As summer dwindles to a close, we remember here in San Francisco that it’s the autumn when temperatures rise and passions ignite. We’re hoping to stoke the fires of creation and mirth with our new Seasonal Espresso, named after the mythical King of Fairies- Oberon!
Oberon features 3 three fresh, assertive coffees which meld together to create a balanced and exciting cup. The base of this espresso comes from Nancy Majano de Arenivar’s farm, Monte Rey, in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador. Her Bourbón and Pacas variety coffees are mechanically washed with a Penagos aquapulper before being dried on raised beds - the results giving the Oberon blend a syrupy, velvety body with rich flavors of hazelnuts and toasted walnuts. Providing the flavor counterpoint to the Monte Rey is SL 34 and SL 28 variety coffees from the Ngemwa Estate in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. In the blend, the Ngemwa contributes a flashy, vibrant lemon-lime acidity that keeps this espresso from dulling on the palate. Finally, Caturra variety coffees from the Los Crestones micromill in Tarrazu, Costa Rica, bridge the gap between high and low notes in this espresso with complex aromatics and sweetness. Grown between 1700 and 1900 MASL and mechanically washed, the small lots contributing to the Los Crestones exhibit an intense floral aroma, followed up with flavors of tart cranberry, sweet cola and Nocino liqueur.
In concert, these pointed coffees combine seamlessly to create a complex yet balanced espresso: floral in aroma, citric in acidity, dried stonefruit and cola in its sweetness, and warm with toasted walnuts in the lingering finish.
This is a blend that’s destined to burn up fast, so get on it!
1/3 Monte Rey —— Santa Ana, El Salvador
1/3 Ngemwa Estate —— Kirinyaga, Kenya
1/3 Los Crestones Microlots —— Chirripo, Costa Rica
A Few Words on the 2014 Ritual Coffee Roasters Seasonal Espresso Program & its Imagery:
The symbolism behind the artwork for this year’s seasonal espressos comes from illustrator Jen Kruch’s fascination with Tarot, alchemy, and the occult. In magical practices, the cardinal directions are referred to as the Watchtowers and are evoked during the casting of a circle prior to a magical ritual. Each Watchtower is associated with a Tarot suit (Swords, Coins, Wands, Cups), an element (Air, Earth, Fire, Water), and a phase of the moon (New, Waxing, Full, Waning). The Watchtowers conjure imagery which is based on these simple concepts, yet is rich with symbolism and story. The aim is to be part fairy tale, part magic, and wholly inspired by the seasons and their bounties.
The Golden Bough:
Named after a painting by 18th Century British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner, also known as “the painter of light.” The subject of this painting comes from Virgil’s poem, the Aeneid. The Trojan hero learns he can only enter the Underworld to meet the ghost of his father if he offers the goddess Proserpine a golden bough cut from a sacred tree. In Tarot the spring is aligned with the suit of Coins, which is associated with the element of Earth. Earth-based qualities are usually grounded in reason, but can be stubborn in the face of ambition. The Coins suit focuses heavily on earthly belongings and prosperity through work, business, and trade. It is associated with lunar waxing crescent as the light grows and the days get longer.