This morning’s coffee is another selection from Goshen Coffee Company’s Secret Stash. These are special, hand-selected coffees that tend toward natural processing and are often of limited availability. Today I am tasting their La Pastoral Melosa, a honey processed coffee (no honey was added… read on!) from Nicaragua. You can buy this coffee directly from Goshen for $12/8oz bag.
Let’s look at some additional details about this coffee. It comes from Juan De Dios Castillo’s La Pastoral farm in Jinotega, Nicaragua and grows in the 1350-1500masl range. The varietals include Bourbon, Catuai and Caturra 1 and this is a honey process coffee, meaning the cherries are picked and the skins are removed in a mill, but some amount of the sticky mucilage (aka “honey”) is left clinging to the seeds (what we call coffee “beans”) and then they are laid out in the sun to dry. This is an “in-between” processing method that is somewhat popular in Central America and gives some of the sweetness and body of a natural coffee with a cleaner profile like one that was washed. Royal Coffee’s info sheet on this selection says it’s certification is “conventional” but they sell it as organic and Goshen exclusively uses organic coffees, so that’s either a typo or else the farm uses organic farming practices but isn’t technically certified as such (which is very common).
Goshen’s tasting notes on this one read, “kiwi, nougat, almond.” I got a lot of roasted nuts and sweetness from the aroma in the cup and that carries over, big time, in the flavors. Sweetness is definitely the main feature in La Pastoral Melosa, but there is also a healthy citrus acidity along for the ride. The acidity is more of an accent than a prominent feature in this cup and I caught hints of lime as well as orange from it. The sweetness itself is caramel-like and lends a nice body to the cup. The aftertaste has a lightly herbal bitterness that also tames a bit of the sweetness and the finish is a bit dry with bigger sips and a little sweeter with smaller ones. Throughout the cup there is an undertone of roasted nuts, too.
On my palate, this coffee is super mellow. There is enough going on in the cup to keep that from translating into “boring,” however. The sweetness and nuts get a gentle lift from that orange juicy acidity and the herby finish and aftertaste add a bitterness component that nudges the complexity up enough to keep it from being one-dimensional. This is a pleasant, well-behaved coffee and I could see this being a nice early afternoon cup.