99 Point Coffee? – Bolivia Machacamarca de Berengula from HasBean
It’s not often you hear of, or have the opportunity to taste a coffee which rates higher than 95 points. Much less one which is rated a whopping 99 points by a respected roaster/importer/expert in the specialty coffee industry. Thanks to a stroke of luck in a spur of the moment giveaway on Twitter, @Hasbeanroaster was kind enough to send me a sample of the very special Bolivian coffee from the Machacamarca de Berengula farm. This is a world farm exclusive coffee which to my understanding means that HasBean have sourced, imported and are probably the only ones distributing this coffee to a lucky few customers.
The other Bolivian coffee i sourced recently is Cafe Familia Montano via Ministry Grounds. Interestingly the tasting notes for these two coffees are remarkably similar!
- Grape acidity
- Pronounced sweetness / super sweet
- Caramel & toffee
Hmm, I wonder how the two will compare! I’m yet to roast any of the Montano, so the comparison will come later, but for now, let’s look at the Machacamarca from Has Bean:
Roasted on the 1st of April, thanks to a slight hold up in Australian customs i’ve received it today, the 18th. Not ideal but definitely still fresh enough! My wife and I will get through it in a couple days, i’m sure.
The roast depth and development on this coffee is absolutely beautiful. As an amateur roaster, i spent quite some time analysing the beans and just trying to imagine what kind of roast profile was used. It’s a light espresso roast, about the same roast depth as i normally aim for – retaining all that varietal/origin character and yet it is not lacking in roast development or flavour. Just how I like it.
Update: Roast time is approx 13 mins and drawn out from first to second crack.
Part of the reason i roast at home, is because i prefer a lighter roast than many cafes (but not all) offer when you buy their beans. I think it’s great to see Has Bean not afraid to use this kind of roast profile for high quality coffees like this one, which respond so well to a lighter roast.
How did it taste?
First up, as espresso I’ve tried it with a 19g dosed triple basket into 80mL of milk, and 170mL of milk (unhomogenised Maleny Dairy gold top). Then as a chemex.
I definitely agree with the tasting notes on this one. White grape acidity is a great descriptor, and the sweetness is extremely high and lasting. But at the same time, there is this clean, powerful body in perfect balance. The dry fragrance alone is quite astounding.
My own tasting descriptors would be similar:
- Refined acidity in balance with a clean, powerful body
- Extremely high, lingering sweetness not unlike a Kenyan but not quite as citrus or sharp but more of a refined acidity (probably helped along by the lighter roast)
- Flavour reminded me of a melted caramel
- The acidity is more like grape juice, not grapefruit
Is it worthy of 99 points? I would say it could very well be yes, simply because it’s an extremely sweet coffee that is perfectly balanced and also has unique flavour attributes which i really enjoy. The beautiful roast depth and development on this one make it a 99 point coffee for me.
Huge thanks to Has Bean for sending this one down under, and for the awesome red HasBean towel!
For more info on this amazing coffee or to grab some for yourself check out the HasBean web site.