Beans: Colombia Hero/368, Gesha, Natural, 82hrs Anaerobic, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Shop: Coffea Circulor, Webshop, Norway and Sweden.
Coffea Circulor – La Palma & El Tucan: Background information.
La Palma & El Tucán is a farm, mill, and coffee eco-tourism destination tucked in the mountains of Zipacon, Cundinamarca. This is the place where the Colombia Hero/368 was grown. The farm’s name indicates the concept at the core of their operations: symbiosis, where actions are mutually beneficial. The same way that palm trees and toucans exist in a balanced relationship within their habitat, La Palma & El Tucán approaches the coffee ecosystem through sustainable production, innovative processing, and inviting everyone along the supply chain to visit the farm and see for themselves all that a coffee producing environment can be.
The Colombia Hero/368 is part of La Palma & El Tucán’s Estate Varietals collection, which represents the finest coffees from the farm. The Gesha variety is known for its explosive oral qualities and sweetness. Currently, there are 10,332 plants distributed among five plots. These plots are located between 1650 and 1800 meters above sea level. The temperature at the farm ranges between 9°C and 27°C with an average precipitation of 1300ml per year.
This coffee has undergone a 82 hours fermentation and natural process to give it the awesome aroma’s and flavours that I will describe below.
Coffea Circulor: Opening the package.
Once in a while you get a package that’s just like a piece of art. Coffea Circulor is one of those roasters that put a lot of effort into the design of the package. Obviously there is a ziplock and a degassing valve on the package to keep it as fresh as possible. Looking at the package, it isn’t weird that perhaps you didn’t even notice that. The ‘angel’ design on the front depicts a woman/goddess surrounded by coffee plants and holding coffee cherries in her hand. The way it’s designed makes it look as if she is offering the coffee to you personally.
On the package of the Colombia Hero/368 you will find information on the name, country and farmer. On the left side of the label you will find information on the region, altitude, varietal, process, lot size and trade. On the right side of the label there is a lot of tasting notes. Aroma, flavour, aftertaste, acidity, body and balance.
There is also a quality rating in the top right of the label, depicting the cupping score that this coffee has: 94.50pts.
On the backside of the coffee you will find a lot of information about Coffea Circulor’s values, mission, contribution and even brewing and water recommendations. Way to go Coffea Circulor!
As can be expected from a coffee of this quality, all the beans are in perfect condition and the roast is as even as it gets. The beans are hard/crispy and release a flavour of fruitiness and a hint of vegetables as I bite down on them. Before long, the flavour is dominated by a flavour of raisin and blackberry. This flavour becomes more intense and ends up being jam-like in the end.
When opening the package there is a super thick sweet aroma popping up. Berries, candy cane, red sugar and even pudding. After grinding the coffee gives of aroma’s of blackberry jam and a hint of star anise as well as all of the above. Let’s brew!
Coffea Circulor – Colombia Hero/368: The tasting.
As I was reading the guidelines on the back of the package, I decided that I was going for a 95 degrees temperature while brewing. Using 15 grams on 225 grams of water would give me the exact amount to do the review with.
From a friend of mine, I received some Tsibarist filters that I have used as well. These filters have a much faster flow-rate than the normal Hario filters, letting me grind the coffee finer and so extracting more flavours and aroma’s in turn. Aside from the Hario, I used the Aeropress and Siphon brewers as well.
As soon as you start brewing this coffee you should hang above it to take in the aroma’s. When the coffee is hot you will get a clear note of sweet red candy apple, like the ones you will find in the fair. Keep taking the aroma’s in and notice how the apple is accompanied by the aroma’s of lilac and lavender. When you pour the brew into a glass or cup, the sweetness of the aroma’s intensify and will give you notes of candy cane and blackberry jam. The sweetness on the nose is just amazing!
Drinking the Hero/368
When you take a sip when the coffee is hot, slurp in some oxygen to activate all the tasting buds in your mouth. Swirl the coffee round and your palette should be hit by a storm of flavours. There is the red apple, mixed with blackberry and a hint of green mango. The mango flavour isn’t the flavour of the overripe fruit but rather that of the fruit near the peel of the mango.
As the coffee cools down, you will get even more flavours; candy strawberry, cotton candy, red berry pudding and full on Snap&Crackle! (please let me know if you have ever had that candy bar). The reason I’m mentioning the Snap&Crackle is because this coffee is exactly what a liquid candy bar would taste like. Perfumed, overpowered sweetness of fruits and hints of flowers.
When the coffee cools down even more, to the point where people might call it cold, you will notice how the lilac and lavender pop up. The fun part about this temperature is that the coffee starts behaving different than before. Instead of the candy fruitiness, the coffee now showcases flavours that are totally natural in a sensory-kind of way. There is a hint of golden delicious apple with pineapple and again the green mango. The acidity has changed from a lactic berry to a citric salmiak kind of acidity. It’s almost as if the coffee turns from a supernatural flavoured coffee into a coffee with realistic notes (still awesome btw!) In terms of mouthfeel you will find that this coffee has a velvety think mouthfeel as it cools down. When it’s hot the mouthfeel will feel fresh and ginger-like (it’s the same feeling you get when putting ginger in warm water)
The aftertaste is something else! Keep in mind that the blackberry jam is always present in this coffee. But there is more to be had in terms of aftertaste. The most prominent aspect that you will find is that of ginger. This is not the pungent ginger flavour but it’s more the combination of the mouthfeel and the freshness that ginger brings.
There is also a hint of white grapes in the aftertaste and it reminds me of the sweet Muscato grape. The last note that I got in the aftertaste was that of milky tea, like the one that you drink before going to bed; sweet, milky and soft. What a diverse and layered coffee this is!
Coffea Circulor – Colombia Hero/368: The verdict.
What can I say about the Colombia Hero/368 that I haven’t already. Coffea Circulor is quickly becoming one of my most sought after roasters in the world. The level of roasting, the quality of the coffees and the information that they give on the labels is just incredible.
La Palma & El Tucan produced an incredible coffee and I applaud the effort and energy that they must have put in the process. This coffee will take you on a journey through the depths of your senses. From overpowered perfumed candy-like flavours and aroma’s to amazing natural fruity flavours in one cup. Enjoy, savor, experience and cherish this coffee as much as you can. Thank you Ivica and La Palma & El Tucan for this pure gem of a coffee.