January 2021 saw the arrival of a new premium coffee range: The Map Series.
Our ambition with this series is to source and offer the most unique premium coffees we can find based on a journey across the globe and present them in a new eye-catching packaging solution that is reflective of the coffee inside.
We have spent considerable time and energy searching for these coffees and each one has an incredible story to tell - often challenging perceived wisdom and current trends.
Buying in small limited quantities we have roasted them with careful consideration to maximise their flavour profile.
Moreover each coffee comes in a 100% compostable clear Natureflex Bag, which is produced from wood pulp. This bag sits inside an inner cardboard box that is colour coded to represent that particular coffee, which is then wrapped inside a black outer sleeve that is laser cut with our new heat map branding visual.
The heat map, which will form part of our broader branding evolution over the next 12 months, has been designed as an abstract representation of the chemistry of the roasting process and the attention to detail and expertise in specialty coffee we are known for.
We aim to release one of these coffees each month, with the first 4 coffees already purchased. These include some pretty exceptional lots including a Colombian Geisha, an Ethiopian Banana process and a Daterra Masterpiece Collection coffee.
We are incredibly proud of this range and hope it will be the start of a premium range that we will evolve over time along with our journey through speciality coffee.
Previous Coffees in the Series
Map #1: Doondu SL28, Sundried, Kenya
CHERRY / MEDJOOL DATES / LIME ACIDITY
Firstly - process: Kenyan's are usually always washed. This is usually due to the fact that it's easier to maintain good consistency with the washed process, whilst considering most coffee 'lots' are comprised of coffee from collectives or multiple small holders (offering slightly varied profile and quality). So, in order to create that classic crisp, clean and balanced Kenyan profile, and in the interests of maximising profits on regional based coop lots, washing coffee helps support a balanced outcome.
Further, natural processes are much harder to maintain consistency from, due to fluctuations in climate, so it requires much more time, knowledge and care to generate high quality. The number of farms and processing mills, with the right skills and knowledge willing to take on this challenge is low. Despite all this, Doondu is a precision natural process (Sundried) making it a rarity from this origin.
Secondly - clarity: It offers amazing clarity and complexity without being overly intense and boozy, which is an extremely difficult thing to do with a natural process, unless the people responsible really know what their doing and a huge amount of care is taken throughout the processing phase. Doondu Estate have managed to overcome this challenge, producing an exceptional coffee that goes against the norm of this process.
Map #2: Worka Wuri, Banana Process, Ethiopia
CITRA HOPS / PINEAPPLE / GRENADINE
Banana process is a version of Natural Anaerobic, where by the coffee beans are placed in a sealed tank for 10 hrs with strips of banana. The banana contributes to a very unusual and dense profile, that generates a very unusual set of flavour notes that are a mix of fun, super sweet and.... strange (in a good way).
Worka Wuri is one of the most unusual and insanely complex profiles we have ever come across. It offers an up front citrus / hops flavour (like a killer IPA), with a super tangy pineapple flavour, supported by a long grenadine like finish.
Map #3: Las Margaritas, Geisha, Hybrid Washed, Colombia
ELDERFLOWER / JASMINE / TURKISH DELIGHT
La Margaritas is a very complex coffee. As a Geisha you would expect a very refined cup that offers a level of intensity unfound in most other coffees. This coffee delivers just that and more. It has a very sweet and clean mouthfeel that reminds us of a great quality rose Turkish Delight. This is supported by layers of delicate notes of elderflower, jasmine, and even some lemongrass and peach.
Café Granja La Esperanza is made up of 5 farms: Cerro Azul, Las Margaritas, La Esperanza, Potosi and Hawaii. They have a reputation for producing competition-winning coffees. Processes are matched with varieties to produce unique flavour profiles.
We have been aware of Cafe Granja for some time now, having bought one of its natural lots to use in the UKBC back in 2018 (For Dan Todd ESQ), which was a fairly wild tropical Pacamara. They are known for producing some exceptional lots across a range of experimental processing techniques, with this Geisha being a prime example of their abilities as a leading speciality coffee farm.
The Las Margaritas farm, known to the workers as the ‘garden of varieties’, has built a reputation as for competition winning coffees due to the varied and unusual varieties grown.
Map #4: San Adolfo, Pink Bourbon, Natural Carbonic Maceration, Colombia
FIG / DARK CHOCOLATE / STRAWBERRY
San Adolfo is a bold and challenging coffee, boasting layers of flavour that are sometimes difficult to isolate from each other, resulting in a very complex cup. It has a dark chocolate body alongside a light strawberry sweetness supported by a bright fig like acidity, with an unusual almost balsamic like tang to its profile.
The Pink Bourbon varietal is extremely rare, and is a mutation of Red and Yellow Bourbon. Research is currently being done to determine its exact place of origin, but is thought to have began at 2100 MASL in San Adolfo, Huila.
It’s attractive to producers partly due to its rarity, and partly due to the fact it’s believed to be more resistant to rust. Pink Bourbon is a difficult varietal to produce and maintain, as the “pink” gene is recessive to the dominant presence of yellow and red genes. In order to preserve the unique colour and character of this variety, each lot must be carefully isolated and contained. Marvellously, this micro-lot is 100% Pink Bourbon.
A huge amount of time and effort goes into Carbonic Maceration.
Firstly, the coffee is picked following a strict ripeness criteria. It is then thoroughly hand-sorted to ensure only the best cherries are processed. The cherries are then placed in plastic tanks to ferment for 64 hours with the controlled addition of carbon dioxide (CO2). After fermentation, the cherries are transferred to raised drying beds at a temperature below 36 degrees celsius until the ideal moisture content is achieved.