Populace Coffee Joyeux
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Populace Coffee recently jumped on the holiday coffee wagon and, this year, launched their inaugural holiday blend: Joyeux.

To help them celebrate their first holiday offering, Joyeux is the first up on the Table’s 2013 holiday coffee roundup!

They developed this blend to please all palates. It is comprised of 50% Kenya Gatura and 50% Colombia Finca San Martin.

Kenya Gatura

Known for producing some of the most sought-after coffees in the world, The high plateaus of Kenya with its acidic soil conditions provide an incredible haven for growing coffee. Kenyans are typically known for their intense flavor, full body, and pleasant aroma. It was estimated in 2012 that there were about 150,000 coffee farmers in Kenya and other estimates are that six million Kenyans were employed directly or indirectly in the coffee industry.

The coffee in this blend comes from the Rumukia Cooperative in the Nyeri region of Kenya—specifically, Gatura, which is a member of the larger Rumukia organization. Rumukia is one of the oldest cooperatives in the region. Within the same Rumukia group are some other fantastic farms we have offered in the past: Kiawamururu, Gatura, and Thunguri to name a few

Finca San Martin

Way up in the highlands of Huila, Colombia, Don Amezquita owns six hectares of land, with 2.6 being dedicated to coffee production. He has about 3,600 trees per hectare. He will produce about 80 bags of parchment per year or maybe 40 bags of exportable quality.

This is one of the top coffees from the “Best of Huila” competition held in Garzon, Huila at the end of the last harvest. Ninety-two producers submitted 20 bags of pergamino each to be cupped over and over again during a five day period and narrowed down to 20 lots. This is one of the best of that competition.

Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Joyeux Holiday Blend, from Populace Coffee in Bay City, Michigan. Feel free to pull up a chair.

the basics:

region: Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri, Kenya // Iquira, Huila, Colombia
farm: Gatura // Finca San Martin
producer: smallholder farmers // Don Amezquita
association: Rumukia Cooperative Society // N/A
elevation: 1600 – 1900 // 1700 meters above sea level
cultivars: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11 // Colombia
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
certifications: standard

the coffee:

Joyeux’s aroma booms out of the cup with festive intensity. To what holiday delicacy can I liken this aroma to… Fruit cake, perhaps? Mixed berries dominate the scent, but I’m particularly struck by the overwhelming blackberries, raisins, fig, and orange zest.

Diving into the first few sips of this coffee and my palate is initially greeted with the thick texture and flavors of fig, caramel, and honey, before lighter and brighter notes of blackberry, plum, elderberry, juicy black cherry, and currants follow closely behind. As this is a holiday coffee, though, there are also some sprinklings of roasted almonds in the finish of each sip. Roasty, but not overwhelmingly so.

As it cools, its fruit notes intensify and the texture of the profile gets thicker, completely enveloping the palate. Further flavors of black grapes, strawberry, apple, Meyer lemon, and zesty orange peel that really nips at the tip and sides of the tongue.

Medium body; juicy mouthfeel; berry acidity; clean finish.

the bottom line:

The 2013 holiday season is off to a good start! The Joyeux Holiday Blend, from Populace Coffee, is a noble inaugural foray into holiday offerings for the Bay City roasters as it perfectly encapsulates the winter season. Rich in texture, plentiful in flavor, and wholly belly warming make it a great coffee to have in your thermos while trudging through snow drifts.

Furthermore, it is a very accessible coffee that coffee pros and novices alike can bond over. A tremendous choice for dinners and get-togethers with loved ones as it is sure to bring everybody together.

Did you like this? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome here at the Table! Pull up a chair and speak your mind by entering a comment below. Also remember to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!

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