This is the second of two Top Shelf Collection coffees PERC Coffee Roasters recently sent me. The first was the wild and crazy Kenya Kiamariga AA reviewed last week. Today’s review is PERC’s Alejandro Apolinar, a yellow caturra coffee from Peru. You can order this coffee directly from PERC for $16 for a 10oz bag or from roasters.co for the same price. You can use “KCCOFFEEGEEK” when you check out to save 10% at roasters.co, but either way, the coffee comes directly from PERC to your door!
This coffee is part of Cafe Imports’ ACES program, which is special, but I’m not 100% sure why because there is limited info that I’ve been able to find (sorry!). Cafe Imports does have an excellent dossier on this particular coffee, which is well worth reading. This coffee comes from the Cajamarca region of northern Peru and is grown on Alejandro’s farm, La Perla, at about 1800masl. Alejandro is a member of a respected coffee co-op in his region that emphasizes quality farming and sustainable practices. The final thing that separates this coffee from others is that it is 100% washed yellow caturra.
I think this is one of the prettiest coffee plants out there, because the yellow fruit is so different from all the shades of red we typically see. Caturra is a naturally-occurring mutation of the bourbon coffee varietal. It is a dwarf plant, so it tends to grow denser since more trees can pack into the same amount of space, and yellow caturra is generally described as sweet and clean in the cup with hints of spices. That being said, so much of what comes out in the cup is dependent on the farmer, the processing, roasting and what you do with it in your kitchen, it’s hard to generalize. It’s pretty though!
This is a coffee that I really enjoyed drinking but at the same time don’t have a ton to say about it. I found a lot of balance to this coffee and that it opens up quite a bit as it cools. This coffee from PERC has medium body with a juicy quality from the acidity and fruit sweetness. The aftertaste lingered on and was nicely bitter, so overall there is a lot of structure and dimension to this coffee.
I found some vaguely berry flavors, with occasional flashes of raspberry, specifically, as well as some citrus and even graham cracker as it cooled. I took PERC’s advice and brewed this in a 14.5:1 ratio, so if you’re used to using a more dilute extraction, PERC was quite specific to keep the ratio lower.
Like I said, I really enjoyed this coffee and it was a really easy drinker. I think this would work as well as an after-lunch or afternoon cup as well as a morning-starter. This is a great example of why so many roasters are getting very interested in the abundant coffee production of Peru!