I recently wrote a guest article for my good friends at The Coffee Compass. Here’s a brief excerpt: There’s an old idiom—“When it all goes south…”—that is commonly used to describe something that is declining in value or quality. One could justifiably argue that the […]
And so, we’ve reached the end of another roaster week here at the Table. It’s always bittersweet for me, because we’ve had such a great time together, but I know that, in a few months, we’ll definitely be getting together again for more coffee adventures.
As I’ve mentioned a few times already (and forgive me for repeating myself, but it is kind of a big deal and I am enormously proud of them for it), the four coffees that my good friends at CREMA sent the Table this week represent the future of their sourcing standards.
Rather than purchasing their greens through a middleman, they now pursue direct source or relationship-sourced coffees. So be sure to join me in congratulating them on this important milestone!
This week they offered us a unique coffee from a region we’ve never sampled before (their Yemen Al-Maghariba), they proved that Guatemalan coffees are among the best in all the world (with their Aguas Altas), and they offered up a stellar El Salvadoran for good measure (their Finca Las Delicias).
Today, we’re sticking around the Apaneca region of El Salvador for a little while longer and wrapping up what has been a tremendous week.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of El Salvador La Milagrosa, from CREMA in Nashville, Tennessee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much background information about today’s cup save that it’s a Pacamara, so let’s just get right down to business.
origin: Apaneca-Ilamatepeq, El Salvador
farm: Finca La Milagrosa
Wow! An intensely bright and sweet aroma comes bursting out of the freshly opened bag, and doubly so after I grind it. Tart grapefruit and white sugar greet my nose first while vanilla and floral aromatics come fluttering in behind.
Remember the lunch line at elementary school? You’d get up to the cashier and there’d be a milk crate full of 2% milk and chocolate milk? This coffee really resembles the red-headed stepchild of the dairy family—strawberry milk. It’s sweet and smooth and lightly creamy with strawberry as the dominant flavor note.
As it cools off, this cup just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter while remaining light in texture and body. A sharp ruby red grapefruit acidity has emerged from the bottom of the cup—one that streams directly down the center of the palate to the back, then circles back round to the sides of the tongue. Meanwhile, other palate-pleasing flavors have also risen from the bottom of the cup: vanilla, graham cracker, a slight hint of herbaceous clove, and rose hip aromatics that tickle the tip of the tongue.
Light body; creamy mouthfeel; grapefruit acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
Of all the coffees that CREMA recently sent me, their El Salvador La Milagrosa “wowed” me the least. This is, however, not to say that it wasn’t a good coffee—because it really is. The fact that it “‘wowed’ me the least” isn’t really that great or bold of a statement, either, because all four of these coffees were truly exemplary of their region and of CREMA’s roasting operation.
This was a fine, delicate, aromatic coffee that has a wonderful flavor profile, terrific body, pitch-perfect acidity, and tremendous depth.
No, the only thing that held this coffee back on a personal level was my personal opinion of El Salvadoran coffees. If you’ve been a longtime reader of the Table you’ll know that El Salvador very, very rarely impresses my palate; at the same time, however, it never disappoints. This region, to me, produces the epitome of the simple, straightforward, Latin American breakfast coffee—which is a great thing.
This is a perfect coffee for the Everyman that is feeling adventurous and wants to treat their taste buds to a coffee that’s slightly more unique than they’re used to.
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One of the happiest days in my coffee career was the day I discovered CREMA during a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Since then, over the past year, the folks at CREMA and I have forged a solid professional friendship. Speaking of professional friendships, CREMA’s roasting […]