Today I’m having a taste of the second Peruvian selection in February’s Barista Coffee Box, El Cipres. I enjoyed the Rayos del Sol I reviewed last week and the Barista Box gang are good at selecting coffees for subscribers, so let’s check it out!
Buy “One Box” for $20 (and use justonebox50 at checkout to take 50% off your first box!)
BARISTA COFFEE BOX x HONEST COFFEE ROASTERS PERU EL CIPRES
Honest Coffee Roasters are located in Franklin, Tennessee, 20 miles south of Nashville and home of the formerly great Maxwell House Hotel. Honest Coffee’s own roots go back just as far and, today, they are bringing expertly crafted specialty coffee to this part of the central US with both a roasting operation and what looks to be like a fantastic cafe space. They paired up with Barista Coffee Box in February and what I love about BCB is I receive four packets of coffee from that month’s roaster. Each packet is just 2oz, enough for a decent sized pourover or two, and I get to try out four coffees from that month’s featured roaster. Nice!
Today’s coffee is another one of Honest’s offerings from Peru. I don’t see a listing for this one on their site, currently. El Cipres is a small family farm in Huaral, Peru, adjacent to the protected land surrounding Chorro Blanco waterfall. The farm is only accessible on foot or horseback after a 40 minute hike from the nearest village. Producer, Jose Herrera, is proud that his coffee won first place in the regional competition, beating out 50 other farms before moving on to the national competition! This is a washed coffee consisting of Red and Yellow Caturra. Barista Coffee Box and Honest Coffee Roasters give us tasting notes of, “creamy, strawberry, vanilla, coconut, Aperol, light, sweet and airy.”
I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino with Kalita filters. I used a Handground on 3.5 and brewed with Third Wave Water. Flavors are bright and clear in this cup! After going through about a gallon of Third Wave Water, I think it definitely turns up the volume on the acidity in coffees, but I quite like that, too. This coffee has a medium body with some pretty interesting flavors, especially for a washed Peruvian coffee. It’s bright up front, but very well balanced with a sweet bottom end. The brightness/acidity in this cup has some citrus tones to it in the form of orange or tangerine but there is also a green apple note and “feel” to it, too. It’s bright, but not harsh. As the cup cooled the acidity rounded out even more and seemed more sweet and apple-like to me, although hints of citrus still remained. There was definitely some strawberry flavors in this cup. Not to the extent of a natural Ethiopian coffee, but it was there nonetheless. I did pick up vanilla notes in the second half of the sip, which is sweet and less bright and also has some floral notes. This vanilla and floral combination extended into the aftertaste, which was fairly light and dropped off pretty quickly rather than lingering on the palate.
Honest’s “light, sweet and airy” description of this cup is spot-on. Yet, there is still plenty of substance and lots of flavor in this coffee. While slightly more subtle than some other coffees, it’s still delicious and inviting and I think this one would make a nice after lunch/early afternoon cup.