This is a guest review by D. David Nettleton. If you’re interested in writing guest reviews for A Table in the Corner of the Cafe, feel free to contact me.
On a crisp, Pacific Northwest morning I stumbled downstairs in expectation that a nice hot cup of coffee would wake me up. I had been able to get a little more sleep than usual, as this Thursday morning was Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t have to chug my coffee and jump into the car to sit on the freeway. No, today I could really enjoy the delicious beverage I was about to consume.
I had ordered this coffee just two days earlier, expecting to receive it on the weekend. Velton surprised me by having it packaged and mailed the same day, to arrive the day after.
This was a godsend for Thanksgiving morning.
kenya aa rumikia
The “Blackberry'” comes from the Rumukia Cooperative in the Nyeri region of Kenya. Rumukia is one of the oldest cooperatives in the region. Most farms are located near the Aberdare Forest.
sulawesi aa toarco toraja
Toarco Toraja is a premium mark that uses Toraja Arabica Coffee grown by PT. Toarco Jaya on their plantation in Pedamaran, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. PT. Toarco Jaya processes the coffee with the utmost care and keeps strictly high quality standards. All the coffee is fully washed and grown between 1,450 and 1,600 meters.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Holiday Blend, from Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company in Everett, Washington. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Nyeri, Kenya // Pedamaran, Sulawesi, Indonesia
farm: N/A // Pedamaran Coffee Plantation
producer(s): smallholder farmers // smallholder farmers
assocation: Rumukia Cooperative // PT. Toarco Jaya
elevation:1800 // 1450 – 1600 meters above sea level
cultivars: K7, SL28 // S795
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
As I fumbled for scissors and snipped the top off the bag of freshly-roasted beans, I was immediately surprised by the aromas that greeted my nostrils. I even looked down, wondering if I had opened a fruit-filled cornucopia in my sleepy morning stupor. Smells of berries, citrus and buttery chocolate were almost enough to wake me up without even brewing my cup. There wasn’t a chance that this coffee wasn’t going to be enjoyed this morning, however. As I poured the boiling water over my grounds and waited as they bloomed, the cylindrical shape of my Aeropress seemed to intensify the fragrance, adding a syrupy sweetness to the plum and blackberry notes. Or perhaps I was just waking up and gaining more awareness of them.
I was excited to experience the flavors in the cup, so I dove right in. A bit too hot to properly taste, so I just got cloves and bitter chocolate, with hints of the impending smooth delicious flavors washing over my tongue as an aftertaste. As the cup cooled to a more drinkable temperature, I started to taste raspberries and candied chestnuts. It was a bit brighter than I normally like my holiday blends, but that was certainly not detracting from my experience. Cooling further, the raspberry flavors morphed into blackberry with a smooth, honey-like finish. Reminiscent of a blackberry-infused honey stick from a farmer’s market. Throughout the flavor notes, sprinkles of a peppercorn-like spiciness were intertwined with the smooth, fruity flavors. This is what I love about masterfully orchestrated blends. Different flavors from each coffee competing for attention on your tongue’s center stage. Or is it more like a symphony, where the strings and horns compliment each other in perfect rhythm?
As the cup cools to lukewarm, a black cherry flavor sweeps over those common but enjoyable Swiss and Dutch chocolate flavors. There is a finish of apricots and white chocolate, and an aftertaste that reminds me of a limetta, light and almost undetectable, but completes the experience.
the bottom line:
I could drink this blend throughout the entire holiday season. It would even be pleasant as a cold drip brew for the summertime, if it chose to stick around that long.
Velton has roasted a very festive, but comforting Holiday Blend that can be enjoyed through many methods during many seasons.
about the author
D. David Nettleton is a beverage enthusiast and web consultant from Tacoma, Washington. He dreams of a world where everyone understands what great coffee is all about, and tips their baristas generously.
He welcomes free coffee, beer, and good conversation via Twitter.