Speedwell coffee: Finca La Providencia, Guatemala

By rolando November 29, 2011

It’s been fun to get to know Speedwell Roasters. They’re the newest roaster in our local line-up. That’s Derek in the picture pouring coffee for you all at Clover, he roasts down in Plymouth, Mass. He’s down to earth and amazing at what he does.

We visited Derek and watched him roasting, turning beans into coffee. It’s the sort of thing that can seem like trial and error until you realize how scientific it is. The expertise and craftsmanship of coffee roasters are awesome. When we visited Speedwell, we watched Derek at work as he listened for the first crack stage (light roast level), as he repeatedly checked the color and sheen on the bean. Coffee roasters sample coffees to check for quality and to decide which farms to buy from. An initial roasting approach is determined, based on experience, then the roasting begins. Meticulous notes are gathered, then finalized with what happened after the sample roasts are cupped (ground and brewed to taste). Then the bean is dialed in and roasted according to what the roaster feels brings out the best qualities of that particular bean.

If you’ve been by the trucks or the restaurants, you’ve probably had a cup of this. The beans are from Guatemala. If not, check it out by the end of the week. It’s a super introduction to Central American coffee. Even if you don’t get a cup, you should smell the beans. The flavor round and creamy with chocolate and citrus undertones. Easy to drink. Try it black first and as it cools, a nice sweetness develops.

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