2016 a personal and professional highlight for me. It has been a privilege to work in an environment which nutures and encourages development and growth through support, opportunities and, perhaps most importantly, access to some of the finest coffees and roasters available anywhere in the world. Asking for highlights from such an incredible lineup is a difficult task; how to explain the excitement of opening boxes with stamps from Scandinavia, San Francisco, London and Europe knowing that they represent the culmination of years of work, recognition that we are amongst a privileged few trusted to do these finely roasted and painstakingly sourced coffees justice. Any number of cups I brewed this year could have been every bit as much at home amongst such prestigious company, but after a lot of agonising and several revisions, my three espressos and three filters are as follows:
*LGB Sweet Xmas Blend - Caffenation: the perfect balance of sweet, acidic, bright and juicy. Everything modern espresso should be, and my highlight of the year.
*Friendo Blendo - Four Barrel: full bodied, well rounded, clean, clear and delicious. Roasted so well it made dialling in and working with a pleasure.
*Blanca Rojas -Colombia- Drop: "It says here that it tastes like lime and raspberries". "There's no way it tastes like lime and raspberries". *Dials in, pulls shot* "Wow. That tastes exactly like lime and raspberries"
*Kamiro, Rwanda - Bonanza: fruity and pleasantly acidic with creamy vanilla sweetness. A delight.
*Mugaya, Kenya - Drop: bright, clean, blackcurranty, sharp and juicy on the cool-down. Couldn't ask for a better example of what this wonderful region has to offer, roasted to the peak of its potential.
*Idido, Ethiopia - Caffenation: natural processed coffee that is exceptionally clean, packed with creamy strawberry sweetness and not overbearingly funky. Sets the bar for progresive naturally processed coffee