- September 2019
- Written by : Michael Sheridan
Director of Sustainability and Shared Value / Green Coffee Buyer
There is just something about fall.
While every change of season carries with it the weight of anticipation, we await the arrival of fall with a special sense of excitement. The cool air braces us, shaking us out of the languid days of summer and mounting an all-out assault on the senses. Leaves flare out in a stunning visual display, turning a subtle spectrum of hazy shades of green into a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors — yellow, orange, red and purple — rendered in crisp resolution.
Every year at this time, our quality control team draws on our freshest seasonal ingredients to create a seasonal blend that achieves a similarly sharp resolution in the cup to evoke the flavors of fall.
The 2019 edition of our Otoño blend hits the mark with notes of apple, brown sugar, and plum. Its complexity of flavor reflects the diversity of its ingredients, drawn from celebrated farms in three of Central America’s most storied coffee origins: Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Tarrazú, Costa Rica, and Marcala, Honduras.
The Guatemala component that anchors the blend comes from the award-winning La Maravilla farm in Huehuetenango, where we have been working with Mauricio Rosales and his family for more than 15 years. His contribution to this year’s Otoño harnesses the flavor of Bourbon, and one of its offspring, Caturra.
Another traditional Latin American variety arrives via Costa Rica, where an old friend, Roberto Mata, started a new project two years ago. His family enterprise, M+M Pura Vida, produced one of the best lots we tasted from Costa Rica, a blend of Caturra and Catuaí varieties.
The third and final ingredient is a Borbon and Catuaí blend from the farms of Fabio Caballero, an Intelligentsia Direct Trade partner since 2003 and one of the most decorated coffee growers in all of Honduras. Don Fabio won first place at the Honduras Cup of Excellence in 2016; together with his wife, daughter, and son-in-law, the family has taken home an astounding 18 CoE awards.
We are delighted to offer this celebration of fall flavors in a package that also honors the autumn harvest. Our Otoño bag, which features rich aubergine tones, is the third limited-run blend we have released in our new seasonal packaging.