Christmas coffee selection 2014 at the plan cafe

Season’s Greetings!

Just a simple post during this busiest of times, as we approach the festive period, and the roasteries roast and deliver their last batches of 2014 to us at the plan cafe, to let you know about the wonderful coffees we have on offer this Christmas.

Of course, these are also available as beans to take away, so you can have delicious, freshly roasted, speciality coffee and brews at home over Christmas and New Year …or for gifts! I know I couldn’t dream of being without it at home!

If you don’t already know, we do only sell our beans whole, not ground, in order to preserve the qualities of the freshly roasted coffee, as it stales quickly once ground. So if you don’t already have one, and you want to make great coffee at home, put a decent burr grinder on your Christmas list, so you can grind fresh, just before you brew! This way you’ll have more chance of experiencing the best that these great coffees have to offer.

The freshest roasts are arriving throughout this week – feel free to keep an eye on my Twitter which is regularly updated, if you want to know the latest. 

Negosho Farm, Lekempte, Ethiopia. Operation Cherry Red. Washed process. James’ Gourmet Coffee.
Ethiopian coffees from the Dutch OCR project always make me very excited, as over the years, these have regularly been really exceptional. 
This one has a quite distinctive passion fruit note, along with peach and citrus, creamy body, and bright, juicy acidity. 
I’ve brewed this at home in Chemex, Flat bottomed (wedge shaped) ceramic filter cone, Sowden Softbrew, and cafetiere, and I have enjoyed them all, although I have to agree with our roaster’s observation, as the cafetiere was possibly the most complex, complete, balanced and sincere expression of this coffee.

Finca Las Flores, Antigua, Guatemala. Washed process. James’ Gourmet Coffee.
Delicate and refined, sweetness, clean, fresh and juicy fruit, tea-like, floral, balanced, rounded acidity. 
If you don’t already know, James’ Gourmet Coffee roast as light as can be for filter profiles, wherever they feel it’s suitable, allowing delicate origin flavours to shine, without any hint of ‘roast’ flavour, and this is a great example of this light roast style.

Fazenda Samambaia. Brazil. Yellow Bourbon. Pulp Natural process. James’ Gourmet Coffee.
This is approachable, moreish, chocolaty and really nutty. 
Low acidity, and a slightly deeper roast, to accentuate body and chocolate, but still nice and clean and relatively subtle, and not ‘dark’ by any means.
Samambaia is a farm I look forward to seeing the new crop from every year, as it’s always well produced, and so tasty!
For me, simple, chocolaty coffees are never as interesting, magical or exciting as lighter, brighter, fruitier coffees, but for most people, who aren’t particularly into speciality coffee, the mere mention of chocolate has an instant allure, and any mention of fruit or acidity is a scary, alien concept, which is easy to understand (if you’re prepared to consider things from this more normal perspective).
This coffee is comforting, easy to love, and not challenging, and it’s easy to be seduced, as it is tasty.

Finca Santuario. Colombia. 
Washed process.
Union Hand Roasted. 
Chocolaty, but still with fruity, juicy, clean, peach and plum notes.
This is a ‘light’ roast from Union, and it is relatively light in the grand scheme of things, although Union do generally go a little bit deeper even for light roasts, when compared to some other artisan roasters who roast very light. This accentuates denser chocolaty tones and body, and intensifies aromas and flavours, and this roast style will appeal to those who enjoy more full bodied coffee. 

For espresso, we have the Naturelle seasonal espresso blend from James’ (kilo bags). 
This is currently composed of washed process coffees from Finca Bourbon, Guatemala, and Suke Quto, Guji, Ethiopia. 
There is so much I could say about this blend, which is very special to me, and which can regularly be seen as my espresso of the day at the plan cafe, even moreso this year than ever.
Working with several incarnations of just this one same blend almost exclusively this year might be seen as ‘less’ by some, but for me it’s most definitely transpired to be ‘more’, as part of an intentional voyage of discovery.
But for now, I’ll simply provide a brief description!
Naturelle (always) showcases a great Ethiopian coffee which (together with a relatively light espresso profile roast) brings juicy, fruity brightness and floral complexity to the blend. This is supported by a foundation currently provided by the Finca Bourbon, that adds richer, chocolaty base notes, that give enough depth for this to work in a whole range of ways.

We currently also still have a small amount of James’ washed Rwaikamba Kenya Peaberry too; beautiful little round peaberries, with distinctive, particularly intoxicating blackcurrant characteristics (even for a great Kenyan), and creamy body, but these are almost all gone!

That’s it! Have a great time!

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