We are blessed to live in a golden age of specialty coffee. For the first time in the crop’s history, coffee lovers everywhere have ready access to an unprecedented variety of exquisite microlot single origins from all over the planet.
To the educated consumer, the options to choose among can seem endless. Who hasn’t felt some paralysis, a moment of indecision, when deciding among three or four single-origin selections at a pour-over bar? Going with that promising-sounding Panama Boquete might mean not getting to try an excellent Ethiopian Kochere or a stellar Costa Rican Tarrazu (till one’s next visit, at least). With retail coffee purchases, the opportunity costs can seem even greater. As 12oz bags increasingly sell for upwards of $20, buying retail coffee amounts to a minor investment for many of us.
So, how to make sound coffee buying decisions? That’s a topic for another blog post. Suffice to say that at Ironclad, our goal through our coffee program is to provide our customers with a diverse line-up of of stellar single origins, but without bombarding them with the entire analysis-paralysis-inducing panoply of options all at once. This week, we are preparing to introduce a whopping seven – we repeat, seven – single origins through our online catalog and on our café retail shelves: three washed Colombian microlots, one washed Honduran microlot, an exquisite Ethiopian natural, and two of the best washed Rwandan microlot coffees we’ve ever tasted. They’re each distinctive, memorable and worthy of individual attention, and to that end, we’re rolling them out weekly, one at a time.
Week One: Colombia Finca Río Cofre by Axel Tveten
If you visited our café over the weekend, you might have had a sneak preview of this superb selection from Colombia – we were pulling shots of it on bar as our single-origin espresso. This week we’re officially debuting our Finca Río Cofre, from the Cauca region of Colombia, courtesy of our friends at Direct Origin Trading. The producer, Axel Tveten, is the son of a Norwegian immigrant to Colombia. An agronomical engineer, Tveten has implemented advanced companion-planting practices on his 12.5 hectare farm to increase shade and promote biodiversity. In an area beset with poverty, crime and political conflict, Tveten’s farm provides a means of gainful employment for the indigenous population, and serves as a model among Fincas for fair and equitable treatment of its workers.
Grown at an elevation of 1750m under native hardwood shade, this washed-process, certified-organic coffee is both subtle and striking: soft-bodied, gently sweet and yet possessing some of the most pleasingly tart acidity we’ve ever tasted in a Colombian coffee – think green apple or kiwi, but with supporting notes of molasses, almond and black cherry. It’s truly a versatile, multifaceted single-origin, with a stunning, show-stopping brightness on espresso, and a more reserved, soothing quality on Chemex or pour-over. Whatever your tastes are in coffee, this one has something for you – ask for it on your next visit to our café, or look for it on our online catalog!
That’s all for now, friends, but be on the lookout for news of our subsequent releases as the weeks go by – and keep an eye out this week for more posts, as we’ve got a couple of exciting announcements to make!
For the Ironclad crew,