Coffee Shrub's Polar Expresso Holiday Blend

Coffee Shrub's Polar Expresso Holiday Blend

Farm Description

This is our second year of putting together the "Polar Expresso" holiday blend. We went 17 years without a holiday blend, but our initial "Esprestletoe" from 3 years ago proved that creating kooky images for kooky blend names is half the fun, and we hope this year's "Polar Expresso" image doesn't disappoint! But a good blend isn't about imagery, it's about putting together coffees that are complimentary to one another, and that coalesce into a cup profile not possible from one individual component. Esprestletoe does just that. With the holiday season in mind, we cupped througThis is our third year of putting together a holiday blend. We went 16 years without one, but our first year's "Esprestletoe" proved that creating kooky images for kooky blend names is half the fun, and we hope this year's "Polar Expresso" image doesn't disappoint! But a good blend isn't about imagery, it's about putting together coffees that are complimentary to one another, and that coalesce into a cup profile not possible from one individual component. And this 2nd iteration of Polar Expresso does just that. With the holiday season in mind (as well as last year's winning combination), we paired a rock solid all Bourbon cultivar Burundi with a Western Ethiopian cooperative coffee, adding in a dash of Kenyan coffee for vibrance. All three coffees are wet-processed, and each scored above 88 points on their own. Needless to say, much like the holidays can be for some, this blend is quite complex! You can roast it for brewed coffee (City+ produced an even roast, with developed sweetness, and delicate top notes), but we created Polar Expresso as an intense-profiled espresso, with extremely high sweetness, subtle fruit tones, and acidity that can be tempered with roast. We roasted two Full City batches with very close finish times, but that showed different acidity levels based on the time from the start of 1st crack to when we finally pulled them (one finished at 429F, the other 438F). If your roaster has manual heat or fan control will be able to pull back at or just before 1st snaps, extending the time of roast development (careful not to stall!), and dialing back acidity. If you don't have manual control of your machine, you can always adjust your batch size to draw out overall roast time, or just take the roast a shade darker with similar results, albeit with the addition of roast tones. No matter what your roast method is, Polar Expresso is sure to 'brighten' up your holiday party with a subtle acidic snap that just might incite a puckering situation (as the name suggests!).h the bulk of our African coffees, choosing the top scoring coffees from Rwanda and Burundi, matching them up with a western Ethiopia coffee, as well as a tiny bit of Kenya coffee from vibrance. All four coffees are wet-processed, and each scored above 88 points on their own. Needless to say, much like the holidays can be for some, this blend is quite complex! You can roast it for brewed coffee (City+ produced an even roast, with developed sweetness, and delicate top notes), but our intention is to create an intense-profiled espresso, with extremely high sweetness, fresh fruit tones, and acidity that can be tempered with roast. We roasted two Full City batches with very close finish times, but with very different acidity levels based on the time from the start of 1st crack to when we finally pulled them. If your roaster has manual heat or fan control will be able to pull back at or just before 1st snaps, extending the time of roast development (careful not to stall!), and dialing back acidity. If you don't have manual control of your machine, you can always just take the roast a shade darker with similar results, albeit with the addition of roast tones. No matter what your roast method is, Polar Expresso is sure to 'brighten' up your holiday party with an acidic snap that just might incite a puckering situation (as the name suggests!).

This coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.

Cupping Notes

We roasted Polar Expresso to a couple different levels, and found Full City to be the optimal starting point for espresso extraction. This is where the tart 'zing' of lemony acidity is tempered by simple sugar browning sweetness, and a pervading flavor of high % cacao bar. This is 100% African blend, but with a good percentage being made up of an all-Bourbon Burundi, so you can bet it's layered sweetness that is first apparent from the grinder. Sweetness was central and focused in the shots we pulled too, syrupy brown sugar sweetness at Full City, with more bittersweetness being teased out in roasts much closer to 2nd snaps (my darkest finished at 438F). Polar Expresso pulls beautifully too. While crema is no indicator of positive cup flavors, it sure looks nice, and both short and long shots produced a healthy dose in my glass, settling to a thick, velvety froth. Putting my nose to the cup, the aroma is filled with bittersweet chocolate, laced with a mix of burned sugars and orange peel. Ristretto shots of our Full City roast showed a distilled flavor of dark chocolate bar and candied citrus rind on the tip of your tongue, acidity on the bracing side, but not overbearing (I can't say the same for City+, which I realize will appeal to those looking for ultra-bright espresso). The liquor consistency comes off highly viscous on the palate too, and letting it sit in your mouth produces a mix of sweet to bittering cocoa tones and lush berry highlights. Longer shots are only slightly thinner in texture, and with a flavor that reminds me of the dark-chocolate oranges I tend to see a lot of during the holiday season. Taking the roast closer to 2nd snaps increased cocoa roast tones significantly, but without compromising a high level of sweetness. Dark berry notes come into view in the finish, but are overshadowed by layers of rich chocolate tones in the long aftertaste. A holiday blend from us to you, Polar Expresso is only available until the end of the year.

Score

90.5

Lot Size

n/a

Roast Recommendations

Full City to Full City+

Processing

Wet Process

Varietal

Bourbon     Heirloom Varietals    

Grade & Appearance

Top grades; .6d/300 grams 15+ screen

Packaging

Shipped to us in GrainPro
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Available in 50 pound GrainPro packages for $265.50 ($5.31/pound) and in 100 pound GrainPro packages for $516.00 ($5.16/pound). Note that 100 pound bags must ship freight. Also available as a 300g sample.
Sampling FAQs

From the looks of the smoke, this Hot Top's overloaded - choo choo!



 

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