Bean: El Obraje, Gesha, washed, Narino, Colombia.
Shop: Sumo Coffee Roasters, webshop, Dublin, Ireland.
Sumo Coffee Roasters: Background information.
Talking about a new player in the Irish coffee scene: Sumo Coffee Roasters was founded in the summer of 2020 by Daniel Horbat. To people in the Irish coffee scene, and fans of coffee competitions worldwide, Daniel ain’t a stranger at all. Since 2016 Daniel Horbat has been competing in domestic and international championships alike, resulting in the 1st place of the 2019 World Cup Taster Championship.
As Disney already stated; ‘It’s a small world after all’ and, although Sumo Coffee Roasters was founded a year ago, the name and fame of this roaster quickly caught my attention. Two seperate sources, one in Dublin and the other in Panama, made me aware of Daniel’s new project. This was a roaster that I really wanted to try out. I got lucky and managed to get a hold on two very special coffees: the natural Gesha from La Palma & El Tucan (review can be read here) and this washed Gesha from El Obraje.
Mr. Pablo Guerrero was the first to introduce coffee to the Tangua area outside of the city of Pasto in the year 2000. Hacienda El Obraje has been in Pablo’s family for many years and in 2000 he started to grow traditional coffee and didn’t have a mill of his own. In 2009 he had built a facility to process his own coffee and entered the specialty coffee market.
El Obraje’s wet mill now includes tile fermentation tanks, depulping machines, oven dryers and raised drying beds under a solar dryer. Obraje also maintains its own nursery to take care of coffee trees in their early stages. The team plants seeds directly into 2 kg bags of soil before replanting them in the field.
The farm is situated near many volcanic mountains, and the rocky soil is rich with minerals. Temperatures vary greatly in a day, ranging from 32°C at noon to 8°C or less at night.
Hacienda El Obraje now has nearly 100 hectare and cultivates coffee on only 25 of its hectares; the rest of the land has been converted into a natural forest reserve by Pablo. By planting more trees and implementing efficient landscape design he has been able to preserve a unique microclimate, as well as providing access to every corner of the farmland.
Pablo brought Gesha seeds to El Obraje from Panama in 2011, starting with 2,000 trees. Four years later he planted another 7,000 trees, which are now in production on the farm. Gesha trees are planted with 3 meters distance between them to give their broad-stature branches room to grow. Gesha cherries are selectively harvested when they are at full maturity and have a red-purple color.
This lot of Gesha coffee underwent Washed processing at the mill at El Obraje. Cherries are selectively harvested for ripeness and sorted by floatation. After being pulped, coffee is dry fermented for another 24 hours and then fully washed before being sorted a second time via floatation. The coffee is then dried for an average of 16 days on raised beds or four days in the mechanical parchment combustion dryer, where it receives a hot air flow of 30 degrees Celsius.
El Obraje – Opening the package.
If there is one thing to say about the package of Sumo Coffee Roasters, it’s that the design is just beautiful. The front of the package is adorned with a design of a floating island with a coffee tree and a Tucan on top of it. In the moonlit sky you see some balloons floating while the sun is trying to rise again. Such great art!! On the back of the package you will find all the information about this coffee. The region, variety, process, altitude and harvest. Sumo Coffee Roasters also add a special card with the coffee on which you will find the tasting notes as well. This card also holds the same great art that Sumo uses on the package.
Opening the package reveal evenly roasted beans and a fruity and floral aroma that promises alot for the brewed coffee. There also seems to be a hint of wholegrain cookie underneath that is pleasant to the nose. The beans are crispy and immediately give off a peach flavour with a orange blossom and jasmin note mixed within. this is like eating a good old Yirgacheffe bean, you know…the very good ones. Grinding the coffee reveals the same aroma notes as flavour notes while eating a bean. This coffee is already so promising!
I have reviewed this coffee on the Clever dripper, V60 and Aeropress. I used a 93 degrees 15/225 recipe on the V60 which gave me all the notes I wanted. But this coffee can even be brewed in a fully automatic machine and it will still taste great! (No!! Dont brew it on that machine, buy good equipment, it was just a metaphore!!!)
When brewing this coffee the fun starts with notes of kiwi and peach. As you pour the coffee in a glass, the aroma’s open up more to reveal a candy like sweetness and a hint of lavender on the nose. The lavender is short lived and only when it’s hot.
Swirl the coffee round in your glass and take a sip. Slurp some oxygen inside your mouth and let the coffee rest for a second or two. You will most definitely find clear notews of peach and orange blossom mixed with jasmin. The clementine mouthfeel go’s hand in hand with a kiwi acidity that feels very pleasant. As the coffee cools down a little there is a minty freshness in your mouth. It seems Daniel Horbat somehow manages to roast this into his coffee since the La Palma Y El Tucan also had this note. Take another sip and repeat the above. By now you should also be able to find a lemonade flavour that mingles easily with the kiwi note. In the background there is a green apple note coming up as well. There is so much happening in this coffee that you will probably take a cup or two to seperate all the notes. The mouthfeel go’s from minty anf fluffy while its hot, to juicy when cooling down. The acidity is medium and reminds me of citric going on malic in the end. The after taste holds beautiful notes of tea leaf, candy sweet peach, dried flowers with hints of orange blossom. What a coffee!
Sumo Coffee Roasters – El Obraje: The verdict.
What a coffee, what a roaster. This should be enough to tell you all about the El Obraje to be honest. The coffee is roasted to perfection and the flavours and aroma’s are top knotch from start to end. Peach, floral notes, clementine, kiwi, minty freshness and a hint of green apple. Its no wonder that this coffee originates from the COE (Cup Of Excellence) winning farm 2021. I am not sure if this coffee is still there, but by all means go ahead and buy it. I think so highly of this coffee that I dont even pour it in a cup, only a wine-glass suffices.