This super juicy microlot from producer Jhon Jairo Ortiz stunned us both on the cupping table and in service trials. The coffee bursts with clean fruit acidity and its flavor reminds us of cranberries, kiwi, and passionfruit. We’ve made it available exclusively as a Crown Jewel for a limited time, while it lasts.
Don Jhon has been growing coffee for 16 years, and is the proud owner of Finca Buenos Aires, located in Pitalito, Huila. He lives with his wife and their three children. His coffee is processed on site at his micromill, handpicked cherries are fermented for 32 hours and then dried for 12 days under canopy.
The result is a delicious coffee we’re thrilled to offer and excited to carry in our Tasting Room at the Crown.
A nicely prepped Colombian coffee here, a little looser than the traditional Supremo and Excelso designations in terms of screen size but generally pretty large beans with very high density and very stable looking moisture content. The water activity meter is on the fritz this week and out for service, but I have zero concerns about this type of coffee reading above average.
Jhon Jairo Ortiz has two varieties on his farm. The first is legacy dwarf variety Caturra a naturally occurring Bourbon single-gene mutation that causes short stature, first described in 1937 in Brazil, and it is well-loved by coffee growers to this day. It retains the excellent flavors of its genetic antecedent, but can be planted more densely resulting in higher average yields per hectare of tree. Its short stature makes it easier to pick and prune as well. It does not, however, resist disease particularly well. The other cultivar is a hybrid, Colombia, developed by the FNC to improve yield and resistance. Colombia is a F5 (fifth generation) backcrossed Catimor (Caturra x Timor Hybrid), first released in 1982.
We were all blown away by this coffee. What an excellent example of the meticulous care and attention that Jhon always shows as a producer. I didn’t have any particular comparison plan going into the roasts, I merely wanted to play with the coffee and the post crack development. For the most part I kept both roasts fairly similar.
I did start with different charge temperatures (a 10 degree difference), in order to see if this made a significant difference with regard to the first stage of the roast, before the turning point. It did not, and I wasn’t shocked. The fact that this is a relatively dense coffee with a moisture content almost directly in the median of the specialty range, coupled with an identical gas application at the start of the roast made this fairly unsurprising. I chose to be more aggressive with the heat application, post color change, on the first roast, and turned the gas right up until just before first crack. I also opted to drop the coffee about 45 seconds earlier than the second roast, but as you can see from both the readings from the drum thermocouple and the RoC curve, the roasts produced fairly similar data. However, the timing of first crack was a full 30 seconds different. In the cup the flavors definitely presented themselves differently in dominance.
As expected the shorter more heat intensive roast allowed those floral and bright fruit flavors to shine. There was a delicious cashew creaminess, coupled with a chocolate brownie sweetness that made this first roast intensely morish. That being said, I wanted to filter the second roast straight from the cupping table into my mug! The rich raisin and brown sugar sweetness with deep berry notes was just as delicious. The dynamic and multi-layered range of acidity, sweetness and fruit notes make this coffee a star on the table and, as a roaster, made me exceptionally happy, as I believe most roasting styles will ensure it’s a star on any menu.
Our lovely little red Diedrich IR-5 in bright Royal red has been the de facto production machine for coffee served at the Crown since our doors opened. Among the current coffees on offer in our tasting room as a pour over is this lovely Huila from Jhon Jairo Ortiz. It’s been a staple of the coffee menu in the front and we thought we’d be remiss not to share our production profile with you.
Candice has settled on a 4 lb charge for this coffee, which provides us with just about enough coffee for a week’s worth of service, accounting for about 15% loss after roasting. Candice’s idle protocol is such that she’s able to turn the gas up to setting 5 with a closed airflow at the beginning of the roast without overheating the machine, conveniently. This allows for a relatively quick turnaround at roughly 1:30 and a clean descending rate of rise throughout the remainder of the roast. Pulling the lever to increase airflow to 50% usually coincides with a slight decrease in gas and slightly precedes noticeable color change in the sightglass.
Maillard begins about halfway through roasting, and things tend to progress fairly quickly from there. Note the incremental heat reduction as the coffee heads towards first crack, and Candice’s subsequent response of opening airflow immediately to 100%. This has allowed her to coast gently through first crack and add about 90 seconds of development as the rate of rise descends below 10 degrees per 30 seconds. The end color is a relatively light 52.27 on the target roast, with a solid 8 point difference between the whole bean score of 60.24.
Candice is quick to caution that she’s investigating a change in the probe placement on the Diedrich IR-5 as its proximity to the manual trier can cause unfavorably low temperature spikes when pulling mid-roast samples from the drum.
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.
While this lovely coffee was slightly more dense, and was weighted towards the larger end of the spectrum on screen size, it behaved almost identically to our previous Crown Jewel also released this week, the Mexico Bella Vista Women’s Group Fully Washed Crown Jewel.
This coffee also began to crack at 9:45, but I was mindful to the characteristics mentioned above, and didn’t engage P4 (75% power) until 10:00 in order to keep the momentum going on this coffee. I did open the door of the roaster to let out a bit of heat and smoke at 10:10, but only for moment. I ended the roast at the same time as CJ1276, as well, 11:05. My roast loss percentage was just a touch lower, at 12.2% – both these coffees came in at 10.5% moisture content.
On the table, it was evident that this coffee could take more heat. Since it’s hard to push more delta on the Behmor, staying at 100% heat application throughout the roast of high density Colombian coffees like this one will help you achieve a nice balance between maintaining acids and developing sugars. Forge ahead!
This coffee quite literally stopped me in my tracks when I tasted it on the cupping table! I tasted way more tropical fruit, berries, and light sugars than I usually expect from Colombian coffees, so I was really looking forward to playing around with this coffee on the brew bar. We had a few different coffees to brew at once, so baristas Ruthie and Doris took the reins for the first brew and opted to make an Aeropress. They brewed a fairly strong cup at a 1:9.25 ratio and then added a small bypass to bring the coffee’s TDS back down to a more leisurely 1.7 (although that’s still a pretty hefty cup of coffee). The resulting cup was incredibly rich, featuring lots of honey sweetness, notes of cherry, cocoa, and maple syrup, and a delightfully syrupy body. Despite the heavy sweetness of the brew, the tropical acidity that I tasted on the cupping table was still present, and my first thought upon taking a sip was, “Oh right, this is THAT coffee!”
When working on brew analysis, I usually like to tweak a variable or two from the first brew to really push the limits of what we like about the coffee. With the first brew having been on the Aeropress, however, I decided to try out another brew method to see how this coffee stands up to various applications. I pulled out our Beehouse dripper and chose a standard 1:16 ratio, with a slightly finer grind setting that I usually use on this style of dripper. The brew ended at just over 4 minutes, which was a little longer than I was hoping for, but not unusual for the size brew I was making. I decanted the coffee and found my TDS and extraction percentage before tasting the coffee. The brew weighed in at a whopping 1.61 TDS and 23.89% extraction, but my concerns over overextraction were quickly put to rest when I took a sip of an incredibly complex cup. Hints of cherry, plum, berries, and other fruit took the lead in this brew, with the same rich sweet notes like honey, marzipan, and toffee rounding out the coffee’s body and overall character. The bottom line is that this coffee from Jhon Jairo Ortiz has the potential to perform exceptionally well across a wide variety of brew methods and at high extraction rates, making this a coffee that you don’t want to miss out on!