About the bean
Our new batch of Nicaragua FTO makes us think of balmy nights and basking in the pause of the season. This is a smooth, creamy cup, pleasant and sweet (even a bit nutty), with a chocolate finish (that ranges from caramel to baker's chocolate depending on the roast). A fine summer companion, easy to sit with, and that's what these slow-down days are calling us to do.
Nicaragua coffee is known for quality and, increasingly, variety of flavour. Most of the country's offerings are shade grown and cultivated at high altitudes. The world's largest coffee beans (elephant beans) are produced here. Typically, beans from this region are similar in character to other Central Americans but Nicaraguans are the mild ones of the bunch.
Summer fine. Deep dive into this coffee pause.
Region: San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz
Supplier: Procafe RL Cooperative (approx. 90 small-holder farmers)
Process: Sun dried, washed Arabica
Certification: Fair Trade, Organic, Smithsonian Bird Friendly (Bird friendly, organic, shade-grown coffee supports bird conservation, a healthy environment and the livelihood of small-scale farm owners).
Process: Sun and mechanically dried
Altitude: 900 - 1,900 masl.
SHG: Strictly high-grown
EP: European Process (Indicates the coffee has undergone rigorous sorting - usually by hand to ensure defective beans and foreign material have been removed).
Full City roast profile brewed in a French Press: This is the sweet spot. The bean's brightness is balanced by a pronounced sweetness and a smooth, round body; a most enjoyable brew. Opt for a pour over brew for more expression or a plunge-press for amped-up body. A lighter roast (City) gave us a muted sweetness (stone fruit, roasted chestnut) and a medium to high acidity; the nutty flavour really developed on the cool-down.
Embrace the darkness - this is a bean suited to a Vienna roast, espresso and for chillin' (cold-brew style). And that's what we did!
Cold Brew (Full City roast, coarse ground) brewed in a Bodum Bean Cold Brew Ice Coffee Maker: Using a 1 to 4 coffee-water ratio, we let this one sit overnight and supped our chill Nicaraguan for breakfast. What a delight! At this temperature, we have a more fruity cup (watermelon, a touch of cucumber) with a splash of nut. This is just the ticket for a hot summer night; maybe even add a dash of cream or milk. So nice.
Roast recommendation: The dark side. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
Sold out. More stock expected soon
About the bean
We have long wanted to try coffee from Bolivia and, finally, our ship(ment) has come in.
Referred to as the Tibet of the Americas, Bolivia is the most isolated of the Andean nations. Its diverse landscape ranges from high-altitude mountains to jungles teeming with wildlife. Visitors treasure Bolivia for its lively culture steeped in tradition, as well as its numerous attractions ranging from Inca trails to fossilized dinosaur footprints (the world's largest collection). Of special interest is the spectacular Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat (10,582 sq km) on earth, with a surface resembling mirrored glass when wet. Other "attractions" include the notorious Death Road - a 64km route, with a 3,500m descent, that draws thrill-seekers at their peril.
Bolivia isn't as well known for its coffee, yet; although the country certainly has what it takes to become a producer of note thanks to that magic bean combination of elevation, fertile soil and consistent rainfall. Driving the industry's momentum is a growing cooperative movement (and the broad benefits of more money in the hands of growers), and the country's move into specialty labelling (Fair Trade, organic and shade grown).
Discover this rare treat.
Source: Asociación Integral de Productores Ecológicos de Pumiri (AIPEP)
Process: Washed Arabica
Varieties: 30% Typica, 25% Caturra, 20% Catuai, 15% Castillo, 10% Mundo Novo
Altitude: 1300-1550 masl.
Certifications: Fair Trade and Organic - IMO Control since 2002
SHG: Strictly High Grown; same as Strictly Hard Bean/SHB. High grown, usually denser and higher quality than a Hard Bean (HB) or High Grown (HG). These beans are grown above 1,200 masl. (metres above sea level).
EP: (European Prep) Indicates the coffee has undergone rigorous sorting - usually by hand to ensure defective beans and foreign material have been removed.
At a light roast (American brewed in a V60 pour over), the Bolivia offers a pronounced sweetness. A smooth mouthfeel with a medium-light body, the cup delivers a range of chocolate flavour from milk to salty caramel.
At a darker roast just shy of Full City (brewed in a French press), the bean's chocolate character really hit the mark; light in the mouth but richly flavorful. This gave us our best impression - a very nuanced cup, strong in personality; an excellent combination.
As a latte at a Full City profile, the Bolivia produced a standout specialty brew - bold and tasty.
When we roasted darker (Vienna brewed as a pour over), the Bolivia's character changed quite a bit: a hard-to-miss licorice underlay that carried to a burnt finish.
Roast recommendation: Light for nuance and medium-dark for chocolate gold. Clearly, we were sold on the Full City profile. Home roasters tell us they really enjoyed a "velvety" result at a City roast. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
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