla custard, green apple and almond

Process: washed
Selected Mix

A micro roastery located in Belgium, NAGA's entire story is to shine a spotlight onto Southeast Asian specialty coffee in an industry too often focused on Central Africa and Latin America.

Naga's founders' vision derives from various trips to Asia; Naga's goal is to bring you the quality and the know-how of the cultivators of the countries of tropical Asia, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar as well as to highlight the culture and the relationship of these countries with their coffee. GUSTATORY quite agrees, Asia is one of the most exciting new coffee regions.

NAGA Coffees  |  Belgium

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Kerinci, Indonesia This unique coffee process will taking you to the Emerald of the equator. A fresh and lively tropical taste with a sweet acidity. Indonesia is perhaps best known for its unique wet hulling process. Though its exact origins are unclear, wet hulling most likely originated in Aceh during the late 1970s. This incredible Giling Basah coffee is from Koerintji Barokah Bersama Cooperative, an award-winning coffee farmers’ organization with 320 members, who live and farm at the foot of Mount Kerinci in Sumatra.

NAGA's coffee is sourced through select partnerships across the Indonesian archipelago, where the traceability can be verify to the point of village collector or district processor. The importer on the ground controls quality from the point of purchase through export, collaborating with regional mills, warehouses, and logistics providers to deliver the unique flavor of Indonesia, year-round, and with the freshest harvest available.
Guava, pomelo and cedar

Altitude: 1200 - 1700 masl, Process: wet hulled
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Hopong, Myanmar From Opium to specialty coffee, a gourmet and complex nectar. Fruity note and sweetness for a refreshing freedom. Myanmar is a young specialty coffee producing country, but does so with speed and has impressive results. The Hopong cooperative was able to organize coffee growers in two villages in just one year and collectively process their very first batch of natural sun-dried coffee and even find an export point of sale.

Tired of secretly producing opium for drug lords while being pursued by the authorities on the one hand, and selling poorly processed coffee to brokers and middlemen on the other, the farmers of Hopong started to seek a new way of life. Through social media, they learned that other farms were receiving help from an NGO on how to create high quality natural products. They took a great leap of faith and fully embraced specialty coffee production and became true coffee producers.

Cherries are hand picked by members of the Hopong community in the early hours of the day. Once the collection is complete, members deliver cherries to the drying stations in Hopong. Upon delivery, the cherries are hand-sorted in order to keep only those that are ripe. The fully ripe cherries are then placed on raised beds. Slow drying is a priority and drying time varies between 13-17 days depending on weather conditions. All batches are segregated by day and deliveries from all members are fully traceable.
Blueberry, honey and yuzu

Altitude: 1100 - 1600 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87, Rest of World
Lamari, Papua New Guinea In the jungle of flavours, an harmonious swirl. Sweet and tangy note followed by a wild dark chocolate aroma. The introduction of coffee to Papua New Guinea is directly linked to the country’s colonial past. The first official record of coffee in the region is found in an 1890 colonial government report, right in the midst of Forsayth’s trading power. By 1897, Variarata, a plantation outside Port Moresby and a little northwest of Rigo, had planted 20,000 Arabica trees. Four years later, in 1901, shortly after the trees began to bear the cherry, the plantation began exporting to Australia. It was not until the late 1920s that business owners made a major effort to increase production to a commercial level.

Much of this growth is due to smallholder farmers in the highlands who benefit from a combination of ideal climatic conditions, rich soils and the growing attention and knowledge of smallholder farmers. It should be noted that in PNG it has been particularly difficult to organize farmers into cooperatives. This is in part due to the incredible diversity of tribals and languages.

Most farmers in PNG grow coffee on small, interspersed plots of land. Many smallholders in PNG process their cherries at home. Farmers pulp their cherries, usually with small pulping drums or other methods by hand. Then ferment them for about 36 hours. After washing the cherry to remove any remaining mucilage, growers will dry the parchment. The most common drying methods are drying in the sun on raised beds or tarps or mechanical dryers.
Gala apple, sugar cane and dark chocolate

Altitude: 1700 - 2000 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Yunnan, China A coffee in the lands of Pu’er for an elegant ritual. A juicy asian flavor following by a nutty note. Since 1987, the Luo family were among the first to cultivate coffee in Menglian Prefecture, Yunnan Province. (region also famous for his tea culture like Pu-Ehr.) 34 years later, it is now the turn of the new generation to introduce and export their work, their passion to the forefront of the specialty coffee scene. Jean and Song Luo are intimately linked to the land and his inhabitants and all put their knowledge into improving their production. Yirong Farm is today a community leader for minorities like the Va, La Hu, Dai …

With to the energy of the cooperative, many industries have created jobs, allowing families to invest in their own transportation and in their homes.This coffee, certified organic, uses compost to fertilize the coffee trees, thanks to which the chemical pesticides are prohibited. In addition, spring water from the mountain supplies the farm all year round to wash the coffee and make it smoother.

The cherries are selected and picked by hand to then be cleaned and pulped in the machine. The fruits are then placed in concrete vats to be fermented there for 24 to 30 hours. Once fermented, the parchment is washed with water and the beans are left to dry on beds for 30 to 38 days.
Asian Peer, nutty and mandarin

Altitude: 1300 - 1600 masl, Process: washed
Blends / Darker

Honest, uncompromising, remarkable coffee. MOK was founded in 2012 by two times Belgian Cup Tasters Champion Jens Crabbé, and were also recently honoured an award '2nd Best Specialty Coffee Roaster in Europe & Middle East'.

Another Belgian micro coffee roastery, MOK always aim for the very best roasting and brewing to bring you the finest coffee experience. All about integrity and quality, MOK work with the same producers year after year to create long lasting relationships. MOK focuses on growers who understand that quality comes from hard work and sustainable practices, and are never driven by price. Plus, they're cool. Very cool.

MOK Coffees  |  Belgium

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Lorena, El Salvador Pacamara, a hybrid of Pacas and Maragogype, was developed in the laboratories of ISIC. The variety had been overlooked for some time in favour of other new disease resistant and more productive varieties. In the last decade it made a major comeback thanks to quality-driven producers, winning top spots during the Cup of Excellence every year. This is a great representation of the Pacamara variety, a soft and delicate cup with subtle flavours of natural processing. Clean and fruity with a rounded sweetness. Red plum, lime, cane sugar

Process: natural
Plus 87, Rest of World
Gititu, Kenya Coming soon Coming soon

Process: washed
Plus 87
Biloya, Ethiopia Coming soon Coming soon

Process: natural
Single / Light, Selected Mix
D'Barbosa, Brazil The tradition of coffee production has been in the Barbosa family since the 12th century. Danilo’s great-grandparents passed it on to his grandparents and from him to his father. Danilo now works together with his two sons and has added a nature reserve to the plantation to learn more on how to preserve the environment and produce 100% sustainable coffee. This 86 scoring Brazil can also be found in our Rich Kid blend, during QC we decided it deserved a place amongst our single origins! Strawberry, almond and milk chocolate

Process: natural
Selected Mix
Decaf, Ethiopia Due to the changes in regulations in Ethiopia Mustefa recently registered as an exporter in order to start selling his coffee directly. With the support of our importer and their agronomist they are able to improve quality by working with Mustefa and his out growers on cherry selection, drying and farm management; and also commit to buy his entire production. This more efficient supply chain maximises the amount of money that goes back to Mustefa and is something we are very passionate and proud to support it. Chocolate, clementine and tamarind

Process: swiss water decaf
Decaf
New Balance Blend 50% Peru / 50% Ethiopia. Our more fruit driven seasonal ESPRESSO blend. Designed for those who are looking for more intense fruit flavours and greater acidity, a match for milk beverages or enjoy straight. Here a washed Ethiopian from Ambela Washing Station in the Guji zone is blended with one of our seasonal single origins. Well balanced, sweet and fruity

Process: washed
Selected Mix
Rich Kid Blend 70% Brazil / 30% Ethiopia. Sweet and well-balanced espresso blend with a smooth mouthfeel and medium acidity. Brazil naturals tend to lean towards lower acidity and richer body than African naturals due to terroir, climate and processing. This makes the perfect base for our espresso blend, we balance this with a washed Ethiopian from Tessema Edima in Yirgacheffe. Ideal as both espresso and with all milky drinks, packed with chocolate and hazelnut. Chocolate, hazelnut and full bodied

Process: washed, natural
Blend / Darker, Selected Mix
Malawo, Ethiopia Named after the word ‘honey’ in Sidama dialect, these limited micro lots come from a single farm or small cluster. During the entire process the microlots are carefully kept separate. This approach helps them to focus on the quality of the beans, even assigning 1 person per drying bed to rotate the cherries every 15 mins, ensuring uniformity and quality drying. Yellow Honey processing is still fairly unusual in Ethiopia, but here it adds even more complexity and highlights the floral notes perfectly! Chamomile, mirabelle and honey

Process: yellow honey
Single / Light

When Round Hill think of ‘origin’, Kelston Round Hill is to them synonymous. This lush grassy knoll just outside Bath with its clump of trees and views over Somerset is not just their namesake, but the backyard of where their roastery was founded. It’s their origin, and it was there that their journey started. That journey has taken Round Hill to distant origins with their own hills, on whose slopes derive some of the world’s greatest coffees produced by some of the world’s best farmers.

From Round Hill's approach to roasting to the colours of our packaging, they pay homage to the vivid character of their coffees. Bright and vibrant. Candy for grownups.

Round Hill Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
La Claudina #4, Colombia Coming soon Coming soon

Process: natural
Plus 87
Mirolindo, Colombia Coming soon Coming soon

Process: washed
Plus 87, Selected Mix
Galeras Decaf, Colombia The town of Buesaco lies high on a ridge in the Andes Mountains of the Nariño department in Colombia. The cooperative works with more than 300 smallholders farmers all over the Nariño department who generally harvest coffee all year around. Farmers are paid premiums on top of the market price these premiums incentivize high quality standards and good agricultural practices, like avoiding the usage of glyphosate and other chemicals. This lot of decaffeinated coffee in particular consists of small batches of beans from farms around the Galeras Volcano. This coffee was decaffeinated using the Ethyl Acetate (EA) decaffeination process.

Ethyl acetate is produced by esterification between ethyl alcohol, which is derived from the fermentation of sugar cane, and acetic acid. The green coffee is submerged in a wash of water and ethyl acetate, during which the ethyl acetate bonds with the caffeine in the coffee and begins to extract it from the green seeds. The EA solution is flushed and the process is repeated until reaching a minimum decaffeination level of 97%. Finally, the green coffee is steamed to remove any remaining ethyl acetate from the seeds.
Caramel, milk chocolate and apple

Altitude: 1850 masl, Process: fully washed, sugarcane
Decaf
Kelloo Nensebo Riripa, Ethiopia Nensebo Riripa is particularly special as it is harvested in a largely unknown region of Ethiopia. The land is filled with densely shaded forest located at the base of the Bale Mountain on the north east side. This forest has an abundance of rainfall early in the season and showers towards harvest giving the cherries perfect growing conditions. Each farmer owns about two hectares and the average tree yields three kilos with 1800-2400 trees per hectare.

This coffee is certified organic coffee meaning only natural processes are used to fend off pests. Often, in higher altitudes such as this the local bats and birds do all the work but covering the trees is also used as an alternative for the producers to protect the cherries.

The cherry is harvested, sorted by hand and taken to be pulped where the skin and fruit are removed by a disc pulper. It is then washed and graded in channels by density then wet fermented for 72 hours. The drying process involves laying the coffee about two centimeters deep on African drying beds where it will dry for 14 days before finally being hand sorted.
Black tea, stone fruit and rose water

Altitude: 1900 - 2100 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Unit Fourteen, Colombia Unit Fourteen is all about seasonality and freshness in coffee. As the harvests change throughout the year we will be changing Unit Fourteen.

We have bought coffees from this lesser known region of Honduras before and are thrilled to present this new find for you. Intibuca is a department in south west of Honduras and all the 60 producers who are part of the collective own farms between the towns of Masaguara and Intibuca. In this collective a typical producer will grow 20 to 50 bags of coffee per year (1.5 -3.5 tonnes) and own their own small mill and African beds for drying their coffee. There is constant investment in the farms and the dedication towards producing better quality coffee stands the producers in good stead to grow the value and awareness of coffees from their region.

Due to the fact all the producers pick and process everything on their own farms we can tell you that this lot is a combination of early pickings from the farms of Wilmer Grau, Yina Yamileth Reyes Gomez, Andres Rodriguez Hernandez, and Guadalupe Rodriguez.

As is the case with lots of our sourcing plans during the pandemic we were due to visit Intibuca in the spring of 2020. We really hope that we can go in early 2022 to meet with the producers and further our relationship with them and this wonderful region.
Chocolate, golden syrup and stone fruit

Altitude: 1600 - 2000 masl, Process: washed
Blend / Darker
San Sebastian, Colombia (Washed) Coming soon Coming soon

Process: washed
Single / Light

GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.

GUSTATORY Curation TeamSeptember 06, 2021