Local Stop : Finca El Puente

With the somewhat recent acquisition of my own Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill and Aeropress, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a few different types of beans and preparations with breakfast every morning. After a couple weeks of Joe Coffee’s super bright and citrus-y Guji Layo Toraya from Ethiopia, I decided to set my sights on a bean that was a little bit more approachable for my next selection, one that would not only taste great on its own, but play nicely in concert with a whole variety of different paired breakfasts and desserts.

Enter Counter Culture’s Finca El Puente.

“If you imagines the color purple having a flavor, it would be all over this cup.”

With a name that vaguely translates to “The Bridge Property” (owing to its source’s proximity to a bridge crossing over a spring,) this particular Honduran single-origin coffee has a pretty significant pedigree behind it, winning just about every competitive event in which it has ever been entered. This performance has helped Finca El Puente earn its nickname amongst high-level roasters and baristas, The Purple Princess. Regarding this moniker, “if you imagined the color purple had a flavor,” explained an Everyman barista, “it would be all over this cup.” With tasting notes describing “plum notes and brown sugar sweetness with toasted nut in the finish,” I went into tasting this coffee imagining something juicy in texture, like a smoky, caramelized fruit punch.

The straight-up, black coffee result wasn’t that far off from that expectation, really. I found the overall texture very juicy – substantive but not creamy. The name is pretty spot-on, with a ton of plum and grape flavors going on, though not enough to distract from the very clean, almost quintessential coffee aspect to this drink. There were other notes and flavors floating around that added brightness to the drink, but they all acted to accentuate the positive qualities of the coffee itself rather than mask its negative ones.

There are flavors floating around that accentuate the positive qualities of the coffee itself rather than mask its negative ones.

Mixing the Purple Princess with some milk and maple syrup brought out some other interesting qualities to the flavors at play here – I got a lot more of the inherent sweetness that the tasting notes mention (though on the fruity side compared to the explicit maple flavor coming from the syrup). I didn’t really get too much toasted nut, though – maybe a few shades of grain (barley, perhaps), but I could just have been imagining things. The drink itself was very mild, though – I feel like unlike many other punchy coffee types out there, it can give a friendly flavor experience without being too overbearing or cerebral in its profile.

If you happen to find this coffee around, I’d highly recommend grabbing a bag, especially if you’re relatively unaccustomed to the wide range of flavors that microlot batches can give you. With a very balanced and bright set of flavors, you’ll get something very different from your standard Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts cup of joe, without making you feel like you’re out of your depth.

Until next time, enjoy, and take care. 😀