Crown Jewel Peru Challhuamayo Edith & Ivan Meza Sagarvinaga Washed CJ1556 – 32660-1 – SPOT RCWHSE

Price $173.15 per box

Box Weight 22 lbs

Position Spot

Boxes 20

Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Lime, apricot, lemongrass, orange, black tea, and nectarine

Overview  

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

The flavor profile is light and bright, with clean notes of lime, apricot, black tea, and lemongrass. 

Our roasters found the coffee resisted color change, particularly after the first crack, and encouraged extended caramelization. 

When brewed, our team enjoyed conical pour-overs with low extraction yields and espresso shots at a wide range of brewing parameters. 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman

Finca Tasta makes a triumphant return to our Crown Jewel menu, and this lovely and exquisitely clean washed coffee from Edith and Ivan Meza’s farm is a wonderful example of a lighter, brighter style of coffee from Peru’s massive but often overlooked growing regions in the expansive “Central Forest” which stretches for hundreds of miles down the eastern edge of the Andes.

This is a zesty coffee that offers a lot of excitement in the acidity department; we tasted lots of lemon/lime/orange citrusy notes. This brightness is nicely rounded off by the addition of some sweet stone fruit flavors like ripe cherry and apricot, hints of lemongrass and black tea, and a clean slightly herbal finish.

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

This is a fresh and fairly large green coffee, with about 70% of the beans above screen 16. The coffee has an average looking density and ever-so-slightly lower than average moisture and water activity.

It’s interesting to note that these large beans come from small trees – the Meza siblings are growing Caturra and Catuaí, both of which are arabica cultivars exhibiting phenotypic dwarfism. Caturra was first a spontaneous Bourbon mutation, noticed in 1937 in eastern Brazil, and was selected, bred, distributed, and eventually hybridized with Mundo Novo in the 1940s (a Boubon-Typica hybrid) to create the vigorous and high yielding Catuaí. The two cultivars remain popular amongst farmers for their high quality potential and the fact that they can be planted densely, improving yields per hectare.

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido

After a long wait, this coffee finally arrived. Edith and Ivan Mesa harvest yielded a clean, sweet, and tasty coffee this year, and here’s how I approached the roast:

I initiated the roast with a charge temperature of 416F and 100% gas and let the roast progress until it reached 283F. The color change became noticeable around 300F, and I marked it at 4 minutes. I observed that my roast was going a bit too quickly at this point and to mitigate this, I adjusted the airflow to 50% and soon to 100%. However, I realized that starting with full gas wasn’t the best choice, especially affecting the Maillard phase by starting fast. I turned off the pilot for about a minute and continued roasting with the existing power, achieving a slower roast without disrupting the rate of change that much. These adjustments helped the coffee to better caramelize and extended the yellowing phase for a total of 4 minutes. The first crack started at 381F, and I allowed the coffee to develop for 1:40 minutes and dropped at 385F. This wasn’t my best development I have to admit, I was afraid of not being able to have enough energy to finish, but it was possible in the end.

In general, I recommend starting the roast with less power during the drying phase. This particular coffee came with a bright acidity, which can be preserved through a stretched Maillard, allowing in consequence for a better caramelization phase. On the cupping table, I was able to taste a very present zesty note, also highly noted on the filtered brew I later did. If you prefer to mitigate this, I would recommend considering a gentler and slightly longer drying phase. On the acidity side, this roast presented a vibrant and clean lemony taste with hints of plum and nectarines, Additionally, on the sweetness area I was able to get a tasty hard candy, some butterscotch, and a touch of chamomile. In the following weeks, I will be perfecting this roast because it will become a pour-over option here at the crown.

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 roast.world here.

This washed Peru responded nicely to heat and fan speed changes during roasting and I was careful to draw out a little extra post-crack development time as I noticed the general resistance to take on color throughout the course of the roast. With about 100 seconds of development and a total roast time just shy of eight minutes, I dropped the batch. Despite a similar profile, end temperature, and roast time to the prior batch, my ColorTrack numbers were substantially lighter, and even lighter still than Doris’ Diedrich roast.

She and I cupped the Bullet and Diedrich roasts together, and had mixed opinions. I preferred Doris’ roast, which felt sweeter, brighter, and more developed, the Bullet roast tasting to me a little herbal and thin. Doris, however, noted the zesty acidity and marmalade-like sweetness of the Bullet roast, which she preferred.

I’d suggest letting this coffee run a little longer and hotter than you might otherwise be used to. I feel it resists caramelization and color a bit, and could be very interesting if taken deeper into the medium-roast territory than we have dared to do here. It does, however, seem to fare well with overall fast roast times and high heat applications.

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 changes in the first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here.

Roasting this coffee, I quickly noticed that the Ikawa produced slightly lighter-colored than expected beans. When Doris and I cupped, both roasts auto-broke, and I was worried the coffee would be underdeveloped.

The HD roast was indeed a little bready, but resulted in flavors of almond butter, cinnamon, kettle corn, kiwil, lime leaf, and orange, and despite being a little on the light side, was my favorite.

The LD roast was a bit more substantial but less complex, offering flavors of baking spice, chocolate, and a smooth, sweet character with lower acidity.

Based on this roast comparison, I’d suggest that the coffee prefers a faster, hotter approach but you’ll need to keep an eye on the roast color and probably take it a little longer past the first crack or higher in temperature than you might otherwise be used to for similar beans.

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 Tim Tran

We are excited to bring in coffee from Finca Tasta, a sustainability-minded and agriculturally diverse farm, that comes in both natural and washed processes. Showcasing coffee from the same source but has undergone different processing is always an interesting feature because of the intriguing side-by-side potential comparisons. For this washed coffee analysis, we are thrilled to provide an understanding of how the coffee brews, especially with the knowledge that we also are carrying a natural process of a coffee from the same source.

To begin our analysis we brewed a side-by-side of the coffee on a moderate grind setting at a fairly standard 1:15.79 ratio on a flat-bottom brewer versus a conical brewer. We found the coffee to express a more approachable, rounded profile on a conical brewer, with a notably more defined sweetness and body, so we opted to continue with a conical brewer for our understanding of how this coffee changed as we modified different brewing parameters.

Moving towards a coarse grind while maintaining a 1:15.79 ratio yielded a coffee that really struck at both savory and sweet chords. The coffee had a dynamic flavor that was reminiscent of apricot, cherries, and citrus amidst notes of red wine, rosemary and lemongrass, in harmonious accord. The coffee was relatively light in body but had the space to express a broad range of flavors.

At a lower dose but moderate grind setting, we found the brew to have a higher extraction percentage. At this extraction percentage, the coffee had more notably tobacco and peat-forward flavor profile. The lighter fruit notes were still detectable beneath the earthier and more herbaceous flavors but were footnotes at these parameters.

In the interest of leaving no stone unturned, we explored a brew that was a single pour after the initial bloom. This brew method yielded a higher extraction percentage when compared to the pulsed brew with the other parameters held the same. Using this brew method carried similarly an earthier and slightly more bitter flavor profile, reflecting similar findings around flavor as we found previously.

This coffee behaves in a relatively highly soluble manner. The coffee is very responsive to grind setting changes but can strike a very harmonious combination of savory and sweet when dialed in. We recommend a moderate dose of coffee at a coarse grind setting on a conical brewer. For this coffee, we enjoyed it best at a relatively lower extraction percentage.

Espresso Analysis by Asha Wells

This bean, while it hangs from a small tree, has quite a large range of possibilities, and tasted beautiful at various recipes. With a milder profile, this coffee performs a dainty and understated dance of lemon balm, and ginger, followed by a reprise that dips into more intriguing & homey territory of marzipan, date, and toffee that starts and ends at the back of the palate. With a heavier profile, this coffee expressed a remarkable and balanced sweetness, apricot, candied lemon, and a touch of nuttiness that carried the body to a whole other level of complexity.

Our first recommended recipe is a classic 18g in and 36g yield (1:2 ratio), at 27 seconds. With a relatively moderate profile, this coffee offered a subtle, floral profile, with a unique and earthy sweetness that calls to mind notes of sweet potato, sassafras, and star anise. This profile is terrific for those who enjoy a more bright and delicate-tasting espresso.

For our second recipe, we upped our dose to 20g and yielded to 42g, and at 36 seconds, I must say, this coffee enjoyed a deeper profile. We found ourselves with a lovely, sweet, and balanced shot with hints of brown sugar, pistachio, and golden delicious, with cleansing Meyer lemon and cherry aromatics. This profile was stunning and classic.

Overall we found that this coffee has a certain duality that can be expressed on either end of the spectrum, with exceptional results for differing palates and complexity throughout.