Friday, June 19, 2009

Four Barrel Duncan Estate Micro Lot #2 (Panama)

Following my recent good experience with Four Barrel's Ethiopian Wondo Harfusa, I went back for something different, something from South America that would be complex and light.

I picked up the Duncan Estate Micro Lot #2 from Panama for $13.50. I was pretty sure I tried coffees from this farm in the past (I think during a trip to Stumptown a few years ago) and remembered liking it very much, so I wanted to give it another go.

Four Barrel describes this organic, direct trade coffee like this: "Linden dominates the overall flavor of the cup from fragrance through finish and is accompanied by notes of kumquat, key lime, strawberry and evergreen."

My initial run at this coffee in a French press was a disaster. Tasted lots of pencil shavings and led, which are signs of old beans (the coffee itself was roasted a few days prior to my brewing it, but they could have still sat around for a long time in jute bags, losing their liveliness). There was some tropical fruit underneath the other layers, but overall it wasn't a pleasant experience.

I next brewed this in an inverted Aeropress, and got the same thing off the bat. "Just tastes old," I wrote in my notes. As the liquid cooled, I found some milk chocolate notes as well as kiwi, and something like a hibiscus tea flavor.

As an espresso, this coffee had a little more life, showing dried fruits, prominently cherries. Still, I'd say pass on this one.

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