Brian Beyke

Caffe Ladro - Peru Aprovat Radiopampa - Mistobox - June 2014

Brian Beyke

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I’m not very experienced when it comes to coffees from Peru, and likewise, Caffe Ladro.  The first Peru I experienced was in February’s Mistobox, and I’ve since had a few brewed up here and there.  The first experience with Ladro was when I got a bag of theirs with my Crossland CC1 not terribly long ago.  I used that bag up pretty quickly, blowing through tons of terrible shots, so didn’t really get a feel for the roaster.  Having served the greater Seattle coffee scene since 1994, They launched their roasting in 2011 to supply to their now 14 locations throughout the Seattle Area.  Today, we end the early June Mistobox selections with their offering of Peru Aprovat Radiopampa.

Most coffee farmers in Peru cultivate their crop on small parcels of land, owning only two to three hectares.  Many coffee-growing communities live and work high in the mountains.  The small size of their businesses and isolation from markets make them vulnerable to low prices and exploitation. Smallholder farmers have been able to gain leverage by organizing into Fair Trade cooperatives to sell their coffee.

By working within the international Fair Trade Certified system, Peruvian coffee farmers like Luis Solorzano Bombadillo of APROVAT Tabaconas Cooperative earn enough money to provide for their family, re-invest in their business and convert their crops to organic production.

Today in our communities, better coffee prices have been established in the local market and we ensured a better price for our coffee on the international market. For us, Fair Trade is the backbone of change and development; today it guides us, it inspires us, it moves us and gives us hope as small producers that we can hope for better times.” - Luis Solorzano

The Aprovat Cooperative has made huge investments in their infrastructure over the last three years. They built their own wet mill and installed a new drying system which has lead to better quality control and more balanced and delicious coffee. Subsequently, the farmers are being paid a higher price and improving the living conditions for all.

 

Details:

Roaster: Caffe Ladro

Region: Tabaconas, Northern Peru, Peru

Producer: Aprovat Coop

Process: Fully washed

Varietal: Caturra

Elevation: 1,250 - 1,990m

 

Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 200 degrees | 1.30 TDS | 19.45% Ext. (Immersion mode) (preferred method)

Mmm. Sweet lovely. This is good.  The first thing I think of is Cracker Jacks.  It’s balanced, lightly sweet, lightly salty and comfortably nutty.  It isn’t like some odd nutty notes in the finish, this coffee is cohesive and honestly very tasty.    

That sweetness is now becoming a little more fleshed out as honey, but the cup is still relatively reserved.  It carries a bit of a brisk acidity, with cherry pie notes growing as well as some dried fruits.  It’s rich from the immersion, but it doesn’t have the *feel* of immersion if that makes sense. All of my aeropresses usually carry a characteristic, a tell if you will, that it is made via aeropress. This one is just relaxed, sweet, and enjoyable with a lingering and sexy toffee drizzled with caramel sweetness.

The end of the cup I might as well be eating caramels. It is so delectable, so luscious, so creamy sweet and comfortable and I can’t believe I haven’t had more like this before. Outstanding.  

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Brew Method:

Bonmac | 20.3g © to 321g (w) | 2:40 total time | 198 degrees | 1.30 TDS | 19.00% Ext.

A crisp intro that begins soft and sweet, honey and lightly whipped notes of vanilla, but then forms a comfortably light syrupy finish.  Honey, cranberry, pomegranate, and a bit of spice.

As the cup cools that spice note takes form of roasted nuts, filling in the back end of each sip while sweet fruit notes and a growing citrus acidity fill the front.  It still has a fun cream note in the finish.

The Cracker Jack flavor seems to come back, but mid cup it seems to highlight the citrus notes a bit more so the cup isn’t as cohesive as the aeropress yet.  Letting it sit just a few minutes though, is a different story.

Cherry, pomegranate, grapefruit, and lemon, while still brisk initially, tame a bit and meld into a now English toffee finishing with lingering citrus notes.  While the aeropress was a creamy finish that really played well with the nuttiness, this method seems to remain juicy instead so the nuttiness just rests in the rear of the mouth as you finish your sips.

The final sips welcome the likes of spiced plum and a bit of peach, clean and lightly juicy with sweet nutty ending.

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I had some difficulty with this offering.  Not with the coffee itself mind you, this was the best Peru offering I’ve had.  I had some trouble as my grinder decided to break while drinking this offering.  I had also prepared a Chemex and a V60 of this coffee, but the extraction was so low that all I could detect was slight nutty notes among a mainly water cup, which is a shame as I really loved this Aeropress and was excited to dive into it further.  As it stands, these two were my only good makes I had.

Some nuttiness in a cup seems to be a bit distracting to me, taking away from my total enjoyment of a cup.  The same cannot be said for this offering from Ladro.  It was balanced, cohesive, and one of the most pleasing coffees that I would also call an approachable coffee.  The aeropress make had an ending of that cup that was so completely delectable, sweet, and dessert-like, I’m surprised it isn’t on the menu of every bakery in town.  The acidity isn’t overpowering, it doesn’t cry out bold fruit notes- this one delicately presents some nice flavor pops here and there, but in its simplest form is a downright, straightforward, good cup of coffee.  If you’ve been interested in branching out and trying new regions, or interested in a nice all-day kind of coffee, look no further.

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.