Price $173.38 per box
Box Weight 22 lbs
This is a traditional washed coffee from San Ignacio, Peru, produced by Alejandro Condeso Coello on his farm Finca La Palta. It is certified Organic.
The flavor profile is sweet, fruity, and floral, with notes of caramel, lemon, cherry, and mango.
Our roasters found the coffee easy to manage and encourage extending Maillard reactions.
When brewed, the coffee shows great potential for both drip and espresso. Our preferred pour-over used a conical V60 with a slightly finer grind, whereas a lower dose and higher yield produced an excellent shot.
A delectably sweet coffee with excellent fruit presence and florality without being ostentatious about it, Alejandro Condeso has produced an absolutely sparkling example of some of our favorite Peruvian flavors.
Underpinned by a strong caramel structure, the coffee strikes both familiar and unconventional flavor notes with lemon and cherry matched by mango, pomegranate, and tangerine. Its evident fruit-forward character, a little more than the average washed Peru but not so fruity as to be considered quirky, pairs elegantly with a deep, complex florality – more subtle than a washed Ethiopia, but not so nuanced as to be unapparent. The notes read like a menu for bouquets; we found lavender and lemongrass, rosehips and jasmine, chrysanthemum and hibiscus, and mint, lemon tea, and oolong.
For a country whose coffee isn’t exactly known for being delicate and complex, Alejandro Condeso has really broken the mold. The selection is nothing short of stunning, and a delight to roast, brew, and taste.
In Peru the bulk of coffee production comes from small farms owned and managed by people who follow organic farm management practice attuned to their cultural connection with the land. Producers typically cultivate coffee on just a few acres of land intercropped with shade trees, bananas, corn, and beans. They carefully harvest and sort cherries before depulping, fermenting, washing, and drying the coffee using their own micro-mills.
While producers design farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit their needs, they also need a strong alliance to bring their coffee to the international market and earn fair prices. Aroma del Valle, an organization established to assist small producers access the specialty coffee market carries out activities that often go unnoticed but are crucial for small producers. Investments for basic infrastructure needs like road improvements, establishing local warehouses, and preparing coffee for export are all coordinated through Aroma del Valle.
This particular lot was harvested by Alejandro Condeso Coello, who processed this micro-lot on his 2.5-acre farm called la Palta located in the community of Las Mercedes near San Ignacio in the Cajamarca region. Alejandro has his own micro-mill where carefully harvested cherries are depulped, fermented, washed to remove the mucilage, and then gently dried on raised beds over a period of 18 days. While Alejandro has designed farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit his needs, he also has a strong alliance with Aroma del Valle, which takes his coffee to the international market where it earns a fair price. Alejandro has been able to pay for his three children to attend school with the money earned from coffee.
Classic preparation here on this small lot from producer Alejandro Condeso, this coffee falls mostly between screens 15-18, similar to European Prep sizing conventions. It’s relatively high in density, moderately low in moisture content, and very stable looking in water activity. This is a coffee that you can store and roast with a high degree of confidence, expecting it to keep quality well in good environments and respond predictably to heat in the machine.
The appearance is that of a coffee which has spent a little extra time in contact with the fruit. While we don’t have exact data on processing timing and techniques from Alejandro, what we can presume from the slightly reddish hue to the silver skin is that depulping may have occurred with a hand crank or with minimal water, fermentation was likely dry and probably somewhat extended to maybe two or three days, and/or that reduced water usage may have contributed to a little fruit being left on the seed. The results are delicious and fragrant.
Alejandro Condeso is growing legacy Bourbon and Yellow-fruit Caturra trees. Bourbon would’ve been introduced to Peru, much as with the rest of the Americas, in the middle and late 19th century, which coincided with Peru’s rise as a globally important exporter with production shifting to the Western Hemisphere after the first leaf rust outbreak in the East. Caturra, often grown as a red cultivar, is a dwarf plant, a natural mutation first observed in Brazil and subsequently cultivated for its ability to increase yields per hectare, as it can be planted more densely than standard size varieties.
We have been receiving simply great coffees from Peru this season. This week, for example, we are analyzing a coffee from the producer Alejandro Condeso Coello. I have cupped this coffee around three times so far and tasted it as espresso and pour-over. It’s just a great coffee that makes me want to know more about the producer.
I contacted my coworker Mayra Orellana-Powell, and she shared some information with me. At the age of 17 Alejandro lost partial control of one of his legs and one arm after an accident, but that hasn’t stopped him, he is a passionate coffee producer that combines his coffee knowledge with great microclimates and great altitude to produce high-quality coffees looking to position them in the specialty market so he can give his children a better life and education. And he is doing it great, here we have a tasty example, a washed Caturra amarillo and Bourbon, from a sweet, candied aroma to a velvety body, rounded by dry fruits, with a mix of lemon, mandarin and orange, acidity.
The coffee came with average moisture and density, and on our 5 kilo roaster I did a 5.5 lb batch starting with 433 F and with 70% of gas power. I let the roast start and as I got close to the turning point, I went all the way with the gas to 100% accelerating the drying area to yellowing. Guided by the speed of the rate of rise I decided to start dropping gas before marking color change, first to 60% and then to 30%, and just right after went to 0% gas for a little less than a minute and went back to 30%. This allowed me to stretch yellowing, since I was looking to bring acidity with a clear body and softer sweetness. I ended up spending 4:12 seconds in yellowing and the coffee started cracking at 383.8 F.
For air, I started with 0% at the beginning of the roast and added 50% at 355 F and 100% at the first crack. For development I did 1:21 seconds, ending at 395.8 F. Post-development started with the 30% I was with and dropped to 0% after 50 seconds with energy to finish the roast. On espresso, I tasted a rounded lemon acidity with a balanced dry fruits sweetness, on pour-over, a clean cup that brings the plum and lemon harmoniously with the hard candy, raising and dry fruits.
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!
For this week’s delicious Crown Jewel offering from Peru, I wanted to try a slightly faster roast with higher charge temperature while still retaining a majority of time spent in Maillard. The idea here was that I had a coffee with a reasonable spread of screen sizes that looked to have quite a bit of mucilage left on the seed at the time of drying. I know from experience that these sorts of coffees tend to have a beautifully sticky sweetness that I value highly. This texture has always seemed to be exemplified with more time spent in Maillard, so I felt the below might be the best path forward.
I started with a higher charge temperature than usual at 464F, and immediately revised my P8 power and F2 fan to P6 and F3 in order to let the coffee absorb some of the heat of the drum without adding too much of a push. When Turning Point came around, I returned to P8 and F2, and at the peak RoR of 38F/min, I reduced heat to P7 and increased fan to F3. Approaching 350F, I reduced heat again to P6 then increased fan to F4 at 368F / 6:30 as I was anticipating a spike in RoR that never came to be (thankfully). Just before First Crack, I reduced heat to P5 and just after I increased fan speed to the terminal F5. I spent 40% / 45% / 13% in Green, Maillard, and Post-Crack Development respectively, achieving my goal of a bit more time in Maillard than anything else.
No surprises on the cupping table, as this coffee displayed the touch of fruit I expected after visual inspection of the green. Chocolate cherry and red fruit fragrance came through and persisted into the aroma, and my first note upon tasting was raspberry shrub. On cooling, plenty of brown sugary sweetness and a touch of ruby red grapefruit came through, along with a nice creamy texture that developed until the cup was coldo
This coffee would work excellently as an espresso, but I can certainly see it as filter drip as well. All the sweet notes and nuanced fruit will keep you coming back for more sips, and you’re bound to find more in the cup after each and every roast. A coffee for contemplation!
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.
We have a hot batch of coffees that have made their way up from Peru to Oakland, if our Crown Jewel line up is any indication. Peru is highly diverse and larger than one might expect. In fact, the coast is over three times larger than the coast of California. The land consists of many small farmers that are known to utilize farming practices that are integrated with their cultural respect for the land. This interwoven philosophy is the cherry on top to this delicious coffee from Alejandro Condeso. A shining star in a land of jute bags. With the help of Doris, we can break down what makes this coffee shine even brighter.
Our hot and fast high-density roast (HD) of this coffee is performing at an exceptional level. Cacao nib, carob powder, raw honey, sweet tangerine. When hot this coffee had some bitterness I was averse to, but once cooled it opened up to a deliciously sweet, clean and sharp cup. The acidity was crisp and bright not quite lemon but something slightly more mellow. I was really surprised by how as it cooled it turned deliciously sweet and the acidity was prominent but with a neat finish that had me going back for more.
Long and slow light density (LD) roast on the other and was sweet to start with notes of coriander, honeydew, fresh turmeric and sweet orange. When hot I thought this would be the preferred cup as it was sweet, balanced and had a short but pleasant aftertaste. Once cooled the sweetness faded and the cup was thin and had a slightly grassy finish. Doris and I were marveling at the contrast between these two roasts. There is so much creativity in roasting to uncover in work that Alejandro and his team put into this coffee. Which elements will you decided to nurture? A unanimous agreement between Doris and myself that the HD roast is the much-preferred style in this round of Ikawa roasts.
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
My decided theme for Alejandro Condeso Coello’s organic Peruvian coffee is surprise.
Throughout our brew trials I immediately recognized the floral and fruity flavors that my colleagues celebrated as the star qualities of this coffee. I also uncovered a savory, musky, and mushroom like depth that was introduced during our second brew using the Kalita Wave home brewer.
But let’s journey back to our first brew using the V60 home brewer, a 10 grind on the EKS43, and a dose of 18 grams of coffee. While this brew packed a juicy punch with flavors of grape, tangerine and baker’s chocolate; it lacked in body. The underdeveloped flavor is also seen in the TDS which came out to 1.31; the lowest TDS in this analysis
Next, we used the flatbed Kalita Wave and a dose of 19 grams for our next brew to bring out more of the fruity and floral tones. As I mentioned before, this brew brought out a distinct savory and earthy profile in addition to heavy citrus. This brew came out with a TDS of 1.38 and the body was much weightier. Albeit, this batch was a little too potent so for the next brew we went back to the V60 and a dose of 18 grams but changed grind finer to 9. This produced our favorite brew because we got the plum, mango and pomegranate juiciness we liked, and the musky tone from before came across more tea like similar to an early grey. This brought our TDS to 1.44 and an optimal extraction rate of 20.01%.
Hats off to this coffee and the potential for surprise it holds. The depths of flavor are a testament to the coffee’s producer and careful processing.
Recipe 1: 18g dose, 39.1g yield, 31 seconds
Recipe 2: 19g dose, 38.9g yield, 32 seconds
Another exciting coffee from Peru, coming your way! As soon as I put it through the grinder, I could tell by the floral, tropical fragrance that this was going to make for a truly interesting espresso. In a way, it kind of reminded me of summer vacation! I noticed a sparkling acidity, warm Tropicals, and sweet sugary notes floating on a floral breeze throughout all my recipes. Let’s talk about a few of my favorite shots.
The first recipe I want to expand on started out with a dose of 18 grams in, 39.1 grams out and pulled at 31 seconds. Circling back to my summer vacation reference, this espresso traveled around my tastebuds like a road trip. I brought some sip cups out to the rest of the barista team, and collectively we picked up notes of mango, citrus, melon, and rose, as well as cherries and berries, starfruit, tomato, caramel, shrub, and baking spices.
For my second recipe, I increased the coffee dose to 19 grams, but had a similar yield and pull time of 38.9 grams and 32 seconds. This shot had a little less of those tropical and floral notes and a little more caramelized sugary sweetness, which was just as enjoyable. After harassing the rest of the barista team for some tasting notes, we ended up with brown sugar, praline, black tea, lemon, champagne, green apple, raspberry, cacao, ginger, and crushed red pepper.
If you’re looking for a coffee to bring some new life into your espresso bar, this is the one. It’s delicious on its own, as well as in milk beverages. I have a feeling it could also be the perfect pairing for some fun spring-summer signature beverages! When pulling it for yourself, I recommend starting with a lower dose of coffee and a slightly higher yield. Enjoy!