Crown Jewel Peru Challhuamayo Edith & Ivan Meza Sagarvinaga Natural CJ1557 – 32661-1 – SPOT RCWHSE

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Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile White grape, lychee, raspberry candy, and lemongrass

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This is a traditional natural coffee from Peru’s “Central Forest” region, produced by brother-sister team Edith and Ivan Meza Sagarvinaga. 

The flavor profile is very sweet and gentle, reminding us of white grape, lychee, raspberry candy, and lemongrass. 

Our roasters found the coffee responded to heat similarly to many naturals we roast, performing best with a gentler heat application. 

When brewed, we enjoyed pour-overs with a slightly coarse grind in flat-bottomed filters.  

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

I’ve been especially excited about this coffee since working through early trial roasts from Ikawa to Bullet to Diedrich to Loring, the coffee has been delicious and exciting to work with. In a surprising twist of fate, for the first time in recent memory, we’ll be featuring this – a traditional natural – as our main light roast drip option at The Crown, in part because we love it, in part because it’s incredibly approachable and we’re pretty sure that it has extremely broad appeal. 

Part of the crowd-pleasing nature in this coffee’s flavor is its sweetness. The frequent comparison to candy on the cupping table alludes to the coffee’s delectable flavors and accessibility. Who doesn’t love sweet coffee? 

It’s also a particularly gentle natural – not so subtle that you’d forget it, but certainly not a bombastic or boozy berry blast. It reminds me a lot of the flavor of fresh coffee fruit, which is to say, not so different from the gentle zesty sweetness of a white grape or lychee fruit. There are hints here and there of florality: lavender on the nose or in the finish, a whisper of lemongrass on the tip of the tongue. 

Anyway, it should come as little surprise that this coffee is affectionately known around these parts as “Finca Tasty.” 

Source Analysis by Chris Kornman 

It seems impossible to say so, but the last time we selected coffee from Edith and Ivan Meza for a Crown Jewel was in early December of 2020. In March of that year, the sibling second-generation coffee farmers had paid us a visit here in California. 

After a few days of tasting, training, and conversation, they joined us for a few of the last in-person classes we taught before the pandemic locked us all down; Edith spoke about her experience with coffee processing in a fermentation class and they led one of our last public tastings with coffees from their 2019 harvest. We’d made many additional plans, all of which were shut down by shelter-in-place orders, and Edith and Ivan were forced to return home far earlier than expected. 

In the years since then Edith and Ivan have remained active and a crucial part of our central Peru supply chain, including advising and consolidating coffee from other producers all the while still plugging away at the innovative and unique farming techniques – coffee and otherwise – on their little plot of land known as Finca Tasta.  

Finca Tasta is located in Peru’s central forest; the farm was their late mother’s project, and the two have since taken over operations. In the last handful of years, they’ve refined their processing methods and expanded their operations, and hope to become a beacon of specialty coffee and sustainability. 

Edith and her brother Ivan are leading by example, focusing on sustainability and independence by diversifying crops beyond just coffee to include food for themselves and their workers. They harvest three varieties of plantains, yucca, beans, corn, tomatoes, pine trees, sugarcane, raspberries, blackberries, and pumpkins. 

They hope to inspire other farmers to move away from monoculture and back towards a model of truly sustainable agriculture. Their commitment to environmental protection runs so deep that they leave nine of their twenty-three hectares of land completely wild to protect native animals like deer, monkeys, and native birds. They also include a deer and a tree in their logo as a symbol of their dedication to the creatures and ecosystems they are committed to protecting. 

The obvious energy behind the project is palpable when speaking with Edith, as our own Mayra Orellana-Powell recently did in an interview (you can read that interview here). Her passion for continuing and improving the work of her mother and engaging with her community is clear. She’s an active member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and has set up outreach events locally to engage residents in and around Challhuamayo with events like specialty coffee workshops. 

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Like its washed counterpart, this natural coffee is fairly dry with a large screen size at 16+. It has a slightly higher than average density. The green has a little bit of reddish silver skin but isn’t as colorful as some naturals can be – however, it does have a lovely, lightly sweet and fruity fragrance. 

This selection is 100% Caturra, a short-stature Bourbon cultivar first observed in eastern Brazil in 1937 and then selected, bred, and widely distributed. Its popularity stems from its high cup quality potential and its small size which allows for dense planting, and thereby has higher yields per hectare.  

Loring S15 Falcon Analysis by Doris Garrido

By this point, I’ve tasted this coffee several times, from the 100-gram sample roast to my 5 lbs. batch on the Diedrich to Chris Kornman’s Aillio Bullet roast. Typically, when roasting coffee from producer friends, I find myself unsatisfied with the results. Chris’ roast has become my favorite by far, the flavors of florals, berries, and hard candy were exactly what I wanted to achieve in my roast. From my roast, I got peach nectar, cane sugar, rose water, and a bolder body. It was a tasty coffee, but I wanted more.

I was lucky to find that this coffee is about to be featured on our menu at the Crown as part of our light offering, which means I can improve it further. Let me share what I have done so far:

I initially approached the roast with a gentle touch, intending to highlight its sweetness; however, I wanted to emulate Chris’ roast, and I changed the style.

Note Due to the low amount of coffee we roast weekly in this facility, I have the privilege of manually driving the Loring roaster we have which allowed me to craft my roast to the best of my ability.

I first charged the batch at 446F and applied power during the first 20 seconds. I started with 90% power and later increased to 100%. The color began to change around 320°F and at approximately 360°F, I started lowering the power by 10% each time till reaching 40%. I waited for the first crack that occurred at 395°F before making my final 10% power drop. The development phase lasted 1 minute and 33 seconds, resulting in an end temperature of 404°F.

The final results were cleaner notes of sweet candy, cane sugar, plum, nectarines, and cherry pie, along with a refreshing hint of lemongrass. However, the great notes I’m still on the hunt for that elusive floral note. Overall, this coffee is exceptionally clean, a testament to the producers’ skill, shout out to the brother and sister Edith and Ivan Mesa for their excellent job!

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Chris Kornman 

I’m making a guest appearance for the next couple of weeks here on the Bullet, and I’ll be using my “500g Quick Roast” as a starting point, which employs a high charge temperature (482F IBTS), a constant D4 drum speed (about 60RPM), and a general trend throughout the roast of decreasing power and increasing fan speed gradually with a target of about an 8 minute roast and roughly 90 seconds of post crack development. You can check out this profile on here. 

Well, it took a few roasts, but I managed to screw up the Bullet’s warmup cycle somehow. It still mystifies me a little why and how the machine occasionally disregards my explicit instructions… maybe it’s me? Anyway, everything followed my 500g recipe except for the drum speed, which inexplicably raised to 7 and stayed there the whole roast, without me noticing. 

I noticed the results, however, and couldn’t figure out why the coffee had gone so quickly through the early stages of roasting. To compensate, I quickly dropped the power to P7 and boosted the fan to P4 at color change, and then again reduced power to P4 and increased the fan to F6, which is where I held the settings for the rest of the roast. (The higher fan speed will help to manage chaff accumulation, too, and this coffee is pretty chaffy.) This almost Diedrich-style roast buffered my color change stage to a full four-and-a-half minutes, literally half the roasting time, and gave me plenty of room to absorb the usual misbehavior of naturals at or around first crack. No blips in the ROR here folks, it was a smooth and gentle ride to a low end temperature and a total roasting time of just over nine minutes. 

The ColorTrack numbers of 63.01 (whole) / 55.46 (ground) were practically identical to Doris’ first Loring roast trial. We tasted the two roasts side by side. 

I had mixed feelings about the Bullet roast compared to the big batch – on the one hand, I liked the sweetness and flavor a lot – lavender, red grape, and pink lemonade – but I thought it was a little dry in the finish and a little thin. 

Doris, however, was taken by surprise beginning with the aroma of sweet raspberry candy, and the Bullet roast held her attention throughout the cupping, with lots of personality on the table. She did, however, note a preference for the Loring’s buttery mouthfeel and sweetness. 

Overall, this is a coffee that seems to respond best to a gentle touch, particularly during the middle stages of roasting (where Doris’ Loring and my Bullet roast share similarities in time, percentage, and temperature change rate). 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman 

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. 

This natural really jumped off the cupping table when we were sampling it and I was curious to see how it would respond to the two sample-style roasts on our Ikawas. Unsurprisingly, the natural processing took well to the LD style roast and was both Doris’ and my preference on the cupping table. We picked up brown sugar, Key lime, lychee, plum and white grape, with a lovely soft sweetness and smooth mouthfeel. 

The HD roast, by comparison, was a little dry and grassy, slightly more caramelized with less fruit intensity. We recommend using a gentle heat approach with this coffee as a result. 

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 Katie Briggs 

With the arrival of spring here in Oakland we also have some arrivals of super fun new Peru coffees, and this natural processed coffee has got me excited! Reading about Edith and Ivans passion for sustainability and diversity of growing on their land and the preservation of the local wildlife is inspiring and I hope to see more of their influence spread throughout all coffee growing regions. With that said, I was super excited to brew up this coffee from them and see what it has in store for us! 

I started with a basic brew with a 19g dose, at 9.5 grind on the flatbed Kalita Wave brewer. Started my bloom with a 50g pulse, for 40 seconds. Then a second pulse up to 200g, and the last pulse to bring it up to 300g for the total amount. This brew was a tad long at almost 4 minutes, but the TDS was pretty good at 1.40. We got notes of juicy apricot, raisin, grapefruit, but with a slight plastic essence, so I wanted the next brew to bring the sweetness a little bit more. 

The next brew I adjusted the grind just a little bit more coarse to a 10. Brewed it on the same Kalita Wave brewer with the same recipe. This brew was about the same time at almost 4 minutes, but tasted much better with notes of chocolate mousse, blackberry, slightly tropical, and sweet pear. I was pretty sure this would be our suggested brew but wanted to see how this coffee would perform on another brew device. 

I did a final brew on a cone V60 brewer, with the same recipe of 19g of coffee, and a 10 grind. This brew came out at about 4 minutes as well, but with a much lower TDS of 1.28 and didn’t taste as good as the previous one. It had a bit more bitterness, notes of watermelon rind, grapefruit, and lime zest.  

For this coffee I would recommend a flatbed brewer with a slightly coarser grind to really bring out the sweetness of this coffee! This coffee will be so tasty for the spring and summer months coming up. We will have this coffee at The Crown as a light roast drip coffee and would highly recommend stopping by to grab a cup! 

Espresso Analysis by Joshua Wismans 

This beautiful natural coffee falls perfectly in my lane: subtle enough that you might question whether its just a really fruity washed, but not too coy. This translates perfectly to espresso profiling. You can lean into something that highlights the heavier more traditional natural profiles of ripe berry and fudge, or find a leaner profile that brings out more of a delicate hibiscus and citrus side of the coffee.  

Our first recommended espresso profile leans into the former. Using a lower dose, a moderate yield, and a longer extraction time, the resulting espresso has a ton of beautiful milk chocolate, ripe pear, cinnamon, and citrus.  

Our second profile uses a higher dose, faster extraction time, and a larger yield to bring out a bit more effervescent citrus and minerality that reminds me of a beautiful picpoul wine. I’m drinking this profile after eating oysters. 

As a disclaimer I like to put on all my espresso analysis, roast will always play a factor in how you get this coffee tasting. However, if you roast it like Doris recommends, you’ll find multiple ways to bring this coffee to fruition on your espresso menu.