New coffees coming soon / by Bryan Hibbard

If you have been buying from us for a while, you might have noticed a lack of new coffee lots in recent months. This has been for a number of reasons. 1. The main harvest season for Central American coffees and many other regions is in the Spring. So I have been busy evaluating new lots and trying to find out what is the best of the season. 2. I had a few lots fall through. I buy a lot of my coffee sight unseen with the caveat that I have to approve the arrival sample before I start bringing bags into my roastery. This usually works great, as my importer knows what I like and can usually lead me to the best lots. But 3 lots this season were not as good as I was hoping so I had to pass on them. Finally, 3. I have a number of great suppliers that have kept their quality consistent this season so I have been able to bring their lots in for a second or even third year. I don't mess with a good thing.

Well, I am happy to say we have some exciting new coffees coming out in the next few months. And I would love to give you a sneak peek.

1. Costa Rica: La Pastora. Yes, you read that right. We are finally offering a coffee from Costa Rica. I have tried many lots from this popular origin over the years and have not been in love with any of them. Costa Rica has such a classic profile, it can sometimes be a bit boring. It is also more expensive than most of its Central American neighbors. So the very best lots were out of my price range, and the standard lots were nothing to get excited about. La Pastora from the Tarrazu region happens to be one of those standard lots in terms of price, but the cup profile places it beyond its station. It is bursting with tropical fruit flavors, has a jasmine aroma, and a sweet raw cane sugar finish. I'll have this one available next month.

2. Guatemala: Finca El Retiro: This is a single farmer lot from the Santa Rosa region. Very similar to my previous lots from Guatemala with a classic orange and chocolate profile. I tried many different small farm lots from Guatemala this year and El Retiro stood out.

3. Colombia: El Manzano: This is a standout single-farm lot from the Narino region of Colombia. This is a very small lot that we purchased and so it will be a Blockhouse Coffee and Kitchen exclusive once we get the shop open. We will sell it by the bag and by the cup only at Blockhouse.

4. Brazil: Fazenda Rainha: This is a 100% yellow Bourbon pulp-natural lot from an awesome farm in Brazil. This is my first pulp-natural lot from Brazil. This processing method brings out more of the sweetness of the coffee. It is a very balanced and subtle cup. It will serve as a great single origin as well as the backbone of my espresso blend.

5. Sumatra: Lake Toba Honey: This is a very positive maybe. I tried last-year's lot and it was pretty amazing. If the current crop that is just about to arrive is as good, we will get it. This lot comes from 3 small estates. Most coffee grown in Sumatra is run through the Giling Basha (wet hulled) process which brings out the signature earthy, smokey, wild flavors you would expect in a classic Sumatra. The honey process is rare, but it brings out some very interesting flavors. This one has notes of guava and cherry with a hint of aromatic cedar.

So there you have it. Lots of great coffees coming in. I can't wait to share them with you.