This is an incredibly clean and sweet natural, full of tropical fruits, mango and pineapple.
Time to make a statement.
This is one of the best coffees we've ever offered on the Crankhouse list and it comes in a tin !
Before you is a naturally processed (I'll come to that) Pacamara (that too), from the award winning Cafe Granja La Espreranza in the Valle Del Cauca, Colombia.
Why so special ? Well the Pacamara is an usual bean that is a hybrid cross between a Pacas and Maragogype varietal:
The Pacas varietal discovered by Fernando Alberto Pacas Figueroa in 1949 was identified as a natural 'spontaneous' mutation of the Bourbon varietal. In amongst his rows of coffee trees he found plants which were shorter, denser, and heavy with fruit. Their compact shape made them resistant to environmental challenges like heavy storms and the yield was up to 20% higher than the regular Bourbon on his estate. Naturally he was delighted by this development and propagated and planted this new tree across one section of the farm, giving it the nickname ‘San Rafael’. Flavour-wise it very much echoes it's parent Bourbon, sweet and well-rounded.
Maragogype has its origins in Brazil, and was another 'spontaneous' mutation from the Typica varietal. They are nicknamed “elephant beans”, almost everything about them is big, with tall trees, large leaves and huge cherries. The beans are enormous, the biggest of all known coffee cultivars, but this is offset by the fact that the yield is very low. Maragogypes are known for unique and beautiful flavours, with delicate aromas, complexity and balance.
The big Pacamara on the far right
The Salvadoran Institute of Coffee Research in 1958 as part of a wide-ranging experiment in creating new kinds of coffee trees, combined the sweetness of Pacas with the sophistication of Maragogype, and the resultant Pacamara surpasses both of its parents. The profile leans toward a medium body, with a rich creaminess, balanced with an elegant and fine acidity, particularly when grown at high elevations.
This particular lot from Las Margaritas has been dried in the skin aka natural. After meticulous picking and sorting the cherries are stored in silos for 48 hours which kick-starts the fermentation when they are taken to the mechanical dryers which keep a constant temperature of 35C for 4-5 days. The dried coffee cherry is then hulled and stored 'in reposo' for a further three months to stabilise before export.
If you're a fan of naturals because of those super sweet heavy characters then this is definitely one for you. The tropical fruits and florals are there in abundance along with a creamy body from the process.
Pacas and Crankhouse
My first origin trip in 2016 was to El Salvador and I had the pleasure of being hosted at Finca Tuxpal by Federico Pacas, the great grandson of Fernando Alberto Pacas after which the Pacas varietal is named. He's a keen cyclist and I gave him one of the Crankhouse cycling caps. I met him again at last years World of Coffee in Amsterdam and asked if he still had it. He smiled and said that he uses it all the time when he's out riding.