Two Colombian Coffees

May 08, 2012

Colombian coffees are dependable staples in my coffee rotation. I expect medium, and I usually get it--medium body, medium acidity, a little honey, a spot of orange/lemon. 

In the March 2012 edition of Coffee Review, Ken Davids lamented this year's Colombian crop, or at least the overall quality of the Colombian micro-lots that he cupped for that particular issue. http://www.coffeereview.com/article.cfm?ID=194 He tasted some pretty average coffees, and some well below average, despite their hyper-specific titles and rarity. He also claims to have tasted some emphatically defective coffees. I wish Coffee Review would reveal the names of these defective coffees, but CR--preferring to reward rather than punish--keeps silent on the matter. I feel like this is unfair to consumers, and overly protective of the specialty coffee industry. Micro-lots are expensive, and some customers, acting on imperfect information, are going to make regrettable purchases. Their information would be a little less imperfect if CR were more forthcoming with their reviews.

I tasted two different Colombians myself this morning. Neither were defective, thank the coffee gods.

The first was Coffea Roasterie's "Los Naranjos" ($15.25/12 oz.), a Colombian that seems to be offered by a number of roasters right now. Brewed as a paper-filtered pourover (3.5 mins, 200 degrees), I thought it was an above-average cup. Mainly good "coffee" flavor with slight honey and orange, more in the aroma than in the cup. 

The second was Intelligentsia's La Marianella ($14/12 oz.), which I don't believe is offered anymore. Ecco Caffe, which is controlled by Intelligentsia, is still offering an interpretation of it. Marianella's a very tasty cup. Distinctive dried cherry finish to go along with the standard Colombian "coffee" flavor. Brewed through the same procedure, I preferred this cup to the first.

Before this morning I had never been blown away by a Colombian coffee, and that's still true today. Colombians may not be supremo in my coffee heart of hearts, but I still like to purchase them. There's a lot to be said for reliability.







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