Sugar Glider Seasonal Espresso
- May 2019
- Written by : Black Cat Team
Sugar Glider, our syrupy-sweet seasonal espresso named for our favorite soaring, sap-seeking marsupial, is back!
The Sugar Glider joins a team of sweet-toothed superheroes from the Animal Kingdom we have selected as standard-bearers for our seasonal espresso menu because they embody our relentless pursuit of sweetness in the coffees we seek for our espresso blends.
Together with Honey Badger, Sapsucker and Fruit Bat, Sugar Glider is wired to search for sugars, which it finds most frequently in tree sap and flower nectar. This arboreal airfoil uses its gift of glide to elude predators and take the shortest path possible to its next meal. The wide-eyed Sugar Glider is unquestionably cute, but don’t mistake it cuddly exterior for lack of courage: it launches itself fearlessly into the wind, which it rides by spreading its limbs to stretch the thin sail-like membrane between them. Sugar Glider gets almost two units of distance for every unit of drop, tucking its wings to turn along its treetop trajectories en route to its targets.
This year’s Sugar Glider blend is shot through with Bourbon genetics, an elegant variety celebrated for its natural sweetness. Those hallmark Bourbon flavors express themselves differently in each of the three coffees that make up the blend.
The first two are single-varietal Bourbon lots from very different growing environments. One is a shade-grown organic lot from the San Ignacio region of Jaen in northern Peru, where a small but growing group of quality-focused farmers have driven the resurgence of our Cruz del Sur mark from Peru in recent years. It has consistently delivered coffee with cherry and red apple flavor and caramelized sugar sweetness. Café Solidario’s early successes have provided a powerful validation of the quality-first approach and helped to revive coffee growing in the region.
The second Bourbon varietal lot is our Burundi Karyenda, from Greenco’s Butegana washing station in the heart of Kayanza. This immaculately selected coffee brings stone fruit flavors and sugarcane sweetness to the blend.
The third component of the blend, from Colombia, is mostly Caturra with some Castillo, both of which have Bourbon genetics. Caturra is a direct descendant of Bourbon, a dwarf mutation that retains much of its sweetness in a smaller package. Because the compact stature of Caturra means that farmers can grow more plants in the same area, it quickly became a favorite of farmers across Colombia and during the second half of the 20th century, replacing most of the old Bourbon and Typica groves that made Colombian coffee famous. Can also lay claim to Bourbon heritage, but it occupies a more remote branch on the Bourbon family tree: it is a hybrid created by the breeding program at Colombia’s Coffee Research Center using the Timor Hybrid and Caturra. This Castillo-Caturra lot, our current Colombia Tres Santos offering, brings juicy citrus and toffee sweetness to the blend. It comes from Finca La Mina, a five-time Cup of Excellence winner.
Together, these three components deliver mandarin orange and red apple flavors with a caramel sweetness the Sugar Glider would love.