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Archival Release #37

Jose Salazar Cup of Excellence 6th Place
Bourbon Aji
Wet Process

For our first Archival Release of 2024, we have a spectacular coffee from José Salazar, a producer from Pitalito, Huila, that was awarded 6th place in the 2021 Colombia Cup of Excellence competition. The lot is composed of a mysterious variety that Señor Salazar named “Bourbon Ají” after noticing that the ripe coffee cherries gave off an aroma reminiscent of chili peppers. Subsequent testing indicated that this fascinating variety is not a Bourbon, but rather, a previously uncatalogued Ethiopian landrace.

Jose Herman Salazar
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After a 3 year repose under freezer preservation, we’re delighted to find many of the same beautiful qualities we first identified in the cup: Berry jam, kiwi, and mango on the nose lead into a cup with rich toffee-like sweetness, a pleasantly expansive mouthfeel, and delightfully fruity flavors of cherry candy, peach, and blackcurrant.

Back in 2021, this selection was our first time tasting coffee from producer José Salazar. Since then, we’ve continued to purchase variety separations from his farm, a number of which are currently preserved in our freezer storage facility for future release. Needless to say, we remain impressed by the consistency and quality of his coffees each time they cross our cupping table. Keep an eye out for more of his coffees to appear on our Reserve Lot menu in the near future.

The Freezer Friday archival release series provides a unique new opportunity to explore Passenger’s treasure trove of notable harvests from the past.

Freezing Coffee: Why We Do It And What It Involves
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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.

Through our Freezer Friday release series, we make some of our “greatest hits” available for purchase in extremely limited quantities. Each release is announced through Social Media and limited to 1 per order.

The archival lots that we release 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.