Passion House Colombia Bourbon RojaToday’s coffee comes from the Las Margaritas farm in the mountainous highlands of Caicedonia, Valle Del Cauca, Colombia. This farm is near the forefront in Colombia, being famous for its tremendous Geisha cultivar. This coffee, though, is 100% Red Bourbon – a 100% Red Bourbon that seems to be equally famous for its honey process method.

Welcome to my table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we are brewing Colombia Bourbon Rojo from Passion House Coffee Roasters in Chicago. Feel free to pull up a chair.

Don’t be fooled, though – unlike “washed” or “natural,” this process  isn’t exactly what the terminology indicates. Essentially “honey process” is another way of saying “semi-washed” (or even “pulped natural”). This method consists of pulping a coffee, then foregoing the fermentation stage.  The result is a cup that has characteristics of both a dry and wet-processed coffee. It is often sweeter than wet-processed coffees, has the body of a dry-processed coffee, but also retains some of the acidity of a wet-processed coffee. This type of processing can only happen in countries where the humidity is low so the the coffee covered in the sweet mucilage can be dried rapidly without fermenting.

It’s called honey process because the beans get sticky and sweet in the drying process – as The Jesus and Mary Chain once sang, “just like honey.”

the basics:

origin: Caicedonia, Valle Del Cauca, Colombia
farm: Las Margaritas
elevation: 1500-1800 meters above sea level
cultivars: Red Bourbon
process: semi-washed, patio dried
certifications: standard

the coffee:

The dry aroma of this coffee has a really zesty spice – peppery and cooking herbs, like basil and oregano. While brewing, a bouquet of citrus blossoms come flourishing out of the cup.

The first few sips immediately post brew are very similar to the dry aroma – there’s a lot of spice: pepper, oregano, and sweet cherry tobacco with a thick, earthy body. The sweetness from the “honey processing” really shows as it cools off, raw cocoa, caramel, and butter coming out. The closer it gets to room temperature, the more a tart, citrus acidity begins to develop – heavy notes of ripe grapefruit, hints of lime, but with a really pleasant sprinkling of sugar on top.

Full body; tart, citrus acidity; earthy texture;  clean, sparkling finish.

the bottom line:

This is a tremendously complex cup of coffee – from its spicy and earthy beginning to its sweet and citric finish. A tremendous coffee for those who love adventurous, exciting coffees that will intrigue and challenge their taste buds. Colombia Bourbon Rojo from Passion House Coffee Roasters will keep you on your toes.

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