Allegro Coffee

From the Source

Cupping May 2014

The past couple of months have been delightful in our lab. This is the time of year that is very exciting since we begin to see pre-shipment samples coming from not only Central America, but also East Africa. There has been a flurry of special coffees that are afloat and ready to land here in the USA over the next few weeks. Some of these coffees will find themselves in our blends as well as being offered as single origin. Keep a heads-up as we head into summer. Some excellent out turns from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Ethiopia and Kenya. Also, a sprinkling of landed coffees from Colombia and Peru. Below are just a few of the gems about to work their way into our lineup:

Costa Rica Santa Rosa 1900 Trapiche

This separated lot from the region of San José de León Cortes in the famed Tarrazu region. This micro mill situated at 1900 meters and managed and owned by Efrain Naranjo and his son Gelberth produces just a small amount of coffee, but are meticulous in their processing and harvesting methods. This lot is comprised of the variety Catuai and Efrain and Gelberth have always tried to separate their varieties to ensure different flavor profiles for different roasters. We chose the Trapiche lot with its bright nectarine and mango sweetness. Mid-palate shows excellent honey and roasted hazelnut depth. Super juicy and holding tons of clarity. This wonderful coffee will be showing up at our Whole Foods Market® Allegro Coffee Roasters venue in mid-Summer.

Guatemala Huitz Matig

This perennial favorite of Allegro comes from a farm nestled in the highlands of Northern Guatemala¹s Cuchumatanes Mountains. Recently it was chosen as our Origin Direct. We often rank Huehuetenango as one of our favorite regions in Guatemala and this pre-shipment shows what this third generation family farm—run by Alejandro Altuve—can produce. It is one of the most intensely flavorful coffees thus far for the year—amazingly bright citrus acidity with deep toffee and chocolate notes make this coffee ideal for our powerhouse Allegro Blend and Espresso Allegro blend.

Kenya Gaturiri AA

From the small district of Nyeri in Northen Kenya, the Barichu society serves as an umbrella union for the cooperative known as Gaturiri. In the micro region of Karindundu over a thousand small holders deliver their coffee to the washing station which is managed by Ngatia Kanyoge. Each year the meticulous harvesting of SL28 and SL34 varieties coupled with extended double fermentation deliver amazing coffees of incredible depth and complexity. Flavors such as passionfruit, grapefruit rind and black currant dominate this intensely balanced coffee. As with all of our Kenya purchases we select numerous smaller lots and run them through our Kenya Grand Cru series. Maybe we will pull a few pounds aside and highlight it when it arrives later in the year. Ethiopia Suke Quto Shakiso Grade 2: This washed lot pounced off the table with its uniquely bright lime juice acidity. A true heirloom driven classic. I can¹t think of a more sublime and perfumed coffee. Delicate, yet highly concentrated in its sweetness and overall cup quality. Rarely has Suke delivered such powerful and resonate flavor. This cooperative is in the southern Guji Zone of Shakiso.The Suke Quto Farm wash established in 2005 with the idea to implement environment-friendly coffee farming practices under the shade of the natural forest canopy. The original farm was only 5 hectares big but has grown to over 221 hectares.  Think hops, lemongrass, jasmine and you will begin to see what we are talking about with this coffee set to arrive in July. --Darrin

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