Friday, April 01, 2005


ecco's bolivian coe

as promised, i leapt outta bed this morning, dug out my bodum santos vac pot, set my saeco 2002 grinder to "8," and opened andrew's ecco bolivian coe winner from yesterday.

ooh ooh ooh. got your scaa flavor wheel handy?

alas, i didn't have time to formally cup it. but! let's go. . .

like many of andrew's coffees, in my experience, this coffee is a full-city roast, where the very occasional bean shows a mere pinprick of oil.

as i ground this coffee, its beautiful floral character drifted across the kitchen. i used 60g (about 2.1 oz) of dry coffee to a liter (about 33 oz.) water.

as the water rises to the upper globe, there's always a moment where you lift off the lid to stir the grounds. as i did so i caught the dried cherry aroma noted by the cup of excellence jury when they gave this coffee a prize.

remember those "fruit leather" things they used to sell in the '80s? it smelled rather like a cherry fruit leather. . .

the other parts of the bouquet came to me as barley-like, and i agree it has a very pleasant smoothness.

the taste is just on the border between mild and nippy. a gentle, slightly bright feeling.

making coffees in the vac pot usually enhances these olfactory nuances, but usually diminishes the body/mouthfeel. despite the vac pot, this coffee had a fair-to-medium body.

i will definite make it tomorrow, at 4 days old, in the cafetiére (that's a french press to you!) to see how the balance of aromas and body change. it will be different!

every day and every brewing method reveals another aspect of a great coffee such as this! highly recommended.

let me also take this opportunity to welcome the new scaa board members! congrats to long-time bccy pal and scaa consumer member friend, peter g. of counterculture!

if you haven't tried his wonderful coffees yet, dear readers, do it now before he gets too busy to roast it himself any longer!

let me also shake the hand of bccy pal and nyc coffee meetup sponsor mary petitt of juan valdez. she is a proven leader in coffee, and has the unique situation of being a representative of farmers, a certified cupper, a brownie, a greenie, and a retailer with coffeeshops herself -- all in one.

in fact, in electing mary, the pro members of the association only expressed their commitment to the struggling coffee farmer. for what is juan valdez and the colombian federation but the world's largest group of coffee farmers?

in this sense, all coffee farmers are now at the helm of the scaa, a rightful place for them.

i would also like to recognize runner-up and likewise long-time bccy pal doug zell of intelligentsia. apparently it was tight race, and doug -- as anyone who knows him would expect! -- was an admirable gentleman the entire time.

doug has been one of the very oldest friends of us consumer members, and i'm pleased to say that should he decide to run next year, i will proudly and openly support him here. in fact, i encourage him!

he is clearly a major figure who can take the specialty coffee industry in the right direction -- towards new membership and greater quality.

finally, in light of our recent fair-trade discussion this week, i found this article of interest. . .once again, my heart bleeds for this "big four" member. poor, poor p&g.

the fair-trade label alone, i don't think, will move consumers in the long-term unless the coffee is also delicious tasting and high quality! i'm happy to buy fair-trade, organic, rainforest-certified products that taste fantastic. . .and pay a good price for them, too.

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