Saturday, December 20, 2008

Terroir Coffee's La Esperanza, Huila, Colombia

George Howell at Terroir Coffee continues to produce wonderfully roasted coffees. The La Esperanza is a coffee George calls "among the finest of any Colombian I have had, an exemplary coffee revealing a peak expression of Colombian terroir." It took first place in the 2007 Columbia Cup of Excellence competition, with a score of 91.5, and selling for $19.20 a pound to Terroir and Stumptown Coffee in Portland, Oregon.

As an espresso, the coffee came out with a head like a Guinness, and had flavors of baking chocolate and grapefruit. As a French press, I got a very buttery mouthfeel and nice acidity with some tropical fruit flavors. The coffee was very complex, and I had a hard time discerning particularly flavors, but there was definitely a nice orange component appearing as the cup cooled.

Terroir's website described its flavor profile as: "jammy ripe dark plum saturated coffee, layered with tropical fruits and streaks of honeyed raw sugar cane."

Cost is $21.95 for 12 ounces.

The farmer, Cantillo Osa, started his career as a handpicker, saving up until he could buy his own small plot for coffee nearly two decades ago. He borrowed many heirloom varieties of bourbon beans from neighboring farmers, and his coffees are shade grown. For a lengthier run down about Osa and his farm, click here.

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