Malawi Sable Farm
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Malawi is just beginning to gain credibility in the specialty coffee market. There are a few up and coming Malawi coffee groups, but your best bet are the farms in the South. Malawi is a landlocked, very small nation, with a very small coffee crop. It borders Tanzania in the north; but northern Malawi lacks the altitude and infrastructure (ie, roads) that the Southern part of the country boasts. The coffee grown on Sable Farm reaches altitudes of 5000 to 7000 feet and is then sorted very well and washed with clean water. These are the large AA beans that were sorted out as the best beans in the crop.
This is a WASHED process coffee, so it's less fruity, but has a fuller body than say, a natural Ethiopia. I would compare it most closely to a Tanzania. There is a gentle cherry sweetness to it, just the right initial zip of acidity that fades away, a pleasant juiciness in the taste, and a clean sweet finish. Hints of peach, grapefruit, and orange.
The beans don't roast how we expect them to. At the beginning of the roast, they don't seem to need much heat. They have a tendency of racing for the first 10 minutes. Then at the end, we have slowed it down so much that they lose momentum and seem to need a lot more heat at the finish then what you would expect. The trick is to be very gentle at the beginning, and a little aggressive once you are in the first cracks.
Even though the beans do not require a lot of heat (we roast them on a profile usually reserved for natural process Ethiopian coffee), you can't drink this at City or City+ roasts. The beans taste raw all the way almost to the second cracks. Just before the second cracks, you get a coffee with an alluring, sweet aroma, fruity sweet taste, and clean aftertaste, and it tastes like a light roast. Just at the beginning of 2nd cracks, or even 5 to 10 seconds into them, you get a sweet fruity coffee that still tastes like a light roast, although the fresh fruit flavors start to fade and become more winey. We get Peach,Mango, and Hops. A few seconds more, and the sugars turn into a caramel taste. The caramel is nice, but if you catch it inbetween, you get a slice of peach with caramel sauce on it, which is an odd taste combination.
I like this coffee quite a bit as a single-origin when it comes out right, but I also like to blend with it because it adds a sweetness to anything you pair it with and it's a good way to use up the roasts that are a little bit off.
US Arrival January 2018
|3||$0.15||Up to $0.45|
|5||$0.30||Up to $1.50|
|9||$0.40||Up to $3.60|