Espresso Workshop #33 - Qand Ya Matatu

Espresso Workshop #33 - Qand Ya Matatu

Farm Description

October 2014 brings us "Quand Ya Matatu", a timely blend of African coffees, Kenya and Ethiopias to be exact. We have so many to choose from this time of year, and so it's fun to put different lots together, see what works (and what doesn't!). So many of our previous Workshops have been put together with lighter roasts in mind. That is, with the intention of them being more dual-use rather than focusing on either brew or espresso methods. For #33, we figured it's time to get back to blending with darker roast, espresso application in mind, but still straying from a "classic" South America based blend (maybe #34?). A little more than 2/3 of this blend is made up of two different washed Ethiopias - one Yirga Cheffe, and one from Kaffa region. We tasted both of them in the Full City/ Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide. ">Full City+ roast ranges in the past, and while much of the complexity found in City+ was lost when brewing, the somewhat muted acidity and top notes faired well when run through the espresso machine. The remainder of the blend is a Kenya AA from Nyeri county. Also a rather bright coffee, this big bean Kenya adds to the already bold sweetness, and also presents a fair amount of chocolate when taken to Full City and beyond. There is some bean size variance here - a few small 14 screen beans with the Ethiopias, and 18 with the Kenya, but taking a "slow and low" approach up front helps with roast averaging in the roaster. We even had nice even results when taking to Full City on our Probat sample roaster. And the name? Well, sort of a mash-up of meanings here - "Quand" is horn in Amharic, horn of Africa, Ethiopia, you know...and "Matatu" are privately owned mini buses which you seen in numbers in Kenya, and used like shared taxis. So the bus horn, Kenya/Ethiopia…a bit of a stretch, I know, but Quand Ya Matatu the blend is a home run!

This coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.

Cupping Notes

Workshop #33 was planned specifically with darker roast espresso in mind. Not that Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide. ">Full City+ should be the benchmark, but one that shows well closer to 2nd crack than some of our other blends in the past. For cupping, we roasted to three different roast levels - City+, Full City, and Full City+ (just a few 2nd snaps). The aromatics are super intense across this roast spread, City+ showing dark berry and florals amidst brooding chocolate roast tones (the latter builds quite a bit at darker roast levels). Full City+ has a smokiness from roast that goes well with rich dark cacao smells, and a sweetness that doesn't quit. Pulling espresso shots, it probably goes without saying that the lighter roasts are quite bright, and in my opinion, City+ is just a shade too light for more than a single shot. Still, at this lighter end of the spectrum, it tastes like lavender infused chocolate, with lemon/citrus oil acidity. Full City tones down citric tenors, and builds chocolatey bass notes (even "base" in this case!), along with a sweet sugary aspect that holds on in the finish. This is such a sweet blend at this roast level, with any roast flavor well integrated into the espresso profile. The mouthfeel is so thick and creamy (not to be confused with creme, of which this coffee produces plenty), and the viscous liquor only reverberates the aforementioned profile. Full City+ delves into smoky chocolate, but fruits and acidity aren't obfuscated. Peach syrup and blueberry come through, and allusions to pulpy citrus still liven up a short pull. This is a home run espresso, definitely hitting wilder notes, but with enough chocolate and sweetness to appeal to a more "classic" espresso audience as well.

Score

89.5

Lot Size

n/a

Roast Recommendations

Full City to Full City+ works great for espresso; we thought Full City to be the sweet spot.

Processing

Wet Process

Varietal

Heirloom Varietals     SL-28     SL-34    

Grade & Appearance

Tops; .6 d/300gr, 15+ Screen (a few 14 screens in their)

Packaging

Shipped to us in GrainPro
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This coffee has sold out. The review is provided for reference purposes only.

Poseur...this horn was actually a gift from China, still made picture day; espresso not pictured!

Kenyan "Matatu" - just means 3 in Swahili, for the 3rd row of seats in these vans

Ripe heirloom varietals in Yirga Cheffe

 

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