Rounding out this great run of coffee from PT’s Roasting Company is La Lagunita Honey. This Bourbon varietal Honey Processed coffee is from the Finca Los Planes farm in El Salvador. This is from the same farm as the Estate series featured a few weeks back, and it might even be the same coffee from those posts. Armed with a full bag of it this week, I decided to experiment a bit more.
The tasting notes of this coffee are “cashew, glazed apricots, and raspberry,” which indicates to me this coffee should have a lot of sweetness. I felt like I maybe wasn’t capturing or highlighting that sweetness through the V60, so I’ve been brewing this one in the Bonaviata Immersion Dripper, and extending the brew time, inspired by a recent Barista Hustle post.
Using a very coarse grind, I have been doing 1 : 15-16 and letting the coffee steep for 2 minutes before a 2 minute drawdown time for a total time of around 4 minutes even. This has produced some good, full cups of rich, sweet coffee. There is a little bit of clarity lost, but this never came through to me as being the most nuanced coffee to begin with. It is certainly very good coffee, but maybe I've been drinking some excellent stuff lately because this one just never really wowed me. However...
A few days into working with this coffee, I then saw PT’s post somewhere (that I can no longer find) that this coffee was scored highly as a single origin espresso, so immediately it went into double duty. As espresso, it is on the more demanding side to work with, but when you nail a shot, it is very rewarding. I would say a really good quality grinder is a must as I did find this one a bit tricky really nail. It was very easy to under-extract this one and get some somewhat acrid and astringent shots, and also some unpleasant bitterness by over-extracting. The happy medium I found was:
- 18.2 grams in an 18 gram VST basket
- 37-38 grams out
- 26-28 seconds cutting the pump and letting the shot run the last 3-4 seconds
- At 202*F water
I went a bit higher on the water temp to tame the acidity and astringent flavors, but getting this coffee to extract evenly and find the balance was on the tricky side. Even with what appeared to be very even and level beds, this coffee benefits from WDT to make sure distribution is very consistent throughout the portafilter basket.
The results from a little extra prep time were intensely syrupy sweet shots. Bright, pleasant acidity with a concentrated sugary syrup like flavor and consistency that lingered long after the shot was finished. The cashew flavors are pleasant on the tongue and nose, and I'm not really sure I detected one particular fruit note, other than a very, very sweet shot. It was bright, but in a good way, and I'm now left wishing I had been using this coffee as espresso all along.
$16.75 for a 12 ounce bag, with free shipping over $25, this has been an interesting coffee to get to know, particularly as espresso. Another heads up that PT's is also running another Estate Series release from the famed Aida Battle's farm, Finca Kilimanjaro. I'm pretty stocked up at the moment, but I think this might be a must order as her coffees are always so good, and this one contains a Cascara tea, made from the coffee beans as well which seems interesting to try. $50 for the set, before they run out.
That wraps up this run with PT's Roasting Company. Keep checking back in the next few weeks where I will be working with a number of really highly rated and highly sourced blends, as well as a few single origins from a long time staple in the specialty coffee world.