Intro by Mayra Orellana-Powell & Chris Kornman
If you’d asked us back in March when the world went into COVID lockdown which country we had the least confidence in maintaining supply chain integrity over the summer, we’d have said “Peru” without batting an eyelash. Strict quarantines and concern about labor shortages led to misleading reports about the country’s ability to keep up with commercial coffee concerns. Fortunately for us, trader Rosi Quiñones keeps close tabs on producers from her home country and actively worked to assure us that, at least in terms of high grown specialty coffee, the supply chain was not broken.
This September-arriving Cajamarca is the delicious evidence. Bright and zesty with citrusy acids jumping off the palate, it’s a dense cup with a lot of character. Orange and lime notes meet a mild savory herb and tomato profile (reminding me a little of a classic Kenya). Its caramel sweetness accompanies a silky body and super clean finish.
The farmer, Salvador Cruz Rimarachin, says that his favorite part of the coffee business is watching the morning mist lift from his farm, which leaves a glistening blanket of moisture on the coffee trees.
He harvested and processed this micro-lot on his 8.5 acre farm called El Duende located near the community of San Ignacio in the Cajamarca region. Salvador has his own micro-mill where carefully harvested cherries are depulped, fermented, washed to remove the mucilage, and then gently dried on raised beds over a period of 18 days. While Salvador has designed farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit his needs, he also has a strong alliance to bring his coffee to the international market and earn fair prices. He started working with Aroma del Valle, an organization established to assist producers access the specialty coffee market. With the help of Aroma del Valle, Salvador has been able to pay for his 4 children to attend school.
Green Analysis by Elise Becker
Our organic Peruvian Crown Jewel comes well sorted, with the majority of beans falling between screen sizes 17-18. This coffee has average moisture content, and is a little below average in density, and a little below average in water activity. The low water activity should make for easy and stable storage. Given the lower density, a gentler approach to heat may be better. Check out Alex and Evan’s roasting notes for more details on heat application and roasting tips.
This coffee consists of several varieties, including Yellow Caturra, Mundo Novo, and Typica. Yellow Caturra is a natural mutation of Bourbon. A compact plant, Caturra is highly susceptible to disease, but highly productive, and with good cup potential. Mundo Novo, first discovered in 1943, is the result of a natural cross between Bourbon and Typica. It has a very tall stature, and is vigorously productive though susceptible to disease. Typica, which like Bourbon was selected from Yemen landraces, was first introduced to the Americas in the 1700s by Duth colonists. It is characterized by High cup quality, but low productivity and high susceptibility to disease.
Ikawa Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
As of September 2020 we are running all Crown Jewel Analysis roasts on a brand new Ikawa Pro V3, using the most recent app and firmware version on “closed loop” setting.
I haven’t had the chance to taste a new Peruvian coffee on the menu in months, so I was very curious to get my hands on this one. The washed Yojan Perez from late last year was a favorite of mine, and I’m glad to say this is no different. Both roasts of this coffee on the Ikawa were sweet and sparkling, like lime soda and candied citrus.
Our standard roast profile produced a coffee that was surprisingly thirst-quenching and sweet, reminiscent of pink lemonade and rock candy, with flavor notes of strawberry, raspberry, and red grape, with a mild but lingering lime and dark chocolate finish. This delicious cup had an interesting sparkling quality and a lemon-lime brightness to its acidity, but none of its flavors overwhelmed the others: I found it really balanced and pleasant.
Our somewhat longer profile with an extended Maillard phase ended up my favorite of the two. It kept its sparkling quality, though this time I detected flavors of watermelon, candied lemon, chocolate-covered cherries, golden raisin, and rum, with a coating quality like melted chocolate. Its body was somewhat heavier than the previous roast as well, which is exactly what I would expect from an extended Maillard profile.
Both of these roasts were delicious and easy-drinking! For a lighter and brighter cup, try our first profile, and for a heavier, more caramelized cup, try extending the Maillard phase. Let us know how it works for you!
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
Probatino Analysis by Candice Madison
After some time away from the roaster, I was super excited to be back at it and with a familiar friend (the Probatino) and a new one in the form of this organic offering from Salvador Cruz Rimarachin and his farm, El Duende, in Cajamarca.
This coffee has a medium density and lowish moisture content. I thought that introducing it into the drum at 360F on a minimum gas setting (2), would give it enough of a soak to allow it the space to absorb heat further into the roast without flying away. However, if I were to roast this coffee again, I would probably start with the highest heat setting (3/3.5), in order to get out of the drying phase with a little more oomph!
Now, I will talk about stages, and, much like the pre-digital data logging days, you will believe me – because none of my keystrokes worked and Cropster couldn’t record my stage markers. Fear not, dear reader; lots of us were roasting before these things were even a twinkle in their inventors’ eyes! The coffee color at approximately 300F (a couple before, but let’s not quibble). It was still drinking in heat at this point and I even had to push the gas up to 3.5 just before coloring, at 291F, to ensure the roast didn’t stall.
I began my gradual gas descent at about 346 F, but what started as gradual became a faster step down than I had imagined, all that heat given to the beans during the early part of the roast came back to bite me in the proverbial! The coffee began to race, almost uncontrollably. Welcome back to the rodeo life of being a roaster!
I had arrived at the gas minimum at 376F, long before first crack. My only recourse for my previous heat application mistake was to turn the flame dial down to 50%, which is what I did as I heard the initial pops of first crack, at 390F. Although I recorded first crack as starting just after this, it really began to roll at around 393F.
My desire to drop the coffee at a particular roast color, meant that I gave it a little less than a minute from that rolling crack to dropping the batch at 400F. Not ideal, in fact a recipe for underdevelopment. I was nervous, it was a very short roast!
It wasn’t the best roast of this coffee, and I definitely know the areas I’d modify if I were roasting it again, but, boy, is it forgiving! I was expecting peanuts, but no, I got a warm walnut and graham cracker aroma from the fragrance of the ground coffee, which deepened into a malty richness in the aroma of the wet grounds. In the cup there were notes of cacao nibs, complemented by those of bittersweet chocolate. These were overlaid with notes of honeycomb, light molasses and brown sugar. Offsetting the sweetness of the previous flavors, I found oolong tea, and the soft, surprisingly complex acidity of kiwi and mandarin. As I write this, I’m not sure I wasn’t being so hard on this roast – I mean, one of my notes was ‘eminently drinkable’ and it is; I’m drinking a pourover of it right now!
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.
At long last, I am back to the Quest M3s roaster! And what better coffee to start with than a consistent Peru with some very steady green characteristics. This isn’t the most dense coffee, doesn’t have super high moisture content or water activity, and was a dream to roast. Truth be told, this was only my second roast after cleaning the Quest and reinstalling the probes and thermocouple, and it progressed swimmingly.
Looking back on my notes for other Peruvian coffees, I decided to take this one in the same direction. Starting with a charge temperature of 390F, 10A power, and the fan turned up to the maximum, I charged my standard 150g, and started the roast.
The roast progressed pretty much as I expected. At turning point, I turned off the air straightaway in order to let this beautiful coffee soak up the heat like a day at the beach. The coffee seemed to enjoy its barrel beach, and my rate of rise began to climb. Just as it peaked, I reintroduced airflow by turning the fan up to 5 on the dial. A bit later at 4:30 / 330F I reduced the heat application to 5A to slow down the coffee at the end of Maillard stage and beginning of first crack. As the coffee was about to crack, I increased airflow to the maximum at 6:00 / 365F. Almost exactly a minute later at 7:06 / 385F the coffee began first crack.
I allowed for 1:33 development, but the coffee never got above 394F. If I were to do anything differently for this roast, I likely wouldn’t have increased airflow until about 375F as this coffee’s momentum was pretty thoroughly sapped by that action.
Nevertheless, this coffee was very tasty in the cup. Lots of crisp fall fruit like pear and apple, and perhaps even a touch of peachy-o gummy candy. The finish was a bit dry/mineralic, but not offensively so – something like a dry white wine. I’m thinking a higher end temperature would tame that tannin tendency so that more brown sugar sweetness could make itself known.
As Alex notes below, this coffee has definite potential for bright and zesty notes when brewed as a filter drip, and particularly using lighter roasts like the one I did above. If you’re into more sugar development, I’m very confident this coffee would make a fantastic espresso as well. A coffee like this is extremely versatile; if you’re looking for a jack of all trades to keep you interested in both roasting and brewing, this coffee is a splendid choice.
Brew Analysis by Alex Taylor
It is reassuring to see this organic offering from Peru make its way through Crown Jewel analysis, considering the concerns that Covid-19 might have disrupted the coffee harvest cycle and supply chain in Peru. Despite the difficulties that 2020 brought, however, this coffee is a stellar start to the beginning of Peru season!
I didn’t want to unnecessarily complicate things for my brew analysis of this coffee, so I took a fairly straightforward approach, brewing a 1:15 ratio on a Kalita. The only twist was trying out a pourover-hack that I saw a few days ago. I’ve always been frustrated by Kalita brewers at the end of the brew, as they often choke, stall, and generally leave me frustrated. Turns out, something that may be causing that end-of-brew choke is the weight of the water and coffee pushing down on the filter, creating a full seal between the filter and the base of the brewer, which in turn cuts airflow and restricts the flow of coffee through the filter and out the bottom of the dripper. So what’s the hack? It’s infuriatingly simple: plop 3-5 whole coffee beans in the brewer before you put the filter in. Then pre-rinse and go about your brew as usual; the beans at the bottom should keep the filter from making a seal to the brewer base, and therefore keep your flow rate healthy and happy! (I’ve also seen this done with BB’s, a metal mesh tea filter, and more)
And, well, it works! Without using this little hack, I would usually have a little difficulty keeping a 300g brew right around 3:00. More frequently, the brews clocked in around 3:30-4:00, with notable slowing/choking at the end. This brew, with a finer grind setting than usual, finished in 3:05, with no noticeable slowing or choking at the end. Hooray!
Anyway, back to talking about the coffee. Right off the bat, I was pleasantly surprised by how bright this coffee tasted! Juicy sweet kiwi and zippy green apple gave way to a rich and creamy caramel-chocolate sweetness, with a surprisingly tea-like finish! I also tasted a nice honey-roasted walnut note, which I would not have expected to go well with the other flavors this coffee had to offer, but was really nice as the coffee cooled (it played very nicely with the chocolate and caramel). I kept going back for more, trying to decide what to change for my next brew, and before I knew it, the coffee was gone! And hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! So just the one brew of the delightful Peru, because that’s all it’s going to take you to find something you love about this coffee.