Yo El Rey Roasting
|Roaster Location:||Calistoga, California|
|Coffee Origin:||Cahuasqui region, Imbabura Province, north-central Ecuador|
|Review Date:||November 2016|
Blind Assessment: Evaluated as espresso. An engagingly exotic coffee that polarized the three reviewers: John DiRuocco was lukewarm at 90, whereas Jen Apodaca was very enthusiastic at 95; Ken landed in the middle at 93. Ken read the coffee as driven by an attractive sweet ferment that for him suggested winey grape edging on grappa; John cited a fruit that for him was simultaneously ripe, tart and spicy; Jen went entirely positive on the fruit notes, citing in particular mango and passion fruit – fruit that taken together perhaps echoes John’s lush, tart and spicy reading. The cup was intense for John but not entirely coherent, while Jen found it expressed a “nice balance of acidity and sweetness.” Everyone found the coffee attractively complex in three parts milk, simultaneously lushly sweet and tart.
Notes: Grown at an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) and apparently processed by the dry-processed or “natural” method, meaning the beans were dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed, as is the case with wet-processed or “washed” coffees. This coffee tied for the top rating in a tasting of single-origin espressos from the Americas for Coffee Review‘s November 2016 tasting report. Yo El Rey is a small-batch roaster based in Calistoga, California. For more information, visit www.yoelreyroasting.com.
The Bottom Line: An intriguing espresso, with a dynamic, wide-ranging intensity that probably derives in part from a mild, sweet fruit ferment. Adventurers welcome, classicists beware.
This review originally appeared in the November, 2016 tasting report: New-World Espressos: Single-Origin Espressos from the Americas