Greetings once again, coffee lovers. Welcome back to my table here in the corner of this cafe. Before we get to today’s review, I first want to thank all of you for sitting here at the Table with me day after day. Thanks to you, this humble blog has achieved three consecutive months of growth; this month, you’ve even helped the Table hit the 2,000 views in one month milestone for the first time! This clears my previous monthly view peak by over 100 views, and this is significant for two reasons: 1) February, in 2012, is two days shorter than January, and 2) today is only the 23rd! So, thank you all.

This morning, I stopped in The Brother K Coffeehouse in Evanston, Illinois for my morning cuppa on my way to work. As you may recall from my review of them from last October, Brothers K, of course, serves Metropolis Coffee Company – the pride and joy of Chicago. When I lived in Evanston, this shop was one of my favorite coffee destinations, so I’m really happy to be getting reacquainted with them now that I work in Evanston – they’re truly one of the best cafes around. When I popped in this morning, they served me a coffee that I’ve been head over heels for the last couple months – Metropolis’s Peru Balcones FTO. Somehow, even though I’ve been gaga over Peruvian coffees lately, reviewing this one managed to escape me, so I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass me by this time.

Ready to make up for lost time? Feel free to pull up a chair.

This coffee comes from the Balcones, Chirinos Coop in Amazonas, Peru. The coop was founded in 1968 with just 36 members, but now boasts more than 390 smallholder coffee farmers, 30% of whom are female, from several communities in the Cajamarca region.

the basics:

Origin: San Ignacio, Cajamarca, Peru
Farm: Balcones, Chirinos COOP
Elevation: 1600-1900 meters above sea level
Varietal: Typica plus Pache, Mundo Nuvo, Caturra
Process: washed
Certifications: Organic, Fair Trade

the coffee:

There’s something romantic and outdoorsy in this coffee’s aroma. For those of you who don’t like your coffee reviews to be melodramatic and English-major-esque, you may want to gloss over what I’m about to say, but there’s no other way to describe it – it’s like a barefooted traipse through the woods during the dewy, wee early hours of the morning. A soft, gentle floral aroma enchants the nostrils with hints of orange peel and wet, aromatic cedar.

(Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

The flavor is slightly different, though. It’s a fairly light-bodied coffee with a lot of tart, but juicy, fruitiness (as opposed to a zestiness that I was sort of expecting) – raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry mingle with sweeter tones of apricot and red delicious apple, all laying on top of a bed of caramel sweetness. As the cup cools, the tartness comes a bit forward along with a sweet mango acidity. The Peru Balcones has a syrupy mouthfeel that coats the palate, and an aftertaste that lingers, but isn’t overpowering.

the bottom line:

Like I said before, Peruvian coffees have been blowing me away lately – everything I’ve had over the past couple months has been so exceptional. This batch from Metropolis is no different. Expect fruity flavors of apricot, tart berries, and crisp red delicious apple juiciness to tingle your taste buds while a smooth rush of maple coats the palate. I enjoyed the Peru Balcones FTO through the automatic drip this morning, but I’ve enjoyed it much, much more with a Hario V60.

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