Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday's cupping at Think Coffee in Manhattan!
Graciano Cruz was unable to make the trip up from Panama at the last moment, which left everyone to deal with me. Somehow they endured, and we had a great cupping session with some really interesting and fantastic coffees on the table.
I've done a lot of events for/about/thanks-to El Salvador over the last few years. I've gotten to know the industry there so well that at times I think I begin to take it for granted. Or I assume that people know more about it than they do. I'm hoping to do another event featuring these great coffees in another week or two, in Seattle, and leading up to that event, I intend to write more about exactly why they are so great.
In the meantime, I can tell you we did one table of six washed bourbon coffees, and one table of six washed pacamaras and two natural coffees (one bourbon, one pacamara). The bourbons were very nice gems: sweet, medium-bodied, good acidity and clear as bells. But, as anyone who's cupped it before knows, the pacamaras were the real stars. There's such a unique, exotic edge to those coffees: a buttery mouthfeel and a peculiar herbaceous quality, on top of the chocolatey sweetness found in their bourbon cousins.
Of course, the other stand-outs were the natural coffees. People don't expect these flavor profiles from Central American coffees. I overheard a couple of people discussing how much they tasted like Ethiopians or Yemens, but cleaner. There's a lot of potential for natural-process coffees in Latin America in the coming years. Very, very few producers in Latin America understand how popular that flavor profile has become in the United States. The savvier ones are starting to get wind, and you get coffees like the ones we cupped yesterday (and reactions like the ones I witnessed). I want to feature the farms that are experimenting with this kind of processing on this blog, but first I want to get some more information from my friends in Central America.
Finally, a huge word of thanks to Think Coffee. If you ever want to see a really well-run coffee shop, stop by Think, get a table near the register and watch the baristas work their high-speed magic. Special thanks to Jason and especially Sarah, for allowing us to do the event and for their hard work and kindness.