ROAST | LIGHT
ORIGIN | ALTO JARAMILLO, BOQUETE, PANAMA
NOTES | RASPBERRY, ORANGE BLOSSOM, PASSION FRUIT, LAMBRUSCO
BLACK LABEL RELEASE #22
Carlos Cabrera carefully tends over 3,000 coffee trees on his picturesque farm in the hills of Alto Jaramillo. With his sister at his side, Carlos collects each cherry by hand and performs all farm maintenance himself - in fact, he only asks for help during the harvest, when he employs about ten locals to help ensure a top-notch cherry harvest! It is this tireless execution of his craft, as well as his commitment to sustainable farming practices, which led our friends at Creativa Coffee District (CCD) to connect with Carlos a couple of years ago, and we are thrilled that they offered to make an introduction for us.
Known for their excellence in processing, CCD endeavors to "spark collaboration in the coffee industry and beyond," and we have been the giddy recipients of many of those collaborations since they began working in Panama in 2018. Each lot of ripe cherries arriving at their mill is assigned to one of four carefully constructed fermentation designs, each with varying levels of fermentation impact. If you've sampled anything from CCD before, you might be aware of their love for anaerobic fermentation and their subsequent ability to produce some big, boozy, wild flavor profiles in a given micro or nano lot.
Processing: Carlos's beautiful Gesha nano lot underwent a processing method known as Intrinsic Cherry, which is CCD's ode to the classic natural cup profile. This method features the lowest fermentation level coming out of CCD's wet mill, and we would classify the resultant cup of coffee as having a medium-plus fermentation impact. During this process, whole, ripe coffee cherries placed in plastic circular tanks to ferment without oxygen for 50 hours, after which time they are removed to dry on patios of approximately 16 days. The result is a flavor profile reminiscent of natural coffees, but kissed by fermentation, magnifying the innate flavor potential of each lot.
In the cup: You will be met with blindingly bright acidity and big, beautiful fruit flavors. The fruit notes we settled on at HQ are red raspberry, orange blossom, and passion fruit candy - but to be honest, the flavors you experience in the cup could be as varied and wonderful as a bag of tropical Skittles! With its dancing acidity and big-but-not-too-boozy fruit flavors, this coffee reminded us of a lovely lambrusco wine, a young red wine which is often served sparkling. Cheers.
Producer | Carlos Cabrera
Farm | Finca CC
Process | intrinsic cherry (CCD's ode to naturally processed coffees)
Variety | gesha
Elevation | 1500 masl
Brewing Suggestions For Our Coffee At Home
“How should I brew coffee from Black & White?” We get this question a lot, and we love chatting about how folks can get the most out of the coffees we roast. But, since everybody’s gear setup, water sources, and preferences are different, we haven’t found a great way to post definitive brew guides for specific coffees.
We do have some tips that have seemed to help most folks, though…
First, our coffees do great with a bit of rest. In our cafes, we’ve discovered that things really start to shine at or after 14 days post roast. You certainly don’t have to wait so long, but you’ll notice the cup’s clarity increase over time. Clean, washed coffees tend to need less rest than funkier coffees that feature higher-impact fermentation methods (like naturals, anaerobic naturals, or co-ferments).
For espresso, we start all of our coffees at a 1:2 ratio with a brew time around 24 seconds. This recipe usually works great for year round coffees and single origin coffees with lower impact fermentations. Funky coffees often get the longer ratio treatment (sometimes up to 1:3), but your preferences may lead you elsewhere. We celebrate that!
For filter style coffee, we tend to like hotter (at or above 205F), faster (at or under 3 minutes) brews. Our roasting philosophy focuses on maximizing sweetness and solubility in all our coffees, so you’re probably safe applying your favorite recipe.
If you have more questions, feel free to shoot us a DM or email. We’re always here for curiosity. Oh! And don’t forget–if it tastes good, it is good.
Roasting all the coffee in Raleigh, North Carolina
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