Summer Solstice Blend
- July 2019
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 and dedication to freshness, we decided to wait for these new coffees and new flavors to become available before constructing this blend.
This year’s edition of Summer Solstice combines two lively fresh-crop coffees from the recent Northern Hemisphere harvest; a sparkling, floral lot from Ethiopia, and a sweet, fruity lot from Costa Rica.
The Ethiopian component of the blend is the most recent to arrive at our roasting facilities, and it was worth the wait. It comes from our friends and Direct Trade partners at METAD, with whom we have been working for several years now, and who are the producers behind two of our all-time favorite offerings, Kurimi and Tikur Anbessa.
The other component of the 2019 Summer Solstice comes from Roberto Mata, owner of MM Pura Vida in Costa Rica. We have been friends and Direct Trade partners with Roberto for 15 years now. He and his family recently built their own mill and started their own company to process coffee from their family farms, and they have consistently produced delicious coffees ever since the first lot we tasted.
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 melon and brown sugar, 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.