TASTE: Festive with Sugar Plums, Orange Spice Cake & Chocolate Yule Log. REGION: Copán Ruinas, Copán. FARM: San Isidro. VARIETAL: Catuai & Obatá. ELEVATION: 1300m. PROCESS: Low-Oxygen/Anaerobic Red Honey. IMPORTER: Direct with help from Ally.
Notes from Lee at Quietly:
TIS THE SEASON:
I refuse to do blends at Quietly because I always want to celebrate those unique and wonderful elements tied to a single place and blends continue to operate as a way for the industry to pay low prices for coffee (if your green coffee newsletter reads, ‘this budget friendly option is great in blends’, I am unsubscribing). And yet, I’m very sentimental and want to take part in the holiday blend fun! So, I’m once again bringing in a special coffee that decks the halls and rings the bells when it comes to those nostalgic, sweet, and wonderful holiday baked goods flavours.
ORIGIN: This is year six working with Katia Duke! She has once again surprised me with her innovative experiments in fermentation, varietals, and methods for drying cherries. Her approach is unique as it pairs the institutional knowledge of multigenerational farming with a high level of technical expertise. Given she has a degree in Agronomy from the prestigious San Morano University, her San Isidro farm maintains an exacting precision at every single stage from crop through processing and milling.
For a Quietly Holiday this year, I brought in one of Katia’s low oxygen (often called anaerobic) red honey lots! Her expertise at processing always shines like Rudolph’s nose in the cup, but this year’s harvest is stellar. Fresh cherries are placed in sealed tanks of water to ferment with a low exposure to oxygen, bringing a complex intensity to the cup. From these tanks, cherries are pulped and with the remaining mucilage, they are laid on patios to dry. The resulting cup opens with heavy sweetness and dense notes of fig and plum. A spicy orange carries the cup into its rich chocolate and rum-raisin finish. With each sip, it fills me with memories of the long ride home from my Grandmother’s farm, being extra warm in a too-big winter parka with the icy and frozen prairies passing by in the bright starlit night.