Arkansas is quickly becoming one of my favorite coffee states and I don’t know what’s going on down there, but I foresee a road trip becoming necessary in the not-too-distant future. If you haven’t already, check out my List of Reviews page and if you select anything off the Arkansas list of roasters, you will be happy. Today, I’m looking at new-to-me Mylo Coffee Co. from Little Rock. Mylo comes to me through the MyCoffeePub.com subscription. MyCoffeePub selected Mylo’s Perla Negra, a natural process coffee from the famed Las Lajas mill in Costa Rica. Unfortunately I don’t have a purchase link for you and I’m not sure if Mylo does online coffee sales or not, so you’ll need to contact them to get your hands on what proved to be a very enjoyable cup!
I really love MyCoffeePub and, yes, they are an advertiser, but I loved them before they started sponsoring the site, too. What I love about MyCoffeePub is that it’s simple… you subscribe and they send you a bag of coffee from a different roaster every month. They’ve featured some really great coffees from excellent well-known, as well as relatively unknown, roasters, and it’s a great way to try new coffee and have a cool surprise every month. I love seeing the MyCoffeePub box on my doorstep every month and the surprise of finding out what’s inside!
After doing a bit of research it turns out that Mylo Coffee Co. is as beloved for their baked goods as their coffee, which is saying a lot considering they won the Arkansas Time Readers’ Choice Awards for best coffee this year! Mylo Coffee Co. is the work of Monica and Stephanos Mylonas. They got their start in 2012 selling baked goods and coffee at various farmers markets, and in 2014 they opened their first brick and mortar shop in Little Rock. Best known for their kouign amann pastry, Mylo started roasting coffee about two years ago on a Diedrich IR-5 roaster and they expanded to a second location in 2015. Good things are definitely happening to this entrepreneurial couple! 1
So, let’s look at this coffee from the outside in. I was immediately impressed by the modern and clean, yet information-packed label on the white bag that greeted me from inside the MyCoffeePub box. This is Mylo’s new coffee packaging, apparently, and it was designed by Little Rock graphic designer and brand developer, Aaron Stearns. I loved everything about the label, enough said! I was also super-excited about the coffee inside, which is the Perla Negra from Finca San Luis in the Sabanilla de Alajuela region of Costa Rica.
Finca San Luis is one of the family farms of third generation coffee producers, Francisca and Oscar Chacon. In addition to farming, they operate one of the most celebrated micro mills in Costa Rica, pioneering honey and natural process coffees in an area that usually uses washing. They are also dedicated to the environment and organic farming. I added a video of the Las Lajas mill to the end of this review. Their Perla Negra coffee is one of their natural process coffees consisting of Caturra and Catuai varietals and the growing altitude is 1450masl. Mylo offers tasting suggestions of, “Toffee, berry, nutty, chocolate and smooth mouthfeel.”
As always I used my standard notNeutral Gino pour over with white Kalita 185 filters and a 1:15 ratio. Using 30g of coffee and 450g of water, I got about a 3:30 brew time on this coffee. Wow, what a delicious coffee! I’ve been reviewing a lot of dark roasts lately, so this is just what the doctor ordered! I wasn’t getting much from the aroma on this one other than sugary sweetness, but the coffee itself tastes delicious.
In the cup this is a fairly light-bodied coffee with a slightly dry finish and a short aftertaste. Compared to African naturals, I find these Costa Rican naturals to be much cleaner and milder. The cup is really sweet, as you’d expect from a natural process coffee, and the light roast level from Mylo kept it bright and fruity. The acidity is soft, sweet, yet bright lemon-lime that takes on some tangerine notes in the cooling cup. As the coffee cools and opens up, it gets even more lemony, but it also is very balanced by the sweetness and the acidity is soft and round. There is a delightful berry flavor that is a bit tart and yet sweet. It was very close to raspberry, but not quite. It was really delicious and quite unique, being neither the blueberry or strawberry flavor often found in natural coffees.
All in all this is a beautiful coffee. Bright and sweet with clean flavors and lots of balance and structure, yet none of the ferment or over-the-top flavors that turn some coffee drinkers off from natural coffees. Las Lajas coffees are impressive, always, and Mylo Coffee Co. shows a lot of talent in their roasting of this Perla Negra. If you can get your hands on this coffee, do so now!