Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Colombia Villa Maria Caldas Supremo

In December 2012, we began selling a great new coffee: Colombia Villa Maria Caldas Supremo. When it's clear that a coffee is so extraordinary that it's worth offering it to our customers, I begin to investigate the coffee plantation and learn everything possible about the coffee.  There are so many variables that are involved in the flavor of the coffee beyond the country origin or continent. It's impossible to accurately explain every variable, but here are a few reasons why it's important to know where your coffee comes from.
Don Balvino and his Maragogype Coffee Trees

1. The word Terroir is well-known among wine connoisseurs to describe the region, the soil, the altitude, and climate in which the wine is grown. This Colombian Coffee is grown in Villa Maria, Caldas, Colombia.  The farm, Estate La Meseta, is well known for its good farming practices.

2. When you see the word, Supremo, you might think, "Hey, this coffee must be SUPREME." It may be, but supremo really tells us the size of the beans. Our Colombia Medellin Excelso  is another example of bean size. Supremo is the largest of the beans except for a natural mutation called Maragogype, also called Elephant beans. Excelso is the next size of beans. Specialty coffee beans are separated according to their size because each size bean will have different flavor profiles. In order to retain consistency, it's important to have a bag of coffee with the same screen size. Often the larger beans have greater complexity, but it's important to not judge a bean by its size only. There are a plethora of variables that go into an awesome cup of coffee.

3. The Altitude:
This special coffee is grown over 3300 ft. above sea level. Coffee grown at higher levels are denser beans that often have greater complexity, acidity, and exhibits floral and fruity notes. Denser beans that are often characterized  as SHB (semi-hard beans) or SHG (strictly high grown), can be stored longer and retain their flavor characteristics longer.

4.  The coffee varietal:
Each coffee cultivar (varietal) has different flavor profiles. Some popular cultivars are bourbon (pronounced boo-rbon (with a french pronunciation of the "on"), caturra, and typica. Bourbon, sometimes called Yellow Bourbon, is planted all around the world- in Brazil, Rwanda, and Indonesia. The different cultivars, the different altitude, and different soil quality will all contribute to the quality of the cup. There are problems with monoculture- when the same cultivar is planted in the same field. Monoculture invites coffee pests that find one tree interesting and then destroy the entire crop. Below is the family tree of the Colombia Villa Maria Caldas!

The Colombia Villa Maria Caldas Supremo is one of my all-time favorite coffees. With notes of peanut butter, chocolate, and almonds the mouthfeel will remind you of peanut butter because it seems to stick to the roof of your mouth. It's best brewed in a French Press or drip.

What makes me giggle about the Giggles Blend?

The Giggles Blend was my first creation of a coffee blend. Before Chazzano Coffee Roasters or Chazzano Cafe, there was the Giggles Blend. I have a strange sense of humor that I inherited from my mother, of blessed memory. My puerile, sophomoric, and extremely dry jokes would produce giggles from my wife. Hence the name. The creation of a blend is completely unscientific. The main questions when tasting a prospective blend are, "Is this blend special? Is the flavor profile different from any of the single origin coffees that I roast? Does it enrich your life?" When experiencing a blend, do you stop after a few sips and sigh while exclaiming "wow?" If the answer is no, then it's not right for you. Rarely do we dislike the taste of any of our experimental coffee blends. It's just that we have so many awesome coffees that the blend really needs to be so awesome that it literally changes your life.

The Giggles Blend has a syrupy mouthfeel with intense spicy aromatics, with the sweetness of nutmeg and cinnamon. It is a blend of four different coffees from Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Central America.  The Giggles Blend has a huge body when brewed in a Vacuum Syphon and intense cardamom, nutmeg, and peppery notes when brewed in a French Press.

What were my next two creations? Frank's Blend #1 and The Lunch Cafe Blend. 

Here is a partial list of the coffee blends that will change your life:

Jen's Blend
Klaire Bear's Tropical Summer Blend
Lisa Lisa Blend
Talia's Burrrr Blend
Tres Arias
Frank's Blend #2
Frank's Blend #3
Creamy Dreamy
Tre Monti Espresso Blend
Domani Blend
Jennifer's Peppermint Blend
Rachel's Wedding Blend
Winter Blend
Namaste Blend