Full City to Full City+: I prefer the darker roast but enjoyed the brighter fruits of the light roast too. It roasts to a very even and light color at City to City+ roast. Note that the first crack time might start later than you are used to, and at a higher temperature, and 2nd crack follows with only a brief delay. Watch this one closely in the roaster!
Pacamara in itself is an oddity ... this large bean is grown on few farms since the requirements to process it, and tolerance for this low-yield cultivar are both rare. But here is something truly more strange: Pacamara that has been dry-processed in the tradition of Ethiopia Harar or Sidamo coffees. Pacamara is a distinct cultivar of Arabica coffee, more specifically it is a subtype of the large bean Maragogype and Pacas, a natural hybrid from El Salvador. Maragogype is called the "elephant bean" for its incredibly large size, and is a spontaneous variation of Typica. Now, bean size per se has nothing to do with cup quality: a bigger seed doesn't make a better cup. But the argument for Maragogype and Pacamara is that the tree produces fewer cherries and flavor is more concentrated. I have tasted some very bland Pacamara that was lower grown, so this isn't always true. And hey, once you grind it up it all looks the same! On the other hand I have had some coffees that had outstanding cup qualities, surpassed all the rival samples in blind cupping, and just happened to be Pacamara. Pacamara coffees are often pooled from a small region of growers, since each independently would not have enough to form a lot. So in a sense, these are like pearls in a bed of oysters, and even in local markets of coffee-producing areas they sell for 3x to 4x the going price. We know this producer knows their Pacamaras, which helps since those who don't can nick them in the milling process, or fail to wet-process them correctly. That's a moot point here: This is our second year offering full natural, dry-process pacamara microlot and the results are quite outrageous. It's like the rustic, fruitier sibling to a Gesha coffee. The dry fragrance is intensely fruited as you might suspect. Don't think Nicaragua, think Harar. There is mango, honeydew melon, and a sorta general fruit punch scent here, as well as in the wet aromatics. The cup is a fruit explosion: papaya in particular. There's an intense chocolate as well at FC+ roast, as well as pungent spice and tobacco in the finish. There's also quite a bit of fruited brandy flavor, dried apricot, and all the other fruits found in the aromatics! The acidity is fairly low, but more than you might find in other dry-process coffees. It is hard to score such a non-traditional coffee such as this ... it doesn't conform to standards for Nicaragua coffees. It's edgy, weird ... but I feel it is not so over the top as to be fermenty or gross in the slightest! And those who love fruit bomb coffees, intense DP Ethiopia or Yemen lots, should love this special coffee. Darker roasts develop more chocolate roast notes, and it had an intense dark fruit character up front, plum, pepper pungency, syrupy sweet notes.