We chose our top coffee in a different way than normal this issue. To get a better idea of what you, our readers, prefer to drink (rather than a room of beard-stroking coffee pros), we opened up the cupping session to the public, for an evening of coffee tasting on a massive scale.
We got through more than 40 coffees at the event, held at Volcano Coffee Works and Assembly Coffee’s new roastery in Brixton. We managed to whittle the pack down to a handful of coffees that we then took back to the office for further brewing.
It was a close contest, with Assembly’s Nicaraguan Las Marias and this natural Rwandan from Colonna being the clear leaders. This, the eventual winner, is one of two natural coffees from the same Rwandan washing station that are part of the Colonna’s Discovery series. We haven’t tasted the other (#4001), but apparently this is the more floral of the pair.
On brewing, we detected a comforting cherry pie aroma and a faint whiff of the natural processing. This natural smell wasn’t overpowering or funky, but was just there in the background.
A heavier body while hot mellows and feels slicker as it cools, opening up the stone fruit flavours and sweetness as it gets closer to body temperature. The coffee dissipates from the palate quickly without astringency, making a lovely finish to a great cup.
Colonna Kilimbi #4501, £12 for 250g; colonnacoffee.com