Sugar Glider Seasonal Espresso
- March 2017
- Written by : Black Cat Team
In the world of in-season coffees, sometimes the seasons make your decisions for you. This year, that was the case in the story of “Early Sugar Glider and the Curious Case of the Missing Honey Badger.”
Maybe you’ve noticed that Spring has made quite the early appearance this year. You may also have noticed that we did not release our staple Winter seasonal espresso blend Honey Badger this year, but skipped right to our Spring seasonal espresso blend Sugar Glider. Turns out that neither Winter nor the coffees we normally use for our Honey Badger espresso lasted very long this year.
Each year we buy just enough coffee from each country so we can sell through it while it is within 10 months of harvest. We put our green “In Season” stickers on all coffees in this window so you can identify them. Most of the time, our projections are on the mark, leaving us just enough of our Northern Hemisphere lineup to close the In-Season window for those coffees with a short run of our Honey Badger seasonal espresso blend. But sometimes, a coffee sells a bit faster than we imagine it will. That was the case this year with the Kunga Maitu Kenya that perennially anchors our Honey Badger seasonal espresso. And, well, Honey Badger just isn’t quite the same without a Kenyan coffee. We decided that we would be missing the mark on this staple espresso if we tried to force another coffee into it.
As fate (and maybe climate change) would have it, Spring poked its head out early this year, so we have moved on to Sugar Glider, our Spring seasonal espresso. Sugar Glider is a soft, charming, and warm espresso, like the warming sun of Spring. It contrasts with the typically aggressive nature of Honey Badger by balancing our latest Peru and Colombia releases with just a hint of the vibrant Karyenda Burundi. This year shows how our commitment to seasonality affects our seasonal blends and release calendar; but, that is only part of the story of creating an espresso blend.
Espresso blends can be fickle, and take extra time and attention to ensure they are easy for baristas to dial-in. This process takes weeks of trying various roasts of different coffees blended together in different ratios to create flavors that play well together in the espresso machine. This year we used as the foundation of Sugar Glider a Colombia that one of our baristas had selected as competition espresso, which got our blend-building off to a strong start. From there we just had to find the perfect balance of coffees to fill in the flavors.
This year’s Sugar Glider provides a fantastic base for a cappuccino, or stands alone an espresso that is approachable, fruity and extraordinarily sweet.