A microlot is generally defined as the highest quality beans of a harvest sorted out and sold separately. These beans then receive special honey-processing to bring out their full potential. So this small microlot from the Nariño region was grown by farmer Alfonso Guerrero. It is rare to get a honey processed coffee out of Colombia, which usually exports washed process beans and occasionally a natural sundried bean. He produced 5 bags of this coffee. It was packed in grainpro bags for freshness.
It is nicely sweet and smooth -- a "soft" coffee that you can mindlessly sip at all day. The undertones are that of slight cherry, with some red apple and caramel in the aftertaste. The undertones are very subtle. Other than being sweet and pleasant it is not a particularly complex coffee.
But it also is an interesting espresso. At light roast levels, you get tangy fruits and crema without too much brightness. At just into the 2nd cracks, it is less complex but still has a lot of crema and a really strong chocolatey aftertaste. There are definitely some espresso blending experiments worth doing with this bean.
By definition, a honey coffee has had the sugars of the coffee fruit imbued into the pit during the processing, so it is a delicate bean that is susceptible to scorching. Home roasting units won't have a problem, but if you have a large drum roaster, don't preheat it above 350 degrees. Charging your drum too hot before dropping the beans into it will scorch them and ruin your batch. Once the roast is underway, nudge the heat up gently, evenly, get it through the 1st cracks, and it is done. If in doubt, err on the side of being too light although if you taste vegetables, you got it too light. Try to keep the roast at 15 minutes or less. We also turn the exhaust fan down towards the end which lets the smoke mingle with the beans and speeds up the roast without adding more flame.
US Arrival November 2017
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