Here's the scoop on Bourbon coffees (pronounced Burr-Bone). Bourbon coffee is a classic cultivar, named for the island of Bourbon (now called Reunion) where it was originally cultivated. When we call it classic, we mean not just the fact that it is a lower-yeild, heirloom plant, and that it has a very dense seed that roasts well, but also the cup character. Bourbon coffees, especially those from El Salvador, are neotypical Central American coffees. They are bright, aromatic, balanced, semisweet or bittersweet, chocolate and have a creamy mouthfeel. In a competition like Cup of Excellence, these characteristics might seem mundane next to the exotic flavors of the Pacamara cultivar, but Bourbon should be appreciate for more than it's sturdiness, versatility (they make great espresso blend components), and the way they take a wide range of roasts. Each has unique accent notes too. We had a flat bean lot earlier this season, and with that same coffee the Intelligentsia barista won the US Barista Competition. Clearly, this has more uses than just drip brewing. It's not an extremely high acid Salvador, perhaps because of the 1200 meter elevation of Matalapa. It's a 4th generation coffee estate owned by Vickie Ann Dalton de Diaz. It totals 120 hectrares and was founded in the late 1800's by Fidelia Lima, great grandmother of the Vickie. She maintains 14 acres of virgin tropical forest and keeps her coffee plants shaded with over forty varieties of larger trees. The cup has the character I aspire to find in El Salvador Bourbon coffees, great balance and sweet accent notes. This peaberry exclusive (we bought it all) arrived with a great cup! The dry fragrance has sweet nuts, almost like praline and some soft floral notes. The cup is very approachable, and you can seek out some sweet, mild citrus in the wet aroma, with malt sweetness (C+ roast). The cup has a buttery body, laced with floral and citrus accents. As it cools my lighter roasts (City+) became more and more bright and dynamic. I preferred this roast level, the finish is flawless, high-toned and sweet. But this coffee works with a huge range of roasts and FC+ or darker produce a great bittersweet, full-bodied cup (ideal as part of an espresso blend or as French Press type coffee).