December 29, 2021

Mecca Coffee Categories Explained

If you've ever come across a bag of Mecca coffee beans, chances are you've noticed the colourful pattern that adorns its front label. Far more than just a pretty artwork, these patterns reflect our designated 'flavour category' for each unique coffee: Bright & Juicy, Light & Floral, Rich & Comforting...

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What are the Mecca Coffee Categories, and why?

If you've ever come across a bag of Mecca coffee beans, chances are you've noticed the colourful pattern that adorns its front label. Far more than just a pretty artwork, these patterns reflect our designated 'flavour category' for each unique coffee: Bright & Juicy, Light & Floral, Rich & Comforting... it's a system we feel can help connect a coffee drinker with their desired cuppa better than overcomplicated declarations of origin, varietal or altitude. Read on as we break down our approach to each coffee's flavour category, and how you can pick the right coffee for every moment, every time!

RICH & COMFORTING  

A coffee humming with bass notes, full of smooth and  approachable charm - giving us a warm & fuzzy feeling, and particularly easy to brew for both espresso and filter.

Regions/varietals that generally fall into this category: Lower-altitude / lower-acid coffees; Typically from Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia.

Common tasting notes: Creamy, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Caramelised sugar, Stewed Fruit, Easy Drinking, Drink the whole pot

Best paired with: Sweet Food, Pancakes, Waffles, Hangovers

Rich & Comforting classics: Clayton Barossa (Brazil), Hunapu (Guatemala), Sitio da Torre Natural (Brazil), Finca los Bellotos (El Salvador), Campos Altos (Brazil), Javier Golondrino (Colombia)

A word from the Roaster: Rich & Comforting could be considered the most ‘classic’ of coffee flavour profiles, given that most coffees present caramelised and rich flavours once they’re roasted to a certain point. The goal for us, however, is to find coffees that offer up all their generous body and sweetness without needing to be roasted too dark, making for a clean and smashable filter brew or - even better - a viscous, complex espresso.

BRIGHT & JUICY  

When a coffee exhibits up-front fruity flavours in the cup, we consider it to be worthy of the Bright & Juicy category.

Regions/varietals that generally fall into this category: Most Kenyan coffees, higher altitude lots, Caturra, Narino, Colombia, Santa Barbara, Honduras, Sidamo, Ethiopia

Common tasting notes: Berries, Citrus, Rhubarb, Tropical Fruits, Cherries, Cola and Lemonade

Best paired with: A Bright & Juicy coffee is a great companion to heavier dishes like our morcilla roll or chicken toastie, as its higher acidity cuts through the fats and cleanses the palate between bites.

Bright & Juicy classics: Maria Olimpia (Honduras), Riakiberu (Kenya), Victor Barrera (Colombia), Maraba Sovu (Rwanda), Gachatha AA (Kenya)

A word from the Roaster: Acidity is an underrated aspect to a satisfying cup of coffee: Without it, a coffee would be flat and bland. Too much of it… well… I think we can all agree nobody wants a sour cup to start their day. There are all sorts of acids that can present themselves in coffee, but the golden rule is that they need to be balanced with the overall sweetness and mouthfeel. That’s why we use the term ‘Juicy’ - it should be the kind of coffee that’s refreshing to sip!

LIGHT & FLORAL  

A coffee that’s subtle, tea-like and indicative of a place where coffee grows slowly and healthily.

Regions/varietals that generally fall into this category: High-Altitude Ethiopians, Geisha, Papua New Guinea, Arusha, Panama, Bourbon

Common tasting notes: Jasmine Tea, Honeysuckle, Lychee, Black Tea, Green Tea

Best paired with: Simple dishes: Avocado on toast, a plain pastry or a granola. Let the subtleties shine through.

Light & Floral classics: Mutsinda (Burundi), Biftu Gudina (Ethiopia), Yasinamo (PNG), Minani (Rwanda)

A word from the Roaster: Floral flavours are an elusive feature in coffee, and they can’t be created by any roasting trickery. They come straight from the soil, and speak of the way the coffee grew on the farm and the careful light touch of a producer, hence our obsession with finding and preserving those flavours in special lots of coffee by roasting as gently as possible. Perfect for filter brews and mindful, considered sipping.

WILD & FUNKY  

A coffee that commands attention with unexpected flavours: fruity, boozy or just weird enough to not fit into any other category.

Regions/varietals that generally fall into this category: Experimental process Colombians, Indonesian, Sumatra, PNG

Common tasting notes: Fermented fruits, Berries, White Chocolate, Tobacco, Spiced Rum, Christmas Cake, Passionfruit

Best paired with: Double down on the wildness and try some pickles on the side of your chickpea fritter, or a hash brown with your choc-chip cookie.

Wild & funky classics: The Roots Project (PNG), Carmelita Honey (Bolivia), Mantis Blend, Finca Veracruz (Colombia), Jabanto (Ethiopia)

A word from the Roaster: There are plenty of producers out there pushing the envelope when it comes to finding new flavours in coffee. It might be discovering new, cross-bred varietals that blow our minds, but fermentation is also a big one: There are all sorts of experimental and traditional methods out there that imbue coffee with unexpected flavours, something we love to challenge ourselves to tackle in the roastery!

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