July's Coffee of the Month carries some personal weight with it. I have never been more excited about one of our coffees, and it's hard to fit that excitement onto a 3" x 3.75" label on the bag.
I'll admit that I'm totally spoiled when it comes to coffee. Sometimes I take it for granted that every day when I go down to the Lab I can have any of our 21 different origins for my morning cup. It's become hard to impress me.
In May, while talking to one of our brokers who knows I'm always on the lookout for "whatever's new and exciting," for coffee of the month, she told me that I might be interested in some of their Fair-Trade Organic Dominican Republic coffee.
I don't know that my eyes had glowed so much since that Christmas morning when I unwrapped my first NES (or that surprise party my friends threw a few years ago, buying me a new PS2 after mine was stolen).
"What size bag is it? How much does it cost? Can I buy one bag now and more later if we like it, or do you not have very much so I should buy it all right now?" All of this kinda fell out of my mouth, because I wanted this coffee. Having always wanted to visit Hispañola, and never had anything to do with it (except for extensive reserach on Hatian voudon practices), this was my first real-world, physical connection to it.
I called David who had about the same reaction I had, disbelief and stirring excitement. You see, neither of us ever even realized we could get coffee from the Dominican Republic. I had certainly never seen or heard about it. It's like all of a sudden there was a treasure map that fell from the sky.
And having been sipping this coffee once a week for the past month, I have to impart how much of a treasure it really is.
As with most of our coffees, we're roasting this one to right at the start of the second crack. We call this "medium," you may have some other name for it. Although it's a medium roast, you'd never guess it after sipping.
The FTO Dominican Republic packs a punch. It's big and it's full, but also incredibly smooth, like it's already got some Half n' Half in. Personally, I pulled dried plum, cracked pepper, and semi-sweet chocolate. Like a rich dessert you'd probably pay too much for in a nice restaurant.
It's a well-balanced coffee, although the acid content may spike a bit above the other characteristics as far as balance is concerned. While pleasing on the palate, weaker-stomached individuals should probably not drink more than a liter or so. I say this as someone who would happily drink an entire pot of this had I steel-lined stomach myself. As it is, I have a hard time handling mere pepperocinis.
Now the sales pitch: This coffee will be available in our shop through all of July (shop hours: T-F 8.00-10.30, Sat 7.30-Noon) and we will also have it available for brewing and for retail at the South of the James Market this coming Saturday (7/3). Ellwood Thompson's Coffee Shop also has some, and if you catch them on the right day, they'll even have it available on the Clover (which I haven't even had yet, so tell us how it is!).
Also feel free to email me and order some. We ship anywhere in the U.S., and shipping's free if you get 5 lbs. or more.
Over and out,
sic luceat lux