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coffee@home: Ritual Finca El Guayabo, Colombia

(The picture was sadly corrupted)

Beans: Finca El Guayabo Huila, Colombia
Roaster: Ritual Roasters
Rating: 4
(for espresso, a little less when brewed)

My first encounter with this coffee was at the 2008 Slow Food Nation coffee tasting pavilion where it was prepared for me as a single origin espresso on a LaMarzocco GB/5 by none other than Chris Baca, the 2008 Western Regional Barista Champion and 4th place finisher at the US Barista Championship. Needless to say I was prepared to be disappointed by this coffee since neither Chris Baca nor LaMarzocco were planning to be there to help me with it.

While I never quite achieved the amazing sweet and juicy white peachiness I tasted in that cup, my attempts at reproduction, despite my inferior skills and equipment, produced a pretty close approximation. That minimal gap is enough for me to deem these beans as fairly forgiving. My espresso was still round, full, sweet, and peachy but more closely resembled a yellow variety (like a Zee, I think), with just a touch of tang, like the perfect summer peaches I eagerly consumed just a couple of months ago in season.

I should inform you that these beans do produce a fairly different profile when brewed as coffee instead of espresso – good, but not as good. Don’t expect to find any peachiness. God knows I ran these beans through the ringer trying to find it. The coffee still came out bright and fruity but with notes of strawberry and pineapple, along with some spring grasses and a hint of chocolate. I might have even detected a hint of cherry in there. In then end, I’d probably approach this coffee with a French Press given the overall trade off of quality vs. effort. But you might have better luck than I did with a siphon. If so, let me know.

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