In my coffee obsessive kind of way, for the last few years I’ve tended to keep a list of my favourite coffees for the year just past. It’s a nice little reference to remember some great coffees so I thought I’d share my 2015 list with you. Principally from the RtO and retail coffees so a number of these are finished until the next harvest, however some are still available and would be great to start the New Year with.
Ecuador Maputo La Nube Typica
- For being a definitive & amazingly complex washed coffee & for teaching us to break some ‘rules’ of roasting to bring out its best.
Peru Jean Cajamarca – Grumpy Mule
- Blind cupping loads of samples together reveals a sweet, full & malleable coffee backs up long held up suspicions that Northern Peru is prime speciality coffee country. Looking forward to next year’s arrivals soon.
Rwanda Musasa Dundekawa – Grumpy Mule
- Never failing to impress. Sparking, richly complex, simply everyone should try it. The go-to filter at my parents’ house.
Widescreen v6.1/v11.0 – Grumpy Mule
- I could choose several of these, but possibly v6.1 back in the early part of the year, or maybe the current v11 variations are pretty definitive of a super sweet, juicy and complex espresso. Fond memories of each version and a taste profile that people seem to love.
Artisan v11 – Grumpy Mule
- Amongst the definitive versions of this blend. Complex but approachable, elegant & rich, sweet & rounded. A treat that was my staple coffee on my espresso machine at home over Christmas.
Nicaragua Esperanza Cup of Excellence – Grumpy Mule
- A happy accident – we never really intended to bring this in, but a stunning coffee in the same vein as the Ecuador Maputo, really showing off how multi-layered and complex flavours can appeal to almost any drinker.
El Salvador Esperanza Honey – Grumpy Mule
- -A coffee that actually landed in the UK better than it cupped at origin (& it was very nice there). Top filter & one of the SO espresso’s of the year, it will be gone too soon – hurry!
Obviously most of the coffee included here are from the Mule, but I felt it right to include a few coffees from other roasters too, especially as transparency, a mentality of constant improvement and sharing is to me the best way to make our coffee even better in 2016!
Kenya Ther’i – Casa Espresso
- A real knockout of a Kenya, and probably our favourite coffee from the haul of swapsies after Cup North in November. Pleasingly we were split between this and our own Kenya Karatina for best Kenya in a blind cupping of Kenyas, so really top drawer stuff.
Costa Rica Perla Negra & Villa Sarchi – Fortnum & Mason
- Both a crowd pleaser & massive divider of opinion all at the same time. Also found the next step of deliciousness with the Fortnum’s exclusive Villa Sarchi single varietal version. Part of a project which brought in 7 different coffees and a Cascara, the Chacon’s at Las Lajas who I had the pleasure of visiting earlier in the year really had excelled – the Red Honey was also a standout.
Ethiopia Nano Challa – Workshop Coffee
- Really crisp clean and positively earl grey tea-like. A few people had this last year, but I think Workshop really nailed the roast (& the brew as I was drinking in one of their cafes!) and the producers at Nano Challa deserve full credit for a lovely experience and setting the bar for what we can expect from producers in Ethiopia even higher.
Panama Esmeralda Special, Mario Natural – Fortnum and Mason
- Of course it’s on the list. Never failing to utterly amaze on the cupping table, with flavours more common in cordials than coffee. There is no such thing as the best coffee in the world, but if there was……
Happy New Year, Howard.