Beans: Finca La Esmeralda, Caturra, Washed, Pitalito, Huila, Colombia.
Shop: Van Gülpen, webshop, Emmerich, Germany.
Van Gülpen: Background information.
The city of Emmerich, Germany, hosts one of the oldest coffee roasters in the world: Van Gülpen Coffee Roasters, roasters of this Finca La Esmeralda coffee.
This coffee company was founded in 1832 and is the oldest family-run roastery in the world. At the moment they have the 6th family generation at the roastery and of course they are proud of this. Above all else they are also a modern and progressive roasting plant with a preference for modern coffees, a great interest in the latest findings and processes and a strong need for new impulses and ideas. And so the old always meets the new. On the one hand, coffee knowledge is passed on from generation to generation. On the other hand, they always question themselves and constantly follow the desire to improve their coffee.
One of the first farmers to join The Coffee Quest (Importer of green coffee) partnership is Dawes Muñoz, who runs the secluded Finca La Esmeralda. The Finca La Esmeralda is located at an altitude of about 1600 meters above sea level, which is not high at all, but the special microclimate ensures that the coffee develops a profile as if it had grown 300 m higher.
Finca La Esmeralda is a family-owned farm located in Pitalito, Huila. Over 5 hectares, the family has planted 4,500 coffee trees. Located between the central and eastern mountain ranges, with a humid climate throughout the year, the farm benefits from great environmental conditions for the coffee production.
Finca La Esmeralda: Opening the package.
Van Gülpen packs their coffees in a carton package with a coffee bag inside. The outside is grey and the color of the label signifies the origin of the coffee. In this case the color is a light blue.
On the front you will see the Van Gülpen logo and the name and origin of the coffee. On the side you will find the history of the roastery in German and English. This clearly states the international nature of this roastery.
The back of the package has some amazingly beautiful art. In this case you will see a drawing of a piece of jungle or forest but in this case you get the right half of the head of a lion. The art is truly beautiful and must have been hard to create. The bottom shows the roasting date and that is not all!
Inside the package you will see a small card on which you will see information about the region, location, altitude, producer, variety, processing and tasting notes.
On the back of the card, Van Gülpen gives information on the coffee in more detail. Think about the family of the farm of the coffee and other important information. It really gives you the feeling that you know where the coffee comes from. The package inside has a degassing valve but no ziplock.
When opening the package of the coffee a soft fruity smell comes forth. It reminds me of grapefruit and blackberry. When eating a bean you will notice that the bean is quite hard. At first you will get a sweet berry flavour which turns a little bitter with a soft tobacco as well.
Grinding the coffee will give you an even better aroma of the blackberry which we are sure to find in the coffee itself after brewing.
Van Gulpen – La Finca Esmeralda: The tasting.
I brewed this coffee on the V60, Aeropress and Siphon. The grinders I have used are the Eureka Brew-Pro and the Minos Handgrinder since I used the Aeropress on one of my trips abroad. For me the V60 brew came out best. The fruity notes in combination with the medium strength acidity came out best on the Hario although the aftertaste was better at the Aeropress.
As you start brewing you will immediately smell the aroma of blackberry. this becomes a blackberry candy like aroma when you inhale very slowly. There is also a hint of black tea and plum on the aroma which will get better when you pour the coffee in the glass.
As the coffee cools down, the blackberry, plum and black tea will be accompanied by vanilla and a hint of raisin chocolate as well. As you can read, this coffee has some dark fruit notes throughout the experience.
As you take a sip and slurp oxygen inside, the coffee will open up straight away to you senses. The acidity is the first thing that you will notice: mandarin and lime citric acidity. The acidity gives the coffee a ‘fresh’ note. There is a watery mandarin flavour that is accompanied by a blackberry juice flavour. This is a light mix of flavours at first but eventually the blackberry will be more dominant. As the coffee cools down even more, a plum note can be found underneath the mandarin and blackberry. Focus on the sweetness of the coffee and you will find it for sure. Aside from the plum, a chocolate note will pop up now as well. At this stage the mandarin flavour is pushed into the background and the coffee is dominated by blackberry, plum, chocolate ands a hint of vanilla and black tea.
Now I really need your attention on the next part, this is going to be great. As you swallow the coffee you will notice that the aftertaste carries a very nice surprise. The surprise is a subtle but oh so nice yoghurt-like berry note. It tastes as if there was a creaminess added to the coffee. To intensify this note, all you have to do is exhale through your nose while letting the air go via your closed mouth. Super nice!
The Finca La Esmeralda by Van Gülpen is a nice coffee. It is not that you will get the overly dominant flavours of blackberry, vanilla, black tea, mandarin or chocolate for example, but it is all so very balanced. All the notes go hand in hand and add to a gentle fresh but still sweet coffee.
The aftertaste is the most surprising aspect of this coffee with the sudden berry-yoghurt note that gives the coffee a creamy mouthfeel. The acidity is medium and very fresh yet when the coffee is still hot, it feels bright on the tongue. This is a coffee that you can easily drink all day long. What else is there to say? Great job, Van Gülpen!