Summer Solstice Blend
- June 2018
Summer is upon us again — time for bright sun, warm weather, long days at the beach, and the persistent aroma of backyard barbecues. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year and the official start to the summer season. Beyond the joie de vivre that comes with shifting activities normally performed indoors into the warmth of the summer sun, the advent of summer has been met throughout time and across cultures with celebration of the abundance and distinct flavors of the summer harvest. Our seasonal Summer Solstice blend was originally conceived in this enduring tradition and built on the freshest seasonal ingredients in the Intelligentsia coffee cupboard.
Just as the seasons were slow to change this year in Chicago, the city where Intelligentsia was born, harvest was slow in coming this year to many of the countries where we source coffee. In keeping with the Summer Solstice spirit, we will update this blend over the course of the season as new coffees and new flavors become available, just as you will purchase juicy peaches, freshly picked berries and summer corn when they begin appearing at farm stands.
The first installment in our Summer Solstice lineup combines the last arrival of our Southern Hemisphere season, a sparkling smallholder lot from Colombia, with the first arrival of our Northern Hemisphere season, a sweet, citrusy lot from a storied Salvadoran estate.
The Colombian component of the blend comes from two small-scale family farms located in San Agustín, Huila. Luz Eneida Muñoz Pérez and Luis Felipe Leguizamo are part of a small but growing group of coffee farmers there with whom we have been working for several years. The latent potential for quality we saw in them and their neighbors when we first visited is beginning to be fulfilled in the single-farm lots that are part of this blend.
The other component of this edition of Summer Solstice comes from Vickie Ann Díaz, owner of Finca Matalapa, the centenarian coffee farm that has been in her family since the 1870s, and Beneficio Paraíso, a magical place where antique milling equipment and modern post-harvest practices meet to produce consistently delicious coffees.
Our Summer Solstice is designed to be equally enjoyable when brewed hot and served over ice. When brewed hot, this year’s blend has an invigorating citrus brightness and lovely sweetness reminiscent of green grape and apricot, with delicate floral notes appropriate to the full bloom of summer. When prepared as a cold beverage, we recommend brewing it over ice on Chemex or as an especially fine batch of cold brew.