Dear Reader, we’ve reached the end of another MistoBox Week. It saddens me just as much as I’m sure it saddens you, but the good news is that March is just around the corner!
(…of the cafe…)
The fourth and final coffee that MistoBox subscribers received this month comes to them from the rainy Pacific Northwest—where men are men, women are women, and children are moral and upright. Also, all of them are wet. From the constant rain.
Seattle’s Caffe Ladro has become something of a heavyweight in the specialty coffee industry; this is particularly true in their hometown of Seattle, where they opened their doors to the public on Upper Queen Anne nearly twenty years ago! Since then, they’ve grown to thirteen locations in the greater Seattle area that maintain the signature friendly atmosphere, quality baked goods, and delicious coffee. In 2011, they branched out even further when they installed a roasting operation that has gained a reputation for outstanding products.
This company has a rich history and a long staying power that can only be attributed to the quality of their coffee and the service of the company.
This is my first experience with Ladro (and many thanks to MistoBox for providing me with that opportunity); next week—spoiler alert—I’ll have my second experience with them as their beans are taking part in the 2013 Epic Coffee Exchange (copyright pending).
But we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.
For now, welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’ll be sipping a cup of Colombia Agustino Forest, from Caffe Ladro in Seattle, Washington. Feel free to pull up a chair.
Our Agustino Forest coffee comes from Mr. Jesus Suarez’s Finca San Isidro, which overlooks a beautiful forested landscape 1,680 meters above sea level, in Southern Colombia. Grown in the La Argentina Forest range, his coffee has become synonymous with quality; his dedication and persistence at the farm level have also earned him recognition in Asociacion la Argentina.
origin: San Agustin, Huila, Colombia
farm: Finca San Isidro
elevation: 1680-1735 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, patio dried
certifications: Direct Trade
The aroma coming out of this cup is mellow, subtle, soft, but so delicious and so sweet. It has a strong nut and apple aroma—nuts and apple smothered in cashew butter and covered in salted caramel. In the finish of each sniff come a flutter of rose hips and hibiscus.
The flavor of the Colombia Agustino Forest starts off with a rush of cinnamon spice and nutmeg, shaved almonds, and a light, fluffy, airy, freshly baked chocolate cake. It’s sweet and savory, but it also tantalizes the palate, tickles the roof of the mouth, and bites the tip of the tongue.
As it begins to cool off, the cup gets more concentrated, as a bubble of massively juicy berry sweetness coagulates in the middle of the cup—cranberry, raspberry, raisin, currants, coconut, and cherry dominate the palate, and they all flow in on a refreshing river of caramel. The coffee is wonderfully lively and bright and effervescent at this point—a bubbly lemon-lime flavor and acidity rounds out the bottom of the cup; the coffee is actually very similar to Sprite at room temperature.
This coffee has such a crystal clarity and so much depth that it just keeps going and going, even while the cup gets closer and closer to being empty—it’s delicious to the very last drop.
Light body; juicy mouthfeel; lemon lime acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
The Colombia Agustino Forest, from Caffe Ladro, is an incredible coffee that is sure to please the casual consumer and the professional cupper alike. This is the coffee that you can put in a travel mug and face the morning commute with, or scrutinize with a critical approach, cupping spoon and pen in hand, equally.
It has an incredible, light body making it very drinkable, it has enormous flavor, making it a real treat to drink, and it’s very approachable, making it a non-intimidating coffee that anyone can enjoy. It also has a startling clarity that makes all of its unique flavors of fruits and savories easy to pinpoint and very identifiable. The most important thing, though, is that it’s just a damn fine cup of coffee.
Sorry, Dear Reader, but thus wraps up February MistoBox Week. Many thanks, again, to the fine folks there who made this week possible—we’re all looking forward to see who you collaborate with in March!
Oh yeah, and Happy Valentine’s Day, folks.
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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.