Last but certainly not least from this latest run from Intelligentsia Coffee is this surprisingly complex and delicious coffee from Mexico. Intelligentsia does a great job of providing extensive details of La Perla's growing conditions, and more interestingly the region and culture it comes from. I've had a few coffees from Mexico in the past and I generally don't find Central American coffees as a whole to be as complex and transparent as this one. (With that said, I've had a lot of Central American coffees this year that are changing that thinking, hence why I'm trying more. Maybe it was a particularly good harvest year?) This Bourbon, Pluma, and Typica varietal is said to have flavors of raisin, candied orange, and pear.
Both when brewed and when pulled as espresso, the raisin sweetness aroma and flavor are really prominent with the coffee having a rich full body and mouthfeel and present but mildly balanced acidity. I was really surprise by this coffee overall.
Brewed in the V60 had tons of raisin aroma, and rich deep sweetness, full body, and lingering flavors with very mild acidity coming from the hints of pear and orange. I found it tasting great with a pretty standard brew recipe of:
- 1: 16 ratio in the 02 size Hario V60 using 200*F water
- 3x water weight stirred bloom
- 3:00 to 3:15 total brew time using a 20 gram dose
I used a pretty standard (guesstimated) brew recipe in the Aeropress when travelling as well, where I found the acidity and candied orange flavor to be turned up a notch, with a very juicy finish.
My favorite brewing method for this coffee was espresso. When hit just right with an 18 gram VST basket the rich raisin sweetness was had me thinking about the shot all morning long. With that said, it was tough to dial in and although all drinkable, it was easy to under extract and get a bit too much of the candied orange, or overshoot the extraction and just get a heavier, sweet, but not transparent shot. I suspect the IMS Precision Double basket would be a bit more forgiving in that regard, though at the sacrifice of those rich raisin shots that you remember for weeks. Espresso parameters were pretty standard at:
- 18 grams in an 18 gram VST basket
- 28 second pull using 200*F water
- 33-36 grams yield
La Perla de Oaxaca Organic is available from Intelligentsia for a very reasonable $16 for a 12 ounce bag, with free shipping on orders over $40 here. Overall, this was a real game changer for Mexican coffees to me and has really set a high bar I hope find again.