Supremo! Excelso!

by daniel on 2006/07/06

I needed some beans to roast for espresso. While rooting through my pantry, I found a small stash of Colombian beans.

A South American neighbour happened to be visiting. She asked about my crazy hobby probably more out of politeness than anything. In any case, I decided to make her a believer by roasting it up for her to take home.

While I was to explaining to my politely interested neighbour where the beans were from, and what the name refers to, it occured to me that it is a truly crazy and outdated grading system.

You see, for most of Central America and South America, the grading is based on altitude vs. size (higher is generally better). The name Colombian Supremo refers to the solely to the screen size. Somewhere along the way, someone decided that big beans means better quality.
This is completely untrue. However, it stuck and that’s the way it has been for a long time.

The stuff I had was from Narino (south western coastal Colombia). When roasted a bit past “city”, it wasn’t bad as far as Colombian coffees go. Some caramel notes but not too much to write home about.

To me, most Colombian beans are rather boring. You get a clean cup with no aftertaste. This is probably a good thing if you are only to starting to drink coffee, but just having a cuppa joe that isn’t offensive isn’t what makes me go through all the trouble and expense
of sourcing, roasting, grinding and brewing.

Hmmm…enough ranting. Time to pull a shot. Nectar of the gods…

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