Tanager Coffee Roasters is a small operation based in Portland, OR. The last time I was in Portland I got to hang out with CJ, Tanager’s founder and roaster, and have a couple beers with him. He’s a super cool guy with big ideas and this coffee represents a lot of what I learned about him and his ideals, as well as how coffee is something that can bring people together as well as jumpstart your morning!
Tanager gave me this complimentary sample for evaluation. It’s a collaboration between Tanager, Timbers Army (Portland Timber’s fan association), Operation Pitch Invasion (builders of community soccer fields) and Cuatro M (El Salvador based grower and processor). The goal of the Las Cruces Project is to raise money, through the sale of this coffee, to rehabilitate the soccer field at the Las Cruces School in Santa Ana, El Salvador. You can buy this coffee for $20/bag here.
I can only assume this coffee comes from the region of El Salvador where the work on the soccer field is being done, but other than that I don’t know much about the origins and particulars of this coffee. I also don’t have a lot of things to say about it, but not every coffee lends itself to lots of description and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The first thing that struck me about this coffee is that it is pleasantly sweet and had very little perceived acidity. I know acidity in coffees is the in-thing for coffee right now, but this one had a few hints of some citrus notes to accentuate the sweetness, but the acidity was downplayed for sure. Sometimes this can create a flatness in the coffee and I didn’t get that at all. This Four Farms coffee has decent depth, but it’s really just a beautiful, easy to drink, soft, round, sweet coffee.
I like to use beer analogies sometimes when I write about coffee and I think I would consider Four Farms like the wheat beer of coffee: sweeter flavors, pleasant, easy to drink without a lot of complexity to have to consider and appealing to just about anybody. Sometimes a nice, easy, simple cup of coffee is a nice thing to have just like a super-complex coffee that changes every sip can be interesting from time to time.
Tanager scored a goal with this coffee and I think it’s just a cool added bonus that the proceeds go to something like the Las Cruces Project!