Wednesday, November 23, 2005

banished to siberia. . .not!

i really have to thank jessica & scott of batdorf again -- what arrived in the mail yesterday but a lovely copper-foil bag of the third coffee in the "latitudes" line, the el salvador siberia pacamara, another c.o.e. prize-winner!

it's charmingly presented in a fine muslin sack with a matching copper ribbon. but let's talk for a moment about this unusual varietal or cultivar, which isn't one that coffee lovers see a lot in most bean stores.

the pacamara is a cross between a salvadoran bourbon coffee and the famous giant "elephant bean" or maragogype. thus pacamara trees produce larger-than-usual beans that maintain the fine taste qualities of a bourbon.

this coffee was grown in el salvador by rafael silvia, a fourth-generation coffee farmer, on his land in the apaneca mountains. his family nicknamed one distant section of the farm along a high ridge "siberia" because of its isolation and chilly weather.

his pacamara trees seem to like that spot at 1450 m/4,757 ft! and it's this siberia from which the coffee takes its name.

let me emphasize again that this is a rare coffee -- only 21 bags. period. no more.

now for that darned scaa flavor wheel. . .

as devoted readers may recall, scott roasted these wet-process beans to full city. the roast date on the bag is 11/18, so when i opened them this morning they were 5 days old; the occasional bean did sport a spot of oil.

the fresh dry grounds smelled rather like torn fresh purple basil leaves or maybe spearmint to me. very intriguing.

as is my wont with c.o.e. coffees, i rushed this morning to make it in my vac pot, at 60 g/2.1 oz fresh ground coffee to 1 liter/33 oz water. i let the water sit up top for 2 mins. and then removed it from the burner to cascade down for a total brew time of 4 mins. 15 secs.

you bet i stirred the bloom on its way up to prevent massive overflow! wow, big bloom.

when i sipped this coffee hot i thought it had an interesting brach's caramel flavor with a hint of cinnamon in the aftertaste.

when it cooled a little, its lightly nippy brightness became more apparent, and i thought the coffee had a more powdery, dutch cocoa note in the aftertaste.

hmm. i poured myself a cup with light cream and some raw sugar. i thought this coffee came alive a little more then myself -- the i think the cream and sugar developed that nice chocolate flavor, and the coffee went from nippy to a kind of nutty sweetness. . .oh i don't know, maybe faintly giandjua?

altho' that probably sounds pretty yummy, i don't think the vac pot is the best method for making this coffee, actually, since the body seemed thinner than i expected. and i didn't catch any of the raisin or even lime(!) aromas the pro cuppers mentioned in the competition.

i would love to get some of that sweet, sticky raisin quality into the cup. oh yeah.

wouldn't that be great for breakfast? like a sweet cinnamon-raisin-chocolate danish on the saucer.

i'm thinking chemex or cafetiére might be a better way to go for this one.

and i'll try it out first this tomorrow! well, first thing after making chocolate mousse for thanksgiving dessert.

mr. right is really not much of a turkey person, as dedicated readers may recall -- thus as usual, we're having steak!

posted by fortune | 8:22 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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