March is in full-swing and, true to form, it came in like a roaring lion. It did here in the Midwest, anyway.
And, true to form, now that we’ve turned over another page on our calendars, it’s time for another week of MistoBox reviews—I received my Box not too long ago and I am very, very excited about its contents this month.
We’re going to kick off the week with a review of a coffee that was roasted by a company I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time—Panther Coffee. The pride and joy of Miami (even beating out the likes of Dexter and LeBron James!), Panther is one of those companies that has always been on my radar, but I just never really had the opportunity to sample.
But, with many thanks to our good friends at MistoBox, that changes today. Just one more great reason to subscribe to this company—you get to try new and exciting things month after month!
Now, enough of the sales pitch—let’s get down to brass tacks.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Colombia Finca Los Eucaliptos, from Panther Coffee in Miami, Florida. Feel free to pull up a chair.
This coffee comes to us from Finca Los Eucaliptos, grown in Tarqui, Huila, Colombia, by Edier Cuellar Gutierrez, his wife, Notalba Noriega, and their two children. Their farm has 12,000 coffee trees that produce a range of varieties including Caturra, Colombia and, more recently, Castillo variety, which Gutierrez planted in an effort to fend off any threat of coffee leaf rust—which, due to rapid climate change, has become a growing nuisance, particularly in Colombia.
origin: Tarqui, Huila, Colombia
farm: Finca Los Eucaliptos
elevation: 1650 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of the Los Eucaliptos is certainly unique. Coming out of the freshly opened bag I picked out sweet savories like toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. When I ground it, though, it morphed into something more herbaceous; notes of cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, and, wouldn’t you know it, eucalyptus. Oddly enough, Ashley said she smelled hot sauce—from that point on, I couldn’t not smell hot sauce coming out of the cup.
Immediately post brew, this cup is classically Latin American; more to the point—classically Colombian. It’s the quintessential breakfast coffee. Caramel and toffee coat the palate with a creamy mouthfeel, honeysuckle and the delicacy of cherry blossom float in over the top, and these flavors are followed by pistachio and toasted almonds in the finish.
As it starts to cool off—good golly, Miss Molly. The texture of the coffee becomes a mix of caramel and honey, taking on more of a light molasses texture. That’s not the part that took me by surprise, though. The part that took me by surprise is that, as the coffee gets cooler and cooler, quickly approaching room temperature, it becomes intensely fruity, unbelievably sweet, and tart, even.
The defining flavor of this coffee is now mouth-pucker-inducing pink lemonade. The tartness doesn’t end there, though; this cup is less like coffee and more like a big bowl of tropical fruit punch, in which the chief ingredients are green apple, white grape, ruby red grapefruit, starfruit, and tangerine. And white sugar? This coffee has more sugar flavor than a candy shop.
While it started off savory and sweet and creamy and soothing, it’s finishing out bright and lively and bubbly and effervescent—much like a freshly poured flute of fine champagne.
Light body; light molasses mouthfeel; lemonade acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
I’m drinking this coffee in the middle of a massive winter storm, but I’m dreaming of summer. For two reasons: one, because I’m sitting in the middle of a massive winter storm; the other reason, though, is that the Colombia Finca Los Eucaliptos, from Panther Coffee, is the quintessential summertime coffee.
When it’s sunny and hot and a neighborhood kid’s lemonade stand seems like a godsend—that’s what this coffee is.
It’s tart and concentrated, but it’s also sweet and tasty and refreshing. This coffee ranges the spectrum from savory and crusty to fruity and juicy. This is an excellent cup as a pour-over, a superb coffee coming out of the Clever, and “so-delicious-it’s-unreal” over ice.
With this coffee, MistoBox proves that March comes in less like a roaring lion than it does a panther, pouncing on you when you least expect 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.