We decided on this blend, hoping to “challenge” our customers in a few different ways. Ultimately, it challenged our notions about coffee as well.
Named after the ever-famous “Challenger Point” (which was actually named after the space shuttle), this coffee is a 50/50 blend of coffees from Colombia and Burundi. At 14,000 feet, Challenger Point looks down on our tiny valley both day and night. Along with Kit Carson Mountain, it helps to make up one of the most iconic and deadly traverses in this region of Colorado.
Some “challenges” we faced:
- “I just don’t enjoy naturally processed coffees or coffees from Africa—they’re too fruity and acidic.” Meet Challenger. . . a well-balanced, chocolatey blend with African, naturally processed coffee.
- “If you blend two acidic, fruit-forward coffees, you’ll get a coffee FAR too intense.” Turns out, these acidic and fruit-forward coffees balanced each other out beautifully. The resulting blend had both a creamy mouthfeel and nutty flavor.
- “Isn’t Colombia known for mass-produced, generic-tasting coffees?” Perhaps that was the case long ago. However, these days, Colombia is known for producing some of the highest quality coffees in the entire world. The coffee that comes from Colombia is just as diverse as anywhere else in the world. Some would argue, as an origin, it has the largest range of notes and flavor possibilities.
Our conclusions; let’s break it down:
- Dark Chocolate. This coffee is deliciously chocolatey! While Colombia is revered for coffees that have deep and rich chocolate notes, Burundi (especially the naturals from Burundi) aren’t known for it. We like to believe our roast level on both coffees really unlocked chocolate flavor from both origins.
- Walnut. The subtly sweet and tangy walnut note is probably what I am most excited about. Nuttiness and thick mouthfeel aren’t things you’d traditionally find in a cup of African coffee. However, when you blend coffees, you are often able to get the best of both worlds! We were able to secure both nuttiness and subtle sweetness in this blend.
- Marshmallow. Oftentimes, notes are used to describe sensations or feelings. Here, this is what the marshmallow note does for us. It describes the “body” of this coffee and translates what we experience—a creamy mouthfeel (paired with sugary sweetness).
A cup of Challenger is absolutely delightful. To say we were expecting the results we got would be a lie. We were challenged and surprised by them. . . and that’s what is so fun about this coffee.
Challenger is a 50/50 blend of two coffees our customers may recognize: our naturally processed Burundi coffee and the washed Colombian from our Timberline blend. Both components have been a staple at Peregrine this past year.
The Burundi half was farmed by Pierre Nzeyimana and his three sons. It was secured through our relationship with Jake Smith at Homage Coffee.
The Colombian half is a mix of small lots in the Colombian province of Tequendama. It was secured by our relationship with Emily Smith at Mercon Specialty.