From Fruit to Seed: A Pacamara Tasting

Coffee is a fruit.  The coffee bean is a seed.  We spend so much time thinking of coffee as a beverage that it’s good to remind ourselves of the basics from time to time.

I was once at a cupping where I overheard a fellow participant say, “I don’t think coffee should taste like fruit!”  I remember being so shocked by this comment that I initially assumed it was a joke.  But he wasn’t joking.  I have no beef with a strong opinion, but this seemed to me like the equivalent of a bartender saying “I don’t think gin should taste like juniper!”  or a chef saying “I don’t think bacon should taste like fat!” A good coffee may or may not remind me of fruit, fine.  But fruit is a big part of the experience of coffee, part of what makes coffee so special.  There is a lot of diversity amongst the world’s exceptional coffees, but they all hold one thing in common—they all started as exceptional fruit.

Caturra ripening at El Tambor, Guatemala.  Photo: Christine Herman-Russell

Lately in our shops we’ve been exploring the connections between coffee the beverage and coffee the fruit. As part of this exploration, our menu currently has multiple offerings of cascara—the dried coffee cherry, steeped like a tea.  Our winter special was a latte with a touch of Qish’r, the traditional Yemeni mixture of coffee cherry and spices.  And next week our Alberta Street café will be offering a special, fruit-forward tasting of the beloved Pacamara varietal.  

Maragogype, a Pacamara predecessor.  Finca Vista Hermosa, Guatemala.  Photo: Christine Herman-Russell

Fans of Case Study already know from Christine’s previous blog post that we currently offer the Pacamara varietal from Finca Los Congos, Nicaragua in three forms: as a natural-process coffee, as a washed-process coffee, and as a cascara ‘tea.’ On Friday, February 6th, from 10am until 4pm, our Alberta shop will be offering all three forms of this beautiful coffee as a single tasting flight, designed to highlight the role that fruit plays in coffee.  With this flight you get to taste the fruit by itself, you get to taste the coffee that has been picked and dried with the fruit still on, and you get to taste the coffee that has been washed clean of the fruit after picking.  One coffee, three different drinks.  There is no better way to understand the enduring influence that coffee the fruit has on the coffee the beverage.  

Pacamara tasting flight.  Photo: Rachel Emery

Maybe you work in coffee or maybe you want to taste more of what makes coffee so fascinating.  Either way, get here on Friday—this is a can’t-miss opportunity to connect the dots between good fruit and good coffee.

Friday, February 6th, 10am-4pm

Case Study Coffee, 1422 NE Alberta Street

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