This is the second of two coffees I received from Six Shooter Coffee in Cleveland, Ohio. I reviewed their natural Zihuatanejo from Mexico a few days ago and was really surprised (in a good way) by it. Check that review out, although that coffee is not currently available on Six Shooter’s website. Today’s coffee, their Fair Trade and organic from Peru, is, and you can find it right here from $13.50/16oz to a $185 sized bag if you really love this coffee!
I have no information about this coffee to go on, other than that it’s from Peru and that it’s organic and fair trade. LOL Just a public service announcement about the use of “organic” as a label for Peruvian coffee, it may be a bit misleading at times. A lot of organic coffee comes out of Peru and organic coffees can fetch higher prices, especially when being sold to organic retailers in the USA like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It has been a trend in Peru to clear cut rainforest and then plant organic coffee over it. For most of us we think of nature-loving hippies lovingly talking to the coffee plants as they pluck perfect cherries off the trees but the unfortunate reality is that sometimes buying organic coffee from Peru also means contributing to the clearcutting of vital rainforests, ironically. Hopefully that’s not the case for this coffee!
Peruvian coffee tends to be pretty one-dimensional and a bit boring, for me, lending toward sweetness, chocolate and toffee notes and mild acidity. In many ways Peruvian coffees are a lot like Mexican coffees, but Six Shooter proved with that Zihuatanejo that all bets are off! I was greeted by way more acidity in this cup than I expected. The roast in the bag looked pretty rough, with about 2/3 of the beans having a really light, quasi-unroasted appearance. I was really worried this would be another grass and peanut butter bomb, which I’ve had my fair share of from roasters this year with coffees that seem to miss getting into the roaster, but that wasn’t the case here. Maybe in the late aftertaste I picked up a bit of dryness or astringent feeling on my palate and a bit of grassiness, but it didn’t bother me and certainly wasn’t at the level of an unroasted/underroasted coffee. I guess this is just some ugly-looking coffee! LOL
This cup actually reminds me a lot of Guatemalan coffee. It has nice citrus acidity up front and good sweetness with a creamy, medium body. There are chocolate and nuts in the cup and there’s a bit of a spicy “bite” to it that I always associate with Guats. This is a real surprise from a Peruvian coffee, for me, but I think Peru is a region in flux and we’ll see more and more complex coffees from there in the coming years. This is a lively morning coffee but it did lose a little bit of drinkability for me because of that “bite” and that slightly grassy finish. Still, I gladly finished my cups and it was a nice balance of simplicity and complexity.