Surprise Surprise, this week I’m brewing more Colombian coffee, this time from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. El Recuerdo is a Caturra variety from Carlos Guamanga out of Pitalito, in the southern region of Huila, Colombia. 49th Parallel describes the coffee as having:
“perfumed watermelon and honey aromatics. A gorgeous representation of the Pitalito region with buttery body, and an elegant elderberry flavor.”
Their on the bag descriptors include, “Elderberry – Round – Watermelon.”
I can’t recall if I’ve ever had an elderberry before, but this definitely does have a creamy sweetness to it. The coffee is incredibly silky smooth and easy to drink, but what really blew me away was the buttery characteristic. It’s difficult to explain, but the first cup I had of this as a pour over had a distinct buttery flavor that blew me away – it wasn’t greasy, heavy, or thick, but had a creamy richness and sweetness to it like really gourmet butters sometime have, almost like a honeyed butter. I suppose that sweetness or honeyed flavor could be the elderberry shining through, in which case I would liken it more to elderflower, like if you’ve ever had a cocktail made with elderflower syrup or liqueur. I spent the rest of this bag trying to maximize this gourmet buttered characteristic the best I could. Through chasing this flavor, I did find the coffee easy to under and over extract, both still producing good cups, just losing the buttery body in favor of more juicy acidity, and more smooth sweetness, respectively. To strike that balance, I ultimately settled into brewing this one with the following parameters:
· 20 gram dose needing a pretty fine grind in an 02 size V60
· Kettle set to 200F, and let temperate drop throughout pour (did not hold the temperature on the Bonavita PID kettle)
· 40 grams of water to bloom for 30 seconds
· Concentric pouring until about 200 grams or so, then stir 3-5 times.
· Another pour to keep grounds immersed.
· Last pour, finishing with rinse down sides of filter to “grab” remaining coffee.
· 2:30 total brew time.
I actually started using this coffee as Aeropress while camping, using a standard 17 gram dose, inverted method, 1:00 brew, 30s plunge, which resulted in a brighter cup with more acidity, and very sweet smoothness. Looking back, I might have been able to extract it a bit further and perhaps coax out some of that buttery characteristic.
I also attempted to create a “butter bomb” of sorts and pull this as espresso. Needing a very fine grind, I dosed 19.3 grams in an 18g VST basket, and pulled to about 40-45 grams in 30 seconds. So, like most other filter roasted coffee as espresso, it pulled fast and didn’t have much body. It was still juicy and sweet, but the acidity was too high, even for my liking, even at higher shot temperatures. This coffee might be able to make a crazy espresso with a really fine grind and a really long pre-infusion on a machine like a Slayer, it would certainly be interesting to try.
All in all, this was a fun coffee to work with. It was good no matter how it was brewed, but kept me engaged chasing the gourmet sweetened butter flavor. Orders over $65 ship free to the US and Canada, and all billing is done in CAD, so I used that to my advantage and stocked up on a few others. $20CAD for a 12 ounce bag, available here.