Beans: Elida Estate, Catuai, Natural process, Alto Quiel, Boquete, Panama.
Shop: Paddle Coffee roasters, Panama City, Panama.
Paddle Coffee Roasters – Elida Estate: Background information.
The Elida Estate has been run by the Lamastus family for four generations. In 1918 the founder of the farm, Robert Lamastus, bought property along the Baru Volcano. There are three farms owned by the Lamastus family: Elida Estate, El Burro Estate, and Luito Geisha Estate. Elida Estate is the highest coffee farm in Panama and this Catuai coffee was grown at an altitude of 1780 meters above sea level. A large part of the farm is a dedicated ecological reserve area in Volcan Baru National Park, a world heritage site. This coffee has undergone a natural process which means that you’re letting the fruit and the nutrients from the skin and the sugars go into the coffee bean through the drying process.
Paddle Coffee Roasters – Elida Estate: Opening the package.
The Paddle Coffee Roasters Elida Estate comes in a white bag with a picture of a paddle on one side, and an informative label on the other side. There is a degassing valve but, unfortunately, no zip lock on the package for your convenience. On the label there is a lot of information such as the name of the farm, producer, process, altitude, tasting notes and even a recipe suggestion. How nice is that!
When I opened the bag I noticed that the beans were roasted evenly and there were hardly any defects inside. That is always a nice way to start a review.The beans are crispy and give off a spike of sourness to the pallet when you eat it. There is already a hint of fruitiness to it, albeit a little faint. It is time to grind the beans and see what this roaster created for us!
Paddle Coffee Roasters – Elida Estate: The tasting.
When I start grinding the coffee, the first thing I notice is the nice smell of the coffee. A mix of plum, blackberry and a hint of a vanilla sweetness. Already I can make out the blackberry scent when the first aromas start to dissipate. I decide to brew this coffee on the Hario V60 and the Aeropress. The two brews are very distinct and where the Hario V60 gave a balanced and fruity coffee, the Aeropress made it even sweeter. The reason I am reviewing the Aeropress brew is because of a flavour that I detected, one that I have a hard time detecting in coffee: pineapple. I don’t know why, but it’s one of the hardest flavours for me to discover in a coffee.
I used a 20/220 recipe with cold blooming. The temperatures were 7 degrees for cold blooming and 96 degrees for the pouring. When brewing the coffee the aroma of blackberry comes up quite firmly and as the brewing continues a hint of vanilla softness comes up as well. I pour the coffee in a glass and take a sip. The blackberry is not the first thing I taste, it is a full on Plum flavour that takes the lead. The Plum flavour is not that of an overripe plum, but rather a fresh young Plum. As I quickly slurp oxygen inside through the coffee I can sense the flavour of blackberry come through on the backside of my tongue as well. Swirling the coffee in my mouth results in making the coffee sweeter due to the fact that the coffee stimulates my mouth into creating more saliva. At this point I could detect a Pineapple flavour and mouthfeel to the coffee. It was faint but became stronger as I slurped in more oxygen. Since this is a flavour I have a hard time detecting, I got really excited! I could not detect that flavour in the aftertaste though, the Plum and Blackberry took hold of my pallet and got accompanied by a winey and chocolate spike. The coffee has a vibrant medium high acidity and gives off a light and silky mouthfeel.
Paddle Coffee Roasters – Elida Estate: The verdict.
Roaster and owner Manuel Barsello from Paddle Coffee Roasters did a great job roasting this coffee. Of course the Elida Estate holds a certain level of quality, but a roaster still needs the skill to create great coffee out of it. From the ‘get go’ you know that this coffee is good, the aromas of plum and blackberry can easily be found in your cup as flavours. The winey aftertaste did not have tannins and that makes it more accessible to most coffee drinkers out there. On the Hario V60 this coffee came out as a balanced and fruity coffee, but on the Aeropress I felt like fully exposing this coffee for what it is: sweet, fruity, balanced and with a great mouthfeel and aftertaste. This Elida Estate Catuai Natural is a coffee that you can drink all at once, so you better stock up!