PERC Oporapa

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PERC oporapa bagAs I’ve been working my way through a box of great coffee samples from Savannah, Georgia’s PERC Coffee Roasters, I instantly fell in love with the Oporapa. You can buy this coffee direct from PERC for a very reasonable $14. I have been loving Colombian coffee all year and this one from PERC is no exception! It comes from the Huila district of Colombia, which produces about 16% of the total coffee in that country. The coffee grows at 1500-1700masl and it is washed and sun-dried as is typical for Colombia.

I got a lot of the deep sugary aromas I really love in coffee from this Oporapa. Lots of caramelized, almost-burned sugar aromas poured off the cup and there was a hint of raisin in there for me, too. Those carried over into the immediately-brewed cup, too, which also had some orange and tangerine notes in the flavor.

The body of this coffee is on the heavier side of medium and it has a nice aftertaste that is mostly lingering sweetness. The orange/tangerine citrus carries through the cooling cup and it’s more like the juices of those fruits, so the sweet elements, rather than the acidity, that I was perceiving. For as much sugary flavors and sweetness as this coffee has, though, it does have some round, easy acidity that gives it balance. The acidity was in the range of lemon-lime, but it definitely played a supporting role rather than being the main attraction of PERC’s Oporapa.

I was drinking a cup of Oporapa while I wrote this article that I’d prepared as a Gino pourover and as the cup reached room temperature it became almost like a glass of orange juice!

PERC oporapa bag backIn my first preparation of this coffee I picked up some unpleasant earthy flavors in the cup as it cooled off, but I didn’t get any of those in subsequent tastings, so either my palate was goofing around that day or maybe those flavors dissipated with some age (and coffee can change, substantially, day to day after it has been roasted, so that’s never a surprise to me).

As I was writing this article and setting up the links I noticed on PERC’s site that they recommend Oporapa as a single origin espresso, too, so I decided to run it through the Gaggia. I used 20g of coffee and pulled a 40g shot in 33 seconds (used a much lighter tamp than I have been using, where I’ll get 50% of that amount of espresso in the same amount of time!). While it was only a single shot (there will be more! LOL) I was struck by two things: the espresso extraction really pulls the acidity forward and that orange juice-like quality in the drip cup is enhanced even more as a shot. My shot was a little bright for people who are espresso traditionalists, but for someone used to “third wave” style shots that have lots of high notes it was right in the pocket. The orange juiciness of the shot was fantastic and it was a bit tart but not bad at all!

This is an unbelievably easy coffee to enjoy and the range that PERC has shown over the three coffees I’ve reviewed so far has been extraordinary! The Kenya Kiamariga AA was a challenging, super complex coffee while the Alejandro Apolinar was clean, defined, layered and full of subtle, refined fruit notes. The Oporapa is balanced and fruity but more sugared-fruit rather than the acidity often associated with fruit flavors in coffee. It’s exactly the kind of coffee I like to drink in the morning!

Note: For another reviewer’s opinion of this coffee, check out Corner of the Cafe’s recent thoughts!

And Home Brew Coffee Blog put up a nice review, too!

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