Ecuador La Papaya Typica
Ecuador La Papaya Typica from Onyx Coffee Lab
|Farm||Hacienda La Papaya|
From the Roaster:
This washed lot perfectly highlights the terroir of Juan Pena’s farm, with delicate orange notes and vanilla sweetness. Look to this coffee as the archetype of washed processing.
On opening the package, the coffee smelled very fresh and inviting. In the cup milk chocolate and roasted nuts combine to give the impression of Nutella. There is also spicy mango and a mildly earthy component.
In the first few seconds of the first sip I can tell that this coffee has both smooth chocolatey body and lively acidity. There is a nutella base that underlies everything here -- from start to finish. Atop that base are wonderfully fruity pangs of acidity that dance around on the palate like silk. The acidity is hard to peg, but it is much like some vibrant in-season citrus. The tasting notes for the coffee say cara cara orange and I think that works here. Each sip of this coffee is like a well rehearsed performance. Milk chocolate and nutella arrive on the stage and immediately begin raising the curtain to display a silky orange acidity ballet. The ballet continues for a few moments and then the curtain begins to lower, the acidity fading into the background and the nutella reminding you of itself as the whole thing fades to black. This delightful exhibition happens sip after sip.
Most coffee folks probably go through stages where they focus their coffee adventures on a certain region, country, varietal, or processing method. Some folks obsessions change quite quickly and others lie down in the same spot for years. Everyone has that friend is who can't get off naturally processed Ethiopian coffees, for example. I don't know exactly when the fondness began, but for quite some time I have idolized clean and vibrant coffees from the Americas. The best ones can be inviting, elegant, subtle, energetic all at the same time. When thinking about washed coffees from the Americas I sometimes feel like Miles Raymond waxing poetic about Pinot Noir.
When I saw Onyx Coffee Lab refer to this Ecuador La Papaya Typica as "the archetype of washed processing" I knew I had to try it. This is an Ecuadorian coffee that goes for $35 for a $10 oz bag. Coffee seekers are used to paying close to that much for a good Kenyan, but for a South American coffee? In this case the price only lured me in further. Thankfully the coffee did not disappoint and the tasting experience described above came naturally, it was not manufactured. Washed coffees from the Americas can indeed be excellent. They are often the foundation of our house blends or served as people pleaser coffees in cafes, but they can indeed stand on their own as stately examples of what coffee can be.
Grab some Ecuador La Papaya Typica from Onyx Coffee Lab for yourself.