We had a chance to catch up with some of our team around the shop last week to see what they're up to for the holidays, as well as get their current favorites from the retail shop. Take a look below for a quick Q + A.
Rwanda Huye Mountain from Stumptown Coffee Roasters quickly became one of our staffs favorite coffees. We have it featured on espresso, available on pour over, and we even sneak it on drip when we get the chance. Every version is different and complex. The espresso brings out the dark flavors of bergamot while the pour over keeps it light and sweet.
The official flavor notes are dried Apricot, bergamot, and persimmon. When you first sip the coffee, you get the light sweetness of the apricot molding together with the earthy, tea like flavor of bergamot that burst to persimmon giving the sensation of biting into a tomato. The complexity of each sip is one that leaves you entertained through the whole cup. We love the Huye Mountain for it’s flavor and the fact that it's story inspires.
Starting in 2007, Huye Mountain has been the focus of a project started by David Rubanzangabo with the hope to revitalize the greater Butare area in Rwanda. David, as the head agronomist of the SPREAD project, teamed up with project manager, Tim Shilling to start a washing station that would produce consistently complex and high quality coffee.
They caught the attention of Stumptown in 2012 and worked with them to bring much needed water to the Huye Mountain Community. Now, they pull from about 500 smallholder farms based out of Huye, Maraba, Mbazi, and Kigoma which are all sectors within the Huye Mountain District. With his sister, Rachel, a cupper for SPREAD, they spend their time roasting, cupping and testing the coffees to maintain the consistent quality David strives for.
- Isabel Jones
With David, Tim, and Stumptown using Huye Mountain to grow a community, we're excited to share this coffee that envelopes the very idea that specialty coffee was molded around: sustainability and community.
In the coffee world, new seasons mean new coffees. Here at Chrome, we’ve adopted a ritual for these times: a staff cupping hosted by our lead barista, Jule Scimeca. We all huddle together to get the full experience of each coffee. Starting with the smell of the freshly ground beans to finishing with the taste of perfectly cooled coffees (complete with loud sipping) and endless discussions of all the intricate flavors we experienced.
We started the cupping off with the sweet sensation of biting into a pear from our Columbia El Jordan. The subtle notes of chocolate rounded out this well-balanced coffee that opened our pallets to the Papua New Guinea Bebes. After the burst of melon flavor, it cooled into a vegetal earthy-ness creating such a contrast that it made this a staff favorite. Then, the Indonesia Kopi Muchartar. The bittersweetness stopped us in our tracks. You get hit in the face with a bold, dark chocolate flavor that is rounded out in the after taste by the soft taste of cola.
Moving on from the earthy side of things, we dived into a very citrusy persimmon flavor from our Rwandan Huye Mountain. Coming in as an aftertaste, the image of a tomato stays set in your mind. Basically, if you can imagine taking a bite of persimmon, you can imagine taking a sip of the Rwandan. The final of our cupping was our gentle Burundi Manga Kirema. It’s the sweetness of vanilla and the fresh spray of peach that really gets you in the mood for sunshine.
The over all consensus is, we are excited about this shift from the ironically winter tropical coffees to the new summertime earthy citrus flavors, perfect for those sunny Atlanta summers.