This month’s My Coffee Pub subscription dropped on my doorstep recently and it features new-to-me (what I love best about my MCP subscription!) roaster, Harden Coffee, located in the little town of Campbellsville, Kentucky! MCP chose their Huehuetenango for subscribers, so let’s have a taste!
MY COFFEE PUB FEB. 2017: HARDEN COFFEE GUATEMALA HUEHUETENANGO
Rural central Kentucky isn’t exactly the place you’d think you’d find a specialty coffee shop and roaster making pourovers and pulling shots on a sweet white La Marzocco GB5, but that’s exactly what My Coffee Pub discovered with their latest roaster for February’s subscription. Campbellsville is located about an hour and fifteen minutes from Lexington or Louisville and it’s a small town with a local college. Apparently, the coffee is good enough that students from Lindsey Wilson College make the 20-minute drive on the regular. 1 The place looks pretty great in the online pictures I scoped and Harden is just dripping with local Kentucky pride and a belief in small communities. It’s really cool to see and I learned Harden has a small connection to Kansas City, too, because owner, Justin Harden, worked at the Dean & DeLuca store here in KC for about a year. I’d love to find out if he got bit by the coffee bug while he was here in KC. That would make total sense!
As far as details go for this selection, I don’t have any! I couldn’t find this coffee available on Harden’s website and looking for cached information didn’t yield anything. But, we know it’s from the Huehuetanango region of Guatemala and that’s about all we really need, right? Guatemalan coffees are mostly washed and tend to run super sweet (I love a good Guatemalan sugar bomb) and, for me, lend toward apple-like malic acidity. I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino using Kalita filters. I used a Handground grinder on 3.5 (I’d probably try 3 the next time as this is a light roast and the finer grind may help it out) and Third Waver Water to brew.
This was a fairly lightly roasted coffee, noticeable in my hand grinder. It gave me a little morning workout for sure! This may end up being the shortest review of my career because this is a pretty straightforward cup of coffee, but make no mistake, I really enjoyed drinking it, too! I picked up a ton of red apple sweetness and the acidity is definitely that malic type that is associated with apples. It’s really clean and in this context the acidity brightens the cup but in a gentle way as opposed to the sharper acidity associated with citrus fruits. It really did remind me of the sweetness and slight acidity of biting into a Gala or Honeycrisp apple. I also got some nutty notes in the finish and aftertaste in this cup and at a certain temperature range there were hints of peach and apricot, too. At cooler temperatures (close to room temp), the acidity picked up a little bit of almost-but-not-quite more citrus-like acidity. Actually, we’ve been eating a lot of pineapple lately and it was sort of a tropical, almost-but-not-quite pineapple kind of acidity, too. Hard to describe… it was sharper than the apple vibe it was giving off and it wasn’t full-on tropical or citrus, but something in that vein.
All in all this is a nice cup. It has some complexity to it, especially as it cools and if you’re patient enough to take it through the full range of temps. If you can manage, you’ll be rewarded with some interesting shifts, especially in the acid profile. This is a sweet, super-clean coffee and I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be reaching out to Harden to see what else they have that I can drink and, as always, an amazing job by the boys at My Coffee Pub for finding and selecting these out-of-the-way coffee roasters. I LOVE that! Oh, and they threw in a couple of Harden-branded woodcase pencils, so that’s awesome, too! I’m a secret pen/pencil/stationery nut (as if I could get any geekier…)