Hello Subscriber (or Curious Friend),
Kicking off the second year of our international subscription with two roasters from Ireland that I’m excited to share with you. I initially set out to compare one older with one newer specialty roaster in Ireland, but in doing my research I was surprised to learn of all the great new age rosters that exist on the island in the North Atlantic.
Calendar Coffee [Galway, Ireland]
I first discovered Calendar Coffee earlier this year scrolling Instagram. Started by veterans of the very reputable Workshop Coffee [London, England], their focus became highlighting recently harvested coffees, harvested within the calendar year, hence the name “Calendar”. Believe it or not, much of the coffee you get at specialty coffee shops, and especially at chain coffee stores, is harvested over a year, even two or more years ago. Owners Zarah and Dan found this to be the single biggest indicator of flavor potential in coffees they were brewing at Workshop however they also found it was seldom talked about with their customers. Zarah and Dan set out to make that the central focus of their sourcing and the quality and flavor of fresh crop coffees shows in their roasts.
The first coffee included in this month's subscription is a Honduran coffee from Wlfredo Sanchez. This coffee embodies everything I love about Honduran coffees and why it may be my favorite origin. This coffee in particular gives me a sense of nostalgia as aromatically and taste wise, the black tea notes remind me of the Lipton’s tea my grandmother would drink. The smell takes me back to her kitchen when I was a kid. Honduran coffees have a hallmark richness and sweetness. As this coffee cools, it tastes like cocoa and plum juice.
FOUR COFFEE SUBSCRIBERS: I wanted to contrast the comforting offering of the first coffee from Calendar with a brighter, fruiter coffee. The Uraga Raro (Guji, Ethiopia) fit the bill. I really enjoy the tropical fruit acidity of this coffee. The lychee and guava flavors noted by the roaster really come through.
Cloud Picker [Dublin, Ireland]
When researching Irish roasters, Cloud Picker was among the most recommended among colleagues in the industry. As a former attorney, I appreciate the owners’ non-traditional backgrounds before jumping into coffee, one coming from graphic design and one from corporate banking. Together they have created among the most beautifully packaged coffees I’ve ver seen and, much more importantly, their coffees are also delicious.
The first coffee I chose from Cloud Picker was their Kenya Ichamama AA to contrast with the Honduras from Calendar. I’d recommend maybe tightening your grind a notch from your normal recipe otherwise it will run fast, however, the faster brewing time does not seem to negatively impact flavor. Either way, this coffee reminds me of champagne, very light and juicy. As it cools some delicate citrus comes through. Its nice to drink a Kenyan that is so delicate and balanced.
FOUR COFFEE SUBSCRIBERS: To round out the November subscription, I decided to go back to a comfort coffee from one of my other favorite regions, Guatemala. Coffees from Guatemala are always very chocolatey and typically have a complementary lactic acidity and a malic acidity, like in an apple. The body on the Mam is very layered and reminiscent of a chocolate truffle with some subtle cherry and hazelnut in the finish. This is a coffee that pairs perfectly with dessert.
This holiday season is certainly different from years past, but we hope you find comfort in these coffees. As difficult of a year as this has been, I always enjoy seeking out these foreign gems and sharing them with you. Please reach out to talk coffee, brewing or anything over @pourcleveland on Twitter or Instagram or drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe and caffeinated and we look forward to sending you two (or four) exciting coffees in December.
Charlie Eisenstat, Owner & Curator
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