Geography has contributed to the regional personality and the taste characteristics of the coffee grown in Nariño. The steep mountains and deep canyons of the Andes mountain range move through this region. The section that moves through Nariño is know for its beauty and extremes. The steep, craggy mountains and canyons provided both a natural barrier for the Incan Empire from invaders from the north and also influenced the distinct flavor of coffee grown in this region.
Nariño is located in southwest of Colombia along the border with Ecuador. In the south of Colombia, the Andes are know as the Nudo de Los Pastos. The mountains have provided seclusion to Nariño that has allowed the cultures of the region to maintain their heritage and customs, such as the old language, Quiche, and a unique wood crafting style.
The geography of this region also contributes to the unique coffee taste of Nariño. To begin with, Nariño is near the equator, which provides predictable and intense sunlight. The mountains of Nariño are also very high and steep. This altitude would prevent some growing regions from producing coffee due to freezing, but Nariño is able to prevent freezing due to the thermal transitions that occur in the evenings. During the day the sun is able to reach deep into the mountains due to the latitude. The craggy mountains and canyons absorb the sun’s heat throughout the day. In the evening, the heat, stored up in valley below, rises to prevent freezing. This unique dynamic, high altitudes, and a temperature range that supports slow and even development encourages higher sugar content development and sweet acidity.
Team taste notes: orange cream, juicy body, dark chocolate, nutty, brown sugar, caramel, baking spice
Boma, Kenya marks the return of Kenyan single origin coffee to our offerings at Blueprint. Our importing partners, Royal N.Y., sent us fresh harvest samples just a few weeks ago. Boma stood out on the cupping table with its complex acidity and sweetness. So, we secured the coffee and now offer it as one of our fantastic single origin coffees.
Boma Farmers Cooperative Society sits in Kericho County. The county is located west of the Rift Valley and between the Mau Forest and Lake Victoria. Over 470 members comprise Boma. Women farmers make up over half of the membership.
In Kenya, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange is lauded for the quality, prices, and reputation Kenya has established through out the world. It deserves this reputation, but it comes at a cost to smallholder farmers. This system favors the interests of the auction system. As a result, the percentage of cash return to the farmers drops. Our importer, Royal Coffee NY states, “In 1975 an individual Kenyan farmer could expect to reap around 30% of the auction price, by the year 2000 the figure was 10%.”
Due to the growing disenfranchisement of smallholder farmers, the Kenyan Government established the “Second Window.” It seeks to open direct trade lines with importers and exporters. The “Second Window” accomplishes this goal by allowing private farmers to establish cooperatives and export their own coffee. One cooperative established as a result of the new regulations is Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters (KCCE). KCCE was formed in 2009 to establish a platform to market their coffee and sell direct to buyers. The Boma Farmers Cooperative Society is a shareholder in this organization. As of this year KCCE has become the second largest exporter of Kenyan coffee.
brown sugar, chocolate, cherry, black tea, nut, orange, spices, peach, blackberry, plum, lime
Our collaboration with the Vizcaino Family at Finca Esperanza in Guatemala continues to yield awesome results. This washed lot of Catuai starts off the 2019 harvests. During the 24-hour soaking stage, added CIMA yeast controls the microbial consumption of coffee fruit. This step originated during our 2016 yeast trials at Esperanza.
Our previous work at Finca Esperanza in Guatemala focused on comparing and observing the influence of maceration inoculated with and without yeast. This test allowed us to better understand the benefits and limitation of yeast and non-yeast maceration. It also allowed us to work together with Ana’s staff and establish protocols. We left that process with an appreciation for cleanliness during maceration.
Two years ago, the Vizcaino’s invested in a new beneficio (wet mill), which brought the challenge of larger scale implementation. Last year, we sought to apply the lessons learned in the last years to this new system. The ability to run these tests on a smaller scale meant lower risk and lower investment before moving them to a larger scale in the new beneficio. This investment in time and experimentation prepared her staff for the expectations of specialty coffee processing and allowed them to focus mental energy into the use and maintenance of new equipment. Now, the beneficio produces constant, delicious lots of coffee. The Vizcaino’s have even started buying fresh cherry from neighboring farms to increase the quality of coffee coming out of Cerro Azul.
Finca Esperanza’s solar drying house is used to dry this lot of coffee as well. It employs raised beds and controllable airflow to regulate temperature, air movement, and humidity during drying.
Team taste notes: graham, orange, brown spice, brown sugar, molasses, maple, nougat
The seasonal and transparent coffee blend, Tektōn, chases a difficult goal – maintaining complexity while remaining approachable. Tektōn satisfies the novice or experienced coffee lover. Regular coffee changes throughout the year maintain balance and seasonality.
We commit ourselves to exhibiting the qualities of one of the most flavorful beverages in the world. To do so, we create and construct balanced, intoxicating, and special flavor experiences. Our single origin offerings are delicious and complete by themselves, but blending creates something new and unique. French wine and cocktails, like the Sazerac, guide us. By adding a small amount of five ingredients (sugar, bitters, lemon, absinthe, ice), a serving of whiskey becomes a new experience. This is a different, yet delicious, taste experience than that offered by any neat pour.
Tektōn, a seasonal coffee blend, compliments our single origin offerings. It matches the integrity of those offerings by remaining a seasonal coffee with a transparent supply chain. We embrace the future insight and taste experiences Tektōn will provide.
Version 16 blends bright and sweet coffees from Colombia and Rwanda. As a result, it features a bit more spunk than the last few versions. Nariño Select, from the high mountains of southern Colombia, makes up 72% of the blend. Ejo Heza from Rwanda makes up the rest. Theses coffees, both washed, offer a good deal of complexity. When blended, they offer brown sugar and vanilla sweetness with citrus acidity.
graham, malt, brown sugar, citrus, jammy, cereal, brown roast, honey, caramel, banana, apple
Penrose, named after the triangle, is our seasonal espresso blend. We feel the perfect espresso is an impossible goal, but we still strive to create it. Penrose is our ever-updated offering in the quest for the perfect espresso. While the seasonal components will vary throughout the year, it is always (nearly) perfect for your hopper.
Penrose seasonal espresso blend aims to:
Penrose also does well in the brewer – look for notes of lasting sweetness and heavy body, with a subdued acidity.
The Efraìn family grows coffee on the Lucita Linda Estate in San Marcos, Guatemala. In 1954, the farm began with a 0.5 hectare area. It later expanded to 9.5 hectares and started selling coffee under the name Lucita Linda. Anacafé, the national Guatemalan coffee organization, recognizes the farm as one producing excellent coffee through its diploma program.
The Koke station sits just outside of the famous town of Yirgacheffe in the southern Gedeo Zone of Ethiopia. We’ve often enjoyed its natural process coffees over the last decade. In fact, we featured last years harvest in Penrose v21. For this current version, we’ve sourced the more recent ’18/19 harvest.
The brown sugar and citric notes of the Lucita Linda blend well with the dried-berry sweetness and full body of the Koke. Together, these coffees present incredible body with aromatic notes of berry. The sweetness is rich and chocolaty. In terms of brightness, the acidity intensity balances great with the sweetness and comes through as subtle blueberry and citrus.
chocolate, blueberry, earthy, heavy-bodied, brown sugar
Decaf Huila EA is our current decaffeinated coffee option. It is decaffeinated using the Ethyl Acetate process, which uses locally sourced sugarcane as the source for the decaffeinating agent.
Huila is a well-establish region in south-central Colombia from which the Decaf Huila EA is sourced. It’s known for its clean, complex coffees and high altitudes. It is divided by the Magdalena River, which runs from north to south through the region dividing the central and eastern Cordillera Mountains. There are multiple harvest seasons even within this region because the region contains thousands of farms on opposing western and eastern-facing mountain slopes. The land is lush, green, and quite rural. Most coffee is grown on small, family-run farms where coffee is harvested, washed, and dried on the farm.
The coffee is decaffeinated before leaving Colombia. Decaffeinating the coffee before export saves a tremendous amount of time and energy, which equates to improved flavor, lower costs, and less emissions.
The process of decaffeination involves taking the green, unroasted coffee and putting it into a volatile state where it releases its soluble compounds into a water bath. The caffeine is removed from the water bath using either a solvent or filter. For this coffee, an affordable and local solvent, Ethyl Acetate, is used to remove the caffeine with minor effects on taste quality. It is derived from sugarcane as it is being processed for alternative uses (sugar, rum, molasses, etc). Once the caffeine has been removed from the water bath of solubles, the remaining solubles are placed back in a tank with the green coffee mass and allowed to reabsorb. What remains is a stable, slightly more brownish-green, unroasted coffee that is ready for export.
Team taste notes: chocolate, grape, nutty, teriyaki, brown sugar, dried fruit, malt, apple
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