Flavor Profile Grape, maple, nutmeg, syrupy
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This is a double-fermented and washed coffee from Huila, Colombia, produced by ten farming families in affiliation with Terra Coffee SAS.
The flavor profile is sweet and tart, with notes of caramel, cranberry, kiwi, and hibiscus.
Our roasters found the coffee takes heat quickly and prefers a mellower burner profile.
When brewed, our baristas preferred a medium-coarse grind as a V60 pour-over at a standard coffee to water ratio.
Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman
It’s hard not to be influenced by the color of the cultivar when thinking about the flavor profile for this coffee. Knowing that it’s a Pink Bourbon upon tasting, and with the memory of recent releases from prior harvests still resonating, objective tasting of the lot can be a challenging undertaking.
Drinking a few sips from Doris’ roast with Charlie and Amanda as we were preparing for the video shoot to promote the coffee, we floated tasting notes ranging from pink lemonade to rose water and ruby red grapefruit. It all seemed a little too fitting.
So, I dug up my blind cupping notes from the sample approval, and I’m embarrassed to admit they’re largely color coordinated as well. Pomegranate, rose, and red cherry jam, joined by mandarin orange and nougat. Doris and Isabella noted a lot of kiwi, black tea, and white grape in the Ikawa roasts, Evan picked up strong grapefruit and strawberry inclinations, and the barista team dialed their preferred brew into a caramelly, buttery, decadent plum, cherry, and pineapple laden beverage.
What I think we can all agree on is that the coffee has a lot to offer. Its versatility is anchored around a strong caramelly sweetness, a punchy citrus acidity, and an elegant flourish of floral aromatics and tart fruits. It’s a crowd pleaser, a great example of terroir and cultivar, and we’ll be featuring it as our light roast batch brew here at The Crown in coming weeks.
Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell with Chris Kornman
Ever stop to think about all the variables that factor into creating a distinct, complex, clean and consistent community blend? Here is one you will want to dissect, with one part terroir (from the coveted department of Huila), one part variety (Pink Bourbon), one part processing innovation (double fermented), and one part farmer collaboration (the backbone of Colombian production).
Tucked away in the mountainous regions near Palestina in Colombia’s southern Huila department, this coffee was harvested and processed by a small group of producers associated with an organization called Terra Coffee SAS. Most farmers here are members of multi-generational homes who have been producing coffee for decades. The region is part of a gateway to a national park called “Cuevas de los Guacharos” (the Guacharo is a large, fruit-eating bird).
This community blend with a vibrant regional profile and unique processing character was produced by 10 producers committed to following a specific processing protocol (double fermented) to draw-out a pronounced fruit forward profile. Using their own micro-mill, each producer fermented their carefully harvested cherries for up to 40 hours before depulping and then fermenting again in tanks for up to 36 hours. After this distinct process of fermenting, the coffee was washed and then moved to raised beds to gently dry for 12 to 15 days.
This is the hallmark influence of Terra Coffee SAS, which has been stepping in with innovative post-harvest strategies and cupping expertise throughout Huila and Nariño. Then Mastercol adds crucial logistical support for things like warehousing and milling so this lot can reach the international market, which results in better income for producers so they can reinvest in their farms and strengthen their families’ livelihoods.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Physically, one of the unique things about this coffee is that the seed shape is especially long. As most Bourbon seeds tend to be round and wide, I was a little surprised when we first noticed this anomaly. We inquired with our contact at the exporter Mastercol’s office, (as my exposure to the plant is very limited) and Natalia Mejia responded that “usually the Pink Bourbon has that elongated shape, in fact we checked several samples from other lots and they have the same shape.” Recent genetic fingerprinting of the Chiroso cultivar, and the discover that its heritage is directly linked to Ethiopian landraces rather than the presumed Caturra lineage, makes me wonder if it might not also be worth investigating the true origins of Pink Bourbon as well.
My skepticism notwithstanding, Bourbon is notorious for its inherent instability. Caturra, Laurina, Mokha, Pacas, and Villa Sarchi, yellow, orange, pink, and even black varieties have evolved over the years since it was first taken from Yemen to its eponymous island in the Indian Ocean. (If you’re curious to learn more about that story, my article in the September/October issue of Roast might be a good place to start.)
The specs on this coffee run parallel to many of the high-end microlots we typically carry from Colombia. Unbeholden to Supremo and Excelso sizing, the screens are a bit wide, but generally fall into the mid-to-large size. Density is quite high, while moisture is a little elevated. Our water activity meter is on the fritz this week, so we’ll update that figure once it’s available. Keep an eye on heat resistance early in the roast.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido
For this coffee I did a 9:39 minute roast, looking to bring balance between acidity and sugars without stressing the coffee too much, and maintaining control before and after first crack. I spent 4:53 minutes drying, 50.60% of the total roast time. I started the roast at 425F and waited till after the turning point to add 70% of gas power for about 1:22 seconds. And with that gas power, I ended up spending 3:16 minutes / 33.85% of the roast in Maillard. For the last part of the roast, post-development, I gave it 1:30 seconds, or 15.5% of the roast. I hit first crack with 18.5/minute rate of rise and dropped the coffee at 4.8F/minute RoR and a 401F end temperature.
I would say that I got great notes of crisp acidity, crisp white grapes, unripe plum, cherry, and strawberry. The sweetness was more like honeydew, with a touch of marmalade. Overall, a clean cup with white grape acidity. But this pink bourbon has great sweetness potential without losing acidity. That was what I tasted on Evan’s Bullet roast, I haven’t looked into his roast curve, but I have tasted a longer Maillard there, which I translate into a bolder body with more caramel and brown sugar but with nice green grapes, and green apple acidity.
Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.
Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing!
This coffee is as close as it comes to a trusty standard on the Crown Jewel menu. Consistently satisfying all the benchmarks of a superior green coffee in grading, the roaster, and the cup, this Pink Bourbon is a welcome guest at the table every time. Yet just like any coffee, it’s different from crop to crop.
I started off this roast with P9 power and F2 fan until peak RoR at 36F/min – a bit faster than my usual RoR to be fair. This coffee took on heat very easily despite its density and wider spread of screen sizes. At 300F / 2:40, I reduced heat to P8 and increased fan to F3 to begin stretching the roast out. At yellowing I went further, and increased fan to F4 since it seemed this coffee had a good deal of ‘momentum’. I usually see a spike in RoR at 365F, so at 360F / 5:15 I decreased heat once more to P7, then hit F5 fan for 30 seconds to really temper the spike – or so I thought. It kept right on going after I returned to F4 and reduced heat to P6, so at First Crack I returned to F5, then ramped up even further to F6 (somewhere I usually don’t go). This had the desired effect of drawing the coffee through Post-Crack development slowly without exceeding 400F. I spent about equal time in Green, and Maillard, with the remainder in Post-Crack development for a ratio of 41% / 39% / 19% – give or take a percent.
As a filter brew, this coffee is mellow and sweet with a touch of crisp malic acid that reminded me favorably of fresh apple cider. On the cupping table, folks got distinct caramel, citric acidity, and even strawberry and grapefruit notes. I could see the case for taking this coffee more quickly through Drying and Post-Crack development to really push those fruit notes forward, but I really enjoy a balanced cup. This is a solid but flexible coffee, and depending on your roast, you’re going to find a good spot for it on your menu or in your pantry!
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano
Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here.
Pink Bourbons are named after the cherry because it is in fact, pink. Pink and orange bourbon cultivars are particularly difficult to reproduce consistently due to their recessive genes. Under the watchful eye of a group of 10 producers based in southern Colombia brings us this delicate cultivar that is a sweet and distinct. I’m not quite sure if I am subconsciously influenced by the name, but I got notes of pink lemonade and hard candy when it first came through our lab. With the help of Doris, we can analyze what roast profile highlights this sweet and versatile coffee.
We started off with our high-density roast. Slightly burnt on the aroma (it was a little darker), the cup turned out to be low in sweetness and had notes of lime, black tea, bergamot, orange zest and unripe fruit. Next is the light density roast which had sweet berry note on the aroma to start. We got notes of blueberry, brown sugar, caramel, hard candy, lemonade, lime, and Greek yogurt. The sweetness was in full force in this cup which was balanced nicely with the acidity from the lime and hard candy notes. We have had such brilliant arrivals from Colombia as of late, and this coffee is no exception.
You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast
Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast
Brew Analysis by Grace Newcomb
This beautiful Colombian community lot coffee comes to us from 10 multi-generational farmers in the mountainous region of Colombia’s Huila Department. The double fermentation process was chosen specifically to draw out the fruit-forward notes typical of the Pink Bourbon varietal. Our brews attempt to highlight the fruit profile of this coffee offers, balanced by just the right amount of acidity and sweetness with floral and fruity notes such as hibiscus, kumquat, white grape and cherry, and finishes with sweeter Maillard notes like caramel and molasses.
With this coffee being double fermented, I knew that I wanted the brew to highlight the fruit and sweetness while still producing a clean, delicate, and complex cup that will make you want to take a minute to discern what you’re tasting. For this brew analysis I used three different pour over devices: the Wave, the Beehive, and the V60. For my first brew I started with the Wave and a finer grind of 8.5, which produced a more muted and bitter version of what I was hoping to pull from this coffee. I knew a coarser grind was the way to go, and perhaps a longer bloom as well for the second brew.
The second brew, having a 60 second bloom, produced more black tea and malty notes which are nice, but steer away from the more fruit forward profile this coffee aims to be. All in all, I feel like a 40 second bloom is all you need to make a cup of this Pink Bourbon pop. Sometimes less really is more.
Our preferred brew had a slightly coarser grind than the second brew and a 40 second bloom. Using a coffee to water ratio of 1:15.79, this gave us a TDS of 1.46. Expect a quick brew that achieves that balance of fruit, delicate florals, and complex acidity. Think cherry, plum, and toffee.
Through our experimentation with grind, devices, and bloom time, I found that this coffee tastes its loveliest at a medium to coarse grind while using a conical brewer. It’ll provide you with an interestingly fruity cup that reminds you how special Huila coffees can be.