Finca El Azulejo is a well-rounded coffee, balanced sweetness and acidity, with a black tea and honey top note. Versatile in the roaster, this coffee will also work well with multiple brewing methods. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
This coffee comes from a small producer in the Elias region of Huila. Elias is not far from Timana, where we've bought many coffees this past year, and is also purchased through the same association we've been working with in the region. You pass through Elias on your way to Timana from Inza, and thought I drove this way a couple weeks back we unfortunately did not stop for a visit. There is a small-holder coffee culture in this region, processing small day batches daily, or sometimes mixing 2 days. Processing each day's harvest has long been thought to be best practice. However, the availability of cold water in this region has allowed farmers to slow fermentation by adding cold water with a second day's harvest after the first has been fermenting for 24 hours, thus keeping both batches from going over the edge (and in some cases enhancing cup characteristics). Yet another example of how variance in such factors as harvest size, climate, and available water, keep coffee processing practices well outside the realm of "one size fits all".
The dry fragrance is like red honey and nougat. It's a sweet fragrance, with hints of golden raisin and Almond Roca candy. Wetting the crust with hot water builds out the honeyed aroma, and the break has a raw sweetness like panella melted in hot water. The cup flavors in a hot cup are balanced, sweet caramel juxtaposed by roasted nut, and a rindy citrus note. As it cools down a bit, the profile gives way to honey and black tea, a flavor that adds a tart/tannic quality to the cup. Overall, this is a nice balanced Colombia, no 'jarring' flavors here, and with acidity that is well-integrated into the cup profile. A well-rounded coffee, and one that will prove well in espresso applications too.