August has Stumptown releasing it's newest crop of Direct Trade Coffee. Needless to say, we were excited to try and find a new Stumptown Office Coffee.
This particular role out leans heavily toward the Latins with Three Guatemalans, two Hondurans an an El Salvadorian offering. Particularly noticeable was that all three Guatemalan offerings were single varietal. It seems like the move toward single-varietal coffees among the highest quality beans is inexorable. As beans are increasingly divided into smaller and smaller lots, all this level of differentiation has becoming increasingly prominent. Even our most affordable offering, the Dallis Bros. Fazenda Sertao, is composed exclusively of Yellow Bourbon. While certain varietals have established themselves, namely the Geisha so famous for the outrageous prices it can pull in, it seems like many of these varietals are still looking for their own voices, and point of view. I'm sure that as coffee becomes ever more stratified, we'll find plenty of distinction between them, and find that certain varietals work better with certain teroir.
But enough of my musings about varietals. Lets talk about the coffees.
In Office Tasting
We conducted our tastings in two steps. Two Fridays ago, my brother and I sat down and made a Chemex of each (look here for a brew guide). 43g Coffee, 700g water. We took tasting notes and tried the coffee first hot, and then again about an hour later, at room temperature. The Kenyan Peaberry didn't make it to this stage. We had already brewed an airpot of it on our fetco and drank it while making deliveries the day before. While it is the most expensive offering from the new role out, for the quality of coffee it is, we found it a bargin. It has a huge flavor and I think is best enjoyed in small quantities, at 90-100 farenheit.
Stumptown Cupping at One Girl Cookies, Dumbo
The other part of our sampling was a proper cupping at One Girl Cookies, in Dumbo. It was organized by Jamie and Jules of Stumptown. Jules was actually the lady who trained me to make espresso about three years back, when we were starting up the mobile cafe that turned into Joyride Coffee. What stood out in our minds was the breadth of the Latins. Of course, the Nano Challa (a returning favorite, for all of you Ethiopian lovers) was great, but the Latins portrayed a wildly varied cup, from the timid and fragile tea like El Salvadorian Los Caleros, to the syrupy and almost Indonesian Guatemala Finca Semillero - Caturra. I guess I sort of associated Latins with lighter body, chocolatey notes and some spices.
And the Coffees:
We will be trying out the Latins as Stumptown Office coffee, and as our Office Coffee Cold-brew. We'll let you know when we find out what we think works best.