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THE BEST COFFEES OF 2023

THE BEST COFFEES OF 2023

OUR TEAM'S FAVORITE COFFEE FROM THE LAST 12 MONTHS

At the end of each year, we reflect on the memories made and the highlights that standout. We believe that coffee creates memorable moments in our daily lives. At its core, it’s quite simple. However, the impact a cup of coffee can have is unmeasurable. It is with this sentiment that we curated a tasting set to accompany our reflections of those memorable moments these coffees made for each of us this year. The Best of 2023.

Irvin Izaguirre and Juan Angel

IRVIN IZAGUIRRE

In 2014, Madcap first partnered with Juan Angel, a coffee producer residing in Santa Barbara, Honduras. Just shy of a decade later, Juan’s son Irvin inherited a plot of land from his father. With the median age of coffee producers rising, this partnership brings hope for the future generations. Irvin’s coffee is the pacas variety, grown at 1,850 MASL. In the cup, look for vibrant acidity, red fruit sweetness, and clarity.

The Reinoso family

LUIS REINOSO + YENNI REINOSO

We approach each producer partnership with the mindset of creating a sustainable relationship that will withstand time. Since 2010, we have been working with the husband and wife duo Luis and Yenni Reinoso from Tolima, Colombia. While they both work together to manage their estates, we buy multiple varieties of coffee from them each year, which is why they each have their own respective labels. Luis’ coffee is primarily Caturra, Bourbon, and Colombia varieties grown at lower elevations. The coffee donning Yenni’s name is grown at higher elevations on their property, and is made of our favorite varieties on their farm each year. With Luis managing the fieldwork and Yenni overseeing the drying, the Reinosos are able to harvest and process their coffee all onsite.

Gitwe coffee farm

GITWE

Each coffee on our menu necessitates dozens of different professionals along the value chain. One of the exporting companies we partner with is Long Miles Coffee Project, based out of East Africa. They are doing incredible work in the growing regions in Burundi, Kenya, and Uganda, such as building the Heza Washing Station in Kayanza, Burundi. This washing station is located near seven different hills, each with unique terroir. Gitwe is one of those hills. This Bourbon variety exemplifies tropical sweetness, round body, and clean acidity. The experience reminds us of the relationships developed and the exceptional coffee being grown throughout East Africa.

Samuel Degelo

SAMUEL DEGELO

The award-winning coffee grown by Samuel Degelo has been exceptional each year we’ve contracted it. Guji, Ethiopia, is one of the most popular coffee growing regions in the world. It is one of the few places where coffee trees grow naturally throughout the land. Samuel’s coffee is a rare experience of tasting an individual producer’s lot, as it is common for communities to pool their harvests together. In the cup, look for tropical notes of coconut, as well as juicy peach-like sweetness.

the Rodriguez family

ELEFANTE

This year was a milestone for the Rodriguez family in El Salvador. Gloria and Luis have been longtime partners and friends of Madcap, having grown the first coffee Madcap ever purchased. Over the years, Luis discovered a mysterious variety growing on their farm. The cherry is so large and contains nearly ten times more juice than a typical coffee cherry, so this new variety was dubbed Elefante. This unique coffee is grown throughout their farm, requiring a high level of maintenance and intentionality for harvesting. Each year we pay nearly four times the market price of coffee to contract as much Elefante as possible. This premium is for the labor involved in harvesting, the high quality of the coffee, and the commitment to excellence the Rodriguez’ display with every crop.

ELEFANTE NUEVA GRANADA CUP OF EXCELLENCE

To join this year’s Elefante, Roberto Rodriguez submitted a separation of Elefante to the Cup of Excellence for El Salvador. This competition showcases the best of the best from each origin. The family is known to find success at the COE, having ranked in the top 20 a number of times. This year, Roberto’s separation of Elefante ranked #6, holding the top spot above all other washed coffees in the country. This separation is extremely floral, delicate, and full of red fruit.

The Prentice family

FINCA DE DIOS

Finca de Dios is a coffee that speaks for itself. The Prentice family owns and operates an innovative farm in the Fraijanes region of Guatemala. Ellen and Stuart, a trained botanist and engineer respectively, use their expertise to harvest exceptional coffee and design equipment needed to process on site. Their daughter, Ashley, brings her expertise of the coffee industry and agricultural climate to round out this multi-generational family effort. This coffee has a silky texture, agave sweetness, with a bit of orange acidity.

Amos Ndatakiura’s and his coffee farm in Kiringyaga, Kenya

KANDA AA, AB, AND PB SEPARATIONS

Finishing off this year’s Best of 2023 set are three separations from Amos Ndatakiura’s farm, in Kiringyaga, Kenya. Amos primarily grows SL-28, a coffee variety developed in Kenya that has become synonymous with Kenyan coffee. Amos’ estate sits on two hectares of land next to Mount Kenya. Onsite, Amos has the infrastructure to pulp, ferment, wash, and dry his coffee in preparation for shipment. This level of care and involvement allows the quality of his coffee to be preserved and maintained to his liking, which ultimately shows in the cup.

Each separation carries a different title, corresponding to the physical size of the coffee bean. Coffee beans vary in size and shape, depending on a number of different factors. Oftentimes, harvests are combined without any sorting, resulting in a less dynamic cup. Amos’ coffee was sorted using a series of screens, separating like-sized coffee beans together. The AA represents the larger screen size, AB is the medium sized screen, and PB (also referred to as “peaberry”) is the smallest, due to its petite and round shape.

It is a unique opportunity to experience coffee from a single producer in Kenya. Similar to Ethiopia, coffee growing communities in Kenya often pool their harvests together to obtain higher yields. With Amos’s coffee, you get to experience the individuality of three separations, which shows in the clarity of each cup. When roasting, the uniform size allows for more control and specificity, as the density and shape of beans react differently throughout the roasting process.

This years’ Best Of 2023 set is a curation of memories and long lasting friendships. It is exciting to see each of these coffees compiled together in a set, side by side, to be enjoyed and shared.

Farm worker drying coffee
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