Zimbabwe Smaldeel Estate AA
Our first coffee from Zimbabwe! This season's crop is bright and crisp with notes of peach, rhubarb and a touch of caramel and lime zest.
Arrival Date: August 12th, 2016
Acidity & Brightness: Bright and crisp
Balance & Finish: Great balance, slightly tart finish
Body & Texture: Tea-like body, smooth
Flavors: Notes of peach, rhubarb, caramel and lime zest
Grade: AA - Large Beans, very dense
Processing: Fully washed, hand-picked, sun dried
Roasting: To really taste the unique origin characteristics of this coffee, we recommend a City + (light-medium) roast, but this coffee will roast well into Full City + (Medium-Dark). Darker roasts will result in less crispness and more caramel and a bit more body. Keep in mind, these huge AA beans may require a slightly smaller batch size than normal in order to allow for proper and consistent air flow within your roaster.
Recommendation: This is a pretty different and unique coffee; bright, crisp and slightly tart. For folks who really appreciate trying all the flavors of the coffee rainbow! Great for an afternoon pick-me-up or an iced coffee with lunch.
Our Review: Zimbabwe isn't a country commonly known for exporting fine coffee, but we were surprised to learn that the Smaldeel Estate has been around for over 100 years. Named by early European settlers in the region, "Smaldeel" is a Dutch word meaning "the narrow portion." The estate is located on the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and the area's cool, wet climate, paired with high altitudes, makes the estate ideal for production of high quality coffee. One of the great things we support about this coffee (besides just how great it tastes) is that the Smaldeel Estate owners prioritize providing proper housing and a health clinic for all it's employees.
You may be surprised to find this is the first coffee from Zimbabwe TCC has ever offered! This being the case, we were very excited to cup it and decided to roast it at several levels to really get a good picture of everything this amazing coffee has to offer. As we expected, our City+ Roast exhibited the most unique and origin specific characteristics. We really enjoyed the strong notes of green apple and raisin in the aroma and these flavors carried over in the cup, along with a touch of caramel and lemon zest. The body is light to medium, almost tea-like. The finish was slightly tart, without being sour; think the crisp bite of a green apple. In darker roasts, the crispness and green apple flavor faded to more pronounced caramel and dark chocolate, with the body becoming a bit more substantial as well. All in all, we found this coffee to be delicious and different, a refreshing change! Also be aware this is a grade AA African coffee, meaning the beans are BIG! We had our most consistent roasting results with very slightly smaller batch loads than usual.