A roasting summer in the West

Hello! Since our last blog back in February we’ve had a few exciting and intense months setting up our new roastery space on the farm where we live. It’s included the refurbishment of a wooden shed and the installation of a new Probatone 12-kg roaster that miraculously made it over from Germany undamaged, despite various adventures along the way. The machine is a beauty and we love it!

It’s taken us quite a bit of time to get all the right equipment necessary to make the roastery a functional place and now that we’re up and running we are excited to introduce you to some tasty new coffees.

Finca Buenavista  - Colombia

We first met Astrid Medina on her remote farm high in the Andes mountain range in southern Tolima.  It was 2015 when she won Colombia’s Cup of Excellence competition. She immediately came across as a very genuine person, passionate about her business and caring for her community. Both Astrid and her husband Raul were the most generous guests and showed us around their amazing farm with coffee trees growing on vertiginous slopes.

At that time we were living in Colombia’s capital city, Bogota, and it took us about 10 hours on a small and crowded bus, plus another hour by jeep to reach the village of Gaitania, near which Finca Buenavista is located. It was definitely worth it! The rich soil, abundance of fresh water and the farm’s high altitude (1800m – 2000m above sea level) all helped to grow the prize-winning coffee, plus “the love we put in”, Astrid told us.

We met Astrid & family  (they always travel together) several times after that initial visit and were able to appreciate their great efforts to continue producing beans of the highest quality. So several years later we are absolutely thrilled to be roasting their coffee! This lot of Caturra variety beans is clean in the cup and displays bright notes of lemon and lime, followed by an all-round floral sweetness and hints of chamomile. We’ve roasted it for filter preparations but it’s also great as an americano.

Kageyo – Rwanda

As we love African coffees we decided to try this exquisite Rwandan peaberry from the Kageyo washing station in the Western Province. Coffees trees typically produce two beans (seeds) inside each cherry (fruit), but occasionally only one seed develops that is more spherical in shape than normal coffee beans. This enables better heat transfer during roasting and some experts say peaberry coffees typically taste better than their flat-sided brothers. The beans in this lot are of the Red Bourbon variety and are grown at an altitude of approximately 1700 meters above sea level by several smallholder farmers near the washing station. The farmers came second in Rwanda’s 2010 Cup of Excellence and they’re still producing great coffees. We taste notes of apricot and peach, with an apple acidity that gives way to a full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel and a sweet, jammy finish. Roasted to be drunk as a black coffee – either filter, espresso or americano.

Serra do Cigano – Brazil

Our Brazilian espresso roast remains unchanged! It’s still the deliciously nutty single origin coffee from the Serra do Cigano farm in Sao Paulo state. While our Colombian and Rwandan coffees are washed in vats of water during the processing stage, these Brazilian beans are dried with their skin still on, a method known as the ‘natural’ process. This enables a transmission of sugars and flavours from the skin into the bean, and gives this particular lot some distinctive notes of tropical fruit.

The beans were grown by Joao Hamilton and his partners on their 10-hectare Serra do Cigano farm. Since joining the FAF network in 2006 the team have sought to grow top-quality coffees without using toxic fertilizers and herbicides. We think the results are evident in this full-bodied, nutty and fruity coffee that’s perfect for espresso and milk-based drinks. 

Enjoy! And please get in touch with us if you like to order some (info@carrow.ie).