A blend of small-holder farms from one valley in Tolima. Hibiscus, flame grape and apple aromatics also come through in the cup flavors, with golden raisin, spice and caramel. City roast through Full City+.
This is the fourth "edition" from small-farm selections in the Tolima department of Colombia. Tolima is one of my favorite coffee origins in Colombia, and the Tolima microlot offerings we evaluate through our Colombia farm gate program are some of my highest rated. Most of the lots are from Herrera and Rioblanco areas, a remote zone that is fairly difficult to access compared to other coffee areas. Part of the issue is that Tolima was one of the last active FARC areas where the conflict between the government, paramilitary and FARC continued. Sadly is is always the farmers who are held to the land who suffer. Still, we work the through local Cooperative called Asoceas to access their fantastic coffees, and have designated this blend as "Dos Payasos de Tolima" as a riff on the first lot we called Los Pijaos de Tolima. As you might guess, payaso means clown. Not to say there is any nonsense to this lot; it's fantastic! The aromatics here are very complex and sweet. These are coffees that are really nice in the cup, but don't make the high standard for our Tolima farm-specific micro-lots. They are assembled into Dos Payasos, aiming for brightness, balanced by complex deeper-toned flavors.
The dry fragrance has hibiscus floral hints, almond milk, some red apple and flame grape. Adding the hot water, the fruit has a slight winey aspect, warming spice, fig, grape and raisin. There is a nice caramelized sugar whiff on the break, a bit like panela sugar. The lighter roasts have golden raisin fruit sweetness and apple-like brightness. The finish has a pleasant tart, drying quality, a bit like apple skins. There's dashes of spiciness too; cinnamon stick, clove. Caramel and spice linger as the cup cools, as well as orange spice tea. The body isn't heavy, but syrupy in mouthfeel to balance out the brighter aspects of the cup. The lightest City roast was my favorite, with that golden raisin sweetness provoking a mouth-watering response. Darker roasts cool well though, and the sweetness and fruit peek out from behind bittering roast flavors as the Full City roast cup cools.