What I'll be drinking soon (from Central America)

October 03, 2011


I thought it would be fun to riff on a currently popular blog topic and talk about what’s on my radar screen as far as coffees go. It’s as good an excuse as any to discuss my own coffee “sweet spot” as well since both of the coffees I have coming soon (Thursday) are Central American.



Does it make any sense to say I love Central American coffees? After all, coffee producers there and elsewhere seem to be experimenting with a variety of processing methods lately, and Arabica varietals are not typically unique to specific coffee-growing regions in the sense that they’ll thrive wherever they’re planted as long as the altitude and climate are appropriate. I’m glossing over fine distinctions in order to make the simple point [possibly wrong] that it’s not über-meaningful to speak of Nicaraguan coffee or Salvadoran coffee; on the contrary, many coffees are grown in these two countries. Of course, there’s “terroir” to consider—the potential impact of soil type, precipitation, climate, sun exposure, etc., on a given coffee’s cup characteristics—but then again all of these terroir-ish factors may vary within a country or region. Anyway, I digress. Returning to the question I started this paragraph with, whether or not it makes any sense I still usually find myself gravitating toward and favoring coffees from Central America. Hence my decision to buy the following:



1. Counter Culture’s Finca Mauritania (El Salvador): The first batch of this year’s Finca Mauritania is now (or soon to be) on its way to a local café, which I plan to visit Thursday in order to buy a bag 1 or 2 days post-roast. Given what I’ve read and heard about producer Aida Battle’s attention to detail and quality, I have high hopes for this coffee. From CC’s site: “Intoxicating flavors of butterscotch, sweet pastry, chocolate, and a hint of fruit infuse the cup and create a profoundly complex, satisfying coffee experience. The heirloom Bourbon variety is renowned for producing sweet, rich coffees – and this coffee is a stellar example of this tradition.” My overall favorite coffee so far this year has been Klatch’s El Salvador Orange Bourbon, described as a “quintessential Bourbon coffee” (notice a theme?), so I’d say it’s safe to assume I’ll be pleased with this one.



2. Velton’s Nicaragua Santa Gema: Available right here on ROASTe. Velton’s hasn’t disappointed me so far—I’ve already tried their Bonsai and Treehouse Blends—and I expect they’ll go 3 for 3. Tasting notes: “The cup is subtly complex and elegant with ample lingering sweetness, chocolate, honey-melon, grape, and notes of ginger ale coming through. Excellent as espresso or pourover.” Ginger ale? Sign me up! I’ve read that the Maragogype varietal (nicknamed the “elephant bean”) is grown at Finca Santa Gema—makes me curious to see how big the beans actually are.



Anyone else with me on Central American coffee? If not, what are *your* favorite origins?



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