"Las Estrellas Microlote", is a blend of several producer's coffee in the Inz region of Cauca. About a dozen coffees in total, these were the top-scoring coffees (we'll call them "the stars") from a visit to the region toward the end of 2015. We've visited about half of the contributing farmers over the course of the past couple trips to the region, and see a similar trend of cultivar planting and processing technique. Most of the farms are planted in a couple hectares or less of coffee, Caturra heavily represented, with Variedad Colombia and Typica mixed in. The majority of coffee-production is done using hand-crank pulpers, then fermented overnight, and finally drying on raised, covered beds ("parabolicos"). The latter helps protect the unstable, wet parchment from the elements, and ventilation facilitates good airflow. Most of the individual lots making up this blend were less than a 70 kg bag on their own, but put together culminates in an 11 bag microlot blend. Still no doubt a limited quantity, but affords at least a few folks the opportunity to taste and offer "Las Estrellas" themselves.
The dry fragrance has a honey-sweet smell, with dried fruits, and a range of raw sugar smells. City/City+ roasts capture the retronasal aspect of raw honey, layered complexity that awakens the olfactory. A floral sugar aspect builds in the wet aroma, candied like butterscotch, and a dark grape smell is released on the break. The cup shows beautiful acidity from City all the way to Full City roasts, a fruited brightness reminiscent of apple juice or green grape, and with a refreshing mouthfeel that has a cleansing affect on the palate in the finish. This coffee's base flavor is so sweet, and runs the range of fresh caramel to dark honey, a complex and layered sweetness. The profile top notes come into focus as the cup cools, chocolate covered raisin, spice accents, and a subtle dried floral note. Full City was our darkest roast which showcased more fruited tones like dark plum (without the tartness of plum skins) and rum-raisin pudding. Full City and FC+ roasts make a great SO espresso option too showing equal levels of bittering cacao tones and baked sugar sweetness, with a lime-ade tartness at the sides of your tongue, viscosity adding to the overall lingering effect.