This year we were on the hunt for a new sourcing platform in Colombia, so it was our great pleasure to acquire access to coffees in the Pedregal region when we hired on our new coffee sourcer, Aleco Chigounis. 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. Lot 172 comes to us from a small hamlet within Pedregal that is almost entirely planted with Caturra, save a few Bourbon and Typica trees intermixed. The selection process this year was insane, to say the least, seeing Tom, Aleco, and myself pouring over literally hundreds of samples in order to pick a handful of top lots. As you'll see (or rather taste), it was well worth the effort. This is one of several lots that we're bringing in this year, but this particular one is only being offered on Coffee Shrub.
If you read the farm notes then you know our Pedregal lots are sweetness driven. Brown sugar and toffee waft from the aromatics of the dry grinds along with dark honey and a sweet, allspice note. The break offered a different take with fleshy fruit notes like mango and apricot. The cup profile on these lots demonstrates a large range of both sweetness and acidity often meshing well together as an aggregate expression of fruit. Green grape, or even white grape juice really, is most dominant although crisp, juicy Asian pear and red delicious are regularly apparent as well. As these coffees cool the sugar browning sweetness in them really takes over. Panela is one of the most intensely sweet and memorable taste experiences I can remember. Essentially its sugar cane processed and molded in simple fashion (see photos). Colombians and folks across rural Latin America often make their own panela to use as sweeteners and candies. Although slightly more floral and perfume-y panela is reminiscent of muscovado sugar with its deep, molasses-like sweetness. These Pedregal lots are laden with that panela/muscovado sugar flavor. As they cool, and getting past that particular note, a sweet citrus flavor like meyer lemon appears along with a toasted hazelnut warmness. Cool, a fine dutch drinking chocolate quality rounds the cup out kinda like fancy chocolate milk.