While a critical piece in a good quality control program includes the ability to distinguish between personal preference and objective qualitative evaluation, sometimes a cupping score doesn’t give the full picture of a coffee’s potential.
Such was the case with this sleeper microlot from
30-year veteran Colombian coffee producer Salomon Artunduaga. Initial evaluations were a little tepid, but attentive cuppers at the table picked up something hidden between the lines of cup scores and tasting notes. This coffee showed a lot of promise.
And so we roasted and cupped a few more times, taking our time to get to know what the coffee was all about. Candice explored a couple of different roasting styles, bringing out ripe, dark berries and a lot of cherry, plum, and floral notes. There’s much to like about this coffee, not the least of which is that tiny changes in roast style can really manipulate its flavor profile – likely the reason we nearly missed this on the first cupping.
Don Salomon’s 10-hectare farm in Bruselas, Huila, is called Finca Futura, and it’s no stranger to quality. He has two top-20 finishes in Cup of Excellence competitions in the past few years, and has dialed in production. Somewhat rare in Colombia, Artunduaga is floating his coffee cherries prior to a fairly long 36-hour fermentation. This allows for an extra quality check before the coffee even enters the pulper, separating out ripe and dense cherries from those of lower quality. He’s also using parabolic dryers to protect the coffee parchment from UV and rain during its 13-day drying period. The result here is a lovely microlot with a unique flavor profile, adding its voice to the chorus of delightful coffees recently landed from southern Colombia.
Solid moisture figures and fairly large screen size augment this coffee’s very high density. Hand-sorting on the drying tables as well as the pre-fermentation float have improved the lot’s physical qualities.
Salomon Artunduaga is growing two pretty ubiquitous coffee trees, at least in terms of Colombian coffee. Present here is a mix of Caturra and Castillo. Caturra is a legacy variety, a dwarf mutation single-gene mutation of Bourbon which gained a lot of popularity in the Americas after it was first observed in Brazil in 1937. Castillo is a recent introduction in Colombia, beginning in 2005, and is now its most commonly grown cultivar. Many iterations are backcrossed fifth generation (F5) seeds, though F6s exist, and the tree exhibits strong resistance to Roya and hearty yields.
Another day, another Huila. We are spoilt for deliciousness from Colombia and I for one am taking full advantage. Cupping this coffee from Finca Futura on the selection table gave a blueprint for what I wanted to achieve in the roaster. The gorgeous floral top notes and buttery, creamy mouthfeel were only some of the attributes available in this complex coffee that I wanted to make sure were expressed in the final cup.
After successfully achieving two distinct flavor profiles roasting the previous Crown Jewel offering from the San Augustin project in south western Huila, I decided that I wanted to be greedy and eke out elements of both. I chose to split the difference and apply a steady and moderately high heat to this coffee throughout the roast. Doing so meant that the coffee dried in a shorter amount of time. With this particular coffee, this approach allowed me to spend the longest time ratio in the maillard phase/stage 2, of the roast (3:28 mins). A first crack at 393 degrees F, just before 6 minutes gave the coffee a full minute more in stage 2 than stage one, and still allowed me to achieve a longer post crack development ratio than either of the previous roasts, at 20% (I:29 mins).
Eureka! What came out of the drum was a deep and complex, yet refreshing and balanced cup. All of the floral, fruit forward notes were present; there were heaps of floral aromatics, pear, cherry, melon and grape notes. These were complemented by flavours of vanilla, butter, brown sugar, milk chocolate and maple syrup. All were balanced by a soft cranberry acidity and a smooth, round and viscous body. A jewel indeed.
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Behmor roasts. Generally, I’ll use the 1lb setting, manual mode (P5), full power, and high drum speed until crack. Read my original post and stats here.
With my previous roasts of Colombian coffees taking a bit more heat than anticipated, I went full power on this coffee right until the end. With the high density and the wide spread of screen sizes in this coffee, I thought this would be the best course of action.
This coffee cracked at about 9:45, a standard time for most coffees on the Behmor. I didn’t turn down the heat at all for this roast, but I did open the door of the roaster for 5 seconds to abate smoke at 10:40. I allowed this coffee to develop in the roaster for 1:35 post-crack, longer than most of my roasts in the Behmor.
While the longer development time certainly showed, it wasn’t too much of a drastic difference. Syrupy sugars and cooked fruits were in my notes, and a touch of roast flavor came through (as could be expected with about 13% roast loss percentage). This coffee was sweet and sugary on the cupping table!
This coffee really took off toward the end of my roast, and it was quite chaffy as well. Make sure to clean your roaster of chaff very thoroughly before and after roasting this coffee; some chaff particles nearly caught fire in the roaster towards the end of my roast. Be safe, and remember: Only You Can Prevent Roaster Fires!
This week we received some new Origami drippers for the brew bar, so I tested them out during this brew analysis. The Origami dripper is ridged porcelain and can take either a Kalita or v60 filter, so I felt pretty confident I would be able to brew up some delicious coffee. Right out of the gate, the first brew of this coffee was pretty stellar! It was super syrupy and sweet, with notes of blackberry, cranberry, maple syrup, and vanilla. The extraction on this first cup was 21.03%, which is fairly high, so I was relieved to not taste any signs of overextraction.
This coffee definitely was not lacking in sweetness, but I wanted to see if I could find some brighter acidity. For the next three brews, I tried a mix of coarsening my grind and manipulating the total brew time to try to highlight some of the coffees lighter, more delicate notes. We definitely tasted the coffee’s brightness, in the form of lime zest, kiwi, cherry, pear, and raspberry, but the main feature of this coffee was definitely still its sweetness. Even at lower TDS readings and extraction percentages, this coffee was bursting with juicy sweetness, so this coffee is a winner no matter how you choose to brew it!