Colombia has certainly upped it game in quality and processing in the past couple of years. This one has both Fair Trade and Organic certifications which tend to be expensive to achieve in Colombia. It is from the Tolima region -- and more specifically Gaitania. What you have to remember with Colombia, is that even when you get a nice microlot that stands out -- most of the time it is still "normal" tasting coffee. What you get with high quality Colombian microlots is that they have more body, and they don't have any bad traits -- they aren't earthy, or defective, or overly bright, or sour, or rough tasting, or overly bland. But keep in mind that they are just Colombian coffee -- everyone will drink it, enjoy it, have another mug of it...
The Tolima growing region has become one of my favorite coffee regions in Colombia for two reasons. 1- it consists of mostly small farmers with a passion for quality and minimal corruption. 2 -- the altitude is perfect for coffee. This farm grows coffee a whopping 5700 feet above sea level. Because these are small estates, and not co-ops, the farmers are paid for QUALITY, not QUANTITY. This makes a huge difference. With the right incentives, only perfectly ripe coffee is picked, the cherries are sorted carefully, they are processed carefully, you end up with a Colombian that's sweet and oh-so-drinkable without defects or off-tastes.
This is a pretty particular bean when it comes to roasting. Anything too light will come off as being sour and tangy, and anything too dark kills any of the undertones you might pick up. With that said, my favorite landing point is Full City, not quite into the 2nd cracks, I really enjoy the balance of acidity with body and flavor here and this is my sweet spot. Really nice mug of coffee (and this coming from someone who doesn't get too excited about Colombian coffee) There are some mild vanilla notes, nuttiness, milk chocolate, and medium acidity. Overall sweetness, no bitterness, and clean aftertaste.
Now take it just into the 2nd cracks and it attaches a slightly bitter baking cocoa taste on the end -- which is very nice in its own way. If someone gave me a mug of this and said it was supposed to taste like this, I'd believe them and enjoy it.... but in truth, the cocoa taste is the slight beginning of over-roasting the bean. Anything darker than this and you have nice dark roast coffee, but you are just tasting the roast, and not the origin.
USA Arrival 3/2018
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