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What I'm drinking

I just got a new shipment of some beans in that I'm super excited about...I can't decide what to roast first! Note: these are for my private stash, but I know a few people have expressed interest in buying. I'd be happy to discuss what to re-order.

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Ethiopia--Saris Abaya
This is a dry process coffee where the whole cherry is laid out on beds after harvest. It received a cupping score of 90.1 Tasting notes are: peach tea, berries, nuts, cocoa, creamy mouthfeel and very intense.

My take:
Not sure what to think yet about this one. I either screwed up or it's (as advertised) a very unusual coffee. The beans are very small...tiny enough to fall through to the hottest parts of the roaster. Being dry process, the aroma is very earthy and tough to judge doneness. And going by sound, it was a very slow first crack (spread out)...and I think some of the fallen beans started second crack and scorching which made me stop the roast a little shorter than I wanted. What I ended up with is a very light roast bordering on too light. To me, it has a lot in common with that "bready" quality you get in under-roasted coffee. BUT this is not undrinkable. It's just very sweet, very bakery-oriented. Ironically, chocolate cake and ice cream are two of the tones to be looking for. So, I think I want to roast the other pound I have before I give a final judgment. Now I know for next time and we'll see what happens at a medium-darker place on the spectrum.

Round two proves it was partly me and partly some just very odd beans (for my taste). I did perhaps under roast the last time. But these beans also have a very fruity, candy quality to them that is like nothing I've ever tasted. The tones are evened out a bit when you make, say, stovetop espresso, but with straight drip coffee it's overwhelming. The brew needs very little sugar and is a cross between...I dunno...lollipops and strawberry toothpaste? Ok, maybe not that artificial. It's a clean cup with a good body. Not something I want to sip for hours, but nothing "wrong" with it other than knocking you over with a scent like raspberries or maybe candied oranges. Perhaps some floral tones...nothing in the rose family like I enjoy. This is more lavender. Maybe some peach. Not a mix I'm going to rate well.

Guatemala--Huehuetenango Finca Rosma
An old friend. I first encountered this coffee a couple of years ago and can't stop myself from getting more. It's one of my favorites. It's done well at Cup of Excellence. A nice mix of varietals. Wet process. It's usually everything I want in a cup of coffee though the balance and flavor has changed from year to year and depends on the roast level. They cupped this lot at 89.2

My take:

Kenya--Nyeri Gatomboya Grade AB
From a wet mill cooperative. Cupping score 91.7 Caramel, grape, oranges, berries, peach/nectarine, "sweet and complex."

My take: Nope. This is not the coffee you seek. Ok, maybe I'm being too didn't jump out at me like I expected. I don't see any of the complexity, flavors. It starts with a fairly decent balance, but the finish has a crisp acidity and not enough body for me to be impressed. Drinkable. But in the same way that your chain coffeehouse down the street is drinkable. It's a cup of coffee, nothing to get too excited about. Not terribly different. Although this could be the roast, the small window of time it's had to sit and offgas. Any number of the things...the weather? Coffee roasts differently at different temps and humidity levels. I'm giving it another chance since it's not horrible. We'll see. I maybe get a little of the caramel this first morning. Vague fruitiness. It's sweet and not overpowering about it. Maybe a tad syrupy. But I think that is due to the thinness. If it had something on the low end to counter it might be a better cup.

Panama--Duncan Estate Organic
Even as huge a coffee geek as I am, I've never had coffee from Panama, to my knowledge. This is from a 3rd generation certified organic farm in northern Panama. Wet process. After washing, the beans are brought back to the farm to dry on raised beds. Cupping score 88.9 "Uniquely sweet," honey, graham cracker, wheat bread, apricot and oranges, lemon-like acidity with creamy body.

My take: I roasted light and LOVE the dry aroma on this one. The brewing smell is just ok. Taste-wise, I agree it is sweet. Not overly. Very balanced with the counter flavor being a dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa flavor. Overall, a bit syrupy for my preferences, maybe. My curiosity is satisfied, but I'm not in love.