Your Coffee Subscription – November 2023

Dear coffee subscriber,

This month I have selected coffees that I find very interesting to taste side by side.

Many years ago we planted SL28  seeds with Marysabel Caballero, Moises Herrera and Jobneel Caceres in Honduras. You might already know that SL28 is a famous Kenyan coffee cultivar and is a huge part of why Kenyan coffees taste so fruity.  We have been fortunate to be able to buy and taste these coffees in small amounts in the last years and so far they have been tasting really good.  Although the seeds came from the same batch, these two coffees taste very different from each other and also very different from a Kenyan grown SL28. I believe it is because of very different growing conditions in Marcala and Santa Barbara in Honduras.  

For the 3+ bag subscribers we are sending out the Geisha cultivar from the Caballeros. This will be the first of several Geishas that will be sent to our subscribers in the near future. 

I hope you will enjoy these month’s coffees as much as I do.
– Tim

Caballero SL28 (1st and 4th bag)

Flavour notes: Chocolate, red berries & herbal
Producer: Marysabel Caballero & Moises Herrera
Harvest: February 2023
Origin: Chinacla, La Paz, Honduras
Process: Washed
Cultivar: SL28

Most of you know that the SL28 cultivar is commonly grown in Kenya and a big reason why Kenyan coffees are so fruity and intense. Still, we have found that when planted in other countries, the profile can change quite a bit. Like the SL28 from Finca Tamana in Colombia, the SL28 from Marysabel and Moises are quite subtle in the flavour profile. I can still taste flavours of red berries, and delicate floral notes but they are not as intense as in the SL28 coffee from Jobneel and his farm Nacimiento further north in Honduras. This year the Caballero’s SL28 coffee has a smooth body and a lot of milk chocolaty notes with delicate fruity notes like dried red berries.

The Caballeros only produce small amounts of this coffee from seeds that I gave them a few years back (the same seeds that I gave to Jobneel that he planted at Finca Nacimiento,) and most of it goes to our subscribers.

Nacimiento SL28 (2nd & 5th bag)

Flavour notes: Winey, red berries & blackcurrant
Producer: Jobneel Caceres Dios
Harvest: March – May 2023
Origin: El Cielito, Santa Barbara, Honduras
Process: Washed
Cultivar: SL28

These plants were planted the same year as the Caballero’s SL28 trees and came from the same bag of seeds too. Still the coffees taste very different. Most likely due to the different climatic and growing conditions but maybe also because of the differences in processing of this coffee. Santa Barbara is a lot more humid and the altitude of Jobneel’s farm where he has planted his SL28 is around 1800 meters above sea level which is a few hundred meters higher than the Caballeros farms. Even though it should be cooler, we also know that Jobneel is not struggling as much with frosty nights like the Caballeros. Still this coffee is normally harvested one to three months after the Caballeros have finished their harvest. Another factor is that the cool nights at this farm makes fermentation really slow. Jobneel will typically ferment this coffee for 24-36 hours depending on the temperature, before it is washed. I believe you can taste a little bit of a long fermentation in this year’s SL28 lot from Nacimiento but in general this coffee tends to have a higher intensity of fruit flavour compared with the Caballero’s SL28.

I am also happy to say that in general the quality of Jobneel’s coffees are much better this year compared to last years crop, which was a difficult year for Jobneel and his farm due to rough climatic conditions.

Caballero Geisha (3rd or 6th bag)

Flavour notes: Sweet mandarin, jasmine & honey
Producer: Marysabel Caballero & Moises Herrera
Harvest: February 2023
Origin: Chinacla, La Paz, Honduras
Process: Washed
Cultivar: Geisha

The Geisha cultivar is famous for its floral and citric cup profile. This award winning coffee from the Caballeros is no exception. Unlike the Panamanian geishas which typically has a light bodied cup, this Honduran grown Geisha has a heavier mouthfeel, slight lower intensity of acidity and a subtle herbal finish. Like last year Moises separated all pickings from his Geisha trees and I was fortunate to be able to select my favourite lots.

When I am brewing this coffee with a V60 or filter coffee method, I sometimes experience a bit slow drawdown time during brewing (time for water to filter through the coffee). If you have the same experience I recommend that you do not grind coarser to compensate for this but rather let it take some more time to make sure the coffee is extracted well. Since this coffee is lightly roasted you will get a more balanced brew even if you have longer brew times. In fact I personally would grind this coffee slight finer than for example the Catuaí from the Caballeros to make sure I get the most sweetness, fruity and floral flavours out of this coffee.

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