by Isabella Vitaliano

Welcome to our Specialty Green Coffee Cupping Series on Thursday where we highlight recent arrivals. We select 5 coffees to cup at The Crown and provide more in-depth tasting notes, coffee background, and usage recommendations.

October 12

29619 Colombia Huila Acevedo A  

A great story has great flavor notes to accompany it. A full body with flavors of cacao, dark chocolate, and grapefruit. Low in sweetness, this coffee carries itself in its full body. This is ideal for those looking for a classic dark roast profile to develop more sweetness. Served best on a batch brew or an Italian-like espresso. 

This lot comes from four producers with small farms in the municipality of Acevedo within the department of Huila. Coffee cultivation from small family farms is the backbone of production in Colombia. Banexport, a Colombian export company, works with many of these producers who have a shared commitment to exquisite coffee processing and loving care for their farms and the environment. This exporting group provides producers access to technical support for best farming practices, farm management, post-harvest processing, and cupping feedback. All of these are invaluable tools that can help these smallholder farmers improve the quality of their coffee.  

This model of collaborative effort produces traceable community blends with vibrant regional profiles. Each producer who contributed to this lot follows the same post-harvest protocols which allows for a high degree of consistency in this blend. Banexport offers crucial logistic support in warehousing, milling, exportation, and marketing. This collaborative effort provides better income for everyone to reinvest in their farms and strengthen their families’ livelihoods.

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29257 Costa Rica RFA West Valley La Candelaria Estate

Certified slurpable this RFA cup is deliciously sweet, with nuanced soft fruit flavors of strawberries and cherries. Balanced out with a buttery body, caramel like sweetness, raisin, and brown spice notes. The body is milder, but the flavors inherent to the cup have great character.  Espresso would be ideal to magnify the flavor notes and amp up the milder body to brew a delicious cup. 

This coffee was produced in a very large estate in a part of Costa Rica known as West Valley, which is one of the country’s most historic coffee regions.  

La Candeleria is 150 hectares of blended coffee production and natural forest preserve. Hans Aberhard, the owner and manager since 1980 runs both a native wildlife protection program and a reforestation program, in addition to having an RFA certification. He seeks to make a greater impact in the region, producing economic aid to a nearby rural school, which is used for nutrition and learning supplies. Hans processes and mills on the property where he can oversee a variety of techniques. This washed lot is a standard depulped, fermented, washed, and screen-dried blend of cultivars across La Candelaria.

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28867 Costa Rica West Valley Monte Crisol SHB EP

From brown sugar, caramel, grapefruit, apple, and nectarines, this coffee has a spectrum of flavor offerings. The acidity holds itself in the apple and grapefruit notes and balances out beautifully with caramel and brown sugar. Nicely suited for espresso, the favorable acidity and body would be amped up and would show off the variety of flavors this West Valley coffee has to offer.   

Royal celebrates our decades-long relationship with cooperative Coopepalmares with this community blend named Monte Crisol that is exclusively sold to Royal. There is more to this perennial relationship than just naming rights. With more than 14000 producer members from Palmares, this cooperative is designed to receive cherries from a multiplicity of small farms and are able to diligently and consistently process their coffee into this well-balanced regional blend.  

This state-of-the-art processing facility with certifications in quality and environmental management from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) utilizes recycled water, and mechanical dryers recirculate airflow to maximize furnace efficiency. In addition to exporting coffee, Coopepalmares operates two supermarkets and a hardware store in Palmares and sells roasted coffee for national consumption. Cooperative members have access to low-interest loans and healthcare for their families at the cooperative-run health center and mobile clinic.

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28791 Costa Rica Tarrazu La Pastora SHB EP

The result of the highly meticulous processing yields a cup with tropical fruit notes like mango and lime in the acidity. Accompanied by a pleasant herbal tea-like chamomile to add a softer edge with some brown sugar to round it all out. We recommend a darker roast to sweeten this up further or blending it with a coffee that is low in sweetness and a thicker body, or even some fruit-forward flavors to make a balanced and interesting cup.  

With more than 4650 members in Tarrazu, a canton in the province of San Jose, Cooperative de Caficulatores de Tarrazu is designed to receive cherries from many small farms and process their coffees into this well-balanced regional blend called La Pastora.  

Highly impressive for the sheer size of this group, like clockwork, a parade of vehicles of all sizes arrives in the late afternoon with cherries that were picked that day. The cherries are weighed out and sent through a demucilager utilizing a recycling water system. Coffee passes through a series of dryers to reduce the moisture to 11%. All this highly organized operation happens in a matter of just 72 hours. The coffee is rested for a month, milled, and put through more series of quality control evaluations to prepare for export. This cooperative has an intricate model of income diversification they can provide their members. Along with a profitable agricultural supply store and grocery store,. cooperative members also have access to low-interest loans and health care.  

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29087 El Salvador Cerro Las Ranas Honey

This coffee is no frog; on the cupping table, it was clean and delicate, with notes of lemon tea, lychee, sour orange, and rambutan. Lychee and rambutan are white-fleshed tropical fruit and the delicacy of those fruits is similar to the body of this coffee. Paired with a sharp, sour orange acidity this coffee would be served great as a dark roast to balance out the acidity with developed sweetness. 

Cerro las Ranas (the hill of Frogs) is named after the farm ‘lagoon that is populated by thousands of frogs, located in Apaneca within the department of Achachapan, El Salvador. This coffee is produced by JASAL a family-owned cooperate where Jose Salaverria and his sons take great pride in their meticulous attention to detail, from the year-round farm management to QC in the cupping lab, and everything in between. This coffee is a pulped natural, aka honey process; Jasal pulps ripe cherries and dries the beans still covered in mucilage,  on clay patios while constantly turning beans to ensure even drying. 

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October 19

31007 Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca La Providencia Palhu

Highly approachable, this Huehuetenango coffee has lots of character and more citric notes than one might expect from the region. Its profile starts with a base of dark chocolate and baked apple, layered up with lime zest, navel orange, and tahini. This coffee can please the masses, and its subtle complexities can impress customers who pay attention to the nuances a coffee can offer.  Recommended for light to medium roast; at second crack this coffee may be a bit imbalanced.  It’s a solid pour-over or batch brew option, and ideal for a fall-winter menu.  

Located on the western border of the municipality San Pedra Necta in the Huehuetenango department lies a tried-and-true long-term Royal supply partner, Maximiliano Palacios. As a third-generation coffee producer, Max has had time to sort out any kinks during production to curate this delicious, washed coffee that is sun-dried on patios and in mechanical dryers. “Palhu” signifies lots exclusively selected for Royal, combining the family name Palacios and the department of Huehuetenango. 

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30949 Papua New Guinea Organic Siane Chimbu A/X

The structure of this coffee is held together by an herbal chamomile body, with notes of almond, mild blueberry, and savory notes. A slightly funky but fresh PNG, this softer coffee has the versatility to do well at a wide range of roast levels. It could provide foundational support for a blend or take center stage of a menu as a batch brew at any roast level.  

You will be pleasantly surprised by this organic bourbon and typica lot sourced from the Siane Organic Agriculture Cooperative (SOAC). This producer group is in the Chuave District in the center of Papua New Guinea. SOAC offers farmers access to international coffee markets to better sell lots from smallholder farmers. This group also provides financing, coffee quality improvement, organic certification, and community projects that promote gender quality and education.  

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29581 Tanzania RFA Ruvuma Fully Washed Peaberry

This classic fully washed Tanzania is unfussy and will easily tolerate light-to-dark roasts easily. Mildly deceptive with a chocolate aroma when hot, this coffee shows off its fruit flavors with notes of orange, raspberry, limeade, and berry notes. A faster roast with a higher heat would be great to bump up the acidity to achieve an extra sparkly acidity. We recommend this RFA-certified coffee as a single-origin espresso to let the origin and acidity of this coffee really shine in the cup.  

An effort initiated in 1999 by two family-owned farms to improve coffee production has met its goal and then some. The two companies involved,  Soochak Bursh and Tropex, are located in the Mbinga District in the southwestern tip of the country which is lush with diverse wildlife. Both companies provide crucial support for small producers, including the operation of a dry mill, and exporting coffee. They have built 29 new wet mills in the region to standardize processing and ensure a high degree of quality control. Farmers are paid for parchment during harvest and a share of profits after export.  

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October 26

30994 Ethiopia Harrar 4 Natural Queen City

The profile of this mixed lot of Ethiopian indigenous heirloom leans heavily on its thicker body full of dark chocolate, nutmeg, and caramel, followed by mild flavors of honeycomb, soft peach, and raw sugar. Not overly fruit-forward, this natural coffee has the ability to ebb and flow between uses as needed on the bar.

Sourced from family-owned farms in zones unique to the Harari region in Ethiopia. Queen City Harrar is produced by Abdirashid Abdullahi, the nephew of the legendary Ogsadey who produced the world-famous Horse coffee brand. This natural sun-dried coffee after being sourced from this selective region the cherries are then meticulously sorted, dried, and hand milled again to bring you great cup quality and consistency. 

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31238 Guatemala Antigua Duraznito 

The most ideal fall coffee with base notes of baked apple, bitter chocolate, and caramel with a sprinkle of cinnamon and clove. Drinking this will make you wonder if you are drinking cider or coffee! It has warming spice notes along with some herbal rosemary and thyme and remains deliciously clean and easy to drink. We recommend roasting this on the lighter side to support those elegant spice notes. Espresso or batch brew would be ideal for this coffee and if you need something to spice up your holiday blend then this is the one for you!

This exclusive lot is part of a short series of individual picking days in the Duraznito community to showcase hyper-specific terroir that is normally blended into coffee lots of the greater region. Cherries are delivered and separated by day to create these “day-lots” which are equivalent to a single day picking from a large estate This coffee is one of four carefully selected day-lots from the Duraznto community. They are then cupped and separated by the quality control team at the Bella Vista mill that recently began incorporating regional separation to obtain higher quality and take advantage of the diverse terroir of the region.

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