Mexico, the varietal pacamara ,and Winkler, Manitoba. All 3 wouldn’t be top of mind if someone asked you to describe delicious specialty coffee. In this instance however, it’s all coming together to create something fantastic. The Finca Kassandra roasted by Other Brother Roasters is done to perfection.
“This one was definitely not like roasting any of the other coffees we’ve done. It was fickle. This one it needed to be a bit more of a gentle roast – we couldn’t go at it too aggressively. A little bit of a longer drying time during the roast was important for this one.” explained Chris Hildebrand, Roaster at Other Brother.
Finca Kassandra Pacamara
"This coffee is HUGE - both the bean itself and the taste. Just after brewing look for sweet notes of chocolate and cherry but as it cools the coffee completely transforms to be much more savoury - think tomato, basil and bacon."
When the cup is warm it has creamy notes of milk chocolate that dominate the cup, followed by a red cherry acidity and back to a chocolate truffle and cocoa nibs in the aftertaste. When the cup cools it transforms - essentially into a completely different cup of coffee. Savoury notes of basil, tomato and bacon.
This cup of coffee is ridiculously interesting. It’s an adventure of a cup of coffee. A roller coaster of a ride all in your morning joe.
At the annual barista competition it was the bean of choice for a barista from Johnny’s Java, a partnering café in Winkler. This was the one they wanted to use to showcase their best work and flaunt the skill. Flaunt it proudly, as this pacamara deserves the praise.
The farm established by the Rivas Family is minuscule - specifically the portion designated for growing Pacamara. About 4% of the total 600 hectares are for Pacamara. The rest is for other varietals and, surprisingly, macadamia nuts. Award winning coffee and macadamia nuts? No, this isn't Hawaii!
“We believe that we are accountable to the farmer.” Jon Plett, co-owner of Other Brother Coffee Roasters tells us. They’re quite particular about their relationships with the farmers, however it’s not about the certificates on the bag. In fact, Jon won’t be bragging about any certifications their coffees have.
“We might happen to have coffees that possess those certifications but to date we have never put them on our labels” as he refers to Organic, Rainforest Alliance and the likes. “Each one of the certifications has its flaws and bottlenecks. We focus on treating people as people and having a relationship with our suppliers as well as our vendors.”
We focus on treating people as people and having a relationship with our suppliers as well as our vendors.
It’s a rather interesting perspective to take. The certification process could be arduous for the micro-lot farmer. With a limited amount of funds to the producers’ name, Other Brother realizes that coffee farmers are among the poorest in the world and can’t prioritize a certification in exchange for marketability. Don’t expect the farmer to be fleeced by this roaster because of it though – Other Brother is all about providing a fair price for beans.