We did not suppress our surprise when Blue Bottle Coffee announced the release of Perfectly Ground—a late 2016 debut of precisely ground, hermetically sealed coffee packages. It was an unexpected move from a brand known for immediacy, vibrance and freshness—and it was only possible thanks to developments in professional-grade grinding and packaging. After sampling the coffee envelopes—and constructing our own pour-overs on the fly—we fell in love with the convenience and the continued quality. For last year’s CH Omakase, we partnered with Blue Bottle, selecting one of their most distinct beans, the Finca Kilimanjaro from Aida Batlle in El Salvador, and making it available in Perfectly Ground form. Our Omakase edition Perfectly Ground collaboration is now gone, but whole-bean packages are still available from Blue Bottle, and it’s one of the more special coffee beans on the market.
Aida Batlle has become one of the most reliable producers in the coffee world. It’s worth mentioning that she’s also a fifth-generation coffee-grower. Value abounds in her production, from the pickers on her family land all the way to the baristas in competitions using her microlots. Batlle is an incredible resource for roasters, more or less and the team at Blue Bottle has described her as a “dream partner.”
Batlle’s Finca Kilamanjaro is exceptionally unique. This is a Kenyan varietal of coffee planted very high up, in the old-growth forests of El Salvador. This coffee took home the international Cup of Excellence in 2003. And soon after, it fetched the highest price per pound in coffee auction history. Today, it’s still one of the most respected and desirable out there. The resulting cup, according to Blue Bottle has a noticeable density and brightness. On the flavor front, Kilimanjaro is typically sweet, with cherry or berry nuances, and a light florality that deepens the complexity. Further, it’s tart and snappy, but the natural sweetness truly defines it. From rarity to flavor profile, it was the ideal bean to employ for Omakase—and with Batlle behind it, we knew sustainability and fair practices were a given.
Finca Kilimanjaro from Aida Batlle in El Salvador whole beans are currently for sale. These limited edition items sell for $20 for a 6oz bag, and $40 for a 12oz bag. To avoid missing out on limited edition collaborations like our Perfectly Ground with Blue Bottle, reserve your CH Omakase 2017 now.
Lead image by Cool Hunting, other images courtesy of Blue Bottle