Welcome back! Happy Canada Day // 4th of July! I hope you manage to take some time to sit in the sun and drink a lot of coffee.
Before we get the the beans, some administrative details.
First: if you missed the ship date for July, have no fear! There are leftovers of these beautiful beans on our online shop. Second: did you notice we started an Instagram account? We are running a contest until Friday, July 5th. Take a look here to enter.
This month we have two Kenyan coffees for you to compare and contrast (Obadiah and Phil+Sebastian, we made a post about them here). We counter the two fruity explosions with a really interesting Columbian coffee roasted in Hong Kong by Cupping Room. Flavor notes on this guy claim “Cola and white grape”. I had trouble identifying Cola specifically, but it definitely tasted sweeter and more tart than I would have expected from a South American coffee.
Now… for the Kenyans.
If you compare the beans from the two Kenyan coffees, you might notice a distinct difference in shape… Typically coffee beans grow within the coffee cherry in two halves of a sphere with flat sides in. That’s why when you see most coffee beans, they have a flat side and a rounded side. However, about 5% of coffee cherries grow their bean as a single, spherical “pea”. It’s sort of an anomaly; you can’t really predict which cherry will have a pea, so to get a full bag of peaberries, they often have to sort them by hand.
Peaberries are often considered to be sweeter and of higher quality than their flat-top brothers, but the reasons for this is somewhat dubious. It’s likely the uniform, spherical geometry helps roasters get a more consistent level of roast since there aren’t any flat spots or edges to focus heat into. Additionally, since the peaberries roast differently from standard beans, they require sorting… which likely results in another level of manual inspection and quality control.
Speaking of coffee cherries… Subscribers will notice they got a little special something in their packages this month…
If you know about the production of coffee, you will have heard that coffee “cherries” are pulped, the fruit is removed, and the bean is then dried and roasted. But what you may not know is what happens to the fruit. Typically, the fruit is mulched, composted, or otherwise disposed of, which struck me as odd. In what other product is the fruit discarded and the hard, bitter part kept?
Well, it turns out the fruit is actually delicious, and if you search, you can find it. This month subscribers have been sent a single serving of cascara, with directions on how to make a delicious tea (to be clear, this is not the cascara bark that is often used as a laxative). I found it tasted sort of like acai berry and rosehip. I also enjoyed eating it dry, but most people probably wouldn’t.
Do any of you have cascara recipes? Have you seen cascara anywhere? We would love to hear about it in the comments, or tag us on Instagram @ascoffeeclub !