Holiday Offerings 2022
We are rolling into the Holidays, and as usual 49th has a full range of offerings to celebrate the season in style.
For the first time 49th is releasing a Holiday Filter and Espresso that are blends of two coffees, rather than single origins. This approach allows us to celebrate more of our partnerships and have fun pairing coffees at the same time. This year’s offerings are composed of Ethiopia Chelbesa, courtesy of our partners at Snap Specialty Coffee, and El Salvador El Retiro, from another long term partner, Café Pacas.
Chelbesa is a staple offering at 49th for the past few years, and we are happy to be able to feature it at this time of year. As a vertically integrated company, Snap owns washing stations, a dry mill and export company – they work closely with small farmers that supply their washing station in Worka Chelbesa, and carefully mill it along the way to export.
The Pacas El Retiro, is a washed Red Bourbon lot from a farm that has been in the Pacas family since 1927. We featured Maria Pacas in a blog post a few months ago, around the same time we released the beautiful El Retiro Bernardina Small Lot - a special varietal that has won us over.
Both the Holiday Espresso and Filter are perfect companions for whatever sweets and treats the season dishes up, offering a range of floral notes, chocolate, orange peel and marzipan.
On the single origin filter side we have a limited-edition Holiday Trio that comes from our long term partners in Antigua, Guatemala, Beneficio Bellavista. The Zelaya family has run Bellavista for generations, and is one of the key families and mills in Antigua. While many 49th customers know Bellavista Pulcal and San Juan offerings well, staples on our menu for many years, they may not be as familiar with some of the more exotic offerings coming from these and other Bellavista farms. During my trip to Antigua earlier in the year I cupped multiple tables of coffees, including experimental lots and exotic varietals from both Pulcal and Bella Carmona. We came away from the trip with three small, exclusive lots that we set aside for the Holidays.
Two of the Trio lots come from Pulcal. The first of these is a washed process Geisha from Malawi – brought to Bellavista from a friend who had been traveling and working in Malawi as part of Coffee Corps. While it is known that Malawi does have a geisha varietal, very little of it finds its way into the market and there is scant information on its origin. When I cupped the coffee I found floral notes, bright acidity, some vanilla creaminess and a hint of guava fruit on the finish. Not a typical jasmine/bergamot geisha by any means, but a distinctive and delicious expression of this varietal. Please note that the beans for this geisha look very different from Panamanian Geisha – they are smaller and more round. It is likely that Malawi Geisha has charted a different course compared to Panama geisha in terms of natural hybridization and evolution over the years.
Second in the trio is a Java, also grown on Pulcal. Java is an Ethiopian varietal that was later planted in Indonesia on the island of Java, before being disseminated in Central America. It is known to have both good resistance to disease and also offer a distinctive cup character. When I first cupped this coffee blind I was impressed, finding floral honey, jasmine and rose notes.
The third coffee comes to us from Bella Carmona, another signature Zelaya estate that in addition to producing coffee is the site of the historic Zelaya family home. While in a state of disrepair, the large estate maintains a library with books from the 1800s, as well as a formal dining room which is today used mainly to serve coffee to visitors. The coffee we are featuring in the Trio is Bella Carmona Honey, a blend of varieties from the estate, processed as a Honey – depulped and left to dry without washing off the mucilage for 15-20 days. This coffee is the perfect counterpoint to the lighter and brighter Geisha and Java, offering very sweet notes of honeycomb, caramel and chocolate.
We hope you enjoy these as well as our other Holiday Offerings!