Coffee: Aida Batlle Selection Indigo Reserve
Producer/Farm: Aida Battle/Finca Kilimanjaro
Origin/Region: El Salvador
Process: Iced Cascara
Altitude: 1580-1720 masl
Variety: Kenya SL-28 and SL-34 and Bourbon
Dry fragrance: punchy, a burst of spices and caramel, buttery
Tasting notes: Caramel, orange marmalade, cherries, spices, toffee, almond extract, lightly syrupy mouthfeel with lingering pleasant aftertaste. Toasted marshmallow and herbal aromatics are present. As it cools, light notes of hibiscus and almond skin emerge. Overall there is a nice balance of orange acidity and deep caramel sweetness.
Producer’s notes: This 2020 release of Indigo Reserve for the home connoisseur hails from Aida Batlle’s family’s world renowned Finca Kilimanjaro in El Salvador. This coffee has been processed using a unique method that she has developed through years of experiments, this process named “Iced Cascara”, incorporates the entire coffee fruit to give the resulting cup a flavor that transcends anything she has ever done before. Finca Kilimanjaro and Aida Batlle are both names that reverberate quality. They made their appearance in specialty coffee in 2003, when in her first year as coffee producer, Aida became the first woman to ever secure the converted winning title of “Cup of Excellence”. Finca Kilimanjaro is home to some of the finest coffee varieties in the world. High quality Kenyan varieties SL-28 and SL-34, renowned for their pronounced fruit flavors, grow interspersed with the tall Bourbon trees that were first brought to the region by Aida’s great-great grandfather.
Brew recommendations: My favorite brew showed off the fruity notes with more clarity using a V60 dripper with a V60 filter and a TBT of 3:15 to 3:30 mins. Brewing on Kalita or Origami with a Kalita filter gave a deeper, sweet caramel and almond profile. For an even sweeter experience, try using a “fast” filter, such as the P70 filters made by Saint Anthony Industries which can be adapted to a V60 dripper. I used my typical pour-over protocol which is posted here.
Coffee: Dambi Uddo
Producer/Farm: Dambi Uddo and other smallholders
Altitude: 2000-2160 masl
Tasting Notes: This is a lush fruity natural that delivers clean succulent flavors of strawberry, mango, lemon-honey, and apricots. There are other flavors here too as this is a complex cup: coconut, pineapple, rhubarb and tea. The aftertaste is refreshingly clean even a bit minty. This is not your typical muddle fruit natural but a clean, juicy, balanced coffee with citric acidity and a lovely bittersweet balance.
Roaster’s notes: Dambi Uddo is the name for the kabele where both the farm of the same name and the drying station are located. It is a semi-forest farm on approximately 250 hectares of land that processes its own coffee along with coffee from other smallholders in the area. Dambi Uddo is located in the Guji highlands with an average altitude of 2,050 meters. This is easily the cleanest and most balanced naturally processed coffee we have cupped this season.
Brew recommendations: The fruitiest and cleanest cup was brewed on Origami with a V60 filter with a TBT of around 3:30 mins. I used my typical pour-over protocol which is posted here.
Coffee: El Tanque
Producer/Farm: Danny Moreno
Origin/Region: Honduras/El Cedral, Santa Barbara
Altitude: 1670 masl
Tasting Notes: This coffee offers a floral aroma and flavor notes of maple, toffee and caramel making a rich cup. What really pleases the palate though are the lovely fruity notes that emerge as it cools. Honeydew melon and red delicious apple are front and center in the flavor profile with the sweetness of this coffee providing a backdrop. There are hints of cinnamon, cocoa powder and nougat too. The sweetness is complex and clean. The body is lightly syrupy and the aftertaste is lingering and pleasant. Overall it is nicely tart and sweet - well balanced and extremely quaffable.
Roaster’s notes: Moreno family members have become somewhat of a farming dynasty in Santa Barbara, inspiring many of their neighbors to pursue specialty coffee. The Morenos are in a special category of coffee producers, consistently cultivating and producing the highest quality coffee. This requires a mixture of ambition, long term planning, understanding what their market is looking for, and constant reevaluation of agronomic, harvesting and processing techniques. El Tanque is Danny Moreno’s highest altitude tablon, producing this exceptional coffee.
Brew recommendations: The Origami brewed a good cup but the V60 brought out the fruity notes that make this coffee distinctive. I used my typical pour-over protocol which is posted here.
Coffee: La Bruma - Women in Coffee
Producer/Farm: Martha Ligia Reinoso
Process: not specified (probably washed)
Altitude: 1800 masl
Dry Fragrance: raisins, graham cracker, spice
Tasting Notes: This is a coffee full of surprises with flavors of grapefruit, cinnamon, cola and vanilla all in harmony with a light but present citric acidity and maple/molasses sweetness. There are floral notes as well - like lilacs in bloom. As it cools there’s a back note of black tea. The mouthfeel is lightly syrupy and juicy. The aftertaste is pleasant, clean and lingering with sweetness that persists. It is a complex but harmonious blend of flavors with perfectly balanced acidity, sweetness and bitter notes.
Roaster’s notes: Martha Ligia Reinoso's farm lies a few hours drive from Chaparral, Tolima, tucked away deep in the nearly impenetrable jungle mountains that few outsiders visit. Here, she has a striking farm painted bright pink, from the farm house to the processing equipment. Here, Martha tends to a handful of picturesque hectares of land along with her daughter, to whom she is passing down her knowledge of specialty coffee cultivation, and standing out against her agricultural landscape typically dominated by men. The coffee is a limited edition offering from Devocion.
Brew recommendations: Results with the Origami dripper were excellent with a TBT of 3:15 - 3:30 mins. I tried both the Kalita filter and the V60 and found the Kalita filter gave a more complex and juicier flavor profile. I used my typical pour-over protocol which is posted here.