With the coffee year coming to an end, we thought we’d take the opportunity to survey our traders to find out what their top brews have been over the last 12 months.
We have a couple of Colombians, a Guatemalan, and more. Let’s dive in:
Coffee of the year: Colombia Esperanza Estate Red Bourbon Honey Process
This Esperanza Estate had it all: the flavour was super sweet with mango, caramel, and strawberry notes to drive your tastebuds. On top of that, the green beans themselves were gorgeous: even, uniformed. And it’s single varietal. It might be a bit pricy, but it is a super cool coffee whichever way you look at it.
NB: We did ask Pris to name one coffee of the year, but she came back with three.
Coffee(s) of the year (in no particular order): 1. Colombia Pacamara Las Margaritas Cafe Granja Natural 2. Nicaragua Rancho Alegre from Las Nubes 3. India Gems of Araku Natural lot C2
The Colombian Pacamara is all about the flavour: juicy body with striking and delicious raspberry notes. It is a brilliant coffee you could use for competition.
I’m not the only one who loved the Nicaraguan Rancho Alegre this year: it scored 87 SCAA. It’s sweet but with just the right amount of lemon acidity that really brings it to life with a zing. This family-run single estate in Matagalpa processes all its coffees amazingly. The microlot only produced around 275 bags a year so you were lucky if you got a taste of this one, and I was!
Finally, a coffee and producer close to my heart, the Indian Gems of Araku Natural C2. This is one of my top three as it is creamy red fruits lemony flavour with a nice caramel overall taste. Tribe village farmers in Araku, Andhra Pradesh harvest the ripe cherries but the area is so isolated that the green beans are collected by truck to take them to the wet mill where they’re processed—washed, natural or honey—as micro lots. All their coffees are biodynamic, organic and hit Fairtrade standards.
Coffee of the year: Guatemala Finca San Guayaba
The sweetness of the cup really jumped out at me on the cupping table—rich body, refined acidity, milk chocolate, cream and white grapes. This was a very solid espresso and a juicy filter also. Aside from the flavour, it’s the second year we’re sourcing it and it’s great to see such consistency; a sign of a long-term relationship to come.
Coffee of the year: Kenya AA Thunguri Primary Co Op
I’m a little biased towards Kenya coffees, having spent 4 years living there, but this Thunguri continues to bring a smile to my face. It embodies absolutely everything Kenya coffee represents – bold, in your face citric acidity; rounded creamy body with bountiful amounts of blackcurrant, and ribena flavours from the incredible soils on Mt Kenya. We keep bringing this coffee in and we never tire of it. I doubt we ever will.
Coffee of the year: Ethiopia Guji Hambella
I visit Ethiopia almost annually – and had the pleasure of spending time with the supplier of this coffee in January this year, at a single washing station coffee in Guji, to the far west of Ethiopia. It’s a Grade 1 natural, sun dried coffee and has the extreme fruitiness that only a perfectly prepared Ethiopian natural can provide – tonnes of passion fruit, apricot, strawberries and creamy bodied caramel, with light acidity and a long aftertaste. It’s great as a cold brew, and a pour-over. Unfortunately we don’t have any left now – so we can’t wait until next season to bring it in again!
…. But what about the rest? View our current coffee list here.