"Summer comes yet again in 2023. More and more people are spotted sitting by Kamogawa river, trying to catch a cooler breeze. Lemon brioche is now giving a refreshing, summary vibe on my favourite bakery’s shelves, and the local supermarket’s vegetable counter is showing off shiny summer harvests like tomatoes and eggplants.
Personally, I can’t say I like summer.
In winter I can layer up to stay warm, but I can do only so much against the summer heat.
In Japan (and especially in Kyoto), humidity makes the heat even worse- it makes me hesitate to step out of the house even for a little bit, and dogs and cats on the street look very tired too (my vision may be affected by my bias here.).
If we can’t stop the summer from happening, let’s make something enjoyable to survive it- that’s how I started designing this year’s summer blend, Natsu Ake.
What are the desirable flavor profiles for hot weather?
How about the origin, process, variety?
Shall we blend two or three, and in what ratio- designing a blend isn’t our everyday task and it’s ever so exciting. Of course, I still have to worry about the price, ETD, stock situation, and all the other reality stuff.
After several test roasts, cuppings, and turmoils, I decided on a blend of two Ethiopia and a Tanzania. The washed Ethiopia gives a refreshing aroma of jasmine and lemon grass, while the natural Ethiopia provides the scrumptious sweetness of berries and grapes, and the sweet citrus of Tanzania bridges between the two. Iced brew brings out the citrusy acidity perfect for a big glass on a hot day, and cold brew gives the grape-like sweetness great for sipping in a shade. Summer has only just begun, and I hope this seasonal blend makes many occasions enjoyable!"