Disclaimer: no rabbits were harmed in the making of this coffee. Now that that’s out of the way, today I’m sharing this Honduran coffee roasted by Needmore Coffee Roasters in northwest Indiana with you. I’ve been anxious to get this review out and on a dark and dreary, rainy Kansas City morning I couldn’t think of a better review to post today!
NEEDMORE COFFEE ROASTERS 18 RABBIT
Needmore Coffee Roasters is another roaster who came my way via Instagram (aka coffee geek heaven). Needmore started as the home-based business of Katie Mysliwiec and is named after Needmore Elementary School, which Katie attended as a kid. They’re located up in the far northwest corner of Indiana, east of Gary and north of Valparaiso (where my pals, Dagger Mountain Roastery can be found, too!). Katie followed the route of so many coffee roasters before her by starting out on a small electric roaster and selling at a couple farmers’ markets. Within a few months production was expanding and her father, Lee, built her a 3-pound roaster, and within a few months after that, Katie was up to a 3-kg US Roaster Corp. drum roaster. That’s the kind of expansion I love to see and Katie isn’t done by a longshot yet, with more growth taking place as she offers coffee to the community of Bloomington in the southern part of Indiana.
Today’s coffee comes from the 18 Rabbit farm in the Marcala region of Honduras. It’s a direct trade, certified organic (by BIOLATINA) coffee consisting of Red and Yellow Catuai varietals that are grown in the 1400masl range and it’s a honey process selection. 18 Rabbit is owned by Flhor Zelaya Ontreras and her mother and and the small 3 hectare farm is worked by 11 other members of her family. 18 Rabbit has placed highly in the Honduras Cup of Excellence in past years, so they know their coffee and how to handle it! Flhor’s 18 Rabbit farm is named after Uaxaclajuun Un’aah K’awiil, the 13th ruler of the Mayans who were situated around Copan, Honduras and who also, thankfully, went by the slightly easier moniker of 18 Rabbit! 18 Rabbit was a big fan of architecture and the arts and several important structures were built around Copan until his unfortunate beheading in 738. With that in mind, let’s drink some coffee!
Needmore Coffee Roasters gives us tasting notes of, “Maple, green apple and caramel notes with a honey finish” for this coffee. Let’s check it out! As usual, I used a notNeutral Gino pourover with a 1:16 ratio (28g of coffee, 450g of water). Including a 30-second bloom, the total time for this cup to brew was 3:10. Overall, this is a really sweet cup. It seemed “warm” to me, not just because it is a dreary morning here in KC and, well, it’s a physically warm cup of coffee, but the notes all leaned toward “warm.” Maybe it only makes sense to me. Anyway, this microlot got a solidly medium roast and freshly brewed I was getting some pleasant roasty bitterness out of the cup that mostly dissipated as the cup cooled. There is easy, soft apple-like acidity in the cup that almost gives it an effervescent quality, and that apple acidity comes with apple-like sweetness, too. I was picking up quite a bit of pineapple notes in the second half of my sips, too, especially as the coffee cooled further and particularly with larger sips. The finish is sweet with a little bit of black pepperiness. I would call this a medium-bodied coffee with a creamy texture and the aftertaste lingers for some time with both the pineapple and peppery elements in it. My bag of 18 Rabbit was roasted on 8/12/16 and I brewed it up again this morning (Sept 8) and it’s still tasting really great.
I really like how Katie has set up the Needmore bags, too. There’s a nice woodcut print on the front, presumably of fields reminiscent of that part of Indiana, and then a large label on back with all the pertinents for the coffee and a second label with info about Needmore Coffee Roasters, the roast level, certifications the coffee may have, flavor notes, etc. It’s a lot of information, but the layout doesn’t make it seem cramped or busy, which I like a lot.
This coffee ticked all the necessary boxes for me… sweet, balanced, clean, easy to drink with enough complexity to give me something to think about on each sip… what a delicious cup and I hope to share more from Needmore Coffee Roasters with you dear readers in the future!