Your Coffee Subscription – October 2021
Dear coffee subscribers,
This month I have picked out some coffees I really enjoy drinking during the rainy and cold autumn: a mix of coffees that are fruity, floral, chocolaty and sweet.
I know we sent out the coffee from Karinga to our 3 bag subscribers a couple of months ago but this coffee is so tasty that we wanted to share it with all our subscribers. The second coffee I have picked out is the Finca Tamana Caturra & Variedad Colombia. This coffee has a round and sweet mouthfeel and pairs very well with milk for those of you who have an espresso subscription. To complete this subscription shipment I have chosen Caballero Batian as the third coffee which is an interesting coffee that is both floral, herbal and has a delicious candy-like fruit flavour.
Karinga (1st & 4th bag)
Flavour notes: Floral, blackberries & rose hips
Producer: Several smallholder farmers
Harvest: December 2020
Origin: Kiambu, Kenya
Cultivar: SL28 & SL34
This coffee is grown at around 1900 masl in Kiambu where the climate is cool and makes the coffee ripen slower and develop more flavour, sweetness and acidity.
Most of the members who sell their coffee cherries to this wet mill grow mainly the SL28 cultivar (with some growing SL34) because of good yields and exceptional quality in high altitudes. The majority of the farmers in this area have therefore been reluctant to plant the newer rust tolerant hybrids Batian andRuiru 11 which are becoming more common in lower altitudes in Kenya.
For me this coffee has been a standout for several years when I have been tasting coffees in Kenya because of its intensity of flavour. This year, I find the coffee to be quite winey and floral with intense blackberry and rose hip flavours. It is a very complex coffee that displays layers of flavour as it cools, so make sure you enjoy this coffee at various temperatures.
Finca Tamana Caturra & Variedad Colombia (2nd & 5th bag)
Flavour notes: Sweet chocolate, caramel & red fruits
Producer: Elias Roa
Harvest: July 2020
Origin: El Pital, Huila, Colombia
Cultivar: Caturra & Variedad Colombia
When Elias Roa bought Finca Tamana in 2011 most of the farm was planted with the two cultivars Caturra and Variedad Colombia. Since then the Caturra trees have been attacked by leaf rust almost every year and the quality and production has therefore been a bit up and down. The variedad Colombia is resistant to leaf rust and has consistently been tasting better compared to the Caturra over the years. That is why we have recommended Elias to replant most of his Caturra trees with either resistant hybrid cultivars or better tasting traditional cultivars like Bourbon and SL28. There are still some Caturra left on the farm and probably always will be, but since the production is very small and the flavour is very similar to the Variedad Colombia we are normally blending the two based on harvest date and quality. In general the lots we buy from Tamana are mixed like this because separating them in to daily pickings is normally not practical in terms of milling, packing, etc. I still feel that we are able to preserve the uniqueness in these coffees and this lot is an excellent example of the «standard» quality from Tamana. 2020 turned out to be a good year for quality with good growing conditions that resulted in an overall high quality of the coffees from Tamana. You can really taste more fruit in this harvest compared to the 2019 harvest. In addition to good growing conditions Elias started using his new eco-mill which contributed to very consistent quality. He is now fermenting his coffees in stainless steel tanks and using a mechanical mucilage remover to wash the coffees. Even though the coffees are soaked in clean water over night before it gets dried under shade, the new mill has greatly reduced the water usage on the farm.
Expect a really sweet caramel like (or panela if you are Colombian) sweetness with subtle fruity flavours.
Caballero Batian (3rd & 6th bag)
Flavour notes: Floral, candied fruit & herbal
Producer: Marysabel Caballero & Moises Herrera
Harvest: February 2021
Origin: Chinacla, la Paz, Honduras
Batian is actually a Kenyan hybrid cultivar but this particular coffee was grown in Honduras by our friends Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera. They have only planted a small amount of these trees and we are fortunate to be able to buy their entire production of this cultivar. This is the third year we are able to offer a small amount of this coffee and I believe it is tasting better this year than the previous years. I find the 2021 lot to have a more delicate floral flavour with an interesting candied fruit-note. The herbal characteristic is much more subtle than previous years and the sweetness is also more present. It is a very interesting coffee that has many layers of flavours to offer. I love tasting it next to other coffees from various origins as the flavour perception changes every time i come back to this Batian. I therefore highly recommend tasting this next to the Tamana and Karinga or even a cheap low quality coffee.
Thanks for reading and as always, we hope you enjoy the coffees and learning from our monthly videos. If you need some brewing tips, visit our website.
I hope you will enjoy the coffees