Release #10: Las Nubes Eugenioides Dry Process 2018 

    Since its inception, the specialty coffee industry has focused on one species of coffee: Arabica. Taking cues from the wine industry, there has been much discussion about varieties within the Arabica species. This is for good reason as plant genetics can have a profound impact on the resulting cup. But again, all of the varieties that the Specialty industry has focused on are variants of the Arabica species. Only one other species of coffee is cultivated for consumption: Canephora - colloquially known as Robusta. Robusta is, generally speaking, easier to cultivate and produces greater crop yield than Arabica. It is, however, also generally quite poor in cup quality. As such, it has understandably been shirked by the Specialty movement, a movement that focuses on the quality and qualities of coffee.

    While Arabica and Robusta are veritable household names in much of the coffee consuming world, it is seldom mentioned that there are roughly 100 other species in the genus Coffea. While recent years have seen a greater interest in other species of coffee - a necessary undertaking considering Arabica’s dismal future in light of climate change - this has largely been on the side of a small handful of coffee-focused research organizations.

    Though distinctly less delicious than Arabica, the specialty industry does owe a great debt of gratitude to Robusta since it is one of two species in the Coffea genus believed to be a parent of Coffea Arabica. At some point in the last 2.5 million years in the south-western highlands of Ethiopia, a Robusta plant crossed with another species known as Eugenoides. During this crossing, a spontaneous genetic mutation took place, during which the Arabica species was born. 

    Eugenioides is much harder to cultivate than Arabica. It is very low yielding and it contains less caffeine, an important distinction owing to the fact that some species of coffee produce caffeine as a defense to pests (not all coffee species contain caffeine!). The challenges involved in producing this coffee - which of course translate directly to the price paid - are, however, well worth it in our estimation, as Eugenioides is capable of producing flavors that no cup of Arabica we have ever tasted can produce.

    In 2018, Passenger was incredibly proud to have the opportunity to roast a small amount of this extraordinary Dry Processed Eugenioides lot from Finca Las Nubes in Valle de Cauca, Colombia. It remains, without question, the most unique coffee we have ever tasted. 

    Freezer Fridays

    The Freezer Friday archival release series provides a unique new opportunity to explore Passenger’s treasure trove of notable harvests from the past. As those familiar with our approach to green coffee preservation will already know, we have actively stored our green coffee in an off-site deep freeze facility since our start as a company, keeping the coffees that we purchase in pristine condition following arrival.

    While the majority of Reserve Lot coffees that we buy sell out within months of their first appearance on our menu, we have, since our start in 2014, saved small volumes of many of our most extraordinary coffees for future enjoyment. 

    Inspecting the harvest at Gesha Village Estates

    Selecting gems from the past at Passenger’s off-site freezer archive

    This year we will begin to make a few of these “greatest hits” available for purchase in extremely limited quantities. Each release will be announced through Social Media and limited to 1 per order.

    The archival lots that we will be releasing in this way are not only shining examples of plant genetics, terroir, and skilled processing, they also offer a unique nostalgic opportunity: to revisit our previous experiences with these coffees and acknowledge once again some of the true high-water marks of producers whose coffees we have been privileged to taste over the years.

    • 04.30.21 Release #10: Las Nubes Eugenioides Dry Process 2018

    • 03.12.21 Release #9: El Injerto Pacamara 2017

    • 01.29.21 Release #8: Alexis Gonzales 2018

    • 10.30.20 Release #7: El Barril C.O.E. 2018

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