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In the cup it is juicy and bright, the lighter roasts having a slight toffee roast tone overlaid with peach and nectarine. Darker roasts turn a bit toward apple fruit flavor, combined with an emerging roast bittersweet. City to City+ is optimal.
In our farm-direct Colombia program, when a coffee is between 86 and 88, it goes into our AA blend, and above 88 it becomes a AAA farm-specific lot. That's what we have here, small-farm lots that distinguished themselves in the weekly cuppings of samples sent from Colombia, and one we felt must be offered separate from all others. But this is actually a blend of several producers that were so small we could not export the coffee. They are all par of the ASOCEAS cooperative we work with in Herrera, Tolima. And these were three standout lots. The farmers whose coffee is in this are: Humberto Gonzales, Nicolas Hernandez, and Fabio Ramos. They were thoughtfully combined to form a lot that is still small by any standards, the equivalent of 8 jute bags of export coffee (although the coffee is vacuum packed and shipped in smaller boxes to preserve quality). Tres Payasos? Just our silly name for this really nice AAA blend.
The dry fragrance of this coffee is cake-like, with a heady caramel sweetness. The light roast fragrance is especially sweet! Add hot water and there is a cane sugar sweetness with juicy fruit scents - more plum and other stone fruits. In the cup it is juicy and bright, the lighter roasts having a slight toffee roast tone overlaid with peach and nectarine. Darker roasts turn a bit toward apple fruit flavor, combined with an emerging roast bittersweet. Looking at the roasts I did, the light City roast looked impossibly under-done, but cupped wonderfully, my top pick for sure. So listen to first crack and stop the roast when it has concluded; it will look variegated in color and creased but cup beautifully. I found it passes quickly from 1st crack to 2nd crack, so pay attention. Really, the coffee was exceptional through the entire roast spectrum from C to FC+, but the light roasts are where all it's special character was in full bloom. If you end up with a darker roasts, expect "chocolate-covered raisin" character, nice but not so exotic as the light roast flavor profile. Yet as the dark roast cools, this coffee distinguishes itself from the ordinary.