A LIGHT DARK ROAST:
People have been drinking dark roasts for over two-centuries and it seems both short-sighted and careless to ignore history. And yet if you roast too dark, all of the unique flavours of origin are lost and you simply taste the bitter burn and one-dimensional char of the roast process itself. Shady Lane is a new way of roasting that uses a gentle approach and precise technique to strike a compromise: it engages in our coffee past with an approachable low-acidity but also showcases the deeply sweet and delicious chocolaty notes possible with particular origins. It is new and old because as the Pavement song concludes, "the worlds collide, but all that we want is a shady lane".
You might have noticed that I have sourced numerous Peruvian coffees this harvest. It is hard to say no to a cup with deep earthy sweetness, delicious fruity acidity, and a rich textured body. This final offering comes by way of the Inkahuasi cooperative. Under the leadership of Claudio Ortiz, the co-op produces some of the best coffee in the region. To quote Aleco at Red Fox, the continually "invest profits back into infrastructure and growth, and when we’re out in the field talking to producers, their respect for and positivity towards Claudio is unmistakable". This particular lot is the 'reserve', meaning the best scoring crops at the mill. It is both organic and fair-trade certified (although we paid much higher than fair trade price points).
Cusco coffees benefit from soaring altitudes and dry climate conditions. The terroir translates to beautiful yellow fruit notes alongside deep sugars and a big mouthfeel in the cup. This Inkahuasi reserve lot is a perfect fit for Shady Lane with its round and cocoa-forward profile. It has the caramel and chocolate flavours of a Mars bars against lighter cooked berry flavours - think elderberry, raspberry, and blackberry jam.
For espresso, use a 1:2 to 1:2.1 ratio in 29-33 seconds.
Classic with Mars Bar & Almond Butter.
Caturra, Bourbon & Typica.
Red Fox Merchants.