El Aguacate; a special story
The review of the El Aguacate coffee has a special story to it that I would like to share. A couple of weeks ago, a colleague of mine was travelling through Ljubljana in search of a good coffee hotspot. Eventually he bumped into ČRNO ZRNO and had a wonderful coffee-experience there. It was so good that he told me about his place and asked if he needed to bring some coffee with him to The Netherlands. As it happens, my younger brother lives in Ljubljana en he was coming over, so i asked him to bring it along. The day he visited this place he contacted me as well to tell me about the coffee. ČRNO ZRNO advised him to bring a package of El Aguacate (espresso medium roast) and El Triunfo (Filter light roast) to The Netherlands. Funny how word of mouth can bring coffee from Slovenia to The Coffee Attendant!
El Aguacate: Background information
The El Aguacate is grown in Sandona, Nariño, Colombia. The coffee is grown on the farm of Gregorio Arnulfo Botina. For those who are well known with farms in Colombia this name is should sound familiar, but I will get back on that a little later on. Gregorio Arnulfo Botina is a member of Asociación Creciendo con el Campo, a association that consist out of other small local farms in that area. El Aguacate is grown on an altitude between 1700-2000 meters and consists mostly out of the Caturra bean with some traces of Colombia and Castillo varieties as well. The farm also has Banana trees that influence the taste of the beans; adding a fruity profile to this coffee.
The special thing about this coffee is that it was a prize winning coffee back in 2005. After winning the Colombian Cup of Excellence, the whole crop for afflicted with the coffee rust disease. It meant that Botina had to start over again. It wasn’t until 2013 that the coffee got its Specialty Coffee label again. Let’s see if it’s just as good?
El Aguacate: Opening the package
I want to compliment ČRNO ZRNO about the package; the colourful and art-full wrapping really catches the eye. I open up the package and take a sniff; a candy-like sweetness combined with caramel and hazelnut-chocolate escape the confinement. My mouth begins to water already, so let’s not waste time and words…but taste!
I put the beans in the grinder and the scent changes a little. A whiff of fruitiness and cocoa mingle and create a strong but pleasant scent to the nose.
El Aguacate: The Tasting 16.0-17.2 grams
Headstrong as I am, I start with a well rounded 16 grams of coffee and I am not disappointed by the scent. Where after grinding I got a balanced cocoa and fruity scent, this is now pushed aside by a colourful fruitiness. Stone fruits like apricot and peach peek around the corner, only to be pushed aside by a overripe cherry kind of scent. This promises to be a deep flavoured coffee!
I take a sip and swirl it around in my mouth. The body of this coffee feels silk-like and rounded, but not overly much. I experience a fruity acidity which is really noticeable. I take another sip and and swirl the coffee around once more. I start slurping in oxygen while I push away the crema with a spoon to see if it closes back up again (it does by the way). The stone fruit aroma’s stand out while the sweet hazelnut and caramel flavours sit comfortably in the background. A hint of green apple is accompanied by a hint of green-apple-sourness.
El Aguacate: The Tasting 18-20 grams
The next day I start with a 18grams dosage and work my way up to 20 grams. The immediate change in flavours and aroma’s is abrupt but nice at the same time. The scent of the espresso still remains fruity with caramel and chocolate, just like the above. When drinking the espresso the sweet hazelnut, caramel and cocoa flavours step up and take over from the fruitiness. A huge and pleasant surprise suddenly makes its appearance: soy sauce! The taste is there when you swallow the espresso and wait for a split second. There is also a teeny astringent sensation at the sides of my tongue, but that is in no way obtrusive. To me, the higher dosage really makes this coffee whole. The acidity, fruitiness and body are all well blended in when the caramel, cocoa and hazelnut sweetness takes over. What a treat!
El Aguacate: Latte Based
The El Aguacate has a very deep profile that you should get to know before making a latte-based drink. I would recommend using higher dosages (I really need to purchase a bigger portafilter) so that the fruity flavours do not interfere with the milk. When using 19 grams and up, I find that the flavours and aroma’s are well suited to brew a latte-based drink with the El Aguacate. The sweetness of the caramel en nutty flavours compliment the foam to make it an enjoyable drink. The medium roast is dark enough to give a nice crema for your latte-art.
El Aguacate: The Verdict
ČRNO ZRNO did a great job here! El Aguacate is a complex coffee that has two faces. On lower dosages you will find a side that brings fruitiness and sweetness to the table, and on the other side there are the nutty, cocoa and caramel flavours. The reason I recommend the latter, is because of the soy sauce taste that is added. It is amazing! El Aguacate is a special coffee that, in my opinion, is not for your all-day-every-day use. The caffeine level is pretty steep and after three shots of espresso I was really saturated. So share this coffee with a friend and mull over what your findings are while tasting. I also think that this coffee would make a great filter roast! The potential is in there, just the roast needs to be adjusted accordingly. I was told that ČRNO ZRNO is working on a webshop and will be looking into shipping internationally. I will let you guys know if it comes to that!