What better way to test out a new roast ("Arnaud") than a trip along the Sea of Cortez? While we never really need an excuse to visit Mexico (we fell in love with Mexico City last year, and highly recommend the Sprudge Guide to drinking coffee there) - it had been years since we explored Baja. Which is embarrassing - since we're just a few hours away. This particular trip was to a remote fishing village called La Ribera about 1-1.5 hours by car from Cabo airport.
This is truly a place removed from time. It's only accessible via dirt roads and features miles of undeveloped beach, plenty of fishing and epic sunsets. If you happen to travel with a family or group, we highly recommend checking out Casa Torotes (nice large VRBO) for the best possible time. We generally don't book "beach vacations" out of sheer fear of boredom after two hours. But this was different. This was very, very different.
On your way from Cabo airport, you'll pass a small museum/monument designating the Tropic of Cancer. Which is strange at first, considering how similar the landscape looks to many parts of Southern California (arid desert surrounded by semi-arid mountains). But things do get muggy down there - and our plan to brew hot coffee each morning didn't last long. We quickly took to hacking iced coffee with an Aeropress (which worked quite well -- we even updated the Aeropress Brew Guide to help ya do it). We also made a batch of cold brew using some large mason jars we found in the kitchen ... and while our ratios may have been quite off, it still tasted pretty dang good!
All in the name of testing out our latest roast from Ecuador. This one comes from produced Arnaud Causse and we've been absolutely stoked to share it for quite some time. Just to put coffee production in Ecuador into perspective: in 2015, approximately 700,000 bags came out of the country -- compared to 13,500,000 bags in Colombia and 3,200,000 in Peru. Which is to say that production is tiny. When you remove commodity-grade coffees from that total figure, the amount becomes even smaller. Making it quite difficulty (and expensive) to source from this region.
One of our key importer-partners (Red Fox) has long roots sourcing high-quality coffees in this difficult region. We knew right away after our first sample roast of this washed "Pacamara" varietal (known for sweet citrus notes and floral aroma) that we'd be featuring it ASAP. Be sure to smell your mug about 10 minutes after finishing a cup. Loads of caramel happening in there!
We hope you enjoy this batch (if you happen to be subscribed), and we'd love to see where your own adventures lead. Salud!
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