I’ve been following OQ Coffee for quite a while on Instagram. They fly a little under the radar for some reason but when I saw them post a photo of their Yemeni coffees, I jumped at the chance to reach out to them. OQ’s roaster, Catie, sent me a Ziploc with some of their current Colombian coffee, too. I’m not sure if she knew I am a full-blown La Palma y El Tucan fanboy or not, but of course the Ziploc was the first coffee I went for! LOL It turned out to be everything I love in Colombian coffee and it has La Palma’s signature all over it, lovingly expressed by Catie’s awesome roasting. Check out the links below before you head into the review!
OQ COFFEE LAS DELICIAS
When Catie from OQ Coffee told me she was including a sample of their Colombian, which is sourced from La Palma y El Tucan, I was ecstatic. If you use the search bar on the site you’ll see I’ve drunk my fair share of La Palma Colombian coffees and, man, they’re always awesome! La Palma y El Tucan are a company based in Colombia that works with hundreds of smallholder (and small smallholders at that!) in their region of Colombia to improve their growing, picking and help them process their coffee. They find incredible microlots and most, if not all, of these lots are sold to only one roaster exclusively. La Palma has an amazing facility and their own farm down in Colombia and you have to check out their website and Instagram to get the full effect of what they are doing.
This coffee comes from Las Delicias, the farm of Vilma Amado near the village of Calandama in the Cundinamarca department of Colombia. The farm sits at about 1550masl and this lot was processed by La Palma y El Tucan, who have taken washed coffees to the next level and beyond. La Palma has gotten quite a reputation for their lactic acid fermentation and sometimes I can really tell the lactic coffees from the acetic fermented ones (different microbes and conditions in which the fruit is removed from the coffee beans). This one has that little bit of a twang that has me confidently guessing it’s a lactic acid fermentation process, but who knows and now I’m being too geeky! OQ Coffee give us tasting notes of pineapple and candied lemon in the fragrance and grape-like acidity along with plum, prune and purple grapes in the flavor. It mentions a medium body with a creme fraiche note and a lot of similarities with Ethiopian natural coffees even though this is a fully washed selection.
I had such good luck with Cat & Cloud’s Isaac Bados on Aeropress that I reached straight for it with this coffee and saw no reason to use anything else after my first cup! Prepared this way, this coffee just sings in that way a bright Colombian coffee can. The aroma is sweet and redolent of fruits. In the cup there is a lot of body and a slightly milky/creamy texture. That lasts in the aftertaste, too, where it seems to leave the back of the tongue and throat feeling coated like drinking milk does. Each sip is interesting. At first there is sweetness, and then over what feels like a long period of time a wave of light acidity comes in followed by breakers of rip red and tropical fruits. The acidity is a mix of grape and apple to me, and it’s so delicious. There is just a hint of fermentation, but somehow “cleaner” fermentation than what is in a natural coffee if that makes any sense at all, in the cup and the aftertaste is a plummy, slightly fermenty, slightly milky melange that probably sounds weird but is heartbreakingly delicious.
I know I am showing my cards as a total La Palma slut, but I don’t care. Their coffees are simply amazing and the roasters who pay top dollar for their beans always roast them with high respect. Catie has done a phenomenal job on this coffee and what a fantastic introduction to OQ Coffee for me! Whew! Knocked it out of the park, everybody!