Zimbabwe AA+ “La Lucie Estate”
Last year we introduced a premium “flagship” coffee from Zimbabwe, trade-named “Pinnacle”, whose distinction was owed in part to being produced on only 8 select farms. One of those farms, La Lucie Estate, stands out for its near fanatical zeal in pursuit of the ideal coffee- production regimen. This year we are proud to offer the fruit of this single select estate.
La Lucie Estate, located in the Chipinge district in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands, was founded in 1970 and is operated by the reknowned Michel Fayd’herbe. Chipinge district is known for deep, rich and fertile soils, high altitude [1200m (4000 ft) above sea level], very high rainfall, and moderate temperatures. These factors make it the premier coffee growing region, home of 80% of Zimbabwe’s coffee production.
Being a newer coffee production region, it has benefited from the experience of East African growers, who developed the SL28, Catimore, and Caturra Arabica varieties grown at La Lucie. The intense plant husbandry practices and investment in the most modern processing machinery allows La Lucie Estate to ship an astonishingly uniform and flawless product.
It was hard not to marvel at the steel blue-green color of the beans as they poured from the beautiful crested burlap sack, or the explosive aroma of fresh legumes, strongly suggestive of the freshest and most flavorful raw coffees. Before roasting it was clear that La Lucie was painstakingly produced. Taking the beans up to the recommended “full city” roast, a shade darker than our standard, the beans popped up perfectly and slid out into the cooling tray shining like chunks of dark Belgian chocolate. Then it was time for the ultimate test of quality: The taste in the cup. Regardless of what’s on the label or how perfect it looks, it’s got to cup.
On first cupping, the lively acidity revealed La Lucie’s true East African origins: Rich, sparkling intensity amid moderate body, finishing with notes of bittersweet chocolate. Only when compared with the excellent flavor and body of last year’s Pinnacle could you find fault with the flavor follow through. There’s no reason not to love Lucie.
We are pleased to offer for your enjoyment the belle La Lucie Estate, a coffee which deserves to be appreciated on its own terms, for its express and bold originality.