The cup has caramelized sugar sweetness, tangerine brightness, interesting savory quality, a touch of pine and dill seed, with a good sweet-bittersweet balance. The mouthfeel is light, and there is a bit of root beer spice accent in the finish as it cools. City to Full City.
A couple years ago we started to work more with small producers in the Espindola area of Ecuador, near the border with Peru. The area has fantastic coffee potential, but the prices for coffee have been so low historically that many small producers have simply given up on coffee. For those who continue, producing a rough form of natural dry-process coffee they call "bolla" locally has been an option. Unripe and ripe coffee is picked together, and the market price the bolla fetches barely makes harvesting worth the effort. But working with a local cooperative, ProcafeQ, we now have the opportunity to identify special microlots and buy carefully produced wet-process lots, or to build a blend from lots too small to export (the case with this lot). This has opened up new possibilities for us, and this is our 3rd year with the Ecuador program. The Espindola lots were from producers who had distinctive coffees but were too small to export, some less than a single bag. So we combined the best to form the Espindola region lot. Like the other coffees in the area, the plants are old Typica and you can see this in the elongated bean form of the green coffee.
The coffee fragrance has a nice caramel-malt sweetness in the lighter roasts, with just a trace of floral honeysuckle estery notes, turning to a more straightforward caramel scent at Full City. In the wet aroma, caramel dominates, with milk chocolate and almond (actually, reminded me of Almond Roca). The cup is marked by the same caramelized sugar sweetness evident in the aromatics, accented with vanilla. There is a hint of tangerine brightness. Full City roast has an interesting savory quality, a touch of pine and dill seed, with a good sweet-bittersweet balance. The mouthfeel is light, and there is a bit of root beer spice accent in the finish as it cools. It's not a super complex coffee, more straight-forward and with "classic" restraint. I think it expresses the Typica cultivar flavor well. I remember fondly the same flavor profile from a Mexico Oaxaca coffee and some of the highest-grown Kona coffees, also pure Typica types. I really like the SO espresso I made from the FC roast of this coffee - very tangy chocolate-almond notes with spicy accents.