Kahiwa Finca Bella Elizabeth—”Medium” is the word

A couple of days ago, I visited Kahvila Kariranta, the beautiful and famous cafe in the Lahti harbor. As I was waiting for the great espresso they made me from Kahiwa Coffee Roasters beans, I noticed this on the shelf: Finca Bella Elizabeth, another coffee from Kahiwa. I was told the company makes this exclusively for Kahvila Kariranta. Of course I had to get a bag and try it out.

Finca Bella Elizabeth is straight washed Catuai from Huehuetenango, Guatemala. The roast level is 3/5. The company tells us it tastes like milk chocolate and apricots. The beans are pre-ground for filter use.

Since I’m not a pour-over guy, I decided to try it with my AeroPress, one of the inverted methods. It seemed to work just fine.

To be honest, I was struggling a little to figure out what Finca Bella Elizabeth was all about. It seemed so… middle of the road. But then it dawned on me: that’s exactly what this coffee is about.

This is not to say that it is a poor product. Quite the contrary. It certainly is an excellent coffee. The quality is very good. It’s just that it doesn’t seem to have the same character that some other Kahiwa products have, you know, a quality that makes it stand out from the others. It is very ”medium” on all levels.

Having said that, there are many things going on, three, to be exact:

  • milk chocolate
  • nuttiness
  • fruityness (fresh yellow fruits?)

All of these flavors are there in equal proportion. None of them overpowers the others. And this is where it gets hard to explain: In my opinion, these three flavors do not really meld together to form a unified whole, but they are not separated far from each other, either. They just kind of are there, if that makes sense. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. Perhaps it’s just that I would prefer one or the other: a simple, monochromatic flavor profile, or a complex one. For example, if I wanted to have something similar, a coffee that was fruity and chocolatey at the same time, I would probably opt for Kenya Mlima from Turun Kahvipaahtimo. In that particular coffee, the two different aspects are separated further apart, and thus feel more pronounced. In Finca Bella Elizabeth, however, all the different flavors seemed to be quite close to each other, and thus a little subdued, in a way.

The mouthfeel was nice and juicy, though, and yet there was enough nuttiness to make it feel more ”medium” than ”high.”

I think Finca Bella Elizabeth would be a good choice for those moments when you want to have a good cup of coffee, but do not have the time to think about all the different flavors in it. If that’s what you want in a coffee, get Finca Bella Elizabeth from Kahvila Kariranta!


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