Beans: Caturra, Finca Hartmann, Boquete, Panama.
Distilled: De Pronckheer, Cothe, The Netherlands
Shop: Boot Koffie, webshop, The Netherlands.
Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter: Background information.
Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter is a product that came into existence by two parties: Boot Baarn and distillery De Pronckheer in Cothen. Not only is Boot a world famous name in the coffee scene, Arjen Smit has also won several prizes with his distillery, making this an iconic duo from the get-go. The idea was to make an alcoholic drink of high quality coffee where the quality of that coffee could still be noticed in the drink itself. The result is the Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter: a single distilled alcoholic drink that contains no added sugar or additives made with the prize winning Finca Hartmann Caturra beans. But how was it made?
De Pronckheer’s owners Inge and Arjan started with a maceration process by using the beans that Boot Baarn provided. The Finca Hartmann Caturra coffee was stored for some time in alcohol at 40 degrees Celsius. Alcohol is a very good product to extract flavours and aroma’s from other products. The process extracted all the etheric oils from the beans and mixed them with the alcohol. When this process was done, De Pronckheer would then distil the alcohol to intensify the flavours and aroma’s and give the alcoholic fluid a clear transparency. At this point the drink had a 39% alcohol percentage and the foundation for Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter was ready.
At Boot Baarn the beans from the Finca Hartmann Caturra were used to make a cold brew coffee. This cold brew coffee would then be send to De Pronckheer to add to the alcohol distillate. Since Boot Baarn and De Pronckheer wanted a drink that could be sold in any shop, the alcohol percentage must be lowered to below 15%. At the distillery the cold brew was added to the alcohol and blended until the brew had a percentage of 14.9%. The result of this blending was a drink with the flavours and aroma’s of the cold brew, blended with the intensity of the Distillate that Pronckheer had crafted. Now Boot and Pronckheer had created a sugar-free, beautifully coloured distillate: Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter was born!
Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter: The package.
I was really disappointed that I could not find the degassing valve and zip lock opening…okay, that was an attempt at a joke. The Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter comes in a very nice pirate-style bottle that oozes a early 1900s vibe. The cork has a wooden top which adds to the style. The first time I opened the bottle a nice pungent but sweet aroma came forth. The aroma’s made me think of prunes, brown sugar and caramelized sugar at the same time. There was no hint of alcohol coming out of the bottle which was a pleasant surprise to be honest. The colour of the distillate is that of a cold brew but that could be expected of course.
Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter: The Tasting.
I take a sip of the Eau de Cafe and immediately notice flavour of the Hartmann Caturra. The flavour of the coffee comes first which is carried by notes of dried prune, brown sugar, caramelized sugar and cherry. I want to make a note on the cherry flavour since it is not the flavour that you get when eating a ripe cherry. It is the cherry flavour that you get when heating the cherry in a sauce; sweet, thick and dark. You can definitely taste that this drink has been made with high quality single origin coffee.
When I let the distillate swirl through my mouth I notice that the alcohol is in no way disturbing and even comes with a big pleasant sensation on the tip of my tongue. It is as if you have the sensation of a bright acidity playing with your tongue, only it is ten times more intense. The tingling sensation slowly comes up and then fades away gradually again. After swallowing the Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter a sweet and mild aftertaste lingers for a while. Although the percentage of alcohol is not to high, I felt that drinking a small amount offered the best experience. Adding ice dilutes the drink a little too much so for me that was a no-go. When I tried adding this to an espresso it tasted really nice and gave off a little kick to the coffee.
Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter: The verdict.
The Eau de Cafe Panama Hartmann Filter is a unique drink that offers a lot to coffee lovers when it comes to aroma’s and flavours. The flavours and aroma’s of the coffee are in no way hindered by the alcohol and I liked how the alcohol intensified the ‘acidity’ of the drink. The tingling sensation on the tip of my tongue was something that I really appreciated a lot! I also loved how the essence of the cold brew was still there; sweet and dark notes that were carried by fruity notes of dried prune and cooked cherry sauce. I think that by using the Finca Hartmann Caturra for this drink, Boot and Pronckheer really honoured the drink itself. When you drink this distillate you will recognize the quality of the coffee that has been used!
Personally I think that this is a wonderful drink to give as a Xmas present. It is an ideal drink to savour in front of the fireplace or serve to your friends and family after a chic dinner.
At the moment I am still waiting for information on how and where to order this special drink. If you are interested, send me an email: email@example.com and I will forward this to the distillery.