|Fort Bragg, California
Extraordinary, luxurious coffee, lushly sweet yet vibrantly acidy, with ripe, opulent fruit tones and delicately intense floral high notes. Utterly free of bitterness or astringency. Perfectly roasted, and as extravagantly complex as the very finest East Africa coffees. Nominator David Lubertozzi of Berkeley raves about its "amazing body and milk-chocolateyness," and confesses he enjoys it even better cold than hot -- always a sign of an exceptional coffee.
Maragogipe is a botanical variety of the arabica species that produces extremely large beans. The beans that make up this splendid coffee are not pure Maragogipe, however, but come from a hybrid tree that is a cross of Maragogipe and another variety, caturra. This hybrid is variously called pacamara, or, in the case of this version, created by the Byron Corrales family of the Matagalpa district of Nicaragua, mara-caturra. Curiously, this hybrid, whatever it is called, produces a much more complex and aromatic cup than either of its parents, the Maragogipe or the caturra. Thanksgiving offers the mara-caturra in both light and medium roast styles. The lighter roast better preserves this coffee's startling nuance. One of the country's groundbreaking socially and environmentally progressive roasters, Thanksgiving has aimed to combine coffee quality with social and environmental responsibility long before the latter preoccupations became fashionable. Visit www.thanksgivingcoffee.com or call 800-648-6491 for more information.
Who Should Drink It
Almost any way you drink this one you should enjoy it, but it would make an excellent choice for lovers of moderate dark roasts who want to experiment with a light-to-medium-roasted coffee that is naturally sweet and free of the sharp sourness many coffee drinkers justifiably associate with light roasts.
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This review originally appeared in the December, 2002 tasting report: Readers' Choices