company - education - coffee

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cupping Esmeralda

Coffee: La Hacienda Esmerelda 2007, gesha varietal
Roaster: Simon Hsieh, Taiwan
Sorted with a 30% rejection rate

Simon's labelgrounds aroma: Blueberry compote (fruity sugary - not rotten fruit ferment 'fake blueberry')

cup aroma: Distinctly floral, balanced, pleasant, sweet

hot cup profile: Distinct floral honeysuckle. Not the soapy perfume potpourri we expected. Reminiscent of chamomile. Clean and effervescent with a cream soda finish. Wonderful light berried fruits.
Very balanced character, drinks like an extremely high grade tea.

cool cup profile: Clean, clean, clean. Orange citrus. Sugary longan fruit.

So you are asking why I am posting cupping notes for this coffee after proclaiming no reviews? Largely to point out one thing, reviews are often bunk. Our cupping notes for coffees almost never are the same as other roaster's notes. While CoE notes have always proved valuable, it leaves us largely confused by cupping notes made by others on coffees like Esmeralda. The point is, it all depends on the roast and the cupper.

Remnants of a vac pot and a single very evenly light roasted beanI read reviews about Esmeralda being so potent and intense with people layering descriptions on it about how they could not drink it everyday. I don't think they are drinking the same roast as this to make those statements. It's so balanced and clean, it makes you wonder what the others are cupping. I could drink this everyday. Part of that is the excessive sorting and a larger part is the roast. Simon does a unique roast.

I think half of the feedback I have given Simon Hsieh on his coffees probably would make/has made many roasters upset or simply stop talking to me. The reason behind that in this specific case is Simon's approach lets you evaluate the beans for what they are. It really is whether I like the coffee and not about what the roaster did to it. There are no complaints, merely observations about character which at times can be simply, I don't like this coffee even though you did a spectacular roast. There is no baking, tipping, scorching, dulling, muting, or dozens of other adjectives I can use to describe the hundreds of ways a roaster can mess up a coffee's potential. The Esmeralda Simon roasted/sorted is amazing and I look forward to trying to repeat it with our green samples of the lady Esmeralda.

Cheers to Simon for this coffee and a big thanks to Eugene for shipping and gifting it to us (~$35 for 100g[3.5oz] which is two brews of 2 cup vac pot and two 5oz cupping).