Ethiopian coffee is rarely off the menu at Rinaldo's. We've just received another organic cracker, this time Kayon Mountain, which has an impressive score of 88 on the cupping table. Typical of this country's coffee, it's a vibrant and floral bean that's beautifully balanced.
I'm a huge fan of Ethiopian coffee and this subtle and super-tangy bean is delightful as a pour-over. I love it. But why don't you try it with you preferred brew method and let us know what you think - we'll give you a gift for any review you leave on this web page.
ETHIOPIA - Kayon Mountain ALTITUDE - 1900 - 2100 masl LOCATION - Guji Zone, Oromia PREPARATION - Washed (organic) VARIETY - Heirloom OWNER - Ato Esmael and his family HARVEST - October - February PROFILE - Jasmine, apricot, lime, creamy
The Kayon Mountain Coffee Farm was established in 2012 with the aim of producing top quality coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. The farm is situated in the southern part of Ethiopia in the Oromia region, Guji Zone which is about 320 miles from the capital city, Addis Ababa. The farm is privately owned by Ato Esmael and his family.
Guji is a recent addition to the range of beautiful coffees being exported from Ethiopia. Historically it has been exported as a Sidamo type, but after many years of lobbying, the Ethiopian government has granted Guji its own geographical distinction. While the cup profile is quite similar to Sidamo coffees, some people feel that there is a “little something special” in the terroir of Guji.
New Heirloom coffee trees have been planted on this 240 hectare plot in fertile sandy clay loam soil beneath the canopy of a natural forest. Organic processes are used on the farm with animal dung being the main source of fertilizer. The coffee is harvested from October to February by people from local villages. Some of it is washed, fermented and dried on raised beds and the rest is left for the production of high quality natural processed coffee. Freshly picked coffee cherry is washed with the low density beans being channelled away for a lower grade. The clean high grade coffees are then placed onto raised beds where for around 12 to 20 days’ drying time it is meticulously hand-turned and picked over to remove any defect beans. Finally, the dried cherries are milled to reveal the beautiful natural processed coffee beans which undergo further sorting to remove any remaining defect beans.
DESCRIPTION Jasmine and bergamot florals with lime, apricot, honey and cream.
SCAA CUP SCORE: 88
HEIRLOOM: These varieties most resemble the Typica variety though there is no exact way of tracing their development. There are over 1000 different heirloom varieties growing in the wild forests of Ethiopia. These varieties are responsible for some of the most coveted profiles in the world.
Rin recommends:a pour-over brew method to highlight the subtleties of this incredible single origin. Perfect for Aeropress / Chemex / Softbrew.
60% Brazil: Bom Jesus (Rainforest Alliance Certified) 40%: El Salvador: El Borbollon
We've worked hard over the past year to perfect our iconic blue label Casa. Given that speciality coffee is all about seasonal harvests, we can confidently reproduce our taste profile with Brazilian and Central American Arabica beans.
Currently we've have plumped for a yellow catuai varietal from Fazenda Ouro Verde has an amazing sweetness, yet the punch needed to cut through milky espresso-machine based drinks. So, its the ideal base for our Casa Espresso blend.
As its bezzy mate, we've chosen the typical chocolatey flavours of an El Salvadoran Arabica. It's a Red Bourbon varietal, a favourite of ours and a delight to roast. Honestly, we're spoiling y'all with this unbeliveable house blend. (Don't take my word for it though ... just look at what you're saying on the REVIEWS tab above!)
So what's our objective? We want...
- A coffee that's got the boldness through an espresso machine as an unadulturated espresso, yet has the body and punch to compliment all milky drinks - A blend of 100% single-origin Arabica beans that tastes amazing, without any hint of the astringency you'll find with Robusta coffee - To remain committed to using farms whose produce is fully traceable. With this provenance, we can rely on an excellent crop from each harvest. And in this way, we can reproduce a consistent roast profile and keep you smiling - A taste profile that has good balance, a full-mouthfeel, with nutty and dark chocolate notes and a refreshing berry finish
Brew Method: Made to measure for an espresso machine. If you have a home espresso machine, then our "blue label" is an essential companion. It's also absolutely cracking to use with a stove top. The new model Bialetti Brikka, will give you a great crema too, so it's an ideal way to start the day, if you're on a budget. And because we roast fresh at least once a week, you'll get the very best our of this amazing 100% Arabica blend. As we say in Cumbria: “Champion”.
For more information about the beans, click on the "Nerd Zone" tab about ... you geeks, you!
Farm: Bom Jesus Varietal: Mundo Novo Processing: Natural process, sun-dried 30 days of resting period Altitude: 1,000 metres above sea level Owner: Gabriel e Flavia Lancha de Oliveira Region: Cristais Paulistas, Alta Mogiana Country: Brazil
The coffee from Fazenda Bom Jesus has a bright and remarkable acidity with hints of chocolate and walnuts. It leaves a very light and pleasant aftertaste. Notes of brown sugar make it a naturally sweet cup. A hint of maple syrup can also be detected. Its stunning aroma is very soft and sophisticated. The sweetness of the coffee is a result of the coffee varietal Mundo Novo and the natural process. The sugar in the coffee cherry is passed on to the bean as the coffee cherries are all dried together, removing the husks just after the coffee reaches a humidity of 11.5 %. The coffee is grown at an altitude of around 1,000 metres above sea level. This allows for ideal levels of rainfall of approximately 1,000mm per year. The constant temperatures of 20-25 C make for ideal conditions for the growth of healthy coffee trees and cherries. FARMERS
Fazenda Bom Jesus is the work of the couple Gabriel and Flavia Lancha Oliveira. With a long heritage in coffee culture both are grandchildren of coffee producers. They themselves passed their love and care on to their sons, Lucas and Gabriel junior who are also dedicated full-time to the farm. In 1984 they formed The Labareda Group, diversifying into various rural activities although coffee is still the most foremost in family hearts and indeed remains their main crop. Fazenda Bom Jesus is located in Cristais Paulistas in the Alta Mogiana Region. Gabriel and Flavia are more than just a farming couple. Their objective is to sustainably develop their region from a social and economical point of view. Fazenda Bom Jesus was a founder of the Alta Mogiana Specialty Coffee Association - AMSC. It promotes a greater conscience with regard to speciality coffee in the region as well as developing better farm practices. Performance bonus payments are also made alongside employees fixed wages. Flavia verifies that all employees on the farm must be literate and receive specialized training to do their job. As for the workforce, all their children must be enrolled at the local school.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Fazenda Bom Jesus has over 140 hectares of Natural Reserve where a huge diversity of fauna and flora can be found. Annual auditors come to collect data on both vegetation and wildlife which, in turn, is catalogued by Rainforest Alliance researchers. All the products used on the farm are not only allowed but recommended. As it produces its own compost used on the farm. Fazenda Bom Jesus contributes socially with events such as GIMA – where children from 9 small surrounding towns come to take part in a treasure hunt. Over 400 children participate in general knowledge tests and a sports day on the Bom Jesus Farm. Only state educated children take part in the events and the prizes are sponsored by the farm itself and Australian roasters that also do direct trade.
QUALITY AND CERTIFICATION
Fazenda Bom Jesus Coffee was the first Farm in the Alta Mogiana Region to be certified by UTZ in 2006. Every stage must be monitored and recorded to allow 100% traceability of the coffee, which is only one of UTZ's requirements. The farm is a member of the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association. Fazenda Bom Jesus has also been Rainforest Alliance (RFA) Certified since 2008. The importance of the certification is for both environment and social reasons. Recycling is encouraged in all farm buildings and the correct use of safety equipment is a further requirement of RFA. Fazenda Bom Jesus achieved a scored of 98% from the (RFA) auditors last year. The coffee is certified and exported to over 10 countries including Australia, Germany, USA and now Great Britain.
Acidity – 7 - 7.5 Mild acidity, pleasant
Sweetness – 7.5 - 8 Excellent sweetness with more sugars being absorbed from the pulp
Character – 7.75 - 8 Plum-like, nutty, chocolate on the darker side
Body – 8 - 8.5 Medium to full body
Balance – 7.5- 8.5 Good balance
EL Salvador: El Borbollon
Farm: La Reforma & Santa Maria Varietal: 100% Red Bourbon Processing: Fully washed and sundried on clay patios Altitude: 1,400 to 1,500 metres above sea level Owner: The Alvarez Family Town: Santa Ana Region: Santa Ana Volcano (Apaneca-Ilamatepec) Country: El Salvador Total size of farm: 55 hectares total Area under coffee: 51 hectares total Prizes: Reforma: 3rd – El Salvador COE, 2011 (Score 91.72)
The Alvarez family has been growing coffee in El Salvador for a century and over four generations. Their award-winning farms are located on the lush green hills of Santa Ana, in the west of the country, whose rich volcanic soils and mild climate provide ideal conditions for growing coffee. The beans, which comprise El Borbollon, come from two small neighbouring farms - La Reforma and Santa Maria. They are manually picked and collected in traditional hand-woven baskets from December until March. Only the best, fully mature coffee cherries are selected.
Finca La Reforma and Finca Santa Maria were established by Rafail Alvarez in 1892 on the rich, humid slopes of Santa Ana Volcano. Originally from Colombia, Don Rafael came to the region with some of his best coffee seeds and began a new legacy of coffee production. Four generations later, the Alvarez Diaz brothers manage the farms, which are planted exclusively with red burbon variety coffee trees, despite recent upheavals with leaf rust.
El Borbollon mill is managed by Eduardo Alvarez, whose father passed down his technical skills. Of the 15 high-altitude farms, 10 have won places in the Cup of Excellence and 4, including La Reforma the COE Presidential Award for scores of over 90 points.
Coffee beans are pulped without water and then fermented for 16 - 20 hours until peel fermentation is achieved. The coffee is then washed in clean, fresh water to remove the mucilage. The parchment coffee is then placed onto the expansive patios and dried in the sun and regularly turned by hand.
Clay patios are used as they have superior endothermic properties (absorption of heat) than concrete and thus regulate temperature much better. The coffee beans are dried for 9 to 10 days in this way and the slower drying time seems to improve the cup quality.
The meticulous attention to detail shown at every stage of production - from harvesting to wet milling to cupping - has enabled the family to continue through the struggles of the past 20 years.
CUP PROFILE: Red fruits, milk chocolate, brown sugar
Rin's 1st Craic:
Our previous Nicaraguan decaf was a belter, and this newest offering from Colombia is bang on the mark. It roasts slightly darker, but with no hint of astingency. On the cupping table, there's a lovely chocolatey mouthfeel and a sweet demerara aftertaste.
I've worked hard at roasting decaf to bring out the its best notes (can you hear the violins?). Unhinged fools in my position will tell you, roasting decaf is a dark world, where all but lovers of dungeons and dragnets, dare not venture.) Get it wrong (and boy, for the first few months of my roasting life, did I ever) and you might be sucking wet cardboard through a straw. But do some horse-whispering to that petulant pony and you might be onto a real winner. One thing's for sure, you just can't treat decaf like any other coffee bean. And whatever your views on decaf, as I roaster, I totally respect that and love the challenge.
The beans are decaffeinated using a sugar cane process. For more about this procedure and the farm's provenance, click on the "Nerd Zone" tab above.
This coffee works well for any brewing method, but we'd especially recommend something that works well with full-bodies coffees such as espresso / stove top / softbrew / cafetiere
CUP PROFILE Red fruits with milk chocolate and brown sugar
This coffee comes from Planadas, South Tolima, aggregated between numerous smallholders from the Agprocem group, made up of 35 producers. The group was formed in 2013 by Edison Vaquiro and Israel Montes in the Montalvo area of Planadas. During the harvest season, coffee is picked and pulped before being left to ferment for 12 – 16 hours overnight. The coffee is then washed and naturally sun dried on roof tops or in parabolic driers.
Sugar Cane Process
The coffee first undergoes steaming at low pressures to remove the silver skins before then being moistened with hot water to allow the beans to swell and soften. This then prepares the coffee for the hydrolysis of caffeine, which is attached to the salts of the chlorogenic acid within the coffee.
The extractors (naturally obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane and not from chemical synthesis) are then filled with moistened coffee which is washed several times with the natural ethyl acetate solvent, to reduce the caffeine down to the correct levels. Once this process is finished the coffee then must be cleaned of the remaining ethyl acetate by using a flow of low pressured saturated steam, before moving onto the final steps. From here the coffee is sent to vacuum drying drums where the water previously used to moisten the beans is removed and the coffee dried to between 10-12%.
The coffee is then cooled quickly to ambient temperature using fans before the final step of carnauba wax being applied to polish and provide the coffee with protection against environmental conditions and to help provide stability. From here, the coffee is the packed into 70kg bags ready for export.
Don't blame us for listening to the masses. We've had so much demand for a coffee from those of you who are a little more sensitive to caffeine that, like our marras from Del Monte, we said "Si... why not, let's have a go" and we've produced a semi-caffeinated 100% Arabica speciality coffee.
Smooth, creamy bodied and with just enough buzz to prod you gently in the morning, our 1/2 Caff is for those of you who can take a punch without a full left hook of caffeine!
This is our very first (well-overdue!) foray into Honduras, but those of you that've tasted our coffees will know how enthusiastic we are about Central American coffees. This is a typically chocolatey bean, with delicious orange notes and a further citrus acidity.
When my numbers come up on the National Lottery, I'm off to this part of world for some overly indulgent coffee slurping. In the meantime, I'll just have to make do with this little peach at home.
For more information on this coffee, schooch over to the "Nerd Zone" tab above.
ORGANIC HONDURAS: Altos De Erapuca - FairTrade Certified
HONDURAS - Altos De Erapuca ALTITUDE - 1360 masl LOCATION - Copan Region PREPARATION - Washed (RFA, Organic) VARIETY - Red Catuai OWNER - Carlos Efrain Paz Sevilla HARVEST - November - February
No one knows for sure exactly when coffee first reached Honduras, but it is believed that seeds may have arrived from Costa Rica between 1799 and 1804 amongst the goods brought by travelling merchants. Today, coffee plays an important role within the national economy and has great potential for growth and quality improvement.
Finca Altos de Erapuca is a relatively new coffee farm which was established in 2008, with its second harvest in December 2014. Previously the land had been given over to cattle but with an altitude of 1,300 to 1,360 meters above sea level, owner Carlos Efrain Paz Sevilla recognised the farm's great potential for producing coffee. With many years’ experience in coffee, through the management of other family farms, Carlos planted entirely Catuai making the farm something of an oasis in a land of Cattimore – the varietal that has greater rust resistance but much less complexity in the cup.
The farm is located in Copan, on the slopes of Honduras’s second highest mountain – Erapuca. It’s a dramatic volcano-like mountain with its conical shape and though the slopes don’t benefit from mineral rich volcanic ash, the land is fertile and soil quality is excellent. The mountain’s peak reaches 2,255 meters above sea level. Finca Altos de Erapuca is a big farm since there are 264 hectares of protected rainforest, but upon 24 hectares there is an abundance of healthy looking Catuai.
Finca Altos de Erapuca is now both Rainforest Alliance and Organically certified. The coffee is fertilised three times per year and the harvest begins tentatively in December, but hits full swing in January and February, with shipments starting in April. Only compounds permitted by the organic certifiers can be used, making the fight against leaf-rust even tougher.
There is a house for permanent staff on the farm which is powered by solar energy but other than this the farm is all natural rainforest, with only a small area devoted to coffee. Following careful red cherry selection by specially trained pickers, the post-harvest operations of washing, drying and milling take place further down the mountain.
It is clear that Carlos is setting high standards and has a strong desire to penetrate the growing specialty market. Once the coffee is picked it is trucked down the mountain to a wet mill called Empresa Vecinos del Trigo where it is pulped and washed in a Penagos Eco pulp drier. From there the coffee will be delivered to Aruco - a dry mill with large patios and a bank of mechanical driers also. A combination of the two drying methods is employed, with coffee first drying on the patio until the moisture content reaches 43%, after which it goes to the mechanical driers (known as Guardiolas) – which are maintained at 35 C for a period of 35 to 40 hours until the moisture content falls to 11 or 12 percent. The coffee then goes to the Santa Rosa Beneficio mill for parchment removal and a final defect removal (by hand or machine) before being packed in hessian sacks lined with Grain Pro and finally prepared for export.
DESCRIPTION Milk chocolate, orange and cream. Very balanced with a citrus acidity.
SCAA CUP SCORE: 83
CATUAI: This varietal is a hybrid of Mundo Novo and Caturra and is highly resistant to natural elements that coffee trees face at higher altitudes. It originated in Brazil but is now widely planet throughout Central America. Both the red and yellow strains demonstrate high acidity.