I’ve been collaborating with the fine folks at Seattle Coffee Gear a lot over the past few months; we’re becoming great friends. And the friends that share together, stay together—particularly when it comes to coffee.
Seattle Coffee Gear also recently partnered with another friend of mine, Velton Ross—the namesake of Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company—and are working with him to get his coffees out there.
Last week, I received a care package from SCG that included three different current offerings from Velton’s that we’ll be diving into over the course of this week. My many thanks, both to Seattle Coffee Gear and Velton, not only for the generous care package, but also for including me in their partnership.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Mexico Nayarit, from Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company in Everett, Washington. Feel free to pull up a chair.
This coffee from the Mexican State of Nayarit is our flagship selection. Located on the west coast of Mexico, Nayarit is the northernmost coffee growing region on the continent. The volcanic soil coupled with the rainforest climate provides an exceptional environment for coffee. All of the Terruno Nayarita that I purchase is “natural process” coffee, which means that the coffee cherries are sun dried on patios before the fruit is removed from the bean. This is a far more labor intensive process than the wet-milling which is standard in the industry, but far less intensive on environmental resources.
This coffee is from the Ejido Malinal Cooperative, a coop of 260 coffee growers spread across the slopes of a volcano. Each farmer owns at most a few football pitch-sized plots. The beauty of such small farms is the first-class attention to detail shown by the growers, and the companies that work with them, to get their coffee sold abroad; the level of care and expertise at every stage from picking to bagging could not be replicated by machine.
Ejido Malinal Cooperative falls under the umbrella of both the Integradora de Cafes Sustentables de Nayarit (INCAFES) and the Integradora de Productores de Cafe Organico de Nayarit (IPCONAY).
origin: Nayarit, Sierra Madre, Mexico
farm: Ejido Malinal Cooperative
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1300 meters above sea level
cultivars: Typica, Caturra, Bourbon
certifications: Organic, Shade Grown
The aroma coming off the Mexico Nayarit is very fragrant. Surprisingly so. My experience with naturally-processed coffees is that the aroma booms out of the cup, like an exoplosion. Fruit bombs and/or fermentation, as one roaster says. No, this coffee has a fruity and floral aroma that delicately wafts out of the cup with notes of angel food cake, graham cracker, rose hips, strawberry, and sugar. My friends at Neptune Coffee wrote on Twitter about it: “It’s like putting strawberries through the grinder. Definitely has a signature aroma.”
Immediately post-brew, strawberry milkshake and raw cocoa nibs greet the palate first. This coffee is sweet and creamy right off the bat. Very sweet. All things that are sweet. Strawberry, milkshake, chocolate, even notes of shortcake, ginger, Piroulines, and white sugar. Having said that, however, there is enough earthiness and fermentation that is the byproduct of naturally-processed coffees to keep the Nayarit balanced and structured. Oak, barley wine, hazelnut, praline, soil, and golden wheat.
As it cools down, more fruit notes come to the forefront: strawberry, apricot, fermented cherry, white peach, and a very, very mild orange citrus acidity. Closer to room temperature, the structure of the cup starts to break down a little bit, in that it loses its creamy texture—it dilutes and takes more of a silky texture.
Medium body; creamy mouthfeel; mild citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
The Mexico Nayarit, from Velton’s Coffee Roasting Company, is a coffee that almost needs to have disclaimers and asterisks attached to it. For a naturally-processed coffee, is a very well-balanced; for a Mexican coffee, it has a lot of really unique flavors; for a somewhat low altitude elevation, it has a really nice structure and roundedness.
I truly enjoyed this cup, particularly for the fact that it doesn’t stray too far in any direction, which many naturals are wont to do. This has the profile of a great Latin American breakfast coffee, but I think, even moreso, this is a great dessert or afternoon snack coffee.
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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.