Beans: Finca La Cumbre, Caturra, 200hrs anaerobic fermentation, Huila, Colombia.
Shop: Imbibe Coffee Roasters, Dublin, Ireland.
Imbibe Coffee Roasters – background information:
The first time I was introduced to Imbibe Coffee Roasters (roasters of the Finca La Cumbre) from Dublin was when I was visiting my friend Roger Zapatas. He gave me a bit of his Imbibe stash and I was immediately smitten with the level of roasting quality of that coffee.
Imbibe is a roaster from Dublin who have a 90% organic output when it comes to their coffees, aiming for that 100% in the future. Aside from that, they also provide the wholesale clients with metal re-usable cans in which they deliver the coffee. It is part of their Zero Waste policy. Aside from caring for the environment, Imbibe also donates 1% of their sales to the Womens Aid foundation and 1% to local charity programs that are located in the vicinity of the coffee origin.
Imbibe also provides a special service to it customers called Coffee Club. Imbibe sells top end coffees like Wush Wush and Ninety Plus Estate that are sold out within a dat. The Coffee Club service consists out of two emails a month in which you will be informed on which coffee will be on sale on which date. Now that’s customer service!
Finca La Cumbre, located an hour drive from Garzón (Huila) at about 1800m above sea level. La Cumbre spans a total surface area of eleven hectares, nine of which are currently planted with coffee. The remaining two hectares are protected forest reserves. The farm is owned by Ana Cecilia, with her son Danilo by her side who looks after the farm.
Huila is known for its altitude and fertile soils. This contributes to higher levels of soluble solids in the bean. Huila department is located in the South-West of Colombia, spanned by the Andes mountains. Landmarks include the San Agustin Archaeological Park and the Nevada del Huila volcano.
This lot underwent a unique and innovative natural process with an extended 200hr anaerobic fermentation which Danilo has been developing for two years. Ripe cherries are fermented in monitored sealed tanks for 200 hours, full cherry remaining intact. The cherries are then dried slowly in the sun for 2 weeks.
Finca La Cumbre: Opening the package.
Imbibe Coffee Roasters created a white package with a degassing valve and a ziplock as well. The front of the package is covered with a vanilla yellow label that offers some information to the buyer. Aside from the modern art logo, you will find information about the name of the coffee, the country of origin, the farm, varietal, altitude and some tasting notes. The roasting date and weight are also displayed on the front of the package. On the back of the package you will find a personal note of Imbibe about this coffee. In this case Imbibe discloses a little about their cupping experience while trying this coffee for the first time. It gives that extra personal touch to the coffee. I like it.
When opening the package you will get hit in the face by this intense aroma coming out. Gluwein, Mon Cheri chocolate, cherry-brandy and vanilla…it’s strong and so delicious. When you get to looking inside, you will see an even roasted batch of beans that taste exactly like they smell. The beans are medium crispy and give off an intense flavour of cherries and brandy. The fermentation process is clearly noticeable. The first thing that came to mind after all this was that this must be the perfect Christmas coffee. Even without brewing I know that this coffee is going to be awesome.
Imbibe Coffee Roasters – Finca La Cumbre: The tasting.
I really took my time reviewing this coffee and I used the V60, Aeropress, Siphon, Cafflano Compakt and Cafflano Go-Brew. For grinding I used the Eureka Brew-Pro grinder and the Minos Handgrinder. Hands down I am going to say that the Siphon brew gave the best result for me. After that the V60 had my most preferred taste.
Brewing this coffee is more like a journey than preparing a cup of java. From the moment you open the package, this coffee takes you by the hand and guides you to the end result.
As you will start the blooming process of the Finca La Cumbra, the aroma’s of this coffee will fill the room. In the beginning there is a hint of Pine tree on the nose before the cherry and brandy/rum aroma starts filling up the space. When the brewing is done, the aroma is further accompanied by notes of Gluwein, Mon Cheri and vanilla. When it cools down a little more, you can find a warm cranberry sauce note in there as well.
Flavour, Aftertaste and Mouthfeel.
When you take a sip and slurp oxygen inside your mouth, your senses will go into overdrive. Focus on the cherry brandy and Gluwein flavour first and notice how there is a grapefruit undertone there as well. This is what the 200 hours of fermentation is all about; a full palate of flavours with a boozy characteristic! Right now is also a good time to focus on the acidity of the coffee; it is a winey acidity but with a red apple aspect mixed to it. To me it reminded me of a full bodied Bordeaux wine with a juicy and sweet Kanzi apple in the mix.
As you swirl the coffee round in your mouth, there appears to be tannins in the coffee. These tannins will remain in the back ground and will not give you the dry sensation in your mouth. Letting the coffee cool down even more will present you with the Pine tree note together with dried raisins and rum-like aspect on top of the above mentioned tasting notes. The sweetness will become more dominant now as will the fruity note of cherry. This coffee has a silky and oily thick mouthfeel to it as well as high acidity. The acidity will makes this a coffee you will not drink all day long but rather treat it like an expensive glass of whiskey or brandy; savoring all sips of the coffee over and over.
The aftertaste lasts for a long time and has beautiful notes of Pine tree, dark chocolate, cherry, Gluwein, brandy and rum all in the mix.
Imbibe Coffee Roasters has taken every bit of potential out of this bean and it resulted in a truly remarkable coffee. The 200 hours of fermentation did it’s job and provided the bean with a mix of fruitiness and boozyness you will not easily find out there.
While reviewing this coffee I imagined myself sitting at home during Christmas; snow outside, warm fire in the hearth, a Christmas tree, warm cranberry sauce waiting to be served with a turkey roast (or a veggie option) and this coffee as my Christmas present.
Like I said before; this coffee will take you on a journey…a beautiful journey!