Finca Retana is a very traditional farm in central Antigua situated at 1550 meters on the valley floor, and they have a small portion planted in Yellow Bourbon cultivar, which we offered earlier this year. This is their Red Bourbon coffee. Bourbon coffees are named for the island in the India Ocean where French colonists grew it, now called Reunion. Bourbon coffees tend to ripen earlier than other cultivars, and have a very balanced flavor profile with moderate acidity when cupped with other types planted in the same plot. They seem to have good bean density, and the plant is not stressed to overproduce fruit, unlike some of the modern Catimor hybrids as well as other types. Bourbon trees can remain productive for many years with good care.
The dry fragrance has caramel and cocoa (or rather, it reminds me a boit of Ovaltine!) There's modest fruit and citrus hints as well, which come out clearly in the wet aroma. The cup has a restrained flavor profile, typical for Antigua coffees as well as Bourbon cultivar. It's exceptionally clean, with a well-integrated acidic snap that gives the coffee a well-structured character overall. Mild citrus brightness and sweet orange aroma yields to an almond and malt roast taste. It finishes with toffee-like roast sweetness. It's a very refined cup, approachable, with much revealed as it cools. It's also just a great sippin' coffee. It roasts very well at darker levels as it does at light, remaining very compact and tightly closed in the crease. It's a versatile cup, a classic Antigua flavor profile, and also an interesting SO espresso.