With his background in winemaking and food science, Scott Burr started Carta Coffee Merchants to explore the many flavor profiles of 100 percent Kona coffee. His broad product line ranges from light to dark roast, citrus, fruity flavors to more smokey, chocolate inflected coffees. As a bonus, he designs blends with the best possible mix of processing methods. Here is a round up of his selections.
The newest blend with a name evoking the longitude lines on a map, Meridian is the lightest blend in the portfolio. Though a lighter roast, Meridian has complex flavors of citrus and almond with a bright acidity and earthier notes of hazelnut, dark chocolate, and very subtle smoke. The finish is smooth with a lingering crispness.
Latitude Traditional Process
Latitude is bright and citrus-forward. Made with the mechanical extraction of the bean from the cherry and quick washing, the coffee is dried in the traditional process with a longer drying period to preserve flavor. This method also avoids excessive water use that some growers use which entails a longer wash and fermentation soak. The coffee offers bright flavors with citrus notes.
Latitude Black and Tan Roast
This coffee is a blend of beans in the natural style—beans dried in the cherry skin—and traditional beans dried without skin. The secret to a delicious cup of coffee is the splitting of the blend into two roast styles: half roasted to a dark (black) and lighter (tan) and then packaged. “The result of mixing the two styles before roasting,” said Carta Coffee founder, Scott Burr, “gives a complex roast with a harmony of flavor.”
With a distinctive label evoking island heritage, Kuppa Kona is a medium roast with a pleasant finish, not too strong yet full bodies with a warm caffeine finish. This blend is known as popular in converting coffee drinkers to trying their “cuppa” black rather than drowning in milk or creamer. The flavor profile is smooth and bold with dark cocoa balanced with citrus.
Captain’s Roast is the darkest roast. This coffee produces a rich, dark and somewhat smoky cup. With a mash-up of processing styles and sources, shows a balance or citrus notes and smooth sweetness. Close to a French roast, the smoky, robust flavor surprises drinkers who think 100 percent Kona gives is only a medium roast style.
Peaberry is the crème de la crème of 100 percent Kona coffees. Yet this is one coffee which may not require milk or cream to shine. A peaberry bean is a unique gift from the coffee tree. Coffee cherries normally yield a flat-sided pair of beans. But in about three to five percent of cherries, those beans form a single rounded bean called a peaberry. The coffee from peaberries is commonly richer, more complex and fuller-bodied in flavor. When available, peaberry is a special offering from Carta.
This annual, distinctive blend usually includes peaberry beans. Burr prints the artist’s name on the label and selects artists who connect with the beauty of Hawaii. A rare finding at harvest time, the peaberry beans carry unique flavor components. Burr also adds organic beans to the blend which are challenging to source in the Kona coffee belt.
Rooster’s Cove medium roast is 100% Kona Coffee is a combination of Carta Coffee’s Nolyssa Farm and the Alu family farm-grown here in Kealakekua on the world famous Kona Coffee belt. The coffee has bright fruity notes, buttery caramel notes and a smooth balance with light acid finish.