The last week has been total coffee nirvana for me.
I'm smiling as I write this.
Last week there was a single origin tasting at Stumptown where coffees evaluated included the following:
Honduras El Puente - Gorgeous sweetness, intense bright fruit (pomegranate, grapefruit), floral aromas. A little tannic as espresso.
El Salvador Las Nubitas - Amazing. Caramel, ripe apples, a touch of Belgian chocolate... Such a wonderful coffee. Very balanced and complete. Fantastic "fluffy" mouthfeel. Love it.
Ethiopia Harar - Super concentrated and intense, with dried blueberry and dark chocolate and a hint of potpourri. Powerfully aromatic though perhaps not quite as defined as one might wish from espresso.
Rwanda Musasa - The shocker of the day - an amazing espresso. Medium bodied and very fruit forward with tons of truffle sweetness and wonderful berry notes. Strong floral aromatics and a candied finish.
Nicaragua Finca el Injerto - Very focused and intense. Dominated by chocolate and fig notes this was a tightly wound shot. Quite strong on the front of the palate.
Guatemala Finca San Vincente - Soft, smooth and very round. Medium bodied and very sweet with wonderful cherry and milk chocolate and tropical fruit notes. Bright enough to balance out all the sweetness and light on the palate. Nice.
The crew at the tasting was fantastic - with folks like Gabe from Ritual in SF and Brent from Crema here in PDX and Phuong from LavaJava and the Dog River folks as well as Sarah and Ken from Barista Magazine and all the Stumpies. There were a ton of other people there but I didn't get a chance to meet most of them and I apologize in advance to all people who I've failed to mention.
It was a seriously good time. And oh my was it great coffee.
Anyway... I liked this so much I grabbed a pound of the Las Nubitas (which is selling in the Stumptown cafes for a shockingly low price) and took it home for the weekend.
Las Nubitas shots.
Las Nubitas macchiattos.
Las Nubitas cappuccinos.
Does life get any better?
Oh yes it does...
So yesterday was cupping and analysis and prep at the new Stumptown Annex. Duane and Robert (from Mocca Java in Oslo) and I cupped some coffees (the Panama Don Pachi, the El Puente, the Las Nubitas and the wonderful Los Delerios) and then compared notes and began working on optimal "brew-by-the-cup" methodologies.
The Don Pachi is amazing... a big bold round fruity candy monster of a coffee.
The El Puente is like some sort of ur-Central. All of the acidity and cleanness - but with balance and sweetness.
The Los Delerios is Ranier Cherry Pie with Chocolate Granita in a cup.
And the Las Nubitas... godlike. Sweet and yet bright. Round and yet exciting. Floral and yet balanced.... it's got it all.
And then today...
Annex experimentation take two.
Starting off with a cupping to die for. Don Pachi, Las Nubitas, Los Delerios, El Puente, an amazing (truly) Sumatran and, of course, the mighty Esmerelda.
In this company the standouts were the Esmerelda (of course) with its bergamot, jolly rancher, watermelon, muscato d'asti, tangerine hard candy insanity and the Sumatra.
I'm not usually a huge Sumatra fan but this was different. Shockingly clean, with no hummus or mushroom notes. Powerfully piney/resinous with strong herbal notes but with incredibly clear acidity. One of the brightest and most balanced Sumatrans I've ever tasted.
And then extraction testing with all the various equipment at the Annex.
Melitta bar El Injerto... Eva Solo El Injerto... Press Pot El Injerto... Vac Pot Don Pachi (mmmm good)... Moka Pot Don Pachi (amazing)... Moka Pot Esmerelda (okay, out of control now)... and then shots of espresso from the La Pavoni.
I feel like each day is this special present for me - where I get given the best coffee in the world perfectly prepared.
I'll never forget this.