Every now and then you pull a shot or make a drink with a coffee that just wows you. One that makes you stop and acknowledge the fact that this is what it's all about. This can be done in one of two ways: either the coffee is particularly special in it's flavor(s), clarity, complexity, texture, etc., or it's just damn good, plain and simple. Colombia Fanny Villota from Case Coffee Roasters is the latter. I realized this because there were not any particular characteristics that I could go on about other than it just tasted really good.
This washed Castillo varietal from the Narino district of Colombia combines sweetness with complexity and balance with flavor descriptors of "golden raisin, sugar browning, and ripe blackberry." I couldn't single out any one of those flavors in particular, because I didn't find this coffee to be overly transparent, but it had a great balance of the browning sugars, the brightness of the golden raisin, and the lingering sweetness of blackberry, all in perfect harmony. I particularly enjoyed this coffee as espresso and found it to be user friendly and able to be pulled quite long without early blonding or loosing body.
18 gram shots were able to be pulled as high as 44 grams in 40 seconds with great results. These 40+ higher yielding shots were actually my favorite and were very balanced with great body and sweetness. These shots had an immediate sweetness on the sides of the tongue with a lingering cashew flavor. I found shots pulled shorter and closer to 30 seconds tasted less balanced and had some astringent flavors. The coffee certainly seemed to favor these longer pulls as they didn't blonde before 40 seconds, even with a coarser grind.
Fanny Villota also made for a fantastic cappuccino that was buttery, sweet, with some caramelized sugar. I think this coffee would hold up well in a latte, but I couldn't get myself to stray from the fantastic cappas it was making. I'm talking the kind of cappuccino that comes to mind when you're craving a cappuccino.
The coffee worked well brewed in the V60 as well as the Bonavita Immersion Dripper as well. In the 02 size Hario V60, it required a grind on the finer side and again made for really balanced, sweet, and approachable coffee. I found 1 : 16 brew ratios to work quite well and targeted 3:15 for a 22.5 gram dose.
As a happy accident of running out of V60 filters, I loaded this one up in the Bonavita Immersion Dripper, which I think suited it even more. Because the coffee wasn't overly transparent to begin with, the Immersion brew created a little more body and even more smooth sweetness for a really crowd pleasing cup. I again used a 1: 16 brew ratio, and with 22.5 grams of coffee, I let it steep for 1:30 before opening the valve and hitting a 4:00 final draw down. I don't know if it gets much easier than that for making great coffee at home.
All orders ship free, and this one is available for $19.00 for a 12 ounce bag here.