December 2016 Newsletter
Holiday closing dates will be as follows:
LAST ROAST will be on Friday 16th DECEMBER 2016.
LAST SHIPPING DAY & CLOSE will be Monday 19th DECEMBER 2016.
REOPEN on Tuesday 10th JANUARY 2017.
Note that after midday Monday there won't be any possibility of last
minute orders because (a) we'll be out of beans and (b) we're going
away to spend Christmas with distant-in-kilometres family.
As per our usual practice, customers are reminded that we will be
running our stocks of roasted coffee down to zero, and late orders
may be filled by whatever coffees are available, not what you
actually ordered. This means that we cannot guarantee the contents
of orders after Friday 16th. Given the usual shipping chaos that
engulfs both the post and couriers, early ordering is advised. Based
on past years some of the orders shipped on the Monday won't arrive
until next year.
There won't be a January special coffee but I'll try to organise a
brief January newsletter as soon as we're up to speed. As promised,
this month's special coffee is something really special, and rates
my highest cupping score this year.
Panama Maunier Bourbon Natural
This coffee is exceptionally sweet and fruity. It has an upfront
brown sugar and tropical fruit aroma which resolves into a really
sweet front palate, balanced with a little pineapple acidity. A rich
mid-palate body shades into a creamy, smooth malty finish. After
cupping it I scored it at a 93, the best coffee I've tasted since
last time it was available. I'll remind everyone that the Maunier
sold out in 5 days in 2014 so I don't expect it to last long this
One of the great pleasures of my job is being able to introduce
people to the sheer variety of flavours that coffee can present.
It's a bit like being able to give everyone a taste of a really good
wine, and the coffee and wine analogies are used quite frequently in
the food press. Still, you can only stretch an analogy so far. I
recently attended a gathering where various coffees were matched
with various food dishes, and all I can say is that if you're
offered the same opportunity ... RUN AWAY!
Yes, I know I'm picky, but in my opinion coffee matches best with
relatively sweet, simple foods. Savoury stuff with fat, salt, umami
and spices doesn't work. It would probably be more sensible to match
various Chinese and Japanese teas; for whatever reason tea just fits
in better with savoury foods, Yum Cha being a prime example.
The other place where the analogy breaks down is tourism. Wine
tourism is a huge and growing market, and has been since the first
chateau opened for cellar door sales of wines grown on the estate a
few centuries ago. Coffee plantation tourism not so much, since most
coffee growers are actual farmers, and not involved in the steps
that end up with consumable coffee.
It's exceptionally rare for a coffee farmer to process cherry into
green beans, then roast those beans into drinkable coffee,
especially in those countries where most coffee is grown. Maybe next
Best wishes for a safe holiday season and a Happy New Year, until