Prepare to experience something truly rare and unique in the coffee world: a side-by-side, vertical tasting of the same coffee from three distinct harvest cycles. Limited to 6 seats at each tasting event.
Back in 2015, we sourced a high scoring nano lot (less than 100 pounds) of a maracaturra varietal from the El Ganador section of Finca Un Regalo de Dios in Nicaragua. The El Ganador lot is the pride and joy of Luis Alberto Balladarez, as it was coffee from that section of his farm that garnered him 3rd place and a score of 91.3 in the 2010 Cup of Excellence Competition. It was packaged in vacuum sealed mylar bags, so as to carefully guard it against oxygen and light, and was one of the most memorable coffees of the year.
In 2016, we once again snagged another nano lot of EL Ganador. But an unexpected thing happened when we went to roast it... we found a sealed, un-roasted 33lb. brick of the 2015 in our storage area! Apparently we had missed it a year prior, and never opened it.
As we discussed what we should do, a plan was hatched to store it, along with a 33lb. sealed brick of the 2016, so that we could one day do a vertical tasting of three consecutive year's worth of the same coffee. We loved the idea, but really had no way of knowing if the coffee would hold up over time, and how the aging would affect it. Nevertheless, we sensed we had a rare opportunity suddenly plopped into our laps, and decided to take it.
When we got to selecting coffees from the 2017 harvest, at the top of our list was snagging some of the El Ganador from Luis. But there was one wrinkle we had not expected... he entered it into the Cup of Excellence Competition, and so it was not for sale because it was a finalist coffee and would be sold at International auction! Oh no, our plan is suddenly in jeopardy!
We discussed bidding on it during the auction, but it was just too difficult to make work, so we figured all was lost. That is, until a few months ago when we decided to write Luis to ask if there was any chance he had a secret stash of the 2017 El Ganador that had not sold. Well, as Providence would have it, HE HAD 10 POUNDS LEFT. We asked him if he would send it to us DHL and he agreed. The vertical tasting was on!
When the moment of truth arrived, for us to sample roast all three of these coffees and taste them side by side, we really weren't sure what to expect. But once we tasted the coffees, it was unanimously clear that we had something really special on our hands. Now we are excited to finally share it with you.
How it Works
In an effort to allow as many people as possible to enjoy this coffee, we decided to do sets that contain 60 grams of each coffee, which means we have a total of 36 sets available. Each set gives you enough coffee to make one full chemex of each, or two half Chemex of each. But rather than just sell them, we wanted to create the opportunity for a dialogue, and share this special opportunity with you, hence the tasting event. Only people who attend the tasting event can get the box set.
Justin will be delivering these coffees to Luis on his March 12th trip, and will be tasting them with he and his staff while in Nicaragua. He will be bringing some footage of Luis' thoughts back with him to share with attendees. Super cool!
We know we're sometimes a little geeky, but these types of opportunities just don't come around for us very often. And even this one started out with a mistake! So, we really hope you decide to join us!
When: March 31st at 9AM, 10:30AM and 12Noon
Where: Analog Coffee Bar at Carabello Coffee, 107 E. 9th St, Newport, KY 41071
Cost: $30 (Box Set Included)
Questions: Email us at coffee [at] carabellocoffee [dot] com