• Rating: [rating:3.5/5]

The most intriguing coffee I’ve tasted this week is courtesy of Bernie Digman, roaster/owner of Milagro Coffee y Espresso in Las Cruces, NM. The coffee… an organic bean from the Galapagos Islands.

Yes, those Galapagos Islands… the archipelago in the middle of the Pacific, 600 miles from anywhere, made famous by Mr. Darwin and a curious collection of creatures found nowhere else on earth. Fittingly enough, the flavor profile of this coffee does much to kindle one’s thoughts on the origin of species… or at least the origins of this particular cup.

The story is told thusly: in 1869 enterprising French colonists planted Bourbon coffee trees on the island of San Cristobal — the easternmost of the archipelago — and that it’s these same ancient coffee trees that are still producing today. It sounds lovely, and quaint and entirely unlikely, except that I’ve recently heard from an American grower of heirloom coffee that they, too, have coffee trees that are still producing after more than 100 years.

So, how’s it taste?

This is a delightfully fragrant coffee… its aromas are all sweetness and caramel. In the cup it’s mildly bright with bits of lemony citrus acidity. Its flavors are fairly lush and layered and offer notes of tobacco and leather. All in all nicely balanced, perhaps a little soft and slightly puckish [read, tart] in its finish.

Frankly, it cups more like an African coffee than anything else — certainly it’s not much like a Central or South American bean. It reminds me of quite recent beans from Rwanda, or 2-3 years’ distant crops from Uganda.


Milagro Coffee y Espresso can be reached at (505)532-1042.

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