The Popayán region of Columbia is a high altitude (5,700 ft), mountainous growing region with well-respected coffees. Popayán Supremo coffees are some of the best that Columbia has to offer, and tend to be very well balanced with a range of body.
It’s no surprise that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters out of Waterbury, VT would supply one.
Green Mountain says the following about this coffee: “Grown high in the Andes, this coffee produces a lush, vibrant cup with balanced complexity.”
If diner drip is the Budweiser of coffees, Green Mountain Columbian Supremo Popayán (CSR) is more like Blue Moon – a step up from mediocre, but nothing too special.
Considering we are located just three hours from the Green Mountain roasting facility, we’re going on the assumption that these beans were pretty fresh at purchase, although no roast date was given. The beans themselves looked pretty consistent in size, shape and color, and although Green Mountain says they are a light roast, they looked more like a light, full city. In the bag, the beans had a light, earthy aroma with cocoa undertones, which flourished once ground.
For taste testing we French pressed the coffee using a standard method of 3:1 coffee/water, 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 4 minute brew time. Once steeped, the coffee took on a medium/light brown color, and aromatic notes of mild nuttiness and light oak.
The coffee had a much lighter body than expected, though by no means unpleasant. If you are looking for that velvety feeling in your mouth, Green Mountain’s CSR is not the road to take. One of the more charming characteristics was its acidity, a noticeably cheerful, and not overly dry flavor, resembling that of a breakfast blend – a result of the lighter roast. The coffee’s finish was smooth and palatable, with a balanced woody taste.
The downfall of this coffee is its lack of complexity. Though it certainly tasted like coffee, there weren’t any characteristics that left the tongue pleasantly confused. Perhaps Green Mountain made their coffee too balanced, to the point that any hints of variety were left at an equilibrium.
Though not a bad effort, we’d like to see something a little more exceptional from this region of the world.
HBCB Verdict: 5.8/10
Pros: Price ($9.99/lb). Value. Availability. Acidity.
Cons: Nothing special for a special region. Lack of complexity.