A bizarre cultivar known as Java that could be from Cameroon? Watch the roast carefully as darker roasts have more body, bergamot notes, tangy chocolate, and nice balance. Soft and mild, the light mouthfeel rounds out a bit after a few day's rest. Full City to Full City+ roast levels are recommended.
This is an exotic selection. Grown in Nicaragua this lot has a long, pointed seed form and has come to be known as Java cultivar. How did this come to be? The story is as such: There was a private coffee research laboratory that had experimental gardens, including a selection of traditional African cultivars. During the unstable political years in Nicaragua, it went out of business. A coffee farmer who happened to know the main researcher knew they had some unusual coffee tests going on, but did not have access to the seeds ... well, until the place shut down. Then somebody surprisingly showed up at their door with 20 Lbs of prepared coffee seed for sale, no questions asked, marked "Variedad Java". Java? We have offered this coffee for several years and speculated on it's true identity. There is clearly an unusual seed shape, like an Ethiopia longberry type, and the tree has a Gesha-like form, with primary branches coming off the main trunk at an upright angle. I believe last year I had a breakthrough: I was reading about disease-resistant varieties from Cameroon in Africa, and came across a reference to Java cultivar. Going back in my archive of green coffee samples, I found several Cameroon samples from years ago with the same elongated, pointed bean form. It has never made sense, based on the cup, that this is a Gesha-like seed, or that it is a direct Ethiopia export, or that it is similar to anything from Java or Indonesia. I am sticking with my Cameroon hypothesis. One thing for sure; the cultivar has a huge bearing on the cup, producing estery floral scents, as well as delicate citrus notes. It also won the #2 spot in the 2008 Nicaragua CoE, so the possibility of quality here looms large. But I have found it takes a careful roast treatment to maximize the unique flavor here. There are other Nicaragua Java coffees but this is a specific micro-lot from Finca San Jose that I selected after cupping the various farms and plots separately. The dry fragrance from the ground coffee is extremely mild, with a plain sweetness and a faint hint of citric acid and quince. It opens up in the wet aromatics. The light roast produces a sweet wheat cereal scent and chaffy accent, with lemon, and vanilla pastry. On the break, a honey graham cracker scent is found and a bit of rose hip. The light body and sweet malty grain notes of lighter roasts can be a bit odd and taste a little like an unfinished or under-developed roast. Darker roasts have more body, and some bergamot notes, tangy chocolate roast taste, and nice balance. It has a soft and mild character overall. It seems to improve with a few days rest after roasting, and the light mouthfeel rounds out a bit.