ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | URRAO, ANTIOQUIA, COLOMBIA | BUENA VISTA, RIVAS, BRUNCA, COSTA RICA | SAN ADOLFO, HUILA, COLOMBIA
NOTES | BOOZY, RED CHERRY, ANGOSTURA BITTERS, ORANGE PEEL
"Whiskey (2 parts), sweet vermouth (1 part) and bitters (dash)—this is the everlasting crux of the Manhattan." (according to Liquor.com)
There's been a lot of debate around that aforementioned ratio in the years since the Manhattan's assumed inception in the 1840's. One thing that's not up for debate among Manhattan enthusiasts? The drink is stirred, not shaken.
Fair enough. But... can it be brewed?
Today, we give you the THIRD release in a series of flavor exploration which will run through the holiday season (a little something to get you through those colder months - you're welcome). In it, we will be highlighting co-fermented coffees and exploring the outer edges of what's possible with flavor, fermentation, and blending. These releases will taste like a whole lot more than just coffee, and they represent something much more than that, too: science, agriculture, art, and innovation each play a unique and critical role in crafting the experience you'll have with each cup. The producers who are championing these innovative new processes all over the coffee-growing world are the sources of our inspiration and the recipients of our profound respect, and you can think of this series as a love letter to them.
Today's release may well also be considered a love letter to the all-American Manhattan cocktail. It's a blend of three coffees: Santiago Caro's Natural Chiroso (which we infused with rye whiskey here at HQ!), Don Lica Torres' Black Cherry Anaerobic Natural, and Jairo Arcila's Honey Cinnamon Pink Bourbon.
Santiago Caro Natural Processing: Earlier this year, we featured Santiago Caro's lovely washed Chiroso lot on our menu, and it was met with rave reviews both at our cupping table and in your homes. Well! When we received that lot from Santiago's farm, we were also gifted two lil boxes of the same Chiroso lot, but processed as a natural! We took this gift and decided to do something really special with it: we infused 9 grams of rye whiskey per 100 grams of the aforementioned Chiroso lot. The resultant coffee (which we re-dried using our own roasting equipment!) comprises about 40% of this boozy blend.
Don Lica Torres Black Cherry Processing: Black Cherry is a process coined by the Torres family and controlled meticulously at the Cerro Buena Vista Wet Mill. As with any "normal" natural processing method, ripe coffee cherries are collected by hand and taken to the mill, where they are placed in propylene bags for about 24 hours before being spread out on raised beds to begin drying. However, once the parchment approaches 15-20% moisture content, the lot is re-collected into plastic bags and placed in storage for about a week, where fermentation continues to occur at a glacial pace. Finally, the cherries are put back out to dry - on concrete beds this time - until the remaining 5-10% humidity points are lost.
Jairo Arcila Honey Cinnamon Processing: This particular lot of Pink Bourbon takes ripe coffee cherries and places the whole cherry into a dry anaerobic environment. The coffee ferments with the enhancement of tartaric acid and cinnamon powder. After 48 hours, the seed is pulped from the cherry and dried using the honeyed style of drying (the coffee is not washed and so the fruit remains on the seed as it dries). The floral and bright citrus notes that made the variety famous still are present in the cup, but both are augmented by complex cinnamon flavors.
In the cup: The result is a a coffee that's as unique and quintessential as the cocktail itself. Truly booze-forward, we found this coffee most enjoyable as a filter brew. If you want to experience it in its most "boozy" expression, however, we recommend it in a French press or at the cupping table. The rye-infused Chiroso brings all those boozy notes, while Torres's Black Cherry Milenio contributes lovely red cherry characteristics. Finally, Jairo Archila's honey cinnamon Pink Bourbon lot mimics the angostura bitters which are irreplaceable in the classic Manhattan ratio. Each of the three components of this blend featured a citrus flavor note at our cupping table, lending itself in this brewed variation to a lovely (and appropriate!) finish reminiscent of orange peel. Cheers.
Producers | Santiago Caro | Don Lica Torres | Jairo Arcila
Process | natural | black cherry anaerobic natural | cinnamon-enhanced anaerobic honey
Variety | Chiroso | Milenio | Pink Bourbon
Elevation | 1930 masl | 1500 masl | 1650 - 1700 masl