I get so much coffee from around the country (not complaining!) that, ironically, I don’t get to drink as much from local roasters as I’d like. My friends at Kansas City’s Messenger Coffee Co. dropped a box of coffee on me recently to rectify my “problem” and so today I am bringing you Messenger’s Jacinto Jara, a washed coffee from Peru.
Peru is an interesting region for coffee because the conditions are great for high-scoring specialty coffees, but the infrastructure doesn’t really support it. Peruvian coffee farms tend to be really small and very remote, so a lot of great coffee ends up sitting around waiting to be processed, or for too long after processing. Because of humid conditions, having coffees sitting around and waiting will make it gain moisture and create all sorts of problems in the cup. All that being said, there are good coffees that do come out of Peru and roasters who find good ones seem to fall in love with them! This Jacinto Jara is one of them.
This coffee is a yellow caturra lot from the Cajamarca region in the northwest of the country. It is grown at 1,800masl and is fully washed. Messenger’s website gives us tasting notes of, “Sweet and buttery with a floral and herbaceous aroma and a balanced, red apple acidity.” You can buy this coffee directly from Messenger Coffee Co. on their website or at retailers throughout the Kansas City metro area for $18/12oz bag. Messenger’s website is concise when it comes to information, so you’ll have to make up your own story behind this coffee!
I really enjoyed this coffee. I prepared all my cups using a notNeutral Gino pour over dripper with Kalita 185 filters and a 1:16 brew ratio (28g coffee to 450g water). Total brew time ends up being around 3:30 or so with that method. I was getting sweet apple aroma with hints of baking spices that just hooked into my brain and wouldn’t let me visualize anything else other than apple strudel. In the cup, the flavors were along those same lines. I was surprised by the brightness of this cup, and red apple is a great descriptor for it. Rather than that green apple crispness that malic acidity usually gives me, this one was bright but a little more mellow and the sweetness of the cup painted a picture of red apples instead of green.
The acidity gives the cup a lot of up-front brightness and then the sweetness floods over the palate with a full, yet light, mouthfeel. By that I mean this Jacinto Jara seems to hit all the taste buds rather than focus on a particular area, yet the body is overall quite light with a light aftertaste and slightly dry finish. The aftertaste has a bit of spice in it, conjuring up even more of an apple pastry image for me, and there is also a bit of savory, buttery character in the second half of the sip, giving some added complexity and richness to this cup.
I found this coffee to be sweet, clean and easy to drink. While I get apple acidity from a lot of coffees, it’s rarely this sweeter, “redder” variety, so that was interesting and the overall cup quality gave me a sense of familiarity and comfort like coming home to the smell of an apple pie cooling in the kitchen. I honestly went into this coffee figuring it’d be sort of boring and hard to describe and instead the flavors are bright, balanced and delicious! Messenger Coffee Co. did a fantastic job sourcing and roasting this coffee because it’s awesome!