Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nicaraguan Maragogype Peaberry: Pre-Roast


A Blanchard's Coffee Co. Exclusive Limited Offering

Nicaraguan Maragogype Peaberry: Post Roast
At Blanchard's Coffee Co. we are proud of every single coffee we offer, but sometimes we are fortunate enough to come across a coffee that is extra special and exciting. Our latest microlot offering is a perfect example of this. We caught wind of the Nicaraguan Maragogype Peaberry from our primary broker when we were snooping around for a new bean to feature.

As coffee geeks, we immediately got excited because we're already fond of Nicaraguan beans, but a Maragogype? Rare, delicious, unique--of course that made our ears perk up. And a Peaberry to boot? Hand picked, making up less than 3% of the overall crop--this is awesome! And could it be true? There are only 300 pounds of this coffee in the world? Surely we won't be able to get our hands on this prize, right? Wrong. We got our hands on it; all of it in fact, and we're roasting it for you until its gone.

So, what is so special about Nicaraguan Maragogype Peaberry you ask? Wait, back up, you're probably just wondering how to pronounce Maragogype. Well, the Maragogype coffee is a mutation of the Typica variety of Arabica coffee. The mutation was first discovered in Bahia, Brazil, so when you think pronunciation, think Portuguese. It goes something like this: mara-go-hee-pay and, if you can, you sort of roll the "R" in the first syllable.
Now that you can pronounce it, lets dig further into what this coffee is. So we know the Maragogype is a mutation of the common Typica bean--a mutation that creates a soft, more palatable, delicate coffee. The Maragogype trees are considerably more fickle and produce a much lower yield, thus making the coffee harder to farm and more rare. The Maragogype bean is often also called "Elephant Bean" because it is commonly much larger than its Typica relative.
Peaberries are another type of mutation that occur in many coffee varietals. The Peaberry occurs when a coffee cherry only produces one seed instead of two. This seed is rounded and takes up the entire seed chamber. They are most often found on the farthest reaching branches of the coffee tree and, as previously mentioned, make up less than 3% of the tree's yield. Add that to the fact that farmers must hand separate them from the rest of the crop and you get an incredibly rare and prized bean.
So, we've got a rare mutation of a rare mutation of an already lovely coffee; what does that mean in your cup?
Well, for this particular coffee it means you get a highly complex, delicate coffee that balances crisp lemony acidity with soft buttery texture. Your cup of coffee takes on characteristics of lemon preserves spread over brioche... wow, that makes me hungry!

This is a truly special coffee and I hope you get a chance to try it out. You can always find our coffees on our website but if you're out and about town, you can buy this coffee in bags or in bulk form at Ellwood Thompson Market. A few choice locations will be brewing the coffee as well--right now you might find a cup at Crossroads Coffee VCU and The Empress.

If you'd like to learn more about this or any coffee please feel free to come chat with us or send a quick email--we'd love to hear from you!