One of the few perks (pun noticed but not intended!) that accrues from being in the coffee business is the opportunity to taste many different coffees. As many of you know, I've been tasting each of our component coffees individually and then evaluating how they add up to our blended roasts.
The latest pawn in the game is a great coffee from El Salvador, which finds its way into High Jump. While we no longer reveal the specific farm or region (we've had supply problems result from too much information being posted!), what I'm tasting is a honey process coffee. El Salvaor is starting to produce some amazing coffees and we think (and hope) that it will soon rival Panama as a source of great arabicas.
The El Sal here has almost a Yerg-tyoe nutiness, and a higher acidity and brightness than our blended roasts. I've gone through nearly a pound of it at home and still find myself wanting Black Tie, High Jump, or Nostromo back. The blends are better than each of the coffees individually.
I started this tasting experiment to understand our coffees better. And it's been a great education. The blends, imo, are better.
That said, sometimes a single varietal can be amazing. We worked with Buzz:Killer of Chicago to purchase a small amount of Hacienda Esmeralda. It's really a one-of-a-kind taste. It's pretty heavy on the pocketbook, but wow. For everyday drinking, there's nothing like a good blend!