Friday, March 29, 2013

Mugged: Various [Crop to Cup]

Subject: Crop to Cup
Mugged: Various (see below)
Rating [see key]:
- Burundi Bukeye 5+
- Uganda Sebei 4+
- Uganda Bugisu 4+

With all of the fun surprises we're finding about our processed food these days, it's no wonder that there's an ever-increasing demand to know more about where our food came from and what went into it. This seems to be one of the reasons why Direct Trade growing in popularity, along with the desire to provide the best price to coffee producers for their stellar coffees.

One company out of Brooklyn focusing exclusively on Direct Trade is Crop to Cup. With a full line of African coffees, they recently sent me out three of their single origins to sample: Uganda Sebei, Burundi Bukeye and Uganda Bugisu. Through a series of infusions, I had each via pourover, french press and siphon.

First up was the Uganda Sebei, a wet-processed coffee from the region of Kapchowra. The pourover produced notes of asian pear, date, sassafras, rye bread, malt and a tiny bit of curry, while the french press proved a bit more chocolatey, also following with date, malt, a little pretzel, spinach and cream in a deeper body. The siphon was similar to the french press in flavors, though a bit more nutty and salty, with the flavors of peanuts, chocolate, malt, pretzel and some spinach. In totality, a coffee with deep cocoa and malt tones with noticeable salt in all of the infusions, yet still sweet and largely smooth in the end.

The Burundi Bukeye was second. One of the original regions for Crop to Cup, this coffee is produced high in the land and is known to sing brightly (and bright it was). The pourover wove a web of blueberry, fig and a little corn, followed by croissant and thyme. The french press brought a cocoa element amidst the strong presence of blueberry, fig, corn chip and croissant amidst a light, juicy body. The siphon finished off with the least berry and the most cocoa, though still delicious with clear soft notes of blueberry, buttery croissant and corn chip. Head and shoulders the best coffee of the three and one of my favorites as of late.

The Uganda Bugisu finished off the coffee trials, another washed community coffee from the land down-mountain from the Sebei coffee. The pourover dealt out notes of pretzel, malt ball, dark cocoa, a little basil and some slight pea within a medium body. The french press had similar flavors but with a bright kick of apple juice, nutmeg and acorn squash with a slight nuttiness akin to almond. The siphon held a little bit more sweetness with a distinct honey taste amidst cocoa, biscuit, nutmeg and a little chianti. Simply put, the coffee was tasty and very multifaceted, but a little too heavy in body at times.

While I definitely loved the Burundi most because of its sweet brightness and pleasant flavors, I thought all three of the coffees proved delicious (albeit each Uganda had some minor aspects I would change). Thus, if you're looking for a great coffee sourced directly from farm relationships in Africa, try out one of Crop to Cup's coffees.

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.

1 comment:

Brad Maestas said...

I have the privilege of living close to their shop and I've been exploring their beans over the last couple weeks. Right now I'm tweaking some Uganda Sebei with a V60. The first one I tried was the Uganda Ubisu. The Burundi Bukeye is next on my list. Nice to see high marks for them. They can be very good when they're dialed in. The folks at the shop use a fairly light ratio but I have been experimenting with stronger ones and I'm digging it!