A light but very rewarding and excellently balanced coffee from Peru, presenting a fantastic example of wet process consistency.
Light and subtle at first, but developing a bitter-sweet depth and possessing a lingering finish, with plenty of complexity to discover as you taste. A truly first rate Peruvian jewel and well recommended to the causal drinker and enthusiast alike.
In More Depth
Growing Altitude: 1,600 – 1,800 MASL
Process: Wet Processed
Tasting Notes: Toffee, Cranberry and Custard
Peru has a long history of coffee growing, with many small independent farms dotting the landscape of its mountains, access to good growing altitude and conditions is there to be found although space can be limited. Coffees from Peru are often expected to be light and acidic, though as the coffee world changes this sort of generalisation is becoming more dangerous. Coffees grown here are most often wet processed and as a result have the potential for excellent and consistent cup quality. The majority of coffee grown in Peru is of the Typica Varietal, but in this offering from farmer Rosemary Sosa we have a Pache coffee. Pache is a natural mutation of Typica with its origin in Guatemala, a dwarf plant with good yield (essential in compact growing spaces) and high cup potential, it seems an excellent choice of plant for the region, though it does suffer from some disease susceptibility. These particular coffee plants are shade grown in the Andes mountains above 1600 metres (no clear-cutting of vegetation for the farming. A decision which is great for the environment but does require excellent crop management, and one of which I thoroughly approve). I imagine it took a lot of consideration and hard work to realise a good crop from this varietal in the region and that marks out a dedicated and innovative farmer for me.
On tasting I immediately noted the presence of cranberry as a flavour, the sharp and tangy opening of the cup is more reminiscent of a typical natural processed coffee. But the advantages of wet processing for this particular bean show themselves over time. As the coffee settles a somewhat cloying stickiness in the mouthfeel brings a lovely balance of bitter-sweet to the typically Peruvian acidity, at the same time I found a nice sense of tea like tannins in the background, that rounded out the experience. For such a light coffee the finish is surprisingly long, driven in the most part by the more intense than expected mouth feel. The overall sense is one of creamy easy drinking with a rounded and balanced flavour profile. It’s clear that the roasting of this coffee has been given its due care and attention as I would bet pounds to pennies that taken much darker this little gem would lose its depth and interest, while if kept too light the innate acidity would potentially overwhelm the palate.
Peru has a deserved reputation for hidden gems of coffee hidden amongst what can honestly be some bland or uninspiring offerings. This for me is one of those little treats and I would definitely recommend giving it a try. The careful balance of flavour will make for a great drink for those exploring coffee, and showcases nicely the consistency that makes wet processing so popular. At the same time the intriguing interplay of intense acidity and bitter-sweet toffee notes make for a rewarding cup for the more experienced drinker.
The team at York Emporium have been roasting their ever growing range of coffees since 2010. The roastery sources ethically traceable green beans from all around the world and roasts a large range of product, much of it on their vintage 20kg Probat Roaster. The range of products is extensive and supplies both commercial and domestic customers, many cafes and bars in the York area use roasts from the Emporium. The company offers a large selection and holds to its ethical practices with real passion. The experienced team are real believers in getting the best from a bean, always an admirable pursuit and one that has certainly been successful in this case.
Roaster: York Emporium
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