The famous non-attributable quote goes “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”. Don’t try to tell me who actually said it first, that’s mostly unimportant. What’s important is that writing about any sensory experience is a rather challenging endeavor. If I’m going to try to teach you about tasting something... well it would be a lot easier to just simply taste it with you. I’m sure that I could convince you that you are tasting something.
We had the opportunity to cup some phenomenal coffees last week while I was visiting Oakland. It was a blast to all get together to look at some new coffees from Ethiopia that will be arriving shortly as well as cupping through some great coffees from Burundi deciding on which lot to get up on shrub. If you haven't peeped it out yet, take a glance at the Burundi Karinzi Maruri Hill page: http://coffeeshrub.com/shrub/coffee/burundi-karinzi-maruri-hill
I'm hitting the road a little later today to head out west to Oakland for a week of roasting, cupping, coffee sing-alongs, and possible break dancing. This is a really exciting time for Coffee Shrub with the addition of Aleco Chigounis and the potential to do some really exciting things with the coffees that we're bringing in and offering. It's very affirming to experience how Shrub has grown and how many roasters have found what we do to be helpful.
In February the harvest is well underway in Central America. New coffees from CA are still a couple months away and it is increasingly harder to find coffees from last year's crops that don't show age. It is the time of year to take a close look at your CA coffees from last year, if you still have some. We've been looking at coffees both on the offerings list as well as coffees that we haven't yet offered in order to check for faded cups and age characteristics.
When I was first cupping and writing about the Sumatra Blue Batak Tarbarita PB, I had this impression of a great green marble, and so went looking around for information on marble types, history and lingo. My own personal marbles are stowed in my sock drawer in the custom green satchel that my mother had sewn for me; and so where it might seem odd that an adult might still keep their marbles so easily accessible, the world of marble lore that I glanced into simply to color my coffee review was quite staggering.
I mentioned it in my last post, but I just wanted to highlight what an excellent pairing of coffees that I thought these two made. Despite having distinctive flavor characteristics (Montañita with it's muted melon and Fuji apple notes coupled with mild savory/herbal elements, Tambaya with its peach and white grape with balanced sweet cream), the mouthfeel of both these coffees created a marriage between them that really showcased what makes each one remarkable. I highly recommend picking these two up together and trying it out for yourself.
I put together a cupping on Tuesday at a local Fort Collins roaster. It is always a challenge to put together a table for a new group. Is it better to choose a theme and show some coffees that are related in one way or another, or is it better to show as wide a variety as possible? I went with variety and brought the Brazil Fazenda Campos Altos Peaberry, El Salvador COE La Montañita Pacamara, Ethiopia DP Haile Selassie Sidamo, and Kenya AA Nyeri Tambaya.