Part of our vision has always been to showcase coffee and its processes in a more global light. Experiencing coffee from different cultures allows you to have a new perspective and deeper connection with the outside world as well as a stronger appreciation for your community. *
“Experiencing coffee from different cultures allows you to have a new perspective and deeper connection with the outside world; a stronger appreciation for your community”
After surviving the hardships of multiple hurricanes, newfound limitations within our local agriculture came to light. Green coffee shortages on the island made it increasingly difficult to guarantee any coffee for the remainder of the year. This lead us to find a way to help sustain our community while still being able to fulfill a very important part of everyones day, la hora del café – the coffee break.
“Quality, passion and process; these are some of the values we look for when sourcing specialty coffee ”
We began our research and dove right into sourcing, cupping and roasting different specialty regions from around Central and Latin America, as well as south east Asia to learn more about their culture, their land and what makes their coffee so delicious.
Much like our people, you quickly see how dedicated these farmers are to their craft, the land and the cultivation of our most prized and scarcest commodity. Quality, passion and process; these are some of the values we look for when sourcing great specialty coffee and it’s what motivated us to create our first geographical specialty blend.
What is a blend? Single origin vs origin blends
Chances are you’ve already heard of single origin coffee, which is a coffee grown in a single geographical region. It’s carefully selected and harvested from a single farm or multiple farms of the same region. Single origin coffees are typically of excellent and very high quality much like our Gustos Reserva line, that focuses on highlighting the unique flavors imparted by nutrients in the soil of one specific region. We truly believe this is a central part to the coffee tasting experience.
[…] ” It’s the acknowledgement that the coffee is from a particular farm located in a unique setting; it’s flavor depicts its origin, possessing characteristics of that specific area where that particular coffee was grown “. – A. PipunicThe Perfect Daily Grind, excerpt from blog post: “Everything you need to know about single origin coffees”.
As most roasters will tell you, it takes a lot of patience and practice before you decide and know which coffee regions to roast, let alone blend together. You always want to make sure the individual flavor profiles of each bean within the blend are highlighted and evenly distributed, both in roast quality and flavor to enhance its acidity and body, and produce a more complex, even more delicious coffee experience.
Benefits of blends
Since all coffee is variably different, and the flavor the bean inherits from the soil varies every season from region to region, this presents quite a challenge for the roaster.
With a blend, you are able to take the best qualities that make each individual coffee great and combine them to get a totally new flavor experience. It’s like having the best of both worlds.
You can control and dial in a specific flavor profile and have the makings for a smooth, clean cup full of character that you can’t necessarily get from a single origin bean, literally extending the possibilities for coffee connoisseurs. A win for you and everyone that wants to savor a great cup of coffee all the time.
[…] You are able to take the best qualities that make each individual coffee great and combine them to get a totally new flavor experience. It’s like having the best of both worlds ”
El Chupacabra Specialty Blends
Sumatra Aceh Ketiara
The first coffee region we thought of when we started El Chupacabra, was the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Sumatra is known for its rough tropical terrain, diverse wildlife, vegetation and active volcanoes. To us, these are the makings of a fertile land perfect for shade grown coffee production.
The beans we initially began roasting gave us a smooth cup with milk chocolate, citrus zest and orange flavors; a perfect pairing to our Yauco coffee which naturally gives smooth chocolate notes, hints of light vanilla, and a full body mouthfeel. Ketiara is a women-run coop encircled by the National Park of Gunung Leuser which has over 900+ grow members that proudly plant, process and export organic specialty coffee.
Later on, we began sampling micro lots from Guatemala and after much trial and error, landed on the right roast level, giving us: cherry, dark chocolate and subtle notes of sweet raisins. These diverse and complex flavor profiles is part of what makes Guatemala’s coffee so special.
This selection comes from a particular farm whose soil is influenced by ocean trade winds and three active volcanoes: Atitlán, Fuego, and Acatenango. The end result is a rich flavor with dark chocolate, mild cherry notes, subtle hints of vanilla and raisins with a clean cup finish. Simply a coffee that we can’t get enough of.
Colombia is the second largest producer of coffee in the world next to Brazil and the largest producer of washed arabica beans. This beautiful country is highly regarded for the quality of their coffee and their old-world farming techniques, giving you a cup that’s sweetly aromatic with a balanced flavor.
Colombia x Puerto Rico is currently one of our most popular specialty blends. It has proven to be a delicious fan favorite, and a daily driver in our coffee shops and at home. This wonderful specialty coffee blend gives you sweet caramel scents, a balanced and clean cup with subtle hints of citrus, chocolate and a bright to medium acidity.
So far in the series of El Chupacabra, we’ve been lucky to source from some amazing farms in Colombia, Guatemala and the islands of Sumatra to blend with our coffee from Yauco, Puerto Rico. Each region unique in both their methods of production and the unmistakeable flavors of their varied terroir.
This experimental series of Specialty Coffees is one that is continually evolving and progressing. As we are able to source newer and different varietals from different farms, new origins and blends will be introduced over time hopefully giving you fresh and exciting coffee experience.
Venturing into the unknown and taking the steps and risks necessary to bring this specialty coffee blend to fruition is in itself a rewarding experience.
Have you had a chance to try El Chupacabra specialty blend? Shop online to brew at home or Visit our cafés to have a taste of your favorite drink, and one of our friendly baristas will gladly brew you a delicious cup that will brighten your day.