Bold Bean Coffee Roasters out of Jacksonville, FL is one of my go-to roasters, especially for Central and South American coffees. They seem incredibly adept at getting the best flavors out of coffees from those areas. Today we’re looking at Bold Bean’s Finca Salamina, a coffee from the Huila “department” (like a state) of Colombia. This is a mixed varietal coffee grown on Finca Salamina, a farm owned by 91-year old Euripides Aldana since 1964. Finca Salamina sits at about 1600masl and this is a washed coffee. Aldana’s farm borders a nature reserve and, like many of the farms producing great coffees in Colombia, it benefits from its own microclimate that slows down the growth and development of his coffee, something that benefits the end result in the cup. Bold Bean gives tasting notes of, “Cantaloupe, vanilla and figs with a honey-like sweetness” for this coffee and you can buy it directly from them for $16/12oz bag.
This is an interesting coffee. I used my usual 1:15 ratio in the notNeutral Gino dripper with Kalita 185 filters. I was switching my grinding back to my recently-modified Hario Skerton hand grinder (I added the Orphan Espresso stabilizing bearing… what a difference!) and so I had a cup that was somewhat overextracted because of the grinder setting being too fine before I got it dialed in. That being said, I enjoyed the heck out of the “overextracted” cup, too! LOL
The grounds smell like classic specialty Colombian coffee, bright and full and, in this case, with a raisiny, figgy fragrance that also makes it into the cup. As it brewed, this coffee gave off surprising savory aromas that reminded me of tomato soup, and there is a slight savory undercurrent while drinking this coffee, too. It definitely added a layer of interest and complexity. This is a sweet cup, with lots of figs and raisins in the flavor. The body is on the light side of medium, yet the coffee has a big presence on the palate, hitting all areas of my cheeks and mouth. The finish is bit dry and on the latter half of the sip the vanilla notes are really apparent. Especially in my one cup that I overextracted, the vanilla came with a boxed cake mix aroma and flavor that had me laughing out loud because it was so apparent! There is a little bit of that note in the more proper extraction, too. It’s delicious, I have to say! The coffee gets a brightness upgrade from a bit of acidity that is somewhere between malic and citric. In terms of “feel” and overall character, the acidity definitely leans toward malic for me, which is like apple juice, but it has a light hint of citrus, maybe lime, flavor.
I know a description containing figs and raisins, white cake mix and tomato soup doesn’t sound great, but trust me, it is. I don’t know how it works, but it works beautifully and, certainly, these aren’t all in-your-face obvious flavors. The savory component is super subtle. The coffee is sweet with tons of grapes, raisins and figs. As those flavors taper off the vanilla cake comes in and it works great!