Colombia Aguacate hails from a group of 30 small-scale producers in the District of Santa Barbara, Municipality of Sandonà, Department of Nariño and was the first selection Jared Linzmeier made for Ruby Coffee’s menu.
The coffee is traditionally fully washed process in micro-mills at each farm and naturally fermented in cement tanks for 14-24 hours. It is 100% sun-dried at each farm in green house and roof type drying patios with beds or plastic mesh floor. During growing season, the coffee is shaded by plantain, banana and guamos plants and fertilized using 70% organic / 30% chemical compost.
The man himself, George Howell, once described this coffee as “arguably the finest Colombian coffee ever produced,” so I am very, very excited to dig in.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re drinking the Colombia Aguacate, from Ruby Coffee Roasters in Nelsonville, Wisconsin. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Santa Barbara, Sardona, Nariño, Colombia
producer: smallholder farmers
association: El Aguacate Cooperative
elevation: 1700 -2100 meters above sea level
cultivar(s): Caturra, Colombia
process: fully washed, patio dried
Complex and intricate doesn’t quite summate the aroma of the Colombia Aguacate. Floral, herbal, tropical fruits, chocolate, honey… This coffee has it all.
The first few sips of the coffee immediately post-brew is fine and delicate, with herbs, spice, earthiness, and floral aromatics aplenty. Touches of cinnamon, cane sugar, rose hips, honeysuckle, and hibiscus playfully dance on the palate, nipping at the tip and sides of the tongue and tickling the roof of the mouth. There’s also a touch of caramel and dusty raw cocoa nib that adds a touch of sweetness, but while the coffee is still piping hot, it’s a bit disjointed – all these flavors are here, but they’re disconnected. After about eight or so minutes, though… Oh, boy.
The cup isn’t close to room temperature yet, but as it begins its steady cooling off all of those disjointed flavors come together and congeal, taking on a concentrated river of sweetness with notes of caramel, honey, and milk chocolate that flow down the center of the tongue; it carries along with it notes of pistachio, cherry, and Granny Smith apple.
As it cools even further, the milk chocolate subsides just a touch, and the honey, nougat, and pistachio flavors come to the forefront, but there are a lot of fruit flavors happening in the background; I want to name everything I’m tasting, but the coffee is really complex and these flavors are all kind of concentrated so: banana, watermelon, tamarind, passion fruit, apricot, cherry, raspberry, lychee, green apple, white grape, and lemonade.
Medium body; honey mouthfeel; malic acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
What a coffee.
I can’t remember the last time I was this challenged by a cup of coffee; the Colombia Aguacate, from Ruby Coffee Roasters, really pushed me and took my brewing skills and my palate to task. It was one of those coffees that I had to wrestle with – a lot, actually. Dialing it in, choosing brew method, playing with pour styles… It was a lot of work for a cup of coffee.
But I have to say, the reward was well worth the effort. The Aguacate is such a unique and dynamic Colombian coffee, with a profile more similar to a Brazil than many of its brighter, fruit-forward Colombian counterparts (especially in recent years), but it has a narrow window through which to get the best cup.
I very rarely post my brew parameters for any specific coffee in a review, but in this case I’m going to because I think it’s warranted:
Hario V60 / pulse pour | 28g (c) to 400 mL (w) | grind at 16 (Preciso) | 4:15 total time | 200 degrees
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