February MistoBox week is winding down and we now find ourselves at Day 3 already. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Today’s coffee comes to us from a company that I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while now. I’ve heard nothing but really great things about these folks, so I couldn’t be more pleased that they’ve teamed up with MistoBox this month.
Let’s see how it shakes out.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Colombia Valle de Cauca, La Esperanza, from One Village Coffee in Souderton, Pennsylvania. Feel free to pull up a chair.
Granja La Esperanza is located in the municipality of Trujillo, Valle de Cauca, in the Western Cordillera of Colombia’s Andean mountain range. The Herrera family have been growing coffee for 40 years in Colombia; the farm was started by great-grandparents of the current generation.
Originally the farm had mostly produced Caturra and Typica varietals, but in 2007 the family decided to experiment with two different cultivars: Geisha and Mokka.
The family had a farm in Panama which neighbored the famous Petersons family farm, La Esmeralda—which is noted for its prize winning Geisha varietals. The success of Geisha at La Esmeralda inspired Rigoberto to trial this cultivar at La Esperanza. Their approach was to utilize their experience from Panama and get the best out of what Colombia’s exceptional terroir could add to the fusion with the Geisha cultivar.
The Herrera family brought some seedlings from La Esmeralda, to undertake a trial that was not successful at first.In fact, one section of the crop died out in the first couple months. The family’s passion for their farm and their dedication to their craft is evident, however, with their commitment to replant that section—this time with a protective barrier and a row of eucalyptus trees at the top of the hill to protect against strong winds. Five years later, this particular plot yielded the top score of Granja la Esperanza’s coffees in the Coffee of the Year competition.
Today, however, we are going to be cupping the varietals that originally put Granja La Esperanza on the map—their Caturra and Typica.
origin: Valle de Cauca, Trujillo, Colombia
farm: Granja La Esperanza
elevation: 1450-1650 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Typica
process: fully washed, patio dried
certifications: Organic, Rainforest Alliance
The aroma of this coffee comes bursting out of the bag with big scents of dark, dark chocolate, vanilla, and cashews.
The first sip, much like the aroma, features massively chocolate goodness up front. It’s milk chocolaty, sure, but more like a chocolate milk in which too use cocoa powder was used—it’s rich and decadent, and it’s refreshing, but it still has a bit of that dry cocoa in the finish. Either that, or I’m confusing that dryness with the walnut that I’m also tasting in the finish.
As it starts cooling off, a little bit of a tart cherry pie flavor comes forward; cherry, buttered crust, and vanilla. At room temperature, this cup is all Swiss Miss chocolate milk and almond, with the mellowest of tangerine acidity.
Medium body; creamy mouthfeel; very understated tangerine acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
The Colombia Valle de Cauca La Esperanza, from One Village Coffee, was a difficult cup for me. A real head-scratcher. It was challenging and taxing, and the reward wasn’t entirely worth the effort.
I almost always brew with my V60 because, really, it’s all you need in your arsenal if you’re a home brewer. However, with this coffee, I just wan’t getting anything. This is a delicate coffee and it should be treated as such—so I opted with the most graceful and classiest apparatus there is: the Chemex. The Chemex, while it did preserve the coffee’s delicacy and complexity, didn’t bring out the flavors I wanted to taste. So, against my better judgement, I dusted off my press pot—while that extracted a bit more flavor, it compromised the coffee’s structure.
I achieved the best results with the Clever—sort of the happy medium between water passing through and water soaking up. Even still, though, this cup is underwhelming—not much happening in it.
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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.