This is a traditional washed coffee from Huila, Colombia produced by a small group of farmers. It is a single-cultivar lot of Pink Bourbon.
The flavor profile is bright and citric with notes of Green Apple and Ruby Red Grapefruit with baking spices like cinnamon and a comforting, maple syrup sweetness.
Our roasters found that the coffee’s bright acidity could be balanced by extending Maillard reactions slightly, while otherwise progressing predictably through the roast stages. The coffee might prefer slightly higher than average charge temperatures.
When brewed, the coffee seemed cleanest as a pour-over when brewed on the flat-bottomed Kalita at a slightly longer extraction time. Much like prior harvests, the Pink Bourbon will shine as an espresso offering.
Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow
This Aguazul is packed full of acidity and balanced by sweetness. In the cup we find crisp green apple, lime, and Ruby Red Grapefruit. The sweetness is packed with baking spices like cinnamon and vanilla and brown sugar – in fact, at certain extractions this coffee tastes just like apple pie. The sweetness is very comforting: it’s maple-y, graham cracker-y, and figgy. All of this makes for a sweet, comforting cup that’s elevated by vibrant and tart acidity.
Source by Chris Kornman
For the third time in just under a calendar year, we’ve been graced with a small lot of fresh crop Pink Bourbon from producers in Huila, Colombia. The unparalleled popularity of our lot of the “Aguazul” Pink Bourbon lots in April and October continue to lead us back to our supplier, inquiring for fresh harvests. “Not til next season” in most areas of the world means a full calendar year before the subsequent harvest cycle. Fortunately for us, Colombia’s unique geography and climate allows for multiple annual harvests in many areas of the country. And so, here we have a fresh crop from the same producer group just a few months apart from the last.
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 are 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), and was once called “Aguazul,” a name that Terra Coffee have applied to their exports.
Most of these farms average less than 3 hectares a piece, but small plot size hasn’t impeded Colombian producers from adding value to their crops. Unlike smallholders in many other areas of the world, who frequently sell their cherries to centralized processing centers, Colombia’s powerful Federation (FNC) has empowered producers to pulp, ferment, and wash their coffee, thus selling finished parchment to a dry mill and getting a higher price per pound. Average fermentation times in the region are relatively long, 25-30 hours per batch.
You already know what coffee with a great reputation and limited supply means – so don’t hesitate to grab a box of this delicious coffee before you miss the opportunity.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
First examination of green coffee often begins with sight and smell. This selection offers a unique experience on both fronts. Aromatically, the coffee is surprisingly sweet and juicy. 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.”
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.)
By the numbers, this is a very dense coffee with a relatively wide distribution of screen sizes across mostly 15-18. The coffee is also a little on the damp side, presenting higher than average moisture content and water activity. Treat this coffee with care in storage, keep it out of exposure to light and heat, and seal up unused green for future use to best preserve its delicate flavors and aromas, and you’ll be well rewarded.
Diedrich Analysis by Candice Madison
Another day, another Pink Bourbon graces our cupping tables, and we are not mad about this! What a lovely cup of coffee this was and a pleasure to roast at that – once I made a note of the green coffee states. The flavors were reminiscent of your favorite apple pie experience, by way of a cup of coffee!
First things first, a look at the green metrics – high density, high moisture, and disparate screen sizes? I was very much not looking forward to handling the first roast. But age, experience, and data served me well – ok, it was the data! I knew that this coffee would need a firm hand to handle the first stage. The coffee needed to be dried decisively and quickly, so as not to exert undue influence over the latter stages of the roast.
I dropped the batch in at 380F and cranked the machine up to 100% gas. I knew that to even have a shot at a decent stage 2 time percentage in this roast, I would need to ensure enough surface moisture evaporation, as well as ensure the largest and the smallest beans both had enough heat, but not become too disparate in the roast process. Roasting this coffee evenly was the goal from the outset, as it always is, but with these metrics it required more thought than usual.
I stepped down on the gas before and at color change, but I should have made a larger change initially; this would have given a slower ascension though stage 2. That being said, I managed a respectable 32% in Maillard, a decent stage ratio given this machine and my usual readings.
As the coffee cracked at around 375F, I noticed the rate of rise wasn’t slowing to its usual 15-20% after about 20 seconds into first crack, with the appropriate gas and airflow changes. So I did what I loathe to do and turned the burner off at 390F. This gave me an extended post-crack development time and still allowed me to finish at 399F; my target end temperature being 400F. The roast may have required more thought and attention, but repeating the roast was easy as pie, apple pie!
And what did this big, bad beauty deliver in the cups? Exactly that – a caramel coated, apple pie with all the spices. The acidity and flavor of tart, crisp Granny Smith apples was matched by pink grapefruit and complemented by a soft key lime note. Allspice and other baking spices were sweetened by flavors of vanilla, caramel and sugar cane. A subtle cacao note and velvety body rounded out the cupping bowl and left me smiling. A true hug in a mug, and not a moment too soon!
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 150g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
Like a good friend, the Pink Bourbon is back. This coffee is a crowd favorite, and for good reason; the preparation is immaculate, the flavor is phenomenal, and the roasting is easy. The higher moisture content mentioned by Chris above seemed not to hinder the progression of my roast too much.
Similar to my other roast for this week, I decided to start with a slightly lower charge temperature, 383F in this case. This is perhaps the only thing I’d reconsider from this roast, as I would have liked to move through drying phase a bit more quickly, with a higher charge temperature to help me along. Starting with 10A power and full fan which I cut off just at turning point, I let this coffee gain momentum until 285F / 3:15. At this point, a bit later than usual due to the slower rate of rise, I re-engaged fan speed to 3 on the dial. At 315F / 4:00 I ramped down heat application to 7.5A, and at 335F / 4:40 I increased fan speed back to full in an effort to get this coffee to move more slowly through Maillard stage. My last moves were to turn down heat application further to 5A at 355F / 5:10, a bit before first crack, and to cut heat application entirely at first crack itself. This slowed down the roast enough to allow for 1:15 development and a final temperature of 400F.
The acids in this coffee are so abundant that the extended time in drying phase had very little ‘dulling’ effect on the bright and juicy characteristics of this coffee. Tons of lime, crisp apple, and grapefruit acidity came through even at my roast loss percentage of 13.3% (mostly water weight, to be honest). The finish here was very clean, with little roast influence, and on cooling a tealike hibiscus note came through beneath the juicy apple tartness. The finished roast maintained the ‘wrinkly’ look characteristic of many high-altitude coffees at lighter roast degrees, though this coffee seemed well developed internally as well as externally. I check this by cracking open a bean and checking if the color is consistent from the inside to the outside of the bean. You can also use Agtron and ColorTrack machines to do this by comparing color metrics from whole bean to ground, if you’re fancy.
Consider hitting this roast with extra heat at the outset if you really want an explosively juicy cup, and rest assured that you can cut heat application a little later in the game as this coffee doesn’t take off on its own like you might expect. I’ve found these Pink Bourbon selections to be very friendly and reliable roasting companions, and it seems like many of you feel the same way. Here’s to another great, fresh, delicious batch of this coffee!
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman
As of September 2020 we are running all Crown Jewel Analysis roasts on an Ikawa Pro V3, using the most recent app and firmware version on “closed loop” setting.
This coffee is nothing if not consistent, and there’s just no hiding the fact that predictability is such an important aspect of coffee roasting, especially given limited quantities to work with. Doris Garrido took the controls this week and logged data points, and we cupped the roasts separately before discussing the results. For its third CJ iteration, this Pink Bourbon responded identically to its predecessors, preferring a slightly lengthened Maillard development phase.
The short, fast “standard” sample roast profile didn’t quite put enough browning on these beans, and the coffee turned out very zesty but a little underdeveloped and vegetal. Doris noted its bright citric acidity and thin body, while I called out ripe tomato and green pepper and grapefruit. A solid experience but I prefer my coffee a little sweeter these days.
The longer, lower airflow profile yielded an equally zesty cup with a big, chocolatey base and a little bit of a hollow center. The result seemed a bit imbalanced, heavy on citrus and caramelization and low on subtlety and complexity. Again, the scores here were solid but Doris and I both agreed that this roast took the coffee just a little too far.
And so, the Goldilocks roast, nicely balanced, well caramelized, sweet and juicy with bright clear fruit notes was the “Maillard +30.” A little extra time to develop color change paid dividends in the cup with notes of maple syrup, red apple, salted caramel, pink grapefruit, candy-like sweetness, and sugarcane.
You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown 7m SR LowAF 2
Brew Analysis by Elise Becker
I love this coffee! Here at The Crown, we had an earlier crop of this same coffee on our Tasting Room menu for a few months, and it worked as a triple threat on our espresso bar, brew bar, and as a delicious cold brew. I was excited to taste a different crop for comparison, and it did not disappoint!
I did two brews of this Pink Bourbon, one with a conical brewer (the Hario V60) and one with a flat bottom brewer (the Kalita) to compare the two styles. With all brew variables (other than the brewer itself) set the same, the Kalita took about 15 seconds longer to finish brewing and ended with a higher TDS and extraction. Both cups boasted a lot of brown sugar and apple flavors, but my preference skewed towards the V60 brew, which had a slightly crisper green apple acidity and caramel sweetness while maintaining a silky, chocolate finish. The Kalita brew was also delicious, however, and reminiscent of apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Overall, this coffee is certainly a crowd pleaser with plenty of chocolate, creaminess, and spiced fruit notes.