A farmer sews a bag filled with dried arabic coffee beans at a coffee cooperative in Peru's central jungle city of Chanchamayo, August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Featured Bean of the Week: Peru CAC Satipo – Posted on October 17, 2011 by Scot Casey

We received our first shipment of this coffee last Monday from Maniac Roasting. John brewed it for drip first thing on Tuesday. When I arrived he said, “You have to try the Peru. It’s amazing.” I poured  a cup and immediately agreed. What was most immediately noticeable was the mellow body, medium acidity, with a creamy light chocolate taste. Very smooth. What was surprising and exceptional were the brighter notes, not the citrus grapefruit elements you associate with the Central Americans, but more subtle aspects of peach and apricot.

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Green Peaberries at Maniac Roasting

Green Peaberries at Maniac Roasting

Featured Bean of the Week: Tanzanian Peaberry – Blackburn Estates – Posted on May 11, 2011 by Scot Casey

We were excited to hear from Alexarc at Maniac Roasting that he had an African coffee coming in: the Tanzanian Peaberry from Blackburn Estates. This small coffee farm is situated in along the border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Once part of the Serengeti National Park, not far from the Olduvai Gorge, this area is home to most of the wildlife associated with Africa: elephants, rhino, zebras, hippos and lions. In fact, one of the greatest challenges to growing coffee in this region is protecting the water supply for the coffee plants from trampling of elephants and water buffalo.

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Before and After - Coffee Roast

Before and After - Coffee Roast - Photo by cgfan

Featured Bean of the Week: Colombia Excelso “El Corazon” – Posted on April 22, 2011 by Scot Casey

If the Brazil Daterra “Sunflower” is my favorite all-time coffee at the Black Drop, the Colombian Excelso “El Corazon” is a close second.

The Excelso designation refers to the screen size of the bean – in this case, 16 – and indicates that this is a smaller bean than a Supremo. As noted below by Atlas and Sweet Maria’s, there is little correlation between bean size and flavor. This is what I call a great archetypal coffee: the taste simply defines the essence of what coffee is. The immediate aroma after grinding is huge, sweet with light citrus notes.

In the cup it is full and rich with a crisp clean finish. This is a tightly structured coffee, well rounded in body and elegantly balanced. There is the classic chocolate base – but not too prevalent – and the citrus, almost floral, highs – again, not too much, muted, almost to a buttery honey finish. Everything working so well together that they make up the archetype of a great coffee.

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Featured Bean of the Week: Guatemala SHB EP “Tikal” – Posted on April 15, 2011 by Scot Casey

John and I decided to do a tasting with the aeropress. I have to say that I was prejudiced towards the F.V.H. My tasting notes on the the F.V.H. noted soft caramels, floral honeysuckle, and light smoky chocolate. I expected the Tikal to be somewhat flatter, not as bright. And I was surprised. John and I immediately nodded approval as we took our first sips. A very nice cup of coffee. We both noted a unique toffee undertone, verging on a light apricot-fermented quality, that distinguised it from the F.V.H.. And with only a hint of the smoky chocolate giving it a lighter, cleaner taste.

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Papua New Guinea at Maniac Roasting

Featured Bean of the Week: Papua New Guinea: Premium Smallholder (PSC) – Posted on March 28, 2011 by Scot Casey

We were fortunate enough to have a cupping at Maniac Roasting last week of the Papua New Guinea: Premium Smallholder (PSC). I found the aroma of the coffee to be a rich earthy chocolate mixed with a faint pine. A subtle deep rose floral hovered over the finish. The acidity was soft, not too bright, that gave the coffee a rounded smoothness in the mouth. Sweet notes hinted at vanilla, sweet pinto bean, hint of honey. As the cup cooled, it became more structured as the sugars emerged more predominate.

I spoke with Alexarc Mastema about the particulars of this roast. He told me that because of the lower acidities of the PNG, he likes to roast it a little darker to push up some of the flavors. The result is a coffee that brews as  a “classic cup” – smooth, medium acidity, with a well-rounded sweet floral finish.

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Daterra Blossoming

2010 Blossoming By Daterra Coffee

Featured Bean of the Week: Brasil Daterra Farms “Sunflower” posted on March 22, 2011 by scotcasey

Ever since we received a “limited edition” of Brasil Daterra Farms “Sunflower” from Maniac Roasting a month or so ago, I have been a strong advocate of this coffee. It is simply one of the finest coffees I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

As can be noted from the information below, Daterra is an entirely different sort of coffee farm than what we have been dealing with in our weekly Black Drop Featured Bean series. Daterra is a giant in terms of size and innovation in the coffee world. I was particularly struck by their scientific Penta System for harvesting and processing and  the manner in which they blend various Arabica cultivars from different plots on the farm to produce unique and remarkable blends.

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Featured Bean of the Week: Costa Rica SHB Tarrazu “La Pastora” – Posted on March 15, 2011 by scotcasey

The Costa Rica SHB Tarrazu “La Pastora” arrived at the Black Drop a few weeks ago and has been a consistent favorite of our Coffees of the Day.

Tarrazu coffees are rated some of the finest in the world. These beans are grown at high altitudes, above 3,900 ft, allowing them to be designated Single Hard Bean – the highest classification in the Costa Rican system. The soil is mostly volcanic and give the beans a high acidity, which translates, for me,  into the coffee as brightness.

I recently had the good fortune to cup this coffee at Maniac Roasting with the rest of the Black Drop staff. Here are my detailed tasting notes:

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Mexican Majomut

Mexican Majomut Cherries

Featured Bean of the Week: Mexican Majomut – Posted on March 8, 2011 by scotcasey

It has just been over the last few weeks that we’ve been receiving the Mexican Majomut from Alexarc at Maniac Roasting. My first inclination was to compare it to our excellent Finca Vista Hermosa Guatemalan and see how it would do. I had read that the higher grown Mexican coffees, which typlifies the Majomut, share the full bodies and rich acidities of the Guatemalans. So I was curious as to how this oddly named bean (Majomut means “mockingbird” in the local language) would hold up.

I was anticipating smoky and spicy, which were there on the bottom, but was surprised by the predominance of citrus and fruity notes, described elsewhere as strawberry. The Majomut has a smooth mouthfeel, very balanced, with a nice depth. If you are looking for something with a little more weight than the FVH Guatemalan, the Mexican Majomut is the way to go.

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Indonesian Coffee

Featured Bean of the Week: Java Kayumas Estate – Posted on March 2, 2011 by scotcasey

Every time I grind a freshly roasted pound of the Java Kayumas Estate beans, I am amazed at the intensity of the aroma. Malty chocolate, smooth maple and buttery caramel coffee flavors burst out of this bean. It is as if I could taste the air. I have always like the smoothness of Indonesian coffees but have often been disappointed with a flatness that often comes along with many of the Java beans. This Kayumas Estate coffee is exceptional in that it is so bright with subtle citrus notes and still holds the classic rich smooth Java base.

My tasting notes reflect smooth body, subtle chocolate, molasses , hint of raisin, bright spicy notes of cinnamon and pepper.

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Finca Vista Hermosa

Featured Bean of The Week: Guatemala – Finca Vista Hermosa – Huehuetenango – Posted on February 23, 2011 by scotcasey

Location: Agua Dulce, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Elevation: 1280 – 1950 meters

This is one of most popular coffee beans at the Black Drop. Family owned and operated by three generations of the Martinez Family since 1957, FVH produces a world-class, award-winning green coffee bean. Their attention to every aspect of growth and harvest, from securing the best water from water basins in the region to working to ensure ecologically sound and healthy agricultural practices, translates into a superior processed green coffee bean. Add to this the roasting talents of Alexarc Mastema at Maniac Roasting and the end result is a  consistently superior cup of coffee.

Our tasting notes reflect soft caramels, floral honeysuckle, and light smoky chocolate.

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All of our coffee beans are from

Maniac Roasting

205 Grand Ave Bellingham, WA 98225

(360) 738-8348