In order to showcase the variety of nice packages in this town, the San Diego Coffee Network collaborated with seven local roasters and retailer Love and Aesthetics to shoot the must-have coffee bags of the season. The variety in this selection is rich, with origins that include Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Photographer Julie Rings, with the assistance of Jose Lopez, took the following pictures at Love and Aesthetics Little Italy, a whimsical location that awakens inner creativity as much as the caffeine of these coffees will. Produced by Pablo Lara.
A Golden Cup: Cafe Moto's Rwanda
Elegant and rich, this coffee has a chocolate backdrop with subtle acidity that adds complexity when pulled as espresso. From the Abakundakawa Co-op in the Gakenke District of Rwanda, this coffee represents the responsible sourcing of Sustainable Harvest. Quality cherries have resulted in a higher income for the co-op members.
The Gilded Cage: James Coffee Co. Pacas, Honduras.
For a second year James Coffee Co. features direct trade coffees from the El Cañal farm in Honduras. Their Pacas lot is roasted light, resulting in a clean and balanced cup. Its juicy acidity, notes of peach and buttery body make it memorable and extremely flavorful. This second crop shows improvement from last years harvest which excites the James team to keep working with this farm. Served as pour over in their Little Italy cafe, the brew is crisp and may we say feathery?
Electric Sweetness: Cafe Virtuoso's Santa Isabel, Guatemala.
For four generations the Santa Isabel farm of Santa Rosa, Guatemala has produced high-quality beans. They started implementing organic agricultural techniques in 2007 in order to preserve the biodiversity of the farm. This roast is a blend of natural processed Caturra, Catuai and Bourbon varietals resulting in flavor notes of chocolate, almond, strawberry. The wine like acidity ties together the sweet notes resulting in a balanced cup.
In the Monkey's Paw: Bird Rock's Monkey Bite.
A stand out amongst blends, the Monkey Bite Espresso is seasonally updated to layer the best attributes of in-season beans. Due to the rotation of origins and constant calibration its profile is unpredictable but always adheres to its adventurous personality. Buy a bag and transport yourself into the romanticized adventure of sourcing at origin, experience exotic flavors and rich acidity.
The Caffeine Bust: Swell Coffee's El Socorro Yellow Bourbon, Guatemala.
Near Guatemala City, in the municipality of Palencia, Diego de la Cerda works hard to produce some of the best coffees coming out of Guatemala. Famed by his Cup of Excellence awards, Diego has integrated rigorous quality control into all aspects of farming and milling. This fully washed yellow bourbon has notes of golden raisins, bright chocolate and plum. A delight in both espresso and pour-over.
A Medley of Goods: Coffee and Tea Collective's Kii AA of Kirinyaga, Kenya.
Fully washed and sun-dried this coffee grabs your attention with its intense caramel aroma. The syrupy body coats your mouth as you pick up the plum notes and floral finish. Pulled as single origin espresso the brown sugar layers with the plum to create a distinct flavor reminiscing of candied figs. This coffee bag should be placed on the dessert aisle of this porcelain grocery store.
Playfully Orange: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters' Ethiopia Guji.
Once brewed, this bag of heirlooms results in an explosion of orange blossoms. This distinct floral is striking yet delicate. The washed process brings out elegant fruit notes which play along with a brown sugar sweetness to recreate a spiced orange marmalade. Try it out as a single origin espresso at the Dark Horse in North Park in order to be awaken by its vibrancy.
The Most Rare of Essences: Bird Rock's Esmeralda Lino Natural Geisha.
A wise botanist has the rarest of essences, and carefully stores them in apothecary jars. Because of its sun-dried natural processing the Geisha Lino, of the famed Esmeralda farm of Panama, is a rarity among such an exotic varietal. It is one of four specialty Geishas of 2015 coming out of the direct trade partnership of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters and La Esmeralda. This exclusive micro-lot will captivate your senses with notes of white nectarine, mango, rose, fruit punch and silky white chocolate.
A special thanks to Sean Barnes, owner of Love and Aesthetics, for collaborating with the San Diego Coffee Network to realize this creative piece.
Visit Love and Aesthetics:
621 W Fir St, San Diego, CA 92101
Monday: 12:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 pm – 12:00 am
More information on its sister location in North Park here.