Bright and sweet at light roasts; lemon drop candy, peach, almond in the finish, apple-cherry fruit character at darker roast levels. The cup is very refined, with a silky mouthfeel and a touch of spice as it cools. City+ is the ideal roast level.
This small lot from Nelson Atuesta's farm is so sweet and subtle, but it really knocked my socks off. I ended up scoring it the highest in a set of vacuum-packed arrivals that included some great coffees. This area of Tolima has had a great quality crop this harvest. We work here with the ASOCEAS cooperative to identify small lots of coffee with special qualities, and reward the farmer with higher prices based on cupping scores. The first (and most important) screening of the incoming microlots happens right in Herrera, where the local cupper and coffee farmer Newerly Gutierrez uses a Behmor roaster (with amazing skill, I might add) to evaluate the coffees. Each coffee lot, no matter how small, is kept separate and scored on its merit. I visited Herrera for the first time and it's a beautiful town set high up in a fairly remote area of Tolima.
The dry fragrance from this lot has caramel, toffee and peach, with a candy-like sweetness emerging in the wet aromatics. On the break I get a really attractive gingerbread scent; it's a coffee I just want to keep on smelling forever ... seriously. The lightest roast I did was so bright and sweet; lemon drop candy, peach as it cools, almond in the finish. A slightly darker roast had a more apple-cherry fruit character. In either case, lighter roasts in the City+ range suit this coffee best. The cup is very refined, with a silky mouthfeel. That touch of spice re-emerges as the cup cools. It's not a hit-you-over-the-head tasting experience, but as I cupped this coffee more, I just fell in love with it.