New Coffee Alert! El Salvador Cafe Colomba

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Introduction

Cafe Colomba is a farm helmed by the Valiente Family in the Metapan region of El Salvador. The Valiente’s have been farming coffee in the region for over four generations. El Salvador is known as the “Land Of Volcanoes”, the soil from which the coffees pick up exceptional minerality and sweetness. The candied lemon notes of this coffee are distinctly El Sal, while the red pop rock sweetness and effervescence I believe are more of a representation of how the coffee was processed.

Bourbon? Red Honey?

Bourbon

No its not whisky, “bourbon” is actually pronounced burr-bone. Bourbon is the classic coffee varietal, Stumptown calls it “the coffees coffee” or the “pinot noir of coffee” and we agree. Bourbon is generally clean, sweet, and flexible. On this season’s menu we featured 3 different bourbons from Central and South America. Although bourbon is super flexible in terms of how it responds in the roaster it is actually a pretty fragile crop. Bourbon doesn’t produce yield quite as much fruit as other varietals and is also susceptible to diseases such as leaf rust which could put a farm out over a few seasons.

Red Honey

Red Honey refers to how the coffee is processed. While it may be more common to see coffees labeled was “washed” or “natural” a honey processed coffee is smack dab in the middle.

Natural processed coffees are picked from their shrubs and placed directly on patios in the sun to dry, this is the OG process but is also requires a lot of training to ensure that the coffee is raked evenly and often.

In honey processing the skin is removed but the mucilage is left on the seed to dry. It is the sticky texture and the golden amber color of the mucilage reminiscent of honey that led coffee producers to name this method the honey process.

In washed processing the coffee is washed thoroughly to remove both the skin and mucilage from the bean.

Now the red part of the honey process is in relation to how long is the mucilage left to ferment and dry in the sun. Yellow honey is the shortest amount of time drying, red honey is a medium amount, and black honey is the longest.

Benjamin FarmerComment