BBotE Experimentation: Southern Colombia (Huila) PLUS Firelit MkII

This week’s coffee experiment was Huila Province in southern Colombia.  Adventures in the land of dark roasts are always a safer proposition than light roasts as the long roasting process tends to make them all taste uniform in flavor to me, regardless of origin.  Which is to say: earthy, vaguely caramelized, and burnt toast-ish.  If you are uncertain of your beans, it is always a safer proposition to make a dark roast with them but some honestly need that high heat to get the oils to actually liberate in the bean, also known as “the first and second crack” (yes, I’m looking at you, Sumatra).

The Colombian, dark roast though it was, had a very nice Mexcian hot chocolate like aroma as a grind that gave me high hopes that it might persist in the BBotE.  I was not disappointed.  While decanting, there was an roasted almond aroma as I stood before The Apparatus, an aroma the persisted on the nose when drinking it later with my favorite Test Subjects at the St. George Distillery in Alameda, CA.

Tasted straight, the Colombian had a chocolate flavor, though much sharper than the Kona or Kenya.  As Test Subject Freshmaker  identified, it was a “nibby” chocoalte.  Luckily, they had some Tcho Chocolate nibs in the fridge in back for a compare and contrast.  Yup, the uppity whippersnapper was right.  The aftertaste had an interesting cool sensation, like menthol.

Vodka Test: after adding the small modicum of straight vodka, the “cool” volatilized and could be detected on the nose.  On tasting however, the nibby chocolate flavor had found an extra crushed red pepper spiciness to go with it, very reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate.

In conclusion, I’d be willing to do this again.  I’m not going to make it product option yet, but if you’d like to give it a go, drop me a line and we’ll see about making it happen.  After all, I’m now out of Colombia (experimental batches are normally small) and will happily take an excuse to make more.

In other news, remember a while back when I gushed with love for the Firelit coffee liqueur?  Well, it’s back again but this time it’s been made with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.  The flavor is different then the previous Yemen Saani, as you might expect.  In my opinion it has a more buttery, milk chocolate flavor with hints of apricot.  The Yemen supply went away remarkably fast, so I recommend not dawdling if you’d like some.

As the gem guys on QVC, Steve & Steve, used to say long ago, “You gotta swoop on this like a duck on june bug!”