Last night I roasted two of the coffees that came in yesterday afternoon. The Cuban and the Ethiopian.
The Cuban is a Crystal Mountain Coffee from the nutrient-rich soils of the Escambray Mountains. The soil, climate and careful cultivation combine to produce something quite special. Researching the Crystal Mountain online that “specialness” is down right intimidating. Crystal Mountain coffee is one of the “most sought after coffees” from the island of Cuba. “La crème de la crème” of Cuban coffees. “The best coffee Cuba has to offer”. “The highest quality”. In the past “Japan took most of it.” Etc. I am not sure I am up to all those accolades.
That being said last night’s roasting did provide a nice cup. The Crystal Mountain is quite different from the Cuban Caracolillo and the Altura Lavado. The roasted aroma has a heady intensity to it, but lacks the sharpness of the Altura Lavado. Flavour is also quite heavy. Dark Chocolate. A thickness on the tongue. The sweetness is gentle. One to sip!
I still feel intimidated!
The Ethiopian is from the region of Kaffa! The history behind this coffee is massive. Kaffa gave coffee its name. Legend has it that this is where coffee was first discovered by ‘happy goats’. This area and its forests are said to harbour the last of the wild Ethiopian Lions. The rain forests of the region are well known for the biodiversity they contain. This includes diversity as it relates to the coffee plant itself.
The Kaffa Wild forest coffee is from coffee plants that are naturally grown. Not planted. There may be some management of the plants like clearing underbrush for picking, but otherwise these are wild plants. This practice is a centuries old tradition and has only recently become a commercial option for the people of the region.
Again this coffee has an intense aroma. There is a surprising sweetness on the nose. Caramel and other complex aromas. The flavour is reminiscent of the Yergacheffe coffee I have here except sweeter.