I’ve featured Franklin, Tennessee’s Honest Coffee Roasters a couple times in the past and found their coffee to be really solid. They are February’s featured Barista Coffee Box roaster, too. Honest Coffee Roasters are currently featuring some Peruvian coffees in their Top Hat Series #3 tin and they included one of those selections in this month’s box, so let’s start with this Peru Rayos del Sol!
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BARISTA COFFEE BOX FEBRUARY 2017: HONEST COFFEE ROASTERS PERU RAYOS DEL SOL
Barista Coffee Box is a cool subscription that features one roaster per month but sends four 2oz packets of different coffees from that roaster. That’s about 56g per packet which is just enough for me to get two of my standard pourovers (I use 28g of coffee in a notNeutral Gino with 450g of water). This is a nice way to get a decent sample of the roaster’s abilities and coffees while not having to invest in a whole bag and it’s what I really like about Barista Coffee Box.
Honest Coffee Roasters traces their roots back to a man named James and a grocery in Franklin, TN called Green’s (which is still there today!). In the late 1800’s, James took a three-day horse and buggy trip to Nashville to learn about coffee from the lauded Maxwell House Hotel. 100 years later, his great-great grandson has revived coffee in Franklin with Honest Coffee Roasters. They have online sales and what looks like a pretty awesome cafe space in a reclaimed factory building in Franklin, TN.
And now, how about some coffee? I started with one of the two Peruvian coffees in this month’s box, the Rayos del Sol. This coffee ia from the Rayos del Sol farm of Percy Pintado in the coffee growing area of Cajamarca, Peru. The farm has only been producing coffee for about seven yearsand they grow Bourbon, Red Caturra and Yellow Caturra. This selection is a mix of all three. Barista Coffee Box’s info card has tasting notes of, “plum, passion fruit, black currant, tangerine; juicy, and jam line with a dense sweet body.”
Sounds awesome, although some of those descriptors are out of my wheelhouse! LOL I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino pourover with Kalita 185 filters. I used a Handground grinder set on 3.5 and I also brewed this batch up with Third Wave Water’s excellent water treatment product. Just open a capsule into a gallon of distilled water and you have a pretty flavorful base to extract your coffee with!
I found this Rayos del Sol to be really sweet and clean. I found some soft citrus acidity that did remind me of tangerine or clementine (I eat two tangerines or clementines per day this time of year, so I’m pretty well calibrated on my citrus fruits right now!). There is a nice body with lots of sweetness to balance this light acidity. I picked up plum as well as a lot of nuttiness in the finish. The relatively heavy body, sweetness and nuttiness reminded me a little of pecan pie, actually, in character. Heavy, dense sweetness with a good amount of nuttiness to it. Peruvian coffees always surprise me and this is no exception. Honest’s Rayos del Sol has a good balance and it’s super sweet and clean and I really enjoy that in a washed coffee. The flavors play well with one another and based on previous experience with Third Wave Water it tends to enhance the bright notes and acidity compared to my regular tap water, so this would be an even sweeter and more sugar-forward coffee if I changed up my water and wanted to really feed my sweet tooth!