The cup has a lot of sugar browning and, coupled with malic acidity, tastes like a caramel apple. Ripe peach, green grape, and Asian pear, very juicy and sweet with the feel of nectar on the pallet. Butter cream, cacao, silty/silky mouthfeel in the finish, more developed roasts will make an amazing SO espresso. City to City+ for drip/press brew, Full City for espresso.
Alto de Topa is a micro-lot designation from our sourcing program based out of Pedregal town in Southern Colombia. Alto de Topa is more toward Inza in the Department of Cauca. This is the first year Sweet Maria's is working in the Pedregal region with our new coffee sourcer, Aleco Chigounis. The coop we work with has farmer groups organized by town in both the Huilad and Cauca department, since the zone stradles the border. This area has repeatedly produced sweet, clean coffees due to the prime coffee growing climate, altitude (between 1700-2000 meters), and careful cherry selection on the part of the farmers. This lot comes from the home base, the areas directly around the town of Pedregal that is almost entirely planted with Caturra, save a few Bourbon and Typica trees intermixed. The selection process this year was quite involved, to say the least, seeing all of us in Oakland pouring over hundreds of samples in order to pick a handful of top lots, as well as multiple trips to the area. As you'll see (or rather taste), it was well worth the effort. This is one of a handful of very small lots (in this case, 3 bags) that we scored above 88 points in the pre-selection process. It received a higher price paid to the farmers, and was milled and exported separately.
Alto de Topa is a "big" coffee aromatically, and boasts a sweetness that becomes more complex as it cools. The ground coffee is perfumed with a smell of dried flowers, and has cinnamon bark, apricot, and hazelnut. Hot water brings up a smell of baked goods in the steam, with butterscotch cookie and raisin muffin permeating from the crust. So much sweetness is produced on the break, wildflower honey at the top of the list. The cup has a lot of sugar browning in it, that coupled with a malic quality, tastes a bit like a caramel apple. More fruits, such as ripe peach, green grape, and Asian pear, emerge as the cup cools. This coffee is very juicy and sweet, and has the feel of nectar on the pallet. We found butter cream in the cup as well, and along with a note of cacao, tastes a bit like fine drinking chocolate with a sort of silty/silky mouthfeel in the finish. Alto de Topa makes a great daily drinking coffee at City+, and more developed roasts will make an amazing SO espresso.