Let’s finish off the work week with a Guatemalan coffee from Blue Nile Coffee Co. It’s Friday, so let’s get right to the slurping!!!
BLUE NILE COFFEE CO. LA DEMOCRACIA
Blue Nile Coffee Co. was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the Fall of 2017 and this is only my second coffee from this new company, but their Sunrise Blend far exceeded my expectations with its pop of beautifully delicious orange flavors. This morning’s coffee is from Finca Playa Grande in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. Finca Playa Grande was started by Evangelina Sagustume and her son, Rademes, in 1971. In addition to organic farming practices, the Sagastumes have a wet mill and drying patio at the farm, so they can process their own coffee immediately and control every aspect of it. This selection gets Blue Nile’s “medium” roast and they give us flavor notes of, “chocolate, almond and cream” with suggestions of drinking this black from either French press or pourover.
I am using my standard pourover setup of a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of Third Wave Water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with Kalita 185 filter. I left my Knock Aergrind grinder on the same setting as yesterday’s Rwandan coffee and the extraction was a whole minute faster, proof of how much density and roast play into coffee extraction. Including a 30 second bloom, this coffee finished at 3:10 total.
I’m greeted by a medium-bodied coffee that has a pretty neutral finish, maybe just a smidge dryer than neutral. The first thing that hits my tongue is a honey-like sweetness followed quickly by a nice acidity that has various citrus tones in it along with a healthy bitterness. That bitterness in the acidity makes me think of lime, which I also associate as citrus + bitterness, but this is wholly unlike the lime notes I often find in coffee, so scratch that. There’s a little lemon candy in there and maybe more of a green apple note than citrus, now that I’m really trying to figure it out. It’s unusual and not in a bad way. There’s a bit of nuttiness in this cup, but not a lot, and I get some nuts and chocolate notes in the finish, along with some hints of roast. With small sips the bitterness of this cup is pretty dominant, which I quite like, actually, but larger sips tone that down a little and balance the coffee out more. This coffee has a long, chocolatey aftertaste that never seems to go away and that’s as good as the coffee in the cup, too!
Overall I really enjoy this coffee. The bitterness level is something I really like, but it does reduce the drinkability of this coffee a little for me as lots of bitterness tends to give me a bit of palate fatigue. You can mitigate that quite a bit, though, with bigger sips, which tone the bitterness way down and add a lot more chocolate and nut notes. This is a really interesting coffee in that regard, where the size of the sip has a major effect on the flavors. This is usually the case but it’s not always this obvious. Small sips are quite bitter and have a lot of that green apple/lemon acidity. Big sips are way less bitter, sweeter, more chocolatey and nutty, almost like a totally different cup of coffee. Very cool!
Blue Nile has some really good things going on, especially for only being in the roasting game for a handful of months. I really look forward to seeing how this company grows and I hope I can revisit some more of their coffees later this year because this La Democracia and the Sunrise Blend are both really wonderful!