Crema.co is one of my favorite “you-pick” coffee subscription services and my pals there just sent me one of their sample boxes containing four 70g samples of some of the roasters’ coffees. This morning, I’m tasting a Guatemala selection from Theodore’s Coffee Roasters out of Owosso, Michigan. Links are below and then let’s drink some coffee!
CREMA x THEODORE’S COFFEE ROASTERS GUATEMALA ESQUIPULAS
I wrote pretty extensively about Crema.co’s coffee subscription service and website about a year ago. One of the company’s founders, Emily McIntyre, was pretty much my first coffee friend when she was back at Case Study Coffee Roasters in Portland. Since then, she has put together Crema, which I think is the best “you pick” style of coffee subscriptions available. Their website interface blew me away. They have a really nice list of roasters and the ease in which you can select coffees and get them sent, put the sub on hold if you are traveling, etc is just perfect, simple and intuitive. The time and care they’ve put into this service is clearly evident and I highly encourage you to check them out.
One of Crema’s roasters is Theodore’s Coffee Roasters in Owosso, MI. Owosso is located in central Michigan, about midway between Lansing and Flint. The company was founded in 2014 by Darwin Pavon, who spent years in Honduras collecting soil samples as part of a project to create fertilizers. Darwin donates money from every coffee sale back to the Micah Project, which helps young men and boys in poverty in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with leadership and life skills training. Darwin himself was one of the original Micah Project residents who made it out of poverty with their help, so it’s obviously something important and dear to him!
With all this awesomeoness in mind, the Theodore’s coffee that was in my sampler from Crema is their Guatemala Esquipulas. This selection comes from Finca San Antonio de Esquipulas in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. The farm was founded in 1971 and is run by Rademes Sagastume and her daughter, Evangelina. They employ environmentally friendly practices and use organic material to avoid the use of pesticides. The farm has its own wet mill and drying patios, so they handle all of their own processing, too. This selection is Pacas variety grown at 2000masl and it’s a washed coffee.
The package labels it as a “medium/dark” roast and, just visually, I would call it “City+,” which puts it between first crack and before second crack. No oils were evident on the surface of the beans. Crema says, “this coffee launches with a sweetly resinous fragrance of chocolate and roasted almonds” and to expect notes of buttered toast and honey as well as chocolate, almond and cream. I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with Kalita 185 filters and a Handground grinder set at 3.5 for my cups.
I found some nice, toasty notes to permeate throughout this cup. There is some pleasant, rounded acidity to offer balance to this sweet cup and some needed brightness. The acidity was definitely in the green apple category but I picked up a little citrus, too. This is a clean cup and it finishes quite sweet with a lot of nuttiness and some roasty flavors. The sweetness does remind me of honey and there are a lot of nutty tones and even a little bit of roasted coconut in the cup for me, too. Maybe it was just being hungry for breakfast, but as the cup cooled I feel like I was getting a maple syrup note in the lingering aftertaste of this coffee, too!
I love Guatemalan coffees like this. Super sweet, some balancing acidity, really nice to drink alone or as an accompaniment with dessert or breakfast… what more can I ask for? It has enough complexity to be interesting, but with a downright sugary sweetness and predominately warm, roasty, toasty, nutty flavors, this is a crowd-pleaser and a wonderful drinker. This is my first exposure to Theodore’s Coffee Roasters and one I couldn’t be happier with!