PT’s Coffee - Payacal, Colombia
If you saw my review for PT’s Mamani Bolivia then you saw that lovely picture of my daughter, Lillia. PT’s Coffee was running a photo contest on Twitter in celebration their new shop at The Crossroads in Kansas City, MO and that happened to be the winning picture. My prize? A freshly roasted bag of their new Colombia: La Palma y El Tucan Payacal.
Roaster: PT’s Coffee
Location: Cundinamarca, Colombia
Producer: La Palma & El Tucán
Process: 19.5 hour aerobic fermentation without water, followed by over 8 days of careful sun drying.
Elevation: 5272 feet
Bonmac | 25g (c) to 334g (w) | 3:05 total time | 202 degrees
Wow. This is a clean cup of coffee.
Medium to full bodied with some comfortable fruit play to an otherwise slightly spicy and roasty cup - similar to other Colombians.
As it cools, really nice fruit notes appear, I am almost wanting to say melon but maybe that is because of how clean this cup is. There is a refreshing quality to the finish, slight lemon notes creeping in as well.
It begins to develop some nice juiciness, red grape specifically, along with cherry, apple, plum, and pear while the roast has fallen to the background (not gone, but no longer jumping out.) The spice is still there, which is a nice addition to the fruits - it reminds me of pie.
More citrusy notes come in as tangerine seems to be making an appearance. The body stays juicy yet has a creamy finish and the roasty notes come back out again.
As it cools further the grape notes seem to pop out again in addition to that creaminess, with a sparkling acidity that almost reminds me of drinking a grape soda and maybe a few Hershey’s kisses on the side.
Clean, spice, juicy.
Woodneck | 31g (c) to 433g (w) | 3:50 total time | 202 degrees
Very clean tasting. Nice medium-bold cup. Reminds me of a Mexican hot chocolate with a hint of cayenne or nutmeg, but it isn’t too spicy.
It has a juiciness to it too, yet it isn’t full of plump fruit flavors - just a nice juicy quality to the cup with sweetness.
There is also a nice buttered toast finish to it, not too roaster. It reminds me of breakfast in a cup - Toast with jam and a perfectly spiced beverage.
Slowly the juiciness develops more. Grape, plum, and peach notes start to stand out a bit more but also has a slightly spiced pecan finish - the ones my wife’s grandma makes at Christmas time.
Even cooler the spice starts to dissipate and you are left with clean and refreshingly juicy notes of plum, cranberry, and grape with a lightly zesty acidity. Not quite delicate - and still carries some of that roast/spice.
Krupps | 18g (c) to 68g (w)
Decided to run some through this ol’ espresso machine. While not the best test, I love the blast of flavor.
Burnt sugar tastes and bold at first.
As soon as it settles in you get a nice plump sweetness.
Third take in is swirling with grape notes.
The end is bright and bold.
Aeropress | 19g (c) to 270g (w) | 1:30 stir then plunge by 2:00 total time | 205 degrees
Mmm. Rich and bold cup.
Creamy, sweet, roasty finish.
After several minutes it finally tames enough to give signs of red grape but still heavy on the back end.
Am getting a nice juiciness reveal itself though.
Clever | 35g (c) to 493g (w) | 3:35 then drop | 203 degrees
Clean – medium bodied yet with a full taste with slight brown sugar sweetness and roastiness of burnt sugars.
Juicy qualities begin to develop under an otherwise buttery mouthfeel – dark fruits present, black cherry, plum, prune
Sparkling acidity that seems to linger as it cools.
Soft grape, apple, pear notes all seem to come out too as it cools. Creamy body that has hints of roasted almonds in the finish.
Clean, roasty, juicy.
V60 no stir | 34g (c) to 453g (w) | 3:55 total time | 204 degrees
Light chocolate notes. Medium bodied - lighter than other methods and already has some detectable sweetness and juiciness in the finish that I imagine will come to life very soon.
Lots of aromatics in the cup.
A refreshing clarity starts to develop as it moves into comforting black cherry and plum notes, swirled in a creamy chocolate mousse-like texture.
Cooling further it gains a deep and syrupy body with smokey caramel sweetness still with fruit pops mixed in, finally finishing the cup with notes most reminiscent of peanut brittle.
Chemex | 18g (c) to 288g (w) | 3:15 total time | 200 degrees
Light and creamy notes introduced to the cup. Chocolate and vanilla like a Charleston Chew.
Soft, refreshing fruit notes form - pear, apple, grape, cantaloupe. Nice and delicate, as if on a platter with a yogurt based fruit dip, with slight vegetal and malty hints in the finish.
Fruit notes round out a little bit, and grow a more juicy but also start to produce a drying mouthfeel with cinnamon roasted nuts in the finish.
Refreshing, spice, juicy.
Iced Aeropress | 30g (c) to 210g (w) | Cut by 60g sparkling water and 64g ice | 1:00 split pulse pour with stirs then plunge by 1:30 total time | Served over ice | 208 degrees (preferred method)
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Now this was a fun method. The chilling of the coffee jumps it right into the flavors you would find in the later stages noted above. Plum and white grape notes are dancing in the cup, hopefully from the addition of the sparkling water.
Lemon juice qualities were present too, but not the forefront of the cup.
The leading role in this cup is the caramel note. What is otherwise a more baseline note to the cup has jumped to the top, taking form in Sugar Daddy candy sweetness.
It only grows sweeter as it cools while the rest of the flavor keeping proper rustic tones surrounding.
Sparkling grape, lemon, sugar daddy sweetness.
Kalita Wave | 45g (c) to 621g (w) | 4:10 total time | 202 degrees (preferred method)
The aromas from the cup are dense – like spongy chocolate cake, brown sugar, and spices.
The initial sips are clean (maybe not as much as previous methods) and carry a medium body yet rich in cocoa powder notes, marshmallow cream, and juicy plum notes in the finish.
Wood tones linger in the long finish along with spice hints of clove, cardamom, and cinnamon.
As it cools, a refreshing and crisp acidity cuts through juicy notes of cherry, plum, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, and mango with vanilla bean and brown sugar sweetness carried into the finish with a slight roastiness.
It develops a wider mouthfeel as it cools and continues to grow juicier.
Medium bodied, cream, juicy.
Colombian coffees have never really been my favorite, but this was an exciting coffee that highlighted different elements depending on the brew method. It was quite fun to explore, partially due to the results in various methods but mostly for the structure of the coffee. I think the experimental methods of La Palma & El Tucán inspired me to do the same with brewing. From multiple aeropress recipes to pulling shots on my crappy espresso machine, to adding sparkling water into a more concentrated brew - I got a lot of play out of Payacal. As far as Colombian coffees go, I loved the development in the cup. It provided a solid cup of coffee with refinement of sweetness as it cooled.
Read more in PT’s What Lies Behind the Cup.