I never win. I’m a born loser, what else can be said?
But that changed a couple weeks ago when I was the lucky guy to win a raffle on my good friend Mike Crimmins‘ coffee blog, Daily Shot of Coffee!
Every now and then (and this is something I’d like to do here, as well), Mike teams up with a roaster, then sets up a RaffleCopter giveaway of that company’s coffee on his blog. This time, he teamed up with Georgia-based home roaster, Cush Coffee (a.k.a., BaristaOnDutY).
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we are sipping a cup of Cameroon Boyo AA, from Cush Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
Hidden in the valleys of a highly mountainous region of West Africa, a group of villages form the Boyo region of Cameroon. The secret characteristic of Boyo coffee results from the nutrient rich, dark volcanic soil in climatic conditions ideal for coffee growing. The onset of the first rains coincides with the blossoming of the coffee plants. And then just as the coffee berries begin to ripen, the dry season begins. The abundant sunshine stimulates the coffee berries to quickly attain their optimal sugar content. Here is the secret to Boyo’s distinctive flavor.
Boyo coffee undergoes thorough and all natural processing – from cultivation to harvesting to selection. The Boyo coffees of Cameroon are grown alongside other crops to spread out the individual trees, thereby minimizing the risk of infection among the coffees trees and avoiding the need for herbicides and pesticides. To supplement the soil, farmers mix the coffee berry pulp with the soil around each tree after the de-pulping process. The farmers and their families facilitate the hulling, polishing and grading of their coffee beans and then hand-picking the very best of their crop to bear the Boyo coffee label.
This much sought-after coffee has taken European markets by storm. This reception creates mixed emotions in the Boyo region, for, while the Boyo farmers have found a receptive consumer to whom the coffee can be sold, only the traders benefit from the great wealth it generates. Consequently, the farmers have grown progressively poorer in the midst of ever-increasing prosperity of the traders.
origin: Boyo, Cameroon
farm: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1550 meters above sea level
cultivars: Boyo (Jamaica Blue Mountain derivative)
process: fully washed, patio dried
certifications: Organic, Beyond Fair Trade
The Cameroon Boyo starts off with an aroma that is deep and roasty. There are strong scents of bittersweet dark chocolate, caramel, and toasted walnuts.
The flavor is equally deep. Deep and never ending. The dark chocolate is present, a slight taste of caramel, spicy cedar, and even those roasted nuts. Wait. No, nevermind. It’s just roastiness. Lots of it. It’s intensely roasty. Burnt. Worse, though, is the metallic taste of Cush’s roasting wok. That flavor is overpowering, dominating the entire cup; it spreads over the palate and stings the burries into the sides of the tongue like alkaline.
Full body; gritty mouthfeel; metallic acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
Welp. I’ve just about written off home roasting. The only reason I haven’t completely written it off yet is because of one that I had from a guy here in Chicago that I kind of liked. Other than that, though… Furthermore, I wish I would have known ahead of time that this coffee is a derivative of the infamous Jamaica Blue Mountain—which is, as is well-documented, a varietal that I loathe.
This coffee was no exception. Not only could I tell that it was home roasted, I could tell that it had been overroasted in an incredibly hot wok. It tasted charred and it didn’t have any depth or maturity. There were only a couple of distinct flavors present, but they weren’t even that well defined.
I’m really appreciative that Cush Coffee and Daily Shot of Coffee teamed up for this giveaway and I’m even happier that I won, but… Well.
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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.