Brian Beyke

Panther Coffee - Bolivia Manco Kapac - Mistobox - June 2014

Brian Beyke

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We last visited Miami’s Panther Coffee in March’s Mistobox.  It was one of the first Colombian offerings I’ve had that started to show me there was more to the region than I knew.  Upon opening this Mistobox, my first late month subscription box, I knew seeing Panther’s name in front of a Bolivian offering that I was in for something special.  What I didn’t know, is just how special that offering was going to be.  If you keep up with the blog, you’ll know that I recently had a Bolivian offering from Populace Coffee that started to stretch what I’d come to expect from the region, so let’s dive into the late June Mistobox with Panther Coffee’s Bolivia Manco Kapac and see how it measures up.    

In the Manco Kapac zone outside the city of Caranavi, in the La Paz department of Bolivia, small producers harvest organic Catuai and Caturra variety coffee cherries at elevations 1500 meters above sea level. The coffee cherry is brought to Beneficio Buena Vista where it is depulped and then fermented in in tanks overnight. Once the residual pulp has been loosened by fermentation, the coffee will be washed clean and dried in mechanical dryers.

Each producer’s harvest is too small and there are too many producers, relative to the amount of receiving tanks at the mill to process individually. Once at the mill, the cherries are sorted, then combined and processed together. 

Details:

Roaster: Panther Coffee

Region: Manco Kapac Zone, La Paz, Bolivia

Producer: Various Small Producers // Beneficio Buenavista

Process: Fully washed

Varietal: Caturra // Catuai

Elevation: 1,500m

 

Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 198 degrees | 1.33 TDS | 19.90% Ext. (Immersion mode)

What an interesting start to the cup.  Soft, clean, peach sorbet start to the cup.  It’s light in presentation similar to other Bolivian offerings I’ve experienced but that peach sweetness is a bit new, and welcomed.  As it opens more, raspberry seems to come out as well.  Crisp and refreshing on the front, lightly juicy, and balanced sweetness with slight, slight hints of nuts in the finish.

About the time that sweetness really comes through in the aroma, the cup really sweetens up as well.  Orange notes are in the cup, but not all that bright yet. Right now they are presented a bit more like Jones Orange Soda, but also a bit creamsicle-like in the finish as there is a vanilla cream note that seems to meet it.  Still holds stone fruit sweetness, some berry, and a nutty ending with lingering citrus.

The cooler it grows the brighter, sweeter, and juicier it grows.  It has a richer mouthfeel than, say, the Onyx Rwanda in this month’s box, but gets equally as bright.  Sweet orange, peach, apricot, and raspberry candy notes don’t stray in the cup, with vanilla meeting them and finishing off with that same nutty finish and lingering citrus.  

 

Refreshing, rich, sweet.  

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Brew Method:

Kalita Wave | 34g © to 552g (w) | 4:10 total time | 207 degrees | 1.33 TDS | 20.00% Ext. (preferred method)

Nice honey-like aroma.  Soft, clear light to medium body.  Grape and peach sweetness, delicate and smooth, nicely sweet in the rear.  Still carries a good richness to it while remaining light and fluffy almost in the mouth.  Brightness subdued here, it’s really just light, sweet, clear and articulate, juicy and enjoyable.  

Plum, cherry, tobacco, slightly nutty finish. Apple and pear, slightly drying, raspberry, date, and slight sprinkles of cinnamon.

Sweet really draws out the cooler it gets.  Acidity still doesn’t get too intense, more similar to a crisp berry acidity, with deliciously poetic vanilla meets dreamsicle creamy ending.

Similar to the V60 but I think more settled in, more balanced.  

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Brew Method:

Chemex | 30g © to 480g (w) | 3:25 total time | 200 degrees | 1.27 TDS | 18.80% Ext.

Soft; lightly syrupy intro.  Clean notes of peach, apricot, and florals open the way to a bit more juicy of a body developing.  Has a comfortable weightiness, and great balance, as grape, plum, and mixed berries make their way, still slightly nutty in the finish.  The acidity is reserved, but growing through the cup, still with lingering sweetness.

As note previously, there is such a unique body to this cup.  It’s clean and articulate, but rich and complex at the same time.  At times there are crisp raspberry, tangerine, cherry, and grape notes, but then a bit more dense stone fruit sweetness, and in the end there’s a whole web of sweet, sweet fruit notes along with an orange citrus or bergamot note that may remind you of a washed Yirgacheffe.

As noted in the previous makes, this cup only grows more saturated as it cools. The sweetness grows more complex and candy-like, the juiciness grows more settled in, the notes linger more, the cup really melds into a immensely enjoyable experience.


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A lot of Bolivian selections I’ve had this year have seemed to fall a bit flat.  It could be my inexperience with them but I felt some were just somewhat lifeless, boring, or really, really delicate.  I thought it was indicative of the region, I usually even wrote about that in my thoughts, but this offering from Panther Coffee taught me there is more that can be had.  This was a wonderful selection- not just the best Bolivian offering I’ve had, but one of my favorite coffees this year.  It still started a little quiet, a tell of most Bolivian offerings I’ve experienced, but then had an exceptionally delicious and gradual growth through the entire cup.  It had carried great balance, a really pleasing body, and a complex sweetness that would grow from the first sips to the last drops.  The notes were articulate and clear, at times juicy, always pleasing, and it carried a great richness that never sat heavy.  Quite a stand out offering among the others I’ve had from the region, and one I would drink cup after cup after cup.

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.