I’m sad to say that although Lawrence, KS is only about 45 minutes away, I am pretty unaware of the growing coffee scene in the hip university town (heck, it’s hard enough to be informed about the goings-on right here in Kansas City!), including Repetition Coffee, who’ve been open in Lawrence for about a year. Excitedly, I have two of their Colombian coffees to try out and so without further ado, let’s drink!
REPETITION COFFEE COLOMBIA BEST OF CAUCA #4
Lawrence, KS is the university town supported by University of Kansas. It’s a cool place, as all university towns are, and a great place for coffee, of course. With Kansas City 45 minutes away, our coffee culture, which is vast and deep, is starting to overflow into other communities and while Repetition Coffee isn’t necessarily connected directly to KC coffee culture, the area is obviously accepting and supporting of specialty coffee, so it’s great to see growth in places like Lawrence, too. Repetition’s roots bypass KC by quite a margin and can be traced back to Paris, France, of all places. Owners, Ryan and Amy Pope, moved to Paris in 2011 so Amy could attend graduate school there. Ryan worked in a variety of coffee shops there, including La Cafeotheque, a bastion of specialty coffee in Paris.
Upon returning to Lawrence, and already being part of the food and bev culture there (Ryan has owned mainstay bar/cafe The Bourgeois Pig for 9-10 years), it was natural for the Popes to start roasting their own coffee to serve at the Pig. Like many, they started on a small sample roaster in their garage, and through tons and tons of repetition, they honed their art of roasting coffee. From here, Repetition Coffee upgraded to a 25lb US Roaster and now supplies the Pig as well as a bunch of great restaurants and cafes in Lawrence as well as a couple wholesale accounts in Kansas City. Which brings us to today’s coffee…
This coffee won 4th place in the Best of Cauca auction (Patriot’s Finca Villa Luz won #14 in the same auction and I loved that one, too), which is a big deal for Colombian coffee growers. This was the third year for the auction, where 766 coffees were submitted and buyers from around the world cupped the coffees and fought their hardest to win the lots that resonated with them the most. I wonder who got #1? Anyway, this coffee comes from Luis Hernando Rojas’ Finca El Islote and it was a small 3-bag microlot. This is washed Castillo variety grown at 1920masl.
I used my standard pourover setup for this coffee… 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with white Kalita 185 filter. I sued a Handground grinder set on 3 and Third Wave Water for my prep. It came out great! Repetition gives us flavor notes of, “apricot, papaya, tamarind” and the apricot and overall tropical vibe of this coffee is absolutely unmistakeable! Repetition also recommends this coffee as espresso, and to expect, “orange blossom, apricot, dulce de leche and tamarind” but my little sample bag had just enough to make a couple small pourovers and I wasn’t able to play with it as espresso.
First sip, first impression? Yum. That’s it, no reason to read any further! I’m greeted with a syrupy mouthfeel that’s on the light side of heavy with lots of apricot and peach notes in the substantial sweetness in this cup as well as in the acidity. Apricots, and to a lesser extent, peaches, have a lot of sweetness but also a pretty good amount of tartness and that’s what I get from this coffee up front. It’s sweet and delicious but there’s that tartness, too, that brightens the cup, adds a dimension of complexity and interest and is unlike the citrus, malic (apple) or other types of acidity that come through in Colombian coffees. I love peach and apricot notes in coffee, so this is right in my wheelhouse. This apricot-y note gets a little more “tropical” as the coffee cools and it carries through the entire sip and into the finish, which is also nice and sweet. There’s a long aftertaste on this coffee, too.
This is a super sweet coffee, but the substantial fruity tartness really gives a lot of balance. This is a delicious, super approachable cup. It’s bright, but also super sweet. It has a great aftertaste that lasts basically forever. It’s super clean and structured. It has enough complexity to be interesting but it’s simple enough to be super drinkable and approachable. Like I said at the beginning of the review… yum!
I’m not going to pretend that $24/10oz isn’t a super-premium price, but these sorts of auction coffees cost a pretty penny because of the format. And, rightfully, the farmers who are putting the work in to create coffees this good should get a premium paycheck for all the effort. If you’re in the mood to splurge on a coffee, this would be a great choice to spend some extra money on. It’s really spectacular!
Sorry for the lack of creativity with the photos of late… it has been raining non-stop in Kansas City for weeks now, so the table next to the window is about the best I can do! LOL