Thank you to everyone who joined us at our UK lab for a fantastic afternoon of cupping last Friday. We had a great time and really appreciated all the feedback from the group.
It was a busy afternoon – a group of over ten of us cupped a total of 36 coffees, across three tables. We kicked off with a table of our existing and soon-to-arrive Centrals – a mix of Guatemalans and El Salvadorans, plus a pre-shipment sample of a washed Mexican coffee from Oaxaca that is currently on its way to us.
The Mexican, Finca La Copalita, is a new estate for us and indeed Mexico is a new origin – and we were pleased with how this coffee stood up beside our Centrals. Favourites on the table included: theGuatemala Puerta Verde, which had a lovely intense sweetness and complexity of flavours; the Guatemala El Platanillo 100% Maragogype, with a rich full body and intense tropical fruit and mango notes;Guatemala La Perla – plums, plums, plums!; and the consistently excellent El Salvador Finca La Fany, with a lovely dulce de leche sweetness and rich mouthfeel.
We then moved on to a second table offering a wide range of coffees and cup profiles. This began with some of our new Honduran lots (a pilot project we’re very excited about), new arrival Nicaraguan coffees – two of which are from small producers in the Nueva Segovia region near the border with Honduras, a new region for us this year. Then came the Colombia La Cascada, part of our new sourcing project in Antioquia; a Costa Rica; a couple of Brazil crop 12/13 pre-shipment samples; and our soon-to-arrive Mountain Water Decaf of Guatemala Finca El Bosque.
Stand outs on table two included the Honduras Los Vaqueritos and the Nicaragua Cesar Julio Zuniga from Nueva Segovia (you can find detailed cupping notes for these and all the coffees below). Both the new crop Brazils cupped well, with the group torn between the BSCA Espresso blend and the Rodomunho Pulped Natural. We were also delighted with how the decaf sample performed – it retained some good acidity and sweetness, and lacked that synthetic aftertaste that some decafs suffer from.
We finished on a real high with a table of East Africans, plus our soon-to-arrive Guatemala and El Salvador Cup of Excellence lots, a current crop Bolivia and Finca El Tapado, another Colombian from Antioquia. The East Africans really dominated the table, notably the ‘outstanding’ and ‘extremely unusual’ Kenya Makwa AA (a small lot from Central Kenya that is now sadly sold out), the Kenya Gicherori PB Lot 212 – a balanced, complex, transparent cup with a lovely sweetness and crisp grapefruit acidity – and the Rwanda Buf pre-shipment sample, which was everything that a top class Rwandan should be and is on its way to us now – due to arrive around the beginning of November.
The Cup of Excellence coffees were in a difficult position, coming after an overwhelming series of East Africans, but they nevertheless performed well – all showing a lovely balance, sweetness and subtlety. The group’s favourite was the Guatemala Lot 23 Carmona 100% Bourbon, although there wasn’t much in it. The current crop Bolivian cupped reasonably, but showed its age on such a stellar table. José recently travelled to Bolivia to select our new crop coffees, which will be arriving around the first week of December (we can’t wait!). Finally the Colombia El Tapado cupped well, with some of the group naming it in their top three thanks to its lively tropical fruit notes.
If you have any questions about availability of these coffees please get in touch and we will be very happy to help.
We look forward to our next cupping event!