Synesthesia

Africa

Kenya - Kianderi Auction Lot: It all begins with the aroma: intense and enticing. A gorgeous combination of floral and citrus scents provide a preview of what will be found in the cup. As the coffee cools, a classic black currant flavor emerges and resonates all the way through the finish. The sweetness is abundant and omnipresent, greeting one at first sip and trailing off serenely several seconds after swallowing. It all ends with a shadow of sweet currant lingering a few moments before disappearing cleanly and leaving a silly grin of pleasure.

Yemen Mokha Haimi: There are cardamom spice notes and fresh ginger. The aromatics are much more pungent, black-peppery, with a dark, tarry molasses sweetness, and humus-laced intense roastiness. There is a slightly hidey, fresh-leather quality in the light roast ... it is actually quite exotic and attractive.

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe: Spicy and deep, with a bakers chocolate and an intriguing sweetness reminiscent of honeydew and caramelized honey. A silky body gives the cup an enjoyable heft, and there is a pleasing resonance in the finish—a quiet echo of melon rind that fades quickly and smoothly into the background.

Burundi Buyendi: Not as edgy as an abided Kenya, but with great balance. And yet it has that distinctive "wild" note in the finish to keep the character interesting. It is not a sweet cup, more pungent than fruity, and it has great bittersweet tastes without the loss of body

The Americas

La Golondrina 'Super Lot', Columbia: You will be amazed with the result – layers upon layers of sweet caramel and chocolate, along with a clean, delicate fruitiness reminiscent of black cherry, as well as a subtle wininess.

Daterra Farm Special Reserve, Cerrado, Brazil: Elusive hint of roses in the aroma. Very soft notes of pecan. Medium body, without any tang.

El Cuervo, Guatemala: El Cuervo offers a full spectrum of flavor ranging from red fruits like apples, berries and plums to sweet sugar cane, marshmallow, and rich milk chocolate. It exudes confidence in a way that very few can.

La Tortuga, Honduras: The pace of the turtle just moved up a gear. This year's La Tortuga is a flavor-packed adventure of luscious fruits and sweet, dense carmelized sugars. Potent notes of cherries and tamarind dominate the cup, and the body is full without being heavy. Armed with multiple layers of chocolate and caramel, the cup finishes clean and sweet, reminding one of freshly brewed apple cider.

La Perla de Oaxaca, Mexico: Full of honey sweetness and candied citrus fruit, La Perla presents itself as gracefully as its namesake.

Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha Jaramillo Especial, Panama: From the very beginning it mesmerizes your senses with its intense aromatics of jasmine and coffee blossom. The ethereal nature of this coffee will befuddle and captivate you – making each sip an urge for another. As you taste it, notes of lime, honeysuckle and tangerine undulate atop a crisp, citrus acidity. The potent sweetness transforms into a finish of white grape and jasmine flower.

Peru Las Delicias: The fragrance is mild milk chocolate, and has a sweet almond aromatic. There some interesting pungent notes here in the aroma, fresh leather and sandalwood. But those are momentary and sweetness prevails.

Jamaica Blue Mountain-Mavis Bank: Some floral aromatics, sweetness in the wet aroma. It has a nice aftertaste, sweet, a little rootbeer, aromatic wood, and that floral sweet hint longered.

The Pacific

Hawaiian Kona - Kowali Typica: This cup is a classic Kona in all respects, with a big, sweet flavor that somehow matches the immense blue-green appearance of the coffee seeds. The body is silky, and (oh it sounds like a cliche, but I must use it) ... smooth! It really is! It has the brightness that is lacking in so many others.

Abongabong, Sumatra: This iconoclast Sumatra displays an unexpected cleanliness and sweetness in the cup. An enjoyable winy-ness accompanied by a syrupy body and sweet herbal notes reveals a noticeable flicker of acidity. The finish is silky and lingering with a touch of dried dates.