Coffee Review awarded this coffee 93 points in their August review!
Elida Estate Natural is a wonderful, fruity coffee from one of our favorite farms in Panama. We have had a direct relationship with them for quite a few years and also are buyers of their Elida Estate Reserve coffee which we will make available within a couple of weeks. The Elida Natural is the same origin but it undergoes a different processing method and the resulting flavor is markedly different. Willoughby's has received a 95 point rating from Coffee Review in prior years for the washed coffee. Elida Estate grows Catuai varietal for its Estate Reserve and Natural, and, they are also now growing a Geisha varietal which will no doubt become a star in its own right.
When we refer to processing we are talking about the steps required to convert freshly picked coffee cherries into coffee beans (seeds) ready for roasting. Coffee can be processed as washed (wet method) or as natural (dry method). The majority of coffees from the Americas and Africa are washed but a number of growers are experimenting to see how their coffees taste when processed differently. Washed coffee, as its name implies, uses water as coffee cherries go through the steps of skin removal, fermentation and cleaning. But, Elida Natural cherries are entirely dried out, then milled, so no water was involved in the process. The taste is quite different because the fruit flesh which is otherwise removed in washing is instead left to dry; the flavor of the drying fruit penetrates into the beans. Considering how long the drying processes takes will determine the amount of fruit intensity tasted in the cup.
To aid in drying, coffee cherry was taken from the high elevations of the farm and brought to a lower elevation where the temperatures are considerably warmer. There, it dried naturally, over a period of 10 days and was later milled.
In addition to being an interesting cup when brewed for drip or French Press, this coffee also makes an excellent single origin espresso. In fact, when available, it is frequently used in barista competitions. The natural process shows considerably more body and less brightness than its washed cousin.
Elida coffees are always top contenders in the Best of Panama competition, and the thoughtful, artisanal processing that Elida's Lamastus family is experimenting with, augers for a complex, earthy cup, pushing the edge of fruitiness to the extreme. A tremendous single origin espresso and satisfying beverage however prepared.
Very limited supply. Getting harder to source each year, we have but a small supply.
We roast the smallest batches of coffee on Tuesdays and Fridays on a separate roaster. If your order contains other items we will ship them all together on Tuesday unless you request otherwise. If enough orders for this item have accumulated by Friday, we will roast and ship that day instead.
Cup Characteristics: Deep, earthy and highly complex profile. Sweet, tropical fruit, chocolate, blueberry flavors. Syrupy, fruity, chocolaty. Fruit intensity is medium.