ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | HERRERA, TOLIMA, COLOMBIA
NOTES | LEMON, MACINTOSH APPLE, FIG NEWTON
Luis Reinoso reserves most of the coffee grown on his 4-hectare farm in the remote valley of Herrara in Tolima, Colombia, for our friends at Madcap Coffee in Grand Rapids. But, they were kind enough to let us snag a few bags this season to share with all of you - and man, did we get a good one!
Basically, there are two main flavor profiles we tend to associate with washed Colombian coffees: first, there are the big, dense, chocolate-y ones that everyone knows and loves. They remind us of things like baked goods and chocolate-covered cherries. These are fairly easy to find and wildly popular, and we typically showcase them as green-label coffees. But, there is another profile which is harder to find and very different in character - these such coffees are clean, crisp, and juicy, with a vibrant acidity and refreshing sweetness. Coffees with this profile tend to grow at higher elevations and likely to be a Gesha or Pink Bourbon variety. But sometimes, as is the case with this stunning lot from the Reinoso's farm, it's just a beautiful Caturra.
This coffee hits all of the high notes in that second flavor profile described above: it's clean and crisp, fruity and acidic, juicy and sweet. We tasted notes of lemon, macintosh apple, and Fig Newtons. Sipping this coffee reminds us of enjoying a chilled white wine, except, you know... during work hours and such.
Producers | Luis & Yenni Reinoso
Process | Washed
Variety | Caturra
Elevation | 1700-1800 masl
GIVING BACK TO HELP END ALS | $1 FOR EVERY BAG
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | RIRIPA, ETHIOPIA | KAPCHORWA, UGANDA | RISERALDA, COLOMBIA
COMPONENTS | RIRIPA NATURAL ETHIOPIA | GAMATUI NATURAL UGANDA | MILAN NATURAL COLOMBIA
NOTES | BLUEBERRY, RASPBERRY CANDY, MILK CHOCOLATE
One of our three core values as Black & White is: community. Community extends from our producing partners all over the world, to our own cafés and wholesale cafés here at home. Our local coffee community in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina truly would not be the same without Jeanne Luther and Sola Coffee Café.
Four years ago, Jeanne Luther was diagnosed with ALS. On April 12 of this year, at age 57, our dear Jeanne went home. Jeanne was a core part of the Raleigh community through the local café, Sola Coffee, and a great friend to several of our own Black & White employees who got their start in coffee at Sola. The Luthers are a special part of our immediate community here at Black & White, and that is why this month through the end of October, we are coming alongside them in their fight to help raise money to #endALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that destroys the cells in the brain and spinal cord that are needed to keep muscles moving, eventually leading to muscle weakness, loss of speech, and paralysis. The average life expectancy is 2 to 5 years. Currently, there is no effective cure or treatment to stop disease progression of ALS. ALS is not an incurable disease; it is a severely underfunded one.
This is why we lovingly nicknamed this blend, "We Believe in Jeanne." We believe in the power of community to raise awareness and help in the fight against underfunded research for ALS. For every bag sold, we are donating $1 to help fight against ALS. Money will be donated to ALSTDI, Duke Hospital ALS Clinic, and the ALS Association through Team Dream Foundation.
Jeanne was always a huge fan of big, fruity, naturally processed coffees. In fact, natural coffee from Ethiopia was one of the first naturally processed coffees she ever had! This blend combines three natural coffees from three different producing countries, resulting in one fruit-alicious experience! Flavor notes of blueberries, raspberry candy, and milk chocolate connect us back to what Jeanne always loved about coffee - and her community, by extension. Thank you for helping us support ALS research! And, if you feel motivated to donate further, you can do so at SolaHotMini5K.com.
Producer, Farm, or Washing Station | Haji Betro Wet Mill | Sipi Falls Washing Station | Finca La Riviera & Finca Milan
Variety | local landraces | sl varieties | catiopia
Process | natural
Elevation | 1450 - 2000 masl
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | EL PORTAL, HUILA, COLOMBIA
NOTES | STRAWBERRY CREAMSICLE, ROSE, CLEMENTINE, ORANGE WINE
Fall may be forging forward, but we're still dreaming of sunny days and singing "Strawberry Fields Forever..."
Elkin Guzman comes from a storied history of coffee farming, processing, and selling - his family has been in the business for over 70 years, the latter twelve of which have been largely dedicated to pioneering and perfecting post-harvest processing techniques. For his part, Elkin has championed these efforts, combining different approaches to fermentation and drying techniques which complement the inherent characteristics of each individual lot from their farm in the small village of El Portal, Colombia.
For this Catiope lot, Elkin chose a unique and innovative processing method he calls, "Strawberry Natural." In this process, only coffee cherries which measure above 20 degrees Brix are harvested. They then undergo two rounds of sorting (via flotation and by hand) before being placed in plastic tanks to ferment for 60 hours. After this initial bout of fermentation, a mother culture of microorganisms is added to the tanks. These microorganisms have been fed molasses and strawberries for four days prior to encountering the coffee cherries, which gives them energy for fermentation and contributes flavor to the lot. The coffee is then left to ferment with this strawberry-infused culture for an astonishing 270 hours before being dried on raised beds until it reaches 10.5-11% humidity.
You may have already guessed by now, but it's probably worth noting: this is not a purist's coffee. This coffee pushes the boundaries of what coffee is and what it "should" taste like, and that is the very reason we are so excited to share it with you! It is profoundly flavorful, and the dominant flavor characteristic is... wait for it... strawberries. In the cup, it reminded us of strawberry creamsicle. There are also floral and citrus characteristics, which we perceived as rose and clementine, with a bright, crisp finish that reminds us of orange wine.
Farm | Finca El Mirador
Producer | Elkin Guzman
Process | Strawberry Natural
Variety | Catiope
Elevation | 1550 - 1750 masl
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | LA ESTRELLA, RISERALDA, COLOMBIA
NOTES | ORANGE, CHERRY LIMEADE, TROPICAL, CANE SUGAR
Sudan Rume is a varietal believed to have originated in Sudan, Africa - but this lot was grown on an idyllic farm in the Riseralda region of Colombia. That farm, Finca La Riviera, is carefully tended by Julio Cesar Madrid Tisnés, a (very impressive) name that has become synonymous with quality in this up-and-coming coffee powerhouse region. Julio specializes in producing at least seven different varietals at Finca La Riviera, and his careful hand with fermentation has elevated this Sudan Rume lot to a place we didn't even know it was capable of going.
This naturally processed coffee was placed in a tank for several hours before being packed into polypropylene bags at a controlled temperature with restricted oxygen. After fermentation, the coffee cherries were dried in the sun until ideal humidity conditions were reached. Though the process here seems simple enough, Julio's tedious attention to detail at every step has resulted in a unique and highly complex arrangement of flavors.
Like many coffees coming from one of its neighbors in the horn of Africa (we're looking at you, Kenya...), this Sudan-native varietal often has a knack for coming off a bit savory. But, this Colombian-grown lot is juicy and complex and acid-driven, and it's giving off all kinds of island vibes. While many cafés are already serving up PSLs, we are here to bring you one last sip of summer! In the cup, we perceived that lovely arrangement of flavors as orange, cherry limeade, tropical fruits, and cane sugar. You can keep your incessant pumpkin decorations; we'll be over here twirling our tiny cocktail umbrellas.
Farm | Finca La Riviera
Producer | Julio Madrid
Process | Natural
Variety | Sudan Rume
Elevation | 1700 masl
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | GICHICHI, NYERI, KENYA
NOTES | TART CHERRY, ORANGE ZEST, BROWN SUGAR, BLACK TEA
Kenyan coffee can be a bit... polarizing. With flavor profiles that have a propensity toward the savory (think: tomatoes, herbs), Kenyan coffees are often intensely acidic and very lightly roasted, leaving us with a cup of coffee that sort of shouts at us while we're trying to wake up in the morning. Some people LOVE this unique profile - in fact, the largest exporter of Kenyan coffee almost exclusively exports lots which meet this criteria. But there are others - like many people at our own cupping table - who weren't even sure they liked Kenyan coffees because of this. Enter: Gichichi.
Gichichi Coffee Factory is one of nineteen wet mills which comprise the Othaya Farmer's Cooperative Society (OFCS), located in the central highlands of Kenya. Established in 1950, the OFCS has grown from just 250 farmers to over 15,000 members today, and it employs over four hundred workers at the Gichichi wet mill alone. Here, they use gravity and water in an ingenius way to maximize efficiency: upon arrival at the wet mill, green coffee beans float down man-made water channels where workers are stationed to operate slides, directing the beans to specific stations throughout their processing journey.
Okay, that sounds cool and all, but what about this coffee? What makes it stand apart from that familiar, punch-y Kenyan profile? As is nearly always the case, processing makes all the difference. This lovely washed lot from Gichichi Coffee Factory has what we feel many Kenyan coffees lack: balance. The addition of profound sweetness in the flavor profile of this coffee creates a melody that won't overwhelm your ears - err, your palate - but instead invites you to appreciate each instrument in harmony with one another. The cup manages to balance between a big, full-bodied sweetness (which we experienced as brown sugar) and a bright, citric tartness (reminiscent of tart cherries and orange zest), all while tipping its hat toward that more familiar, herbal savoriness (in this case, like black tea). If you're unsure about Kenyan coffees because of cups you've had in the past, don't worry - this one won't punch you in the face. It changed our minds about what a Kenyan coffee can be, and we invite you to experience it anew alongside us.
Producer | Othaya Farmer's Co-operative Society
Wet Mill | Gichichi Coffee Factory
Process | washed
Variety | SL28 & SL34
Elevation | 1795 masl