The COMSA FTO co-op has a few thousand farmers, and they all pool their coffee together and get paid well for their contributions to the harvest. but the quality each year was declining as more and more farmers joined the co-op, so COMSA started a cupping competition to improve quality. The farmers with the winning coffee get to sell their coffee as a microlot at auction. This one is a microlot from the Cual Bicicleta estate The farmer's name is Oscar Omar Alonzo and we try to purchase his coffee every year. This is the 6th year we've supported him!
It has more body than an African coffee, but otherwise, a lot of similarities exist. It is nicely sweet and smooth -- a "soft" coffee that you can mindlessly sip at all day. The undertones are that of fruits -- it's really juicy, puckers the sides of your mouth with tastes of plum and cascara.
It's fantastic when you roast it light and brew it as coffee, but if you roast it almost to the second cracks, try it as espresso. You will get creamy chocolatey notes with some fruity acidity. Honey coffees create a lot of crema, which makes it fun to pull them as straight espresso.
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, maybe wait 30-40 more seconds, let it out. If in doubt, err on the side of being too light. For coffee, we do a "City Roast" on this one. A few degrees darker than a natural Ethiopian, but not anywhere close to 2nd cracks. As you get darker, its still nice, but it loses its undertones. As you get into the 2nd cracks the sugars burn and it loses its appeal altogether. 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 August 2022
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