Introduction by Chris Kornman
This coffee comes from Casa Ruíz, a family owned estate located near the town of Boquete between Volcan Buru National Park and La Amistad International Park within the province of Chiriquí, Panama. The Ruíz family has worked in the Boquete coffee industry for generations, dating back to the early years of the 20th century.
The original family coffee, flower, and vegetable farm was destroyed by flooding in Boquete in 1970, and the family business was redirected towards roasting and exporting. However, opportunities for farm ownership starting in the late 1970s were too good to pass up, and the Ruíz family reinvested in land, eventually evolving into a successful regional brand that includes roasted coffee sold to the consumer market in Panama.
The Ruíz family are among the founding donors of the Ngäbere literacy program, named for the indigenous population Guaymi, who call themselves the Ngäbe. Many of their population work on the estate during the harvest, and in some instances this may constitute their only source of income. The literacy program aims to preserve the Ngäbere culture by encouraging transliteration from spoken word to written in their native tongue.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Clean and dry, this is a coffee with moderately high density and an above average screen size, boasting an impressive seed size at nearly 70% above screen 18.
Caturra is a natural mutation of Bourbon originating in Brazil in the early part of the 20th century, and is a dwarf tree variety. It has been proliferated extensively throughout the Americas, in part due to Its high productivity (despite above average fertilization requirements) and the fact that the trees can be planted more densely than comparably yielding cultivars.
Roast Analysis by Chris Kornman
My most successful roast of this coffee used a high temperature but low gas setting to charge. Immediately after I noticed the beginning of a color change, I gradually increased the heat application, eventually getting up to full speed just prior to first crack, then decreasing slightly and letting the momentum carry the coffee for about a minute and a half of development. Shorter and hotter than my other roast, it still dropped lighter and was clearly superior on the cupping table. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive during Maillard reactions on this coffee, you’ll enjoy the results.
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
While this coffee wasn’t the wildest one on the cupping table, different preparation methods really brought out interesting notes in this coffee. Smooth and juicy with a very clean finish, this is a classic coffee that will satisfy expectations, but also turn heads when prepared just so.
Chemex preparation brought out the juicy clear notes, and higher percentage extraction masked some of the pleasant nuttiness with cucumber and white grape fruitiness. We have taken to brewing our Crown Jewel analyses as a team, and around the table we all preferred the clarity of a higher water to coffee ratio for this coffee; in this case 1:17.5 fit the bill quite nicely.
If you look closely in the brew chart below, you can see that Chris employed some unorthodox tactics in brewing this second Chemex, but to good result. First off, the preinfusion is quite long at more than a minute – this certainly didn’t harm the coffee, but I find that many folks simply don’t have the patience for such a long preinfusion, even if it comes with the benefit of a very even extraction. Second, you’ll notice that 20g bypass water was utilized. This simply means adding water after the extraction to dilute the resulting brew. This reduces the TDS of the brew, and added a bit of clarity to this coffee.
What really blew this coffee out of the water was using it as an espresso. It was by no means easy to dial in, and a higher ratio of water to coffee also worked for this preparation method, as did faster extraction times. You can see below that I found progressively more interesting notes as my brew ratio increased and extraction time decreased.