Piendamo is a municipality located in the heart of the Cauca growing region that has produced some of the most exceptionally delicious coffees we’ve tasted from Colombia over the last decade. This particular lot comes from a group of small-scale growers whose farms average about two hectares each. This year is the first in many that they’ve decided to collaborate as a group in the hopes of forming a lasting association for future harvests and benefiting from the many advantages that can come with being part of a collective.
As part of the process they all agreed to follow similar quality control standards when wet milling and drying the coffees, and it seems the experiment worked—this coffee has been picked up by a wide variety of roasters from all over the country (Intelligentsia, Halfwit, and BeanFruit, just to name a few!).
What’s particularly unique about today’s review isn’t necessarily the coffee, though – it’s the fact that the coffee was roasted by a craft
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Colombia Piendamo, from Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville, Illinois. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Piendamo, Cauca, Colombia
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1700 – 1950 meters above sea level
cultivar(s): Colombia, Caturra, Castillo
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of the Colombia Piendamo certainly leaves much to be desired. I can already tell that this coffee, unfortunately, suffers from roast. Yet another victim! Yeah, there’s not much more here than roast, smoke, carbon, copper… The bag says the aroma ought to be “floral” – maybe the ashes of flowers, but certainly not “floral.”
I hesitantly take my first few sips of the coffee immediately post-brew and my taste buds are kicking me for it. Oh boy, this is not good. I daresay this coffee is terrible. It’s incredibly roasty, smoky, musty, and metallic: flavor notes include copper wire, scorched earth, spicy cedar, smoke, ash, and cinder.
As it cools off there are some fruit flavors that come out a little bit, but they still pale in comparison to all dat roast. Yeah there’s a bit of apple/pear, maybe some red grape, but it’s very hard to get past all of the coffee’s flaws.
Full body; chewy mouthfeel; malic acidity; dry finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
We all know that nothing follows a night of too much beer quite like a morning of too much coffee. Two Brothers Brewing Company now has us covered on both fronts. Unfortunately, their coffee – at least their Colombia Piendamo – is not as good as their beer.
This coffee was severely over-roasted, burned out, bland, and tasteless. That’s it. Nothing more to say about it.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from a coffee roasted by a brewery – I sort of knew, going in, that it wasn’t going to be great; I was expecting, however, a bit more from a head roaster who spent a whole decade working for Intelligentsia Coffee (their head roaster wasn’t involved in the production side of things with Intelligentsia, but you’d think after 10 years of working with them he’d understand that their coffee is good while Two Brothers’s is not). This is a classic example of a company that has excelled and achieved so much in one industry that they felt the urge to branch into market “just for funsies” – and I say “Good for them.” I hope they do well. But I mostly hope they do well so that they’ll be more able to diversify and perfect their beer lineup.
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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.