Beans: Nosegrind, Heirloom Guji G1, Wolichu Wachu station, Oromia, Ethiopia. Catuai, Francisco Irene Oliveira station, Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua.
Shop: Lot sixty One, webshop, Coffee shop, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Lot Sixty One – Nosegrind: Background information.
Lot Sixty One roaster Ray Luca send me the Nosegrind with the message that this was a special coffee I just needed to try out. The Nosegrind is a blend of two Natural coffees from Ethiopia and Nicaragua. A blend of naturals is not often seen and when I read the tasting notes on the package, this coffee has gotten me instantly excited!
The Nicaraguan natural is a Catuai from the La Tormenta farm which is owned by Francisco Irene Oliveira. La Tormenta is located on the slopes of La Picona mountain near the town of Buenos Aires in the Dipilto micro-region of Nueva Segovia. After a bankruptcy in the late ’90s, Francisco Irene Oliveira bought the La Tormenta farm from the bank and started to renovate and replant the 10 acres of farmland. After years of hard labour, Francisco now grows corn, cassava, potato’s and of course coffee. In the year 2011 the farm got in 5th place in the Cup of Excellence with the washed Maragogype.
The Ethiopian grade 1 quality coffee is an Heirloom from the Uraga Wereda Oromia region in Guji. It is part of the Harso Haru Mude Farmer Cooperative. Wolichu Wachu is a new washing station that started its activities in 2017 and has implemented new techniques so that the washing station is at a maximum efficiency point. The starting point of the washing process lies at the top of a hill. The depulping machine, fermentation tanks and washing channel lie a bit lower. This way, gravity carries the coffee through the process, without a need for pumps like with older washing stations.
Lot Sixty One – Nosegrind: Opening the package.
The package of Lot Sixty One is clean, modern and has a distinct logo that catches your eye. The ‘X’ in the roasters name crosses the package diagonally, creating a arty look. On the package you will find some information about the origins, acidity, body and some tasting notes. Obviously the package has a degassing valve and a ziplock to keep the coffee fresh.
I open up the package and get slammed in the face with an aroma of blueberry and a dark chocolate scent, notes that will keep coming back throughout the review! I sort through the beans and see that they have been roasted seperately, not surprising since the varietals and size are different from each other. The Ethiopian bean tastes fruity, berry-like and have a tea aspect to it without getting sour or bitter at all. The Nicaraguan bean has a light sourness to it, grainy taste and turns a little bitter at the end.
I start grinding the coffee and the blueberry aroma fills the entire room. It is a treat to take in the scent a couple of times before I start to brew the coffee.
Lot Sixty One – Nosegrind: The Tasting.
I use 18 grams of coffee for brewing and notice that this coffee has a wide range for brewing. It sounds weird but ‘failed’ shots also produce a nice tasting cup. The two main flavours of this coffee are the fruity blueberry notes and the chocolate notes. The blueberry can be found in the early brewing stage (the sour phase of brewing) and the dark chocolate in the latter stage (bitter phase of brewing). Normally a coffee will not allow you to play with the brewing time and output a lot, but this coffee is quite forgiving.
When I wanted a full blueberry flavour, I’d stop the brewing around 24 to 26 seconds. If I wanted the coffee to have more darker notes, I’d let it brew 30 to 33 seconds.
I brew the coffee and once again the aroma that comes forth is that of blueberry. The coffee looks really nice with colours of beige and darker brown mingling in my cup. As I take in the scents of the brewed coffee, the blueberry is accompanied by a soft dark chocolate and a woody aspect. I take a sip and immediately the blueberry pops up. A little sourness spikes my tasting buds and gives the sensation of drinking cassis (a blackberry soda drink). As I slurp oxygen in, a hint of floral blossom and roses appear, albeit faintly and short. I swirl the coffee in my mouth and feel the coffee develop more and more. The coffee turns darker and the chocolate comes forth with a woody sensation tagging along. The full creamy texture of the coffee feels great and soft tannins gently rub on my gums. As I exhale through my nose via my closed mouth a hint of marzipan can be noticed as well. As a Cappuccino this coffee does a great job as well; sweet and fruity while the chocolate blends in perfectly with the frothed milk. The creamy texture of the espresso completes the creamy texture of the milk.
Lot Sixty One – Nosegrind: The Verdict.
When I looked at the package I couldn’t help but to frown when I read the word ‘Funk’ in the tasting notes. Although ‘funk’ is not a taste, it is definitely a word that comes to mind when you drink this espresso blend. There is Blueberry at the start with a cassis sensation. Floral notes that appear before the dark chocolate with a wood-like aspect. And do try to discover the marzipan on the back of your tongue in the aftertaste! Showing they have innovative coffees (Finca Tamana) and easily manage to pull off a daring blend like Nosegrind, Lot Sixty One proves that they are skilled roasters for sure! If you are looking for something special, really special, I recommend buying the Nosegrind coffee. If it’s still on sale during the upcoming holidays (Xmas, Sinterklaas) this might be an awesome gift!