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Exploring the Coffee Frontier with the Cupping Room Series

In the spirit of our namesake, the legendary Ethiopian goatherd Kaldi who first discovered the energizing effects of coffee, Kaldi’s Coffee is always looking to the newest horizon. We believe that coffee is a drink of discovery, and nothing exemplifies this so much as our Cupping Room Series, wherein we source and present to you some of the finest coffees from around the globe. Bud Patterson, our Lead Roaster and production manager, sums up the mission of the Cupping Room Series like so:

“When you see the name ‘Cupping Room Series’--get excited!”

It started in the spring of 2018, with Colombia Mauricio Shattah Geisha. This honey-processed Geisha from one of Colombia’s premier producers, Mauricio Shattah, was a perfect fit for our inaugural Cupping Room Series coffee release. We were thrilled to share this incredible coffee with our guests, showcasing the work of a farmer dedicated to pushing the limits with novel processing methods. Even better, we roasted it just weeks after harvest, presenting one of the freshest, liveliest coffees we’ve ever tasted. 

Geisha Coffee Cherries from Mauricio Shattah

Our next Cupping Room Series release featured the Costa Rica Fabio Ruiz Geisha, a delicate, floral, white honey processed new Geisha from Fabio Ruiz of the RUVA farm in Costa Rica. This fantastic coffee was the perfect way to usher in the autumn in 2018.

As winter waned in February 2019, we released our third Cupping Room Series entry, the Ecuador Fausto Romo Sidra. This coffee brought a new vibrancy to our still-young Cupping Room Series. Ecuador is a challenging place to grow coffee, and Fausto Romo had only recently begun growing specialty coffee in the shade of mixed fruit trees. What really caught our attention was the variety, Sidra, a uniquely Ecuadorian coffee known for its hardiness but also its care-intensive growing and processing. This washed coffee coming from relatively low elevation (1300 masl) impressed us so much we knew we had to share it with you, to experience the ongoing specialty coffee revolution in Ecuador.

Ecuador Fausto Romo Sidra Cupping Room Series Box

The summer of 2019 saw the maturation of our Cupping Room Series philosophy, with the release of our first Series natural-processed coffee! It was also our return to Costa Rica, with the Las Lajas Natural from processors Oscar and Francisca Chacon. This coffee was a delicious lesson in endurance and creativity. The Chacons had reinvented their 180-year old farm in the wake of a terrible earthquake, adopting variations of natural and pulped-natural processes to make up for reduced water access. Their experiments with in-fruit drying gave the Las Lajas Natural its big, fruity flavors and an intense sweetness.

We returned to another Series origin with the Colombia Carlos Imbachi Geisha in January 2020. This coffee was also an especially significant release for Kaldi’s Coffee, coming from a long and fruitful relationship with producer Carlos Imbachi, whose specialty coffees we have purchased for years, offered as Single Origins or featured in several of our mainstay blends. This Geisha was a delightful new direction from one of our favorite producers.

Sitting Down with Carlos Imbachi Geisha Cupping Room Series Coffee

Our search for delicious new coffees, for all of our perennial offerings, our Single Origins, and our Cupping Room Series, unfortunately had to take a pause as we all struggled to adapt to the new normal of the worldwide pandemic. However, we weren’t out for long. We’ve cupped hundreds of tantalizing coffees, from traditional processing methods and heritage growers, to the absolute cutting-edge of 21st century coffee science.

In the end, our newest Cupping Room Series release was the result of a fortuitous personal encounter, and the spirit of adventure and discovery motivating specialty coffee grower Maria Pacas in El Salvador. While on an origin trip, several Kaldi’s Coffee team members had the privilege of trying the Pacas’ new Bernardina variety, a unique variety they discovered on their farm a few years previous. Andrew, our Coffee QC lead and barista training manager, and one of the lucky few visiting the Pacas farm in early 2020, had this to say about Bernardina’s inclusion as our latest Cupping Room Series release:

“After listening to Maria Pacas tell the story of Bernardina’s discovery and then tasting this amazing coffee for the first time, I knew we had to share this through our Cupping Room Series.”

From 2018 until now, we’ve challenged ourselves to find the delicious, the unexpected, and the mysterious, so we can share the experience with you. We promise to keep on doing just that, and bring you to new and unforgettable vistas through the tasty, border-erasing powers of coffee. 

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Read next

A NEW COFFEE VARIETY IN EL SALVADOR
A New Coffee Variety in El Salvador | Kaldi's Coffee Blog 

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