Jamaica Typica grown in Hawaii, with floral honeysuckle notes in the aroma, malty sweetness, light body, hints of ginger and hazelnuts, piney brightness. City to City+ roast are ideal, FC to FC+ produce interesting chocolate notes.
City+ : I like a lighter roast, ceasing the heat with no sign of 2nd crack on the horizon, right when the texture of the seed surface becomes smooth, even brown. You can also get a nice cup just a few snaps of second (FC+), but I find it takes a longer time in most roasters to achieve this level of roast. Set the roaster at a high number and roast manually.
This is a unique lot because it is from the Jamaica Blue Mountain cultivar, which is an old original Typica type that developed unique characteristics in Jamaica. It has a more rounded bean form, whereas classic Typica is quite elongated with a distinctive shape to the folding crease in the centerline of the bean. The seed was distributed from a selection at the University of Hawaii (UH) some time ago, to see how it compared to the Guatemala-derived Typica planted widely in Kona. When I last visited the farm, the difference in fruit and tree form was easily discernible with the JBM plants versus the Guatemala Typica, although the plants were rather inconsistent. There is some disagreement on the "Jamaican-ness" of this cultivar. While ti came from UH tagged as such, it seems to have characteristics of Mokka and the Guatemala Typica as well. Yet I can discern the cup differences in blind tasting quite easily, as well as the seed shape before and after roasting. This coffee is from the Kowali farm. Kowali (which means Morning Glory in Hawaiian) is in the Honaunau area of South Kona coast, and has the right kind of altitude to produce exceptional Kona coffee. This coffee is grown by Skip and Rita Cowell on their 12 acre farm, up an old-time coffee road winding along the steep hillsides with dramatic ocean views below. They received the seeds for this coffee from UH and it represents a very small amount of their total production.
The cup is really nice! The dry fragrance at City to City+ is wonderfully floral and sweet. The wet aroma has honeysuckle floral scents, malty sweet notes, a powdered ginger accent, and cherry-like fruited hints. The cup has light body, with a crisp brightness and (was with the aromatics) clear floral notes. I preferred the lightest City roasts I did, with hints of hazelnut, juicy mouthfeel and slightly piney accent. It's nice, sweet coffee, a grain-like sweet bread flavor. The body is light, but suits the cup well. It's an expensive but very satisfying SO espresso, when roasted a bit more, to the Full City range.