Saturday, November 19, 2005


the nic la guayabo coe

keeping my promise to bccy pal cgg, today i made up oren's nicaragua nueva segovia c.o.e. from la guayabo farm. this shade-sheltered bourbon coffee is wet-processed, sun-dried, and grown at more than 4,000 ft.

long-time readers know i usually rush to make all the c.o.e. coffees i have in the vac pot, but again, since oren is totally mr. chemex, i made it up per his brewing preferences, 2 oz/57 g. fresh ground coffee to 26 fl. oz/769 ml water. total brew time: 4 mins. 45 secs.

oren roasted this coffee on monday, meaning it's now 6-days old. he calls this roast level city+, but let me add that the occasional bean shows small patches of oil.

ok, got your scaa flavor wheel about?

let me first say that if i were to make this coffee again, i might personally dial the amount down to 1.85 oz/53 grams to check it out there. but oren loves it strong, so i wanted to experience it the way he intended the coffee!

i thought the dry grounds were floral and spicy, maybe like smelling paperwhite narcissus. there was a little hint of fruitiness that i really couldn't i.d. there too.

when the coffee bloomed, that fruitiness seemed to return. i thought it smelled a little bit like apple cider maybe?

the rest of the bouquet felt like brown rice and caramel. oren had warned me that this was a "subtle" coffee, one that needed to sit in your mouth for a few seconds before it revealed its rich character.

and indeed, when i sipped again and held it in my mouth again, it did seem to get a little sweeter. as the coffee cooled, its medium bright taste -- i would say snappiness, i mean a step beyond crisp -- became very apparent.

what also emerged was more of that apple-type character, a sort of tart apple, like maybe a granny smith? this isn't a flavor i see a lot in coffee personally, and so it appeared quite distinctive to me in the cold cup.

i would say that to find and really appreciate this apple cider/granny smith quality you'd need to drink the coffee black. when i tried a second cup with light cream, this fruitiness disappeared entirely.

but the cream does increase the caramel aftertaste, and with a little raw sugar as well, the brightness came down a bit too. so i think the best way to appreciate this coffee is probably black, or at most with a splash of half-n-half, because once you lose the apple and the snap, i think a lot of what makes this coffee remarkable is probably too muted.

but ymmv! i would certainly be remiss if i didn't note that this coffee has a great body for a central (american), especially at full-oren strength.

just another great coffee from oren -- if you bright centrals, you'd be missing out unless you pick up this prize-winner. remember, i supposedly don't like bright coffees, but i always enjoy oren's beans!

posted by fortune | 5:20 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 3 comments

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