May 2014 Tasting Box

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PT's Coffee Roasting Co.

Topeka, Kansas

Payacal is part of the Neighbors & Crops coffee relationship program. This program creates a sustainable coffee production model that benefits the welfare of more than 150 coffee growing families in the region. This coffee is grown in the department of Cundinamarca, located on the eastern range of the Colombian Andes. The region has unique microclimates and environments with temperatures averaging 70 degrees, a relative humidity of 75%, and a minimum of 1,600 sunny hours per year. These features make Cundinamarca a land of great biodiversity and ecosystems -- ideal conditions for growing specialty coffee.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    La Palma Y El Tucan
  • Origin
    Cundinamarca, Colombia
  • Varieties
    Typica, castillo, red bourbon
  • Elevation
    1,600 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    A rich, deep cup beginning with aromas of chocolate-covered nougat and a hint of orange zest is followed by flavors of roasted grapefruit, brandied cherries, and cocoa powder.

Seattle Coffee Works

Seattle, Washington

Located in the Central Valley Region, Lomas al Río is a coffee mill that processes only the highest quality coffee - and in sizable batches. Since 1997, Lomas al Rio coffee mill has encouraged small farms to produce coffee in ways that help protect the Central Valley’s lush biodiversity and use it to good advantage.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Lomas al Rio Mill
  • Origin
    Llano Bonito West Valley, Costa Rica
  • Varieties
    Natural
  • Elevation
    1,700 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Natural
  • Our Notes
    Lively aromas of mixed berry jam and baking spices give way to flavors of molasses, graham cracker, and juicy tropical fruits, before settling into a tangy tangerine finish.

Four Barrel Coffee

San Francisco, California

Running a functioning co-op is never easy. This particular washing station fell on hard times recently, and was actually shuttered for the 2012 season. The Abaryoshyakawa co-op, which built the station in 2005 with help from USAID, couldn’t keep the mill at its full potential, and its members paid the price. Or more appropriately, they didn’t receive the prices they deserved. Justin Musabiymana stepped in last year to lease the washing station from the co-op, and revitalized its operations. Now co-op members can deliver their coffee with the confidence that it will be properly milled, and retain its high quality all the way to the cupping table. This tiny mill’s small capacity (20,000 kgs of parchment per year doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of global coffee) makes it essential that these farmers receive high prices for their limited output.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Justin Musabyimana
  • Origin
    Gihombo, Western Rwanda, Rwanda
  • Varieties
    Bourbon
  • Elevation
    1,800 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Ripe red berry aromas introduce a balanced cup with syrupy flavors of maple, green apple, and black cherry, complemented by a clean finish with hints of plums and honey.

PT's Coffee Roasting Co.

Topeka, Kansas

Lérida is one of the oldest estates in Panama. It was built in the early 1900's by a German engineer named Tollef Monniche. His exportation of coffee back to Germany has been credited with establishing Panama as a source of high quality. His self-designed process for washing coffee is still followed by Lérida Estate to this day. Lérida Estate also benefits from being surrounded by great extensions of primary and secondary forests. These protect the water source needed to process the coffee while also creating one of the richest biodiversities in the region. The high altitude, ample rainfall, and soil quality found near the Barú volcano have created some of the best coffees in the world.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Lerida Estate
  • Origin
    Boquete, Panama
  • Varieties
    Caturra, catuai
  • Elevation
    1,800 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Clean and complex, with a sweet nose of vanilla, caramel, and roasted cashews giving way to flavors of plum wine, apricots, and chocolate-covered almonds.

Sightglass Coffee

San Francisco, California

Carlos Olivero named his parcel "Cubito" after a famous natural spring on the property. Cubito is planted out with Bourbon trees that thrive in the rich alluvial soil. The coffee from Cubito is wet and dry milled at Beneficio Bella Vista. Incoming coffee is mechanically de-pulped, fermented for 14-16 hours, and washed in concrete channels. The washed coffee is spread out on raised African drying beds where it dries for up to 15 days.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Carlos Olivero Cubito
  • Origin
    Antigua, Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala
  • Varieties
    Bourbon, Caturra
  • Elevation
    1,500 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Savory aromas of cocoa, cinnamon, and hazelnut open into a dynamic cup with flavors of black tea and cherry that finishes with a clean brown sugar sweetness.

Kickapoo Coffee

Viroqua, Wisconsin

In Swahili, Muungano means "togetherness," and it is a guiding principle for the farmers of the Muungano Coffee Cooperative. For many years, the people of eastern Congo -- Bahunde, Bahavu, Bashi, Batembo, and Rwandan Congolese -- were divided by war, but through Muungano, they are once again working as one to create a brighter future for their people. Farmers tend their land naturally, using homemade compost and mulch. With coffee plants growing among homes in their villages, they see the importance of the industry to the local environment as well as to the health of their citizens. Farmers are also taking measures to combat the risk of landslides in heavy rain by planting trees with deep roots to strengthen the soil structure.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Muungano Cooperative
  • Origin
    Kalihi, Southern Kivu, DR Congo
  • Varieties
    Bourbon
  • Elevation
    1,500-2,000 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Delicate honey blossom and dark chocolate aromas mingle with flavors of toasted almonds, caramel, and a hint of Meyer lemon before finishing with a lingering tart candy sweetness.

Four Barrel Coffee

San Francisco, California

Thirty or forty years ago, there was a functioning airport not far from Robot Mata’s neighborhood of Kelem Wollega. Trade relations with Greece were hot, and the federal government hadn’t yet turned a blind eye to its nation’s breadbasket. These days, however, if you want to taste fully washed, high-elevation coffees from the farmers of Kelem Wollega, you’ll need more than a simple plane ticket. You’ll have to become accustomed to traveling very quickly over very bumpy roads. But when you arrive, and a parade of co-op members greets you with flowers and smiles, you’ll understand why you came: you’ve just arrived at one of the most extraordinary co-ops, in one of the most extraordinary regions that exists. Period.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Robot Mata
  • Origin
    Sayo, Kelem Wollega, Ethiopia
  • Varieties
    Heirloom
  • Elevation
    1,900-2,200 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Bright and punchy, with a sparkling white peach acidity that cuts through caramelized sugar sweetness and layers of tart cherry, black tea, and orange blossom.