Today we have the first coffee I’m looking at from a roaster out of Philadelphia that I’ve been Instastalking for a long time. Actually, I did have a shot of their espresso on the guest bar at the SCAA qualifying event here in Kansas City in February this year, but this is the first one I get to share with you, dear readers. Today’s coffee is La Pastoria, from Guatemala, roasted by ReAnimator Coffee, the guys with what has to be the coolest logo in coffee today! As luck would have it, I must’ve gotten a sample of the tail-end of ReAnimator’s inventory of this coffee as this one is no longer on their website. Never fear, though, they have an Adisque and Fraijanes from Guatemala currently.
A short amount of research yielded a ton of information about ReAnimator Coffee. These guys have been making quite a splash in Philadelphia since they opened their first cafe in 2013 in Philly’s super-hip Fishtown neighborhood. Co-owners, Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti, got their start as home brewers and roasters. They started out in the basement and eventually moved to a warehouse with a 12-kilo roaster, roasting strictly for wholesale. 1 In August 2013 they opened their Fishtown cafe and retail space and then in the summer of 2014 they put in a second location in the warehouse district of Kensington. This larger space has not only a cafe but their roasting operation, green coffee storage and a training lab. It looks awesome and the links to Sprudge’s articles about their buildouts is well worth it. While you’re poking around, check out this incredibly well done photo essay by Ted Nghiem. One thing I learned in my research is that Philly seems to be full of people who take good photography and like to write and they all seem to love ReAnimator!
As for the coffee itself, Finca La Pastoria is in the department (like a state here in the USA) of Santa Rosa, along with a lot of other coffee production in Guatemala. Coffees grow from 800-1500masl on this farm and this particular selection is one of the farm’s Catuai varietal lots. ReAnimator offered tasting notes of, “sugary, almonds, molasses and apple acidity” for this coffee, so let’s check it out.
When it comes to Guatemalan coffees, my palate favors sweetness and even a straight-up sugary vibe. Sweetness levels that would be downright cloying in other origins seem to hit the sweet spot (haha, sorry) in Guatemalan coffees, for me. This La Pastoria from ReAnimator has that, but also nuance and complexity. Using my Gino pourover and my trusty 1:16 ratio (28g coffee, 450g water, 3:45 brew time), I was able to get some nice cups from this coffee. It is sweet and sugary with a bit of soft citrus to add brightness. Most of the acidity I was getting from this coffee was solidly in the red apple malic category, especially as the cup cooled, but there is also an orange with maybe a hint of lime note to it in warmer temperature ranges. The sweetness is that same red apple juice flavor along with some nuttiness and a bit of a graham cracker note that was a natural complement to the apple sweetness and brightness. I found that this cup is quite bright at a warmer drinking temp but as it cooled it just got sweeter and sweeter and I loved it both ways.
For as sweet as this coffee is, the other nuances add some layers and a lot of balance. The mouthfeel is a solid medium and this La Pastoria has a neutral finish with an aftertaste of apple and almonds that is quite mild for how big the coffee feels on the palate. As the cup approached room temp I caught some spicy notes… a bit of black pepper and a soft melange of baking spices. I usually don’t get super-excited for Guats, but this one really amped me up. It’s a study of paradoxes, being simultaneously sweet and bright, simple and complex. This is a great intro into the powers of the ReAnimator, who can raise my taste buds from the dead just like the skeleton in their logo! Awesome.