Ecco Caffe: The Winter Collection

[flickr-photo:id=4026532478,size=m]Volta welcomes Ecco Caffe's full line of coffees and espressos back into the shop for January. We're very happy to be working with Ecco's espresso bend as our standard for cappuccinos and lattes. The current blend pairs new crop Brazil Cachoeira Yellow Bourbon with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Dama Co-op coffee; the resulting espresso has an amazingly textured crema with ripe fruit notes that meld into caramels and chocolate notes with the addition of steamed milk.

Ecco's focus on bringing quality coffees up from Brazil continues with the amazing Fazenda Sertaozinho. It's another heirloom yellow bourbon varietal, from a farm (aka, fazenda) that has a history of placing coffees in the top tiers of quality competitions. As an espresso, Ecco's Andrew Barnett notes "drenched in dark chocolate, this gem is resplendent with notes of Satsuma tangerine, vanilla marzipan and malted milk." The Sertaozinho is a jewel that reveals dramatically different characteristics depending on how it is brewed. In addition to being our featured single origin espresso, we have a different roast of the same coffee available as a brewed coffee on the Clover or on the Chemex brewer. The Clover-brewed coffee really shows off the honey and sugarcane notes brought out by the natural processing. On the Chemex, you get a sense of the depth of body that these top-quality Brazilians are famous for.

Ecco isn't only about the Brazils. Andrew has sourced an amazing auction lot coffee from Colombia, from producer Ramon Manzano’s Finca Loma Redonda. From Ecco's website:

The farm is near the town of Sotara in Colombia’s renowned Cauca coffee growing region. Intoxicating dry aromatics of sugarcane, floral, honey and cocoa transition into a sweet and beautifully balanced cup. Our team at Ecco fell in love with its elegant citric noted vibrancy, sparkling acidity and honey noted finish.

This coffee came from a competition organized by ACDI/VOCA, a non-profit organization that runs coffee development programs with small-holder farmers. It is motivated in part by a desire to convince farmers to switch back from growing coca to growing coffee and to help them find methods of making coffee farming more profitable. Many of these farmer groups are also considered "guarde bosques" – guardians of the forest – because their land surrounds native forest and represents a buffer zone that deters deforestation.

In a season that has seen wonderful coffees from Colombia-- specifically, from Intelligentsia's project with Finca Santuario-- the Loma Redonda stands out for its deep body and dark, ripe fruit notes.