This custom blended lot of Parainema cultivar is made up of a few selections from a March trip to the region. Parainema is a type of Sarchimor (Sarchimor = cross between Villa Sarchi and Timor Hybrid) that was originally produced in Costa Rica, and introduced in Honduras within the last decade. The name "Parainema" came about in the growing area of Paraiso, on Honduras' Southeastern border,. The name itself is a hybrid of Paraiso and nematode ("Parai" + "nema"), of which the cultivar is resistant to. Grown in higher altitudes, Parainema is known to exhibit floral and tea qualitites, which is what we were looking for when cup testing several cultivar separations. We found three lots that proved to be tea-like and even floral, and blended them together in this 7 bag lot. These top notes are subtle, and most perceptible in City and City+ roasting, and even then they pale in comparison to the floral quality of say a coffee from Yirgacheffe. But putting this Parainema lot up against another of our Honduran offers for a side by side comparison, the difference in flavors is much more stark, and floral jasmine and herbal tea notes are more easily read.
The dry fragrance at City roast level has a backdrop of raw sugar smells, molasses pungency and fresh panela, with dried floral accents on top. Florals are found throughout our cup tests of light roasts, and are perhaps the most apparent when smelling the wetted crust, the steam released when breaking through the crust raising a jasmine note, and an interesting anise-like accent. There's an herbaceaus side too sensed in the aromatic profile, that pushes through into the cup flavors as well. The first flavor sensed in the cup is a butter caramel sweetness that fades quickly to a note of black tea. As you continue to work through it, the cooling profile comes alive with accents of cinnamon tea, dried coriander, ricola drops, and hints of hibiscus and jasmine florals. The window where cup complexity is at it's peak is relatively short, and as the cup temp dips toward mouth temperature, much of this falls away. Our Full City roast also failed to capture the complexity described above, and while it still made for a nicely bittersweet cup, we're not recommending darker roast development.