There’s so many things to love in October:
Falling leaves, the pumpkin spice derangement that afflicts us all (did you even see our pumpkin spice latte recipe bro?), Halloween, and the best part…
THREE NEW COFFEES
Well, actually two coffee favorites of yesteryear and one new coffee hailing from Ethiopia!
Read all about them below:
(don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to read about a GIVEAWAY)
The Menendez’s are so precise and organized within each of their farms that they name each section of the farm as a smaller microlot. Usually, these all get processed together, but being in the right place at the right time has its advantages.
A couple years ago on our origin trip to El Salvador, we had the privilege of tasting the subtle nuances between very small microlots of many of the Menendez Family coffee farms. One that stood out to us was the ‘La Siguinilla’ lot from El Rosario, which is a neatly manicured, flat expanse carved into the hill.
So, the Menendez’s separated that one portion of the lot from the rest of the El Rosario lots to give us an even more traceable-to-the-source coffee. This is La Siguinilla’s third year with us and we are as delighted as ever to present it to you.
La Siguinilla gives us the classic Menendez coffee flavors that keeps us coming back year after year. Hazelnuts and orange zest provide a comforting and approachable body and acidity, complemented by a raw sugar sweetness. The Menendez coffees are some of our favorites, not only because they please any coffee drinker, but also because they always have a great story to tell.
The same chemical process that makes our favorite beverages from kombucha to kolsch is a key element of coffee production. That’s right, you can now thank fermentation morning and night.
Coffee producers harness the power of fermentation--a natural occurrence by which microorganisms consume what they need and leave behind what they don’t--to aid in the removal of coffee fruit from the seed (the part we all know and love.) There are many different methods of guiding this fermentation process that farmers choose based on their environment, resources, and desired outcome.
Costa Rica’s tropical climate favors the efficient and tasty “honey process,” which removes the skin from the coffee cherries and allows fermentation to do its good work while the coffee dries in its sticky mucilage (think about it like a grape--they removed the outside and left all that gooey sweet stuff to impart its fermenty-goodness to the seed.)
Luis and Oscar Monge are masters of honey process and are known to use it to tease out the best their coffees have to offer. That’s certainly the case with this year’s Santa Rosa, bursting with black cherry and lime-like acidity and rounding out gently with a dark chocolate sweetness. So, raise this glass to the Monge’s and the microorganisms they use so well.
Today, we demystify one small element of that slew of strange words and numbers.
FARM/MILL -- seems straightforward enough, farm is the place the coffee was grown, right?
Yes, but there’s more, there’s “MILL.” If a coffee was grown on a farm (I mean, they all are, but if we know what farm) we’ll put the name of that farm on the label. However, it is not always possible to get that specific. In some countries and regions where coffee is a major export, there are a lot of small farms that do not produce enough coffee on their own to sell in the quantities the market demands. And, in Ethiopia, there are forest coffees that are harvested by individuals and small groups from the forested wilderness. In these cases, there are mills that farmers and harvesters take their coffee cherries to based on region or preference.
Mills sort, ferment, and clean coffee cherries to produce that lovely bean. Since they’re operating with a conglomerate of coffees, the work of mills is especially important. They ensure that all of the coffee cherries are done justice as they are processed, and that high quality coffees are sorted and sold together so that the hard work of every hand that came before the mill is honored.
When you drink this cup of Kirte and experience its clean red raspberry sweetness and juicy tangerine body, when its honey warmth delights you, thank the hands that picked the cherries, and thank the hands that tended the mill.