On Friday 23rd November we held our first off site invitational cupping day at one of the UK’s leading specialist coffee shops, Colonna & Small’s in Bath. We had a great turnout from roasters based in the South West and I’m sure that everyone enjoyed this opportunity to put faces to names and companies.
We cupped a total of 14 coffees, split across two tables. The first table featured our latest arrivals from Brazil (the first of the new crop coffees to land with us in the UK), alongside a Mexican and a Nicaraguan. The real stand out on this table was the Mexico Finca La Copalita, which the group chose as their favourite. We found the Copalita to display crisp complex acidity and juicy sweetness – a welcome reminder of the quality of coffee that Mexico can produce. The Brazil Rodomunho pulped natural also made many friends with its heavy body and rich chocolate flavour; this will be a popular ingredient in espresso blends coming into winter.
The second table featured current crop coffees from El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as our new crop arrivals from Rwanda – Musasa,Buf and Cyiya. As ever, the Rwandan coffees shone brightly. I have particularly enjoyed the Cyiya this season; a new washing station for us in 2012, it has a deep buttery body, juicy sweetness, balanced complex acidity and flavour notes of ripe blueberries. Musasa was a favourite of the group and has once again produced a delicious crop, tasting of ripe damson jam, with a pointed bright acidity and a long sweet aftertaste.
The coffees from Guatemala and El Salvador proved to be holding well, standing up admirably alongside the new crop Rwandans. El Salvador El Retiro and Guatemala La Perla were two favourites, showing a great balance and complex flavour profiles.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable table, with coffees demonstrating an excellent balance in particular. Anyone still searching for a coffee for next year’s barista championship could do a lot worse than to start by tasting these…
A big thank you to everybody for coming along and making the day so great, and to Colonna & Small’s for being such excellent hosts!
BRAZIL (NEW SEASON ARRIVALS)
Fazenda Rodomunho Pulped Natural (Mundo Novo/Catuaí/Acaiá/Icatú)
BSCA Espresso Blend No. 1 (Catuai/Mundo Novo)
BSCA Fazenda Passeio Pulped natural (Catuai/Mundo Novo)
BSCA Fazenda Passeio 100% Yellow Icatú Natural
Finca La Copalita (Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca) – Fully washed – Typica
Eduardo Rodriguez (Nueva Segovia) – Fully washed – Caturra
San Francisco Tecuamburro (Fraijanes) – Fully washed – Bourbon/Catuai
La Perla (El Quiché) – Fully washed – Caturra/Bourbon
La Fany 100% Red Bourbon – Fully washed
El Retiro 100% Red Bourbon – Fully washed
El Carmen 100% Red Bourbon – Fully washed
Musasa Cooperative (Gatagara Washing Station) 100% Red Bourbon – Fully washed
BUF Café (Remera Washing Station) 100% Red Bourbon – Fully washed
Cyiya 100% Red Bourbon – Fully washed