We’ve gotten to try a couple of coffees from roasters we haven’t tried before so far this holiday season, which I am really happy about. Every now and then, it seems like the Table gets a little one-dimensional so I love it when we get a chance to put some leaves in to expand it. We’re going to continue in this new direction today with a roaster that I’ve wanted to try for a long time now.
So, come on gang! We’re going to hop on I-94 and travel the short distance between Chicago and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to pay a visit to our new friends at Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re continuing a festive coffee journey with a cup of Anodyne Coffee’s Holiday Blend. Feel free to pull up a chair.
In celebration of this worldwide holiday season, this sacred time of year for so many billions of people of all varieties of faiths, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company released a blend that highlights three of the world’s major growing regions—Central America, South America, and Indonesia.
The first component of this blend comes from one of South America’s most famous coffee-producing countries—Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fazenda Nossa Senhora de Fatima is near the town of Perdizes, Minas Gerais in the Gisele Fátima Gomes Rezende. The farm is located in the “Triangulo Mineiro” in the Cerrado region of Minas Gerais.
The farm is 100% organic, without agrochemical inputs and environmental preservation is a top priority there. The farm is dedicated to replanting native tress and caring for the indigenous fauna and flora, as well as protecting the native species. Livestock is also reared at the farm and includes chickens, cows, and pigs. The whole farm covers an area of 395 hectares, of which 235 are dedicated to coffee. We offer this coffee as a dry-process lot, although they do peel the skin when it is harvested, making it a pulp natural.
The second component finds its origin in Sololá, which is an important coffee growing region in Guatemala. Over 90% of the coffee farmers are of Mayan descent. Coffee plays an important role in this region—it is cultivated in diversified systems and is intercropped with corn and beans to cover subsistence food needs.
The region provides ideal natural conditions for the cultivation of coffee of an outstanding quality. And yet, as much passion as the coffee farmers bring into their fields, the majority of them has neither experience, technical know-how, nor the necessary infrastructure to produce coffee of a consistently high quality. So, to improve the quality of the cultivated and processed coffee, to increase productivity, and to better evaluate production costs, the coffee farmers in the project area receive technical training
The final component of this holiday blend is grown in the Gayo Mountains of Indonesia. This world-class coffee is grown in the Malay Archipelago of Indonesia near the city of Padang, and it is prepared there by the natural method that employs unchecked fermentation.
Farms here range from one to four acres in size and are inter-planted with fruits and vegetables, allowing farmers to be more self sufficient in times of volatility. Farmers are also able to deliver their beans directly to the factory, cutting out middlemen, therefore providing them higher prices for their valuable product, and direct access to export markets. Most fertilization is done with organic matter because of the high cost of imported fertilizers. This grade 1 Sumatra Mandheling is double picked.
origins: Cerrado, Minas Gerais // Atitlan, Solola, Santiago Atitlan // Gayo Mountain Region
farms: Brasil Fazenda Nossa Senhora de Fatima // Asociacion Agricola Productores Organicos Xejuyu Atitlan // Sumatra Gayo Mountain Double Picked Grade 1
elevations: 950-1000 masl // 1,582 masl // 1100-1200 masl
cultivars: Mundo Novo, Catuai // Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai // Djember, Tim-Tim, Ateng
process: pulped natural // fully washed, patio dried // wet hulled
certifications: Fair Trade, Organic // Fair Trade, Organic // Fair Trade
The cup starts off with a pungent aroma of roasted toffee, coriander, and almond. Behind those initial whiffs come a mellow bed of plums and boysenberry jam.
The first few sips are pretty prototypical of a holiday coffee. They offer my palate a smorgasbord of spices and herbs—cinnamon, coriander, roasted chestnuts, and cedar, all flowing in on a steady stream of salted caramel.
After it cools off a bit, it gets a heck of a lot sweeter. The caramel intensifies a little bit and a big push of raw cocoa nibs comes to the forefront, filling up the insides of the cheeks. It cools off even more and a lot of really tasty fruits appear; the caramel morphs into something more like a maple syrup and now I’m tasting flavors of juicy red apple, plum, clementine, pear, raspberry, cherry, and strawberry, each sip finishing off with the same smack of nuts that’s lasted all the way through the cup.
Full body; syrupy mouthfeel; plum acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
This, the Holiday Blend from Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company in Milwaukee, was a fairly complex cup of coffee. It actually took me several tastings to figure out what the coffee was saying to me.
After all the sips and slurps, it turned out that Anodyne offered a pretty standard holiday blend—one that meets all of the criteria I wrote about in my “what to look for in a holiday coffee” post. It was full bodied and roasty, it had pungent aromatics, it had a thick mouthfeel that coated the palate, it was spicy, and it had a couple of nice, fruity moments towards the bottom.
Overall, Anodyne Holiday Blend offers a pretty solid cup of coffee. I wish it had more clarity, had a more pronounced acidity, and wasn’t as roasty, but it was still pretty tasty.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.