I’ve had nothing but great luck with Florida coffee roasters. The latest one to hit my radar is Patriot Coffee in Lakeland, Florida, east of Tampa. I learned that Patriot Coffee was initially funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and was also owned by a successful restraunteur in Lakeland, so I was eager to learn more and also try out their award-winning lot of coffee from Cauca, Colombia!
PATRIOT COFFEE FINCA VILLA LUZ
Patriot Coffee got its start in central Florida after a successful Kickstarter campaign. It was started by Chris McArthur, the owner of another successful Lakeland business, Black and Brew. Black and Brew is a coffee shop and bistro who were bringing in coffee from a roaster in nearby Tampa. After nine successful years in business, Chris decided it would make more sense to expand into roasting than with a second location. Neither one of these is an affordable venture, but the roasting operation was funded just past their $15,000 goal whereas expanding Black and Brew would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I checked out B&B’s menu online and it looks pretty awesome! Another smart business move for Chris was that he apparently started roasting in a co-working space and then moved into an independent location when he had expanded enough to need to. This allowed him to pick up coffee sales from other entrepreneurs in the space and also get the word out more effectively about Patriot Coffee. Smart move! 1
The Patriot Coffee name comes from Chris’s service as a Marine corporal in Iraq in 2003. This coffee came in an attractive navy blue bag with a subtle horse drawing flowing over it. My guess is the horse is a throwback to an original patriot, Paul Revere, but I could be totally wrong! LOL The Labeling is nice and clear and a sticker on top of the bag told me that this coffee, Finca Villa Luz from Colombia, was the No. 14 winner of the Cauca Best Cup auction in 2016. While #14 may not sound that great, this auction featured 700 lots of coffee, narrowed down to the top 30 from the region, so this is a big winner! The top coffees were auctioned, live, to buyers from all over the world and Chris was there with his team from Patriot to scoop up a couple of them!
This selection is a washed coffee from Finca Villa Luz in El Rosario, Colombia (department of Cauca). This is Castillo varietal and Patriot gives us flavor notes of caramel, Meyer lemon and rhubarb. I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with Kalita filter. I used a Handground grinder set on 3.5 and Third Wave Water for my preparation. What I ended up with is a nice, bright, clean, sweet cup of coffee. There, review is done! LOL
This coffee has a medium-heavy body and is beautifully sweet. There is a nice amount of lemon candy acidity up front and in the finish. I love Colombian coffees like this one… sweet, bright, yet not too aggressive. The flavors are very clean and structured in this cup, too. The roast level brings out some hints of light caramel in the sweetness and in the aftertaste. It’s not a very complex coffee, with caramel notes and sweetness and bright, sweet lemon being the stars of the show, but that makes it super easy to drink and totally enjoyable. Patriot also won #7 in the auction and that coffee is available now. I didn’t get to taste it, but if it’s as good as Finca Villa Luz’s winning lot, then it should be an easy purchase! I was really impressed with this first coffee from Patriot and I hope to see some more from them in the coming months! This is going to be this week’s work coffee, for sure!